NCSL in the News | March 2018

2/28/2018

March 30

Lawmakers seek Bay State version of net neutrality
Gloucester Daily Times
At least 30 states have proposed similar measures in the past year but so far only Oregon and Washington have passed legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pa. is the 'only state in the country' without a tax on gas drillers. Is that true?
The Incline
While Pennsylvania remains the largest natural gas-producing state without a severance tax, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it is not the “only state” without one. A handful of states with relatively low levels of natural gas production or no natural gas production, like Iowa, lack such a measure.

EDITORIAL: Bill could build employment opportunities
Scottsbluff Star Herald
That compares to an average across the country of about 90 licensed professions per state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Colorado recall laws liberal but challenging
The Durango Herald
Colorado is one of 19 states where voters can recall elected officials, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures, and no evidence of fraud or official misconduct is necessary to trigger a special recall election.

Don't weaken consumer safety laws
Cadillac News
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says, “[H.R. 3599] would preempt vital state agricultural policies designed to protect the safety and well-being of our farmland, waterways, forests, and most importantly, our constituents.‘

March 29

Any Deeply Indebted City Might Want the Bailout Hartford Got
Bloomberg
It also allows for the state revenue director to make debt payments if an issuer seems unlikely to pay it, according to a 2017 presentation to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers seek to attach strings to rural Internet grants to ensure net neutrality
The Colorado Independent
About two dozen states have introduced bills or resolutions seeking to maintain net neutrality, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. On March 5, Washington state became the first in the nation to sign a law that would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking websites or charging companies more for faster delivery.

Pennsylvania lawmakers to consider self-driving regulations this spring
Tribune-Review
Twenty-two states have passed some sort of legislation related to self-driving cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why did they muster out Miss Piggy? Test your Tampa Bay military IQ
Tampa Bay Times
Florida was among the top five states for defense spending in 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Missouri legislators can go to school on the state's dime
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Neither the National Conference of State Legislatures nor the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, had heard of this type of benefit for legislators.

Many tattoo artists clamor for state regulation
Sharon Herald
At least 38 states require inspections of tattoo parlors, demand that tattoo artists pass a test to be licensed or otherwise regulate the industry, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 28

Justice Stevens Wants to Repeal the Second Amendment. Here's Why That's So Hard
TIME
Republicans, who typically run on a platform of supporting gun rights, currently control 32 state legislatures, per data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even assuming that the 18 states that have either divided or Democratic control backed an amendment, they would still need 20 GOP-controlled states to support the proposal in order to pass.

Senate bill would cover IVF, all fertility treatments for Delawareans
The News Journal
Fifteen states, including Maryland and New Jersey, currently have infertility insurance laws, though they vary and some are more narrowly defined than the Delaware bill, said Erik Skinner, a research analyst for National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why you should freeze your child's credit
South Bend Tribune
The states that currently require bureaus to create reports for those under 18 in response to a freeze request are Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mass. considers plan to 'fill in the gap' left by end of net neutrality
WCVB Boston
Lawmakers in 27 states around the country have introduced a total of 61 bills requiring ISPs adhere to various net neutrality principles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None of the bills have yet passed, NCSL said.

Arizona suspends Uber's driverless car testing after deadly accident
WTVD – TV
There are currently 22 states which have passed laws allowing for the use of autonomous vehicles, in some form, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws. Another five state governors have issued executive orders, including Arizona, according to the NCSL.

Equal pay for women, sick time for all workers on the way to becoming law in NJ
NorthJersey.com
She said the bill will make the state a "leader in the fight for this common-sense, pro-worker policy.” There is no federal law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave, but nine other states have pushed similar measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 27

Taxes On Natural Gas Pipelines Can Result In Money Flow For Rural Schools
NPR
The National Conference of State Legislatures says while a handful of states, like Pennsylvania, Idaho and Kansas, exempt pipelines from taxes, most assess some kind of property or utility tax. And Georgetown University researcher Nora Gordon says that can create a windfall.

Arizona suspends Uber's driverless car testing after deadly accident
ABC News
There are currently 22 states which have passed laws allowing for the use of autonomous vehicles, in some form, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws. Another five state governors have issued executive orders, including Arizona, according to the NCSL.

