NCSL in the News

State and Policy News Archive: May 2010

May 28

Recovery slow to trickle down to states
The National Conference of State Legislatures says state finances are not expected to recover for at least two years. Journal Gazette. More

Budget plan emerges
At the end of April, at least 30 states had approved budgets for the coming fiscal year that assumed Congress would approve the six-month Medicaid enhancement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Providence Journal. More

GLBT San Diegans weigh in on AZ immigration law
State laws relating to immigration have increased in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Gay and Lesbian Times. More

Governments turn on the rich in search of scarce funds
Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Wisconsin and Hawaii also raised rates on high earners, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg News in the Business Report. More

Immigration law will increase crime according to police chiefs
The National Conference of State Legislatures has said four states have instituted their own version of the Arizona law, which requires documentation from those suspected of being illegal immigrants. The Lipman Times. More

Top Cops: Arizona law could damage police, community relations
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, so far four states have proposed bills similar to Arizona's law. My Stateline.com. More

The battle heats up in Arizona
According to the New York Times, "In the first three months of this year, legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions relating to immigration; 107 laws have passed, compared with 222 in all of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislators." Socialist Worker. More

Beshear befuddled by bourbon bill's problems
Stumbo said Clark is willing to support a compromise that would allow samplings at the Games and the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville in July, but industry representatives rejected the idea. Lexington Herald Leader. More

May 27

U.S. police chiefs say Arizona immigration law will increase crime
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, four states have introduced their own versions of the Arizona law, which defines illegal immigration as criminal trespassing and requires police to request documents of anyone they stop and have a "reasonable suspicion" is in the country illegally. The Washington Post. More

World’s wealthy tapped for cash as governments tax high incomes
U.S. states, most of which are required to balance their budgets, are embracing the idea. New Jersey imposed a one-year surcharge on top incomes in 2009. Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Wisconsin and Hawaii also raised rates on high- earners, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Six other states considered increases this year, according to the group. BusinessWeek. More

What is the caucus?
But with 2,918 permanent employees, the commonwealth had more legislative staffers than any other state last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Philadelphia Inquirer. More

The state of the states: Virginia's governor weighs in
For fiscal 2011, which begins July 1 for most states, 38 states and Puerto Rico are grappling with budget gaps that total $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Money Times. More

McGowan: shrink state legislature
Maine ranks 10th in the country for the size of its legislature but 40th in population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Portland Press Herald. More

Lee Zurik investigation: a deeper look into legislative staff salaries
Since 1996 the National Conference of State Legislatures says the size of Louisiana's permanent staff has grown 37%. It’s session staff is up 48%. Fox 8 News. More

May 26

Arizona's law is most extreme anti-immigration measure—for now
Arizona was not the first state to pass a controversial law targeting immigrants, and it will not be the last. In fact, the number of immigration-related state laws passed has skyrocketed from 84 in 2006 to more than 200 last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Campus Progress. More

With Medicaid, states face painful cuts and few choices
In fact, two-thirds of states crafted 2011 budgets assuming that the aid would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline. More

Bourbon tasting bill caught in legislative fight
After the Tuesday committee vote, Gregory said hundreds of conferences across the state have asked for complimentary bourbon samplings and the bill as changed by the committee would only address the World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and the National Conference of State Legislatures gathering in July in Louisville. Lexington Herald-Leader. More

Palumbo 'surprised' Fox nixed hearing on immigration bill
Palumbo, D-Cranston, put Rhode Island on the map as the fourth state where copycat legislation to the Arizona SB 1070 bill had been introduced, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Blog for the Providence Journal. More

Soda tax uncaps a fight
Source on the map. Wall Street Journal. More

U.S. states eye bill on extra healthcare funds
Congress will likely modify the bill and pass it soon, said Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Delayed' is the operative term," he said. "They're close." Retuers. More

Importance of transparency stressed to US nuclear waste panel
Maryland Delegate Sally Young, representing the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she believed that states also should have that right. Platts RSS Feed. More

What is the National DNA Arrest database?
Also according to The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) of all 50 U.S. states, only New Hampshire, Kentucky and Nebraska do not require DNA samples from all felonies as of 05/24/10. Helium.com. More

No to local room and meals taxes
The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Federal Reserve Board’s New England Public Policy Center have studied the impact of local option taxation and come to roughly the same conclusions. Opinion in the Sentinel Source. More

IRS issues guidance on tax exclusion for health care coverage of adult children
According to a survey published by National Conference of State Legislatures, as of August 20, 2009, at least 30 states had enacted insurance legislation to extend dependent coverage regardless of student status. Lexology. More

May 25

Public colleges, universities grapple with tuition hikes
"States are starting from different places," says Julie Bell of the National Conference of State Legislatures. But in general, money for higher education "just isn't there." USA Today. More