Why It's So Hard for Lawmakers to Win Governor's Races
Governing
“In a lot of states you can’t fundraise during session,” says Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Your caucus wants you to fundraise for them and you’re off fundraising for yourself -- that causes problems.”

Delaware bill to require insurers cover fertility treatments
Washington Post
National Conference of State Legislatures Research Analyst Erik Skinner says it’s difficult to tell how the bill will impact premiums.

Why It's Illegal to Roll Through Stop Signs on Your Bike — For Now
Stateline
The practice is controversial, said Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). “There’s a perception among some people that this is giving special rights to bicyclists and legalizing an unsafe behavior.”

Democrats accuse GOP of 'sexist, white-male agenda' over budget negotiation's makeup
The Courier-Journal
Only 23 of the 138 state legislators are women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 12 are Democrats and 11 are Republicans. 

Senate bill would assess providers to ensure net neutrality
The Salem News
Lawmakers in 27 states around the country have introduced a total of 61 bills requiring ISPs adhere to various net neutrality principles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None of the bills have yet passed, NCSL said.

Recent editorials published in Nebraska newspapers
News & Observer
That compares to an average across the country of about 90 licensed professions per state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why you should freeze your child's credit
WTOP
The states that currently require bureaus to create reports for those under 18 in response to a freeze request are Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 26

Undocumented and old enough for DACA, but too late to apply
Washington Post
A bill that would broaden Maryland’s 2012 Dream Act to allow in-state tuition for people who do not have DACA or temporary protected status recently passed the House of Delegates and is awaiting a vote in the state Senate. Maryland already allows undocumented immigrants who do not have DACA protection to get driver’s licenses, a privilege not available in 37 other states, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Oregon Strengthens Consumer Protections in Wake of Data Breaches
Governing
At least 29 states are taking up consumer security breach notification bills this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Progress to address sexual-harassment too slow in Olympia
Seattle Times
In October, the National Conference of State Legislatures compiled model recommendations for a strong sexual harassment policy. Washington’s Legislature could start there.

Sales tax revenue shows region's economic growth
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Across the nation, states' tax revenue appears to be relatively strong, with 27 states reporting general sales tax revenues on target or above estimate, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

What's going on with toll roads outside of Iowa? 
Des Moines Register
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2013, 28 states and Puerto Rico had tolled transportation facilities operated by statewide entities and 14 states had regional toll facilities.

Joyce Honaker honored as Hellard Award Winner
The State Journal
In 1987, Honaker was a founding member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Research and Committee Staff Section, serving as its first chairperson. 

Investigators use Uber crash SUV in re-creation
WCAX
Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that states are increasingly introducing legislation over autonomous vehicles -- 33 in 2017. More than 20 states have already enacted autonomous vehicle legislation.

Oregon Governor Signs Data Breach Law
Governing Technology
At least 29 states are taking up consumer security breach notification bills this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

March 23

After Florida massacre, pockets of NRA country weigh gun law reform
Reuters
At least six more states are weighing similar measures - Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Undocumented and old enough for DACA, but too late to apply
Washington Post
Maryland already allows undocumented immigrants who do not have DACA protection to get driver’s licenses, a privilege not available in 37 other states, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Rural counties are making a comeback, according to census data
STLtoday.com
Heavily agricultural areas also have started growing in the last two years after years of declines. Those areas likely still have fewer jobs, but may be attractive to people looking for low-cost areas to retire or cut costs, said Doug Farquhar, program director for rural development at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Children from birth to age 4 target of proposal that clears first hurdle in House committee
The Advocate
Songy said the state has been promised assistance from the National Governors' Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures in erecting a new child education setup.

Judges, Ohio prison system at odds over bed reduction plan
WTOP
North Carolina put similar caps on certain probation violations in 2011 as part of changes to its sentencing laws. Colorado, Nevada and Tennessee have created stand-alone facilities for probation violators as alternatives to prison sentences, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 22

Gov. Inslee signs package of bills sparked by #MeToo
Seattle Times
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports more than a dozen states introduced legislation this year related to sexual harassment in the workplace

House committee sends bill to allow pharmacists to tell customers how much prescriptions cost
The Advocate
Between 2016 and mid-March, at least seven other states have enacted laws prohibiting “gag clauses” in contracts that restrict pharmacists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Rural Counties Are Making a Comeback, Census Data Shows
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Heavily agricultural areas also have started growing in the last two years after years of declines.  Those areas likely still have fewer jobs, but may be attractive to people looking for low-cost areas to retire or cut costs, said Doug Farquhar, program director for rural development at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cindy Hyde-Smith to be first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress
Mississippi Today
While in the Senate she was for a time the vice chairwoman for the National Council of State Legislature’s agriculture committee. 

Lawmakers move to trim horse massage regulations
North Platte Telegram
In 1950, one out of every 20 jobs was licensed, but today one out of every four professions requires a license, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State legislature wraps up 2018 session
The Madison County Record
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states already prohibit gag clauses in contracts between pharmacies and PBMs, and Arkansas was one of 20 states considering a prohibition of them.

Gun control advocates push for 'red flag' law in Ohio
My Dayton Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 25 states are considering Red Flag legislation, also known as Extreme Risk Protective Orders or Gun Violence Prevention Orders. 

March 21

Factbox: How United States, Others Regulate Autonomous Vehicle Testing
Reuters
So far, 21 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers Move to Loosen Horse Massage Licensing in Nebraska
U.S. News & World Report
In 1950, one out of every 20 jobs was licensed, but today one out of every four professions requires a license, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Google's Change To Android Auto Makes Traffic Accidents More Likely
Forbes
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that 15 states and the District of Columbia prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving.

Malloy pushes one more time to expand juvenile court jurisdiction
CT Mirror
Connecticut, along with Massachusetts, Illinois, New Hampshire, Louisiana and South Carolina, raised the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction from age 16 to 18 between 2009 and 2017, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Three weeks after promising tax reform plan, key Kentucky lawmaker admits he 'failed'
Lexington Herald Leader
Santoro said that since 2013, 26 states and the District of Columbia have raised gas taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last year, seven states did so, including Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee. 

A Lack Of Precedent In Wisconsin's Special Elections Lawsuit
WisContext
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a guide to each state's rules.

Gov. Inslee signs package of voter access bills
KOMO News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures , Washington will join 12 states and the District of Columbia in allowing preregistration beginning at age 16. Four other states allow preregistration beginning at age 17, and an additional five states have varying rules for when a person may preregister when they near age 18.

March 20

Proposal Sets Procedures for Capitol Harassment Complaints
U.S. News & World Report
North Dakota isn't alone — there has been an unprecedented amount of legislation across the country dealing with sexual

Wireless firms seek to preempt local authority to install 5G equipment in neighborhoods
Washington Post
Industry-backed legislative proposals introduced this year in 18 states, including Maryland and Virginia, would preempt most local zoning laws for small cell poles up to 50 feet tall. They would limit residents’ input on applications for small cell facilities and restrict local governments’ ability to reject them. Thirteen states have adopted such laws since 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lou Cannon: The Rewards and Perils of Legislative Redistricting
Noozhawk
“Often when change takes place it’s because neither party knows what’s going to happen the next time around,” said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Political Scene: From Chafee portrait to interns, fund is catchall for governor's expenses 
The Providence Journal
To help figure out what those rules should be, the Senate Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee has invited a representative from the National Conference of State Legislatures to talk about how other states across the country do it, said Senate spokesman Greg Pare.

In Reliably Red Texas, Cannabis Entrepreneurs Hope For Green 
Houston Public Media
Twenty-nine states and D.C. have legalized the sale of medical marijuana, and some, including California and Colorado, allow the sale of marijuana to adults at retail shops, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Self-driving Uber vehicle kills pedestrian in Phoenix 
AL.com
The number of states considering legislation related to autonomous vehicles gradually has increased each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2017 alone, 33 states introduced legislation.