States still grappling with budget woes
State budget gaps are projected at some $160 billion over the next two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal. More

Editorial: Even kids’ services must deal with cuts
All over the country, the financial crisis has forced states to make historic cuts to close what the National Conference of State Legislatures found was an overall budget gap of $174.1 billion and has lawmakers looking to trim another $89 billion next year. Opinion in the Ohio News Herald. More

Monticello team advances to national showcase
The We the People: Project Citizen event will be in July in Louisville during the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit. It's the first time the program has been held in Louisville. Lexington Herald Leader. More

States take steps to rein in pensions
Utah, after closing its defined benefit plan, this year joined the list of states that offer workers both defined contribution plans and hybrid plans, which also have elements of defined benefit plans, the National Conference of State Legislatures said in a May report. Reuters. More

Arizona immigration law necessary
State laws relating to immigration have increased in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Crossville-Chronicle. More

May 24

Romanoff defends record on illegal immigration
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there were a number of immigration initiatives proposed in 2006 for Colorado, including a measure termed Defend Colorado Now and sponsored by a group of the same name. Colorado Independent. More

Health price transparency bills would expand laws targeting hospitals
Some states also have adopted some form of health care price transparency for prescription drug manufacturers and health plans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. American Medical News. More

States' financial woes squeeze comp systems
In an April report, the National Conference of State Legislatures said “state budget gaps loom as far as the eye can see.” It said 31 states and Puerto Rico foresee fiscal 2012 budget gaps of at least $73.5 billion, and 21 states project fiscal 2013 budget gaps of at least $64.7 billion. Business Insurance. More

Corruption conviction no barrier for lobbyists
Peggy Kerns, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Alabama mirrors much of the rest of the country in that regard. Montgomery Advertiser. More

The roundtable baby and the higher ed bathwater
In 2006, they were cited as models by the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. Opinion in the Grand Forks Herald. More

Several bills require R.I. General Assembly votes to be posted online
By contrast, more than a dozen states post roll-call votes to the Internet in real time, and others post them in a searchable format, Marion said, citing a 2008 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Providence Journal. More

MacLaren, Stamey compete to represent GOP in Ravalli County's HD 89 race
I currently serve on the Children, Families, Health and Human Services Interim Committee, as well as the National Conference of State Legislatures HHS committee, the American Legislative Exchange Council Health committee, the Insure Montana Advisory Council, and Western Montana Health Education Council. Missoulian. More

Louis Jay Ulman appointed chair of the Maryland racing commission
Delegate Doory also is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (law and criminal justice committee), the Advisory Committee for the University of Baltimore School of Law, the Maryland Tourism Board, the Commission on Civic Literacy and the Board of the House of Ruth of Maryland. Baltimore Real Estate. More

Health care exchanges studied by panel
The exchanges are the “centerpiece of the whole thing. This needs to work,” Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures told the 17-member committee at its first meeting... Journal Tribune. More

State to receive $17M for health care reform
Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who attended the meeting, told the committee states like Maine "that go further and innovate should not be punished." Maine Business News. More

Debate over law heats up in Delaware
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, more than 1,180 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees were introduced in state legislatures across the country in the first three months of 2010. Delaware News Journal. More

At colleges, it pays to be in medicine, athletics
Harp, who served on the Southern Regional Education Board and the National Conference of State Legislatures' Blue Ribbon Committee on Education, said he has no ax to grind but thinks everyone in academia should share the hardships of the economic downturn. Editorial Augsta Chronicle. More

Arizona law reveals split within G.O.P.
In the first three months of this year, legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions relating to immigration; 107 laws have passed, compared with 222 in all of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times. More

May 21

Ask AP: Immigration bills, sucking up spilled oil
Ann Morse, who monitors immigration legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said lawmakers are wary about paying for anticipated legal challenges and will likely wait to see how the Arizona law fares in court. Associated Press.  More

Schools, students sue state over funding
About 70 percent of such "adequacy lawsuits" have succeeded, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Francisco Chronicle. More

Uninsured to get help in federal funding
Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures emphasized the importance of health insurance exchanges outlined in the law. Exchanges will be a place for people to buy insurance if they can't afford it through the individual market. "This is the centerpiece of the whole thing," she said. "This needs to work, and it's very complicated, and it will be very different in each state." Press Herald. More

State lawmakers learn about evolving health reform
“This is going to be quite a ride for you,” said Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures, speaking to the 17-member Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform Opportunities at the group’s first meeting in the Taxation Committee Room at the State House. Bangor Daily News. More

Oklahoma House sustains open carry veto
Ten other states allow residents with handgun permits to openly