March 19

Sports Betting Costs Would Limit State Tax Revenue, Industry Says
Bloomberg BNA
While multiple states have passed legislation to legalize sports betting, most will look for the high court’s green light before moving forward, according to Ethan Wilson, policy director of commerce and financial services with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wireless firms seek to preempt local authority to install 5G equipment in neighborhoods
Washington Post
Thirteen states have adopted such laws since 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Witnesses ask Legislature to toughen child marriage laws
Seattle Times
Dianna Fine, co-chairwoman of the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis’ human trafficking committee, said Missouri’s current law is fueling the sex trafficking industry.

In Maryland, lawmakers again debate $500 fine for texting and driving
Washington Post
In California, the penalty for a first offense is $20. Arizona and Montana are the only states in which texting and driving is legal for all drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Maryland clarifying law to try to save lives
The Star Democrat
This bill makes a clear distinction between the person with reasonable belief of an overdose, and the overdose victim, and protects both. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 40 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted some form of a Good Samaritan Law to protect both parties.

Utah governor signs law legalizing 'free-range parenting'
Seattle Times
A records search by the National Conference of State Legislatures didn’t turn up any similar legislation in other states.

Political Scene: From Chafee portrait to interns, fund is catchall for governor's expenses
The Providence Journal
To help figure out what those rules should be, the Senate Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee has invited a representative from the National Conference of State Legislatures to talk about how other states across the country do it, said Senate spokesman Greg Pare.

Officials: “Stand your ground” will change little in criminal system
Wyoming Tribune
And at least 24 other states – including Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah – have laws stating that there is no duty to retreat from an attacker in a place where one is lawfully present, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 16

Kentucky House OKs Likely Less Credits for Solar Customers
U.S. News & World Report
The program is called "net-metering," and 38 states have it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Minimum wage, equal pay bills advancing to Senate floor at Gov. John Bel Edwards' urging 
The Advocate
The minimum wage went up in 18 other states at the start of 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The previous year, 19 states saw minimum wage hikes.

California bill looks to preserve net-neutrality rules
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kentucky House OKs likely less credits for solar customers
News & Observer
The program is called "net-metering," and 38 states have it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Supreme Court to weigh online sales taxes
The Gazette
“It’s about the money,” said Max Behlke, who handles budget and tax issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports allowing states to collect the taxes. Behlke pointed out that in most states, sales tax revenue never rebounded after the Great Recession, despite the fact that Americans are buying more.

Wyoming ranks last in nation for female representation in state government
Kemmerer Gazette
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Vermont and Arizona currently have the highest percentage of women in their state legislatures (40 percent), with Nevada (39.7 percent), Colorado (38 percent) and Washington (37.4 percent) also in the high ranks.

Recent data breaches spark debate over 'reasonable' notification rules
Fall River Herald News
This year, at least 29 states are taking up consumer security breach notification bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It’s getting harder to open those milk loopholes
Food Safety News
However, in only 12 states are retail sales of raw milk permitted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And 19 states ban retail sales outright.

Governor Haslam's Opioid Restrictions Pass First Votes, After Weeks Of Jockeying
WKNO FM
This map, compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, shows that a three-day prescribing limit is among the strictest in the country.

Anti-Harassment Training Provided To General Assembly, Staff
WUNC
The General Assembly's chief administrator announced Wednesday training will be offered to all 170 legislators through an online video provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 15

Beyond Amazon: States Prepare to Pounce on Online Sales Taxes
Governing
“It’s about the money,” said Max Behlke, who handles budget and tax issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports allowing states to collect the taxes. Behlke pointed out that in most states, sales tax revenue never rebounded after the Great Recession, despite the fact that Americans are buying more.

State Lawmakers to Attend Canadian Trade Summit
Wisconsin Ag Connection
State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is leading a bipartisan delegation of state representatives to the inaugural International Trade Legislative Conference in Québec City this weekend. The conference--which is being organized by the National Assembly of Québec in collaboration with the National Conference of State Legislatures--brings together lawmakers from the United States, Mexico and Canada. "With the current negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement and newly imposed tariffs, it's essential that we're actively engaged in a dialogue to protect our state's interests," said Speaker Vos, who also serves as vice president of NCSL. 

California bill looks to preserve net-neutrality rules
Virginian-Pilot
Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Governor: New focus on youngest children key to education gains
The Advocate
The nearly two-hour gathering included officials of the National Governors' Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House OKs 'Stand Your Ground' law
Bonner County Daily Bee
Twenty-four states have “stand your ground laws” on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pa. House passes measure to reduce General Assembly
Sunbury Daily Item
Only New Hampshire has more lawmakers, with 424. New Hampshire’s lawmakers are part-time and are paid $200, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Secretary of state promises straight-ticket vote option
KOB 4
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the number of states with straight-ticket voting dwindled to nine last year.

Gov. Brown's plan to change community college funding to promote student success faces scrutiny
EdSource
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the others are New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington State and Wyoming.

March 14

New Mexico Official Promises Straight-Ticket Vote Option 
U.S. News & World Report
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the number of states with straight-ticket voting dwindled to nine last year.

Patients Overpay For Prescriptions 23% Of The Time, Analysis Shows 
Kaiser Health News
Six states have prohibited the gag clauses and 20 more are considering similar legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House moves forward with plan to cut size of General Assembly 
TribDem.com
When the 50 state senators are added, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, with 253 lawmakers, is the largest full-time legislature in the country. Only New Hampshire has more lawmakers, with 424. New Hampshire’s lawmakers are part-time and are paid $200, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State elections officials move to adopt electronic poll books for 2018 elections 
Wisconsin State Journal
Jurisdictions in 32 states now use them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gun background check system riddled with flaws
The Sumter Item
Some states have enacted their own laws that limit gun ownership based on mental health issues, but they're all different, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Michigan's D+ Infrastructure Grade Signals Funding Need, Lead Engineer Says
Transport Topics Online
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states — California, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and West Virginia — passed legislation to increase fuel taxes. 

March 13

Recent Data Breaches Spark Debate Over 'Reasonable' Notification Rules
Government Technology
This year, at least 29 states are taking up consumer security breach notification bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As High Court Weighs Online Sales Taxes, States Get Ready to Pounce
The Pew Charitable Trusts
“It’s about the money,” said Max Behlke, who handles budget and tax issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports allowing states to collect the taxes. Behlke pointed out that in most states, sales tax revenue never rebounded after the Great Recession, despite the fact that Americans are buying more. In part, that’s because they are buying online. “When Americans are buying more but the tax revenue is not rebounding, that’s just a measure of where young people are shopping,” he said. “Revenue begets action.”

Fix federal background checks
Sunbury Daily Item
Some states have enacted their own laws to limit gun ownership based on mental health issues, but they are all different, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proposed constitutional amendment would streamline voter registration
Marquette Mining Journal
Only 15 states and the District of Columbia allow same-day registration, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Can An Atheist Win Public Office in The Bible Belt?
WFMY News 2
Nationally, the only state legislator who identifies himself as an atheist is the long-serving Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers (NP), according to a December 2015 article in the National Conference of State Legislatures magazine.

March 12

Florida governor signs gun-safety bill into law after school shooting
Reuters
Florida now joins at least six other states - Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming - with laws allowing public school employees to carry firearms to work, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump’s plan to combat school shootings includes federal commission, review of FBI tip line
Washington Times
Nineteen states already allow firearms in K-12 schools as long as the owner has permission from school authorities, while another five states permit any concealed-carry holder to bring weapons to schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Number of women in Alaska Legislature reaches new high
SFGate
As of January, the national average for women serving in Legislatures across the country was 25 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gun background check system riddled with flaws
The Courier
Some states have enacted their own laws that limit gun ownership based on mental health issues, but they’re all different, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

South Georgia teachers not sold on being armed
Valdosta Daily Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia is one of a small number of states that allow teachers to carry firearms, but only if their local school board allows it. 

Number of women in Alaska Legislature reaches new high
The Fresno Bee
As of January, the national average for women serving in Legislatures across the country was 25 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

US teachers reluctant to carry guns in school
The Eagle Tribune
Nineteen states already allow teachers to carry concealed weapons, if local officials authorize the practice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Teachers in at least five states currently carry firearms.

Can an atheist win public office in Tennessee? We'll find out Tuesday.
KHOU
Nationally, the only state legislator who identifies himself as an atheist is the long-serving Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers (NP), according to a December 2015 article in the National Conference of State Legislatures magazine. 

Trump's complicated past with the death penalty and due process
KITV Honolulu
Capital punishment is legal in 31 states and the federal government, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

March 9

Trump’s Solicitor General to High Court Undo Digital Tax Law
Max Behlke, director of budget and tax at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told Bloomberg Tax that the federal government wading into the topic “underscores how outdated the 1992 Quill decision is in 2018, and it is just the latest signal that the Supreme Court will rule in South Dakota’s favor.”
 
Statehouses Have A Ways To Go To Accommodate New Moms
Katie Ziegler, program manager for the Women's Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says women with children have historically waited to run until later in life.
 
NJ Could Be Second State to Enact Individual Mandate
"Massachusetts was the first, and technically, the only state to do this strictly through state law," said Richard Cauchi, the health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 2006 law established insurance requirements for both business and individuals, he said, and served as a model for the ACA.
 
Wave of women crashes Texas primaries
Meanwhile in the Texas Legislature, among the 181 seats that make up the House and Senate, just 37 women hold office, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Annapolis Roundup: Medical cannabis, other bills advance
A state analysis found only 16 states, along with Washington, D.C., allow for same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'Stand your ground' bill headed for House; Senate approved it last week
24 states have ‘stand your ground laws’ on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Day in Annapolis: Medical marijuana, voter registration bills move forward
A state analysis found only 16 states, along with Washington, D.C., allow for same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'Stand Your Ground' bill headed to Idaho House
24 states have ‘stand your ground’ laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
As hacking fears mount, Michigan election security gets middling marks
Experts say Michigan’s big problem is the state doesn’t legally require audits of election results, which could catch tampering and give voters more confidence in results, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Minnesota Ramps Up Self-Driving Car Planning
Autonomous vehicle legislation has been approved in 21 states, in some cases defining the technology and regulating how it may be used, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In six other states, governors have issued executive orders akin to Dayton's.
 
Governor signs bump stock ban bill
Washington now joins Massachusetts, New Jersey and the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, in banning bump stocks since the Las Vegas shooting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Washington becomes 1st state to approve net-neutrality rules
Governors in five states - Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont - have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Statehouses Have A Ways To Go To Accommodate New Moms
Katie Ziegler, program manager for the Women’s Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says women with children have historically waited to run until later in life. 

March 8

Florida lawmakers pass gun-school safety bill three weeks after massacre
Reuters
Florida would join at least six other states - Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming - with laws allowing school employees to carry firearms at kindergarten-12 public schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NJ Could Be Second State to Enact Individual Mandate
NJ Spotlight
"Massachusetts was the first, and technically, the only state to do this strictly through state law," said Richard Cauchi, the health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 2006 law established insurance requirements for both business and individuals, he said, and served as a model for the ACA.

Washington is latest in handful of states to ban bump stocks
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Bans were previously passed by Massachusetts, New Jersey and the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Federal officials also are considering regulating or banning the devices.

Story Jump-Start: Covering Election Costs
Reynolds Center
After the votes are in, some states have laws that require an automatic recount if the top two candidates are within a margin of victory. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists the codes and statutes that govern automatic recount criteria for each state.

Wave of women crashes Texas primaries
Texas Tribune
Currently, only three of the 38-member Texas congressional delegation are women. Meanwhile in the Texas Legislature, among the 181 seats that make up the House and Senate, just 37 women hold office, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bonus or not, teachers reluctant to carry guns in school
Greensburg Daily News
What he didn’t say was that 19 states already allow teachers to carry concealed weapons if local school officials authorize the practice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Teachers in at least five of those states currently carry firearms, the organization added.

Madigan warns House members to keep it 'strictly professional'
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier
State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, said it might be a good idea to consolidate the reporting system, calling the current one complicated, citing recommendations from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers Leave Harassment Policy Change For Future Legislature
SDPB Radio
The National Conference of State Legislatures—a bipartisan group that advocates for state legislatures—gave an ethics and sexual harassment training to lawmakers and employees in January.

March 7

A little tight? Nebraska could end horse massage licensing
ABC News
While horse massage is the current focus in Nebraska, it's part of a larger national trend — particularly in Republican-controlled states — to reduce barriers to licensing, said Suzanne Hultin from the National Council of State Legislatures.

Washington legislators tackle homelessness for those on aid
Washington Post
Eleven other states and Washington, D.C., have enacted similar laws, although not all allow landlords to recover potential losses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In the ladies room at the Oscars, a transgender moment signals a cultural shift
Los Angeles Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it would require public schools to designate all restrooms for the use of male students only or female students only. 

Is Florida’s plan to arm teachers the first of its kind?
Florida PolitiFact
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least five states — Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas — passed legislation allowing school employees to carry firearms at K-12 schools in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. Of those states, the closest plan to Florida’s proposal is in Texas, which has had its own marshal program since 2013. Out of the other four states, Texas requires the most training. South Dakota also has a similar program, just with a different name.

Voter ID isn't about fraud, it's to discourage minority turnout
Baltimore Sun
Thirty-two states already have some kind of voter ID law in force, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

County dumps proposal to let hair salons serve beer and wine
Las Vegas Sun
Seven states have approved serving alcohol at salons, barbershops and spas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada is not one of them.

Washington becomes first state to approve net-neutrality rules
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Teachers reluctant to carry guns in school
Danville Commercial News
What he didn’t say was that 19 states already allow teachers to carry concealed weapons if local school officials authorize the practice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Teachers in at least five of those states currently carry firearms, the organization added.

Law could limit bosses' snooping on Facebook
The Daily News of Newburyport
Similar laws have been proposed in 28 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Under bill in Missouri Senate, party candidates for governor, Lt. governor would run on same ticket
Missouri Net
Right now, Missouri is one of 17 states in which the two seats run on separate tickets, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Texas (primary) two-step: Veterans and public office
American Enterprise Institute
In 2015, the National Council for State Legislators estimated that the economic impact of military presence in Texas equaled $136 billion.

Proposal Could Ban Employer Social Media Snooping
Government Technology
Similar laws have been proposed in 28 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 6

Where Corporate Taxes Are Poised to Rise Because of Tax Overhaul: States
Wall Street Journal
States are trying to decipher the new law and many may wait until 2019 for significant corporate tax changes, said Max Behlke, director of budget and tax at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Especially in Democratic-leaning states, he said, “There hasn’t been a whole lot of sympathy toward corporations at the state level, considering they got a 40% cut federally.”

Washington becomes 1st state to approve net-neutrality rules
The Denver Post
Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gun rights advocates take aim at new age restrictions
Washington Times
The FPC pointed to recent data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) saying more than one-third of the states in the country have public accommodation or civil rights laws that prohibit age-based discrimination.

No state has done it. Will Kentucky be the first to tax painkillers?
Lexington Herald Leader
However, all state proposals to tax opioids have failed so far, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers seek ban on non-disclosure agreements
The Salem News
More than a dozen states restrict the use of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements involving so-called “public hazards” or individuals who are considered dangerous, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How officials prepare campus to deal with a mass shooting
The Hatchet
Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia are among 10 states that allow concealed weapons on college and university campuses, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislators.

Lyft partners with Allscripts for patient rides
Modern Healthcare
Every year, about 3.6 million Americans miss or are late to medical appointments because of problems with transportation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Self-driving cars continue to face little resistance from the federal government
The Verge
Twenty-one states and Washington, DC have passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2017, 33 states have introduced legislation related to autonomous vehicles, up from 20 states in 2016.

March 5

Gun rights advocates take aim at new age restrictions
Washington Times
The FPC pointed to recent data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) saying more than one-third of the states in the country have public accommodation or civil rights laws that prohibit age-based discrimination.

State revenue sets February record
Arkansas Online
Across the nation, states' total tax revenue appears to be relatively strong so far in fiscal 2018, the National Conference of State Legislatures said in a report. "This is in contrast to last year when many states had to revise their forecasts downward and make do with less revenue than expected," the conference said in a report last month. "Personal income tax collections are performing relatively well through the first half of the fiscal year, with 29 states reporting collections are either on target or exceeding estimates," the report said. Arkansas is one of 15 states that have reported individual income tax collections are exceeding their forecasts. These 15 states include two of Arkansas' surrounding states, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

How does Mississippi's response to excessive opioid prescribing compare to other states'?
Jackson Clarion Ledger
At least 14 states have statutory limits on the length of opioid prescriptions between three and seven days, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada set a 14-day limit. At least seven other state legislatures have directed other entities, medical boards, for example, to set limits.

Our schools need the toughest love
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The National Conference of State Legislatures in a May 2017 study found that 23 states delegate the decision to allow concealed carry weapons on campuses to each university individually, however Dohrman’s bill is limited to designation of only select, trained full-time staff.

To arm teachers or not
Valdosta Daily Times
Georgia is among at least five states that have passed measures allowing K-12 school employees to carry firearms since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Intensifying Conflict Between Opioid Control and Pain Control
Practical Pain Management
In 2016 and 2017, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures,3 14 states imposed limits on the duration of initial prescriptions for acute pain, ranging from three days (Kentucky) to two weeks (Nevada), with seven days the most common. 

March 2

Uber Launches Service To Get People To The Doctor's Office
NPR
Around 3.6 million Americans miss doctor's appointments or delay medical care due to a lack of transportation every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alaska Lawmaker Takes Training After Policy Vetting Pledge
U.S. News & World Report
A legislative working group has drafted a rewrite of the existing policy and said last week that it would seek comments on it from legislative staff and from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

CASEY: Cast your vote for the next Virginia specialty license tag
Roanoke Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 15 states plus the District of Columbia have phoning-while-driving restrictions in place. So do Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Bill: Data breaches must be revealed
Times Daily
Alabama and South Dakota are the only states without data breach notification laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State health care declaration falters
The Register-Guard
Such an amendment would have been unprecedented among U.S. states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Bill would allow Dreamers' to pursue professional licenses in Indiana
Evening News and Tribune
If the bill makes it into law, Indiana would join only 11 states that have loosened their licensing restrictions for undocumented immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures Immigration Policy Project. Its website shows California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming allow immigrants to obtain state licenses.

Schools marshal armed staff to curb shootings
Weatherford Democrat
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least five states allow school employees to carry firearms at K-12 schools.

Critics target partisan gerrymandering with state reforms
Missouri Lawyers Media
Since the start of this year, more than 60 bills dealing with redistricting criteria and methods have been introduced in at least 18 state legislatures, already equaling the total number of states that considered bills last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

March 1

Alaska Lawmakers to Weigh Gun Protective Orders 
U.S. News & World Report
Five states currently have laws allowing for gun violence protection orders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California Lawmaker Linked to #MeToo Movement Faces Misconduct Claims 
Wall Street Journal
Cristina Garcia,  a prominent Democrat in the state Assembly, garnered national attention for her focus on women’s issues, and was even singled out as one of the “Silence Breakers” in Time magazine’s recent “Person of the Year” issue for speaking out about sexual violence and harassment toward women.

Assessing the Vulnerable State of America's Voting Machines 
Pacific Standard
Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures says "Some voting equipment today works with old operating systems—Windows XP or Windows 2000—and data storage devices we wouldn't even know what to do with today."

Unprecedented Health Care Measure Dies in Oregon Senate
U.S. News & World Report
An effort to insert an amendment in Oregon's Constitution making health care a right died amid concerns by lawmakers that it would expose the state to lawsuits. Such an amendment would have been unprecedented among U.S. states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

County jails not collecting DNA from arrestees as required by SC law 
Charleston Post Courier
South Carolina is among at least 30 states with laws on collecting DNA from people charged with certain crimes, ranging from all felonies to specified violent felonies such as murder and rape, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Unprecedented health care measure dies in Oregon Senate
STL today
Making health care a constitutional right would have been a first among all states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How will federal, state tax cuts affect Miss. with online sales tax court ruling? 
Jackson Clarion Ledger
But to make matters even more interesting, the long term impact of those federal and state tax cuts may well be significantly impacted by the outcome of a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court review of a 26-year-old ruling that the National Conference of State Legislatures predicts could have an over $26 billion impact nationally on state and local tax revenues.

Bipartisan bill would boost Kentucky's gas tax by 10 cents
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Since 2013, 26 states plus the District of Columbia have raised gas taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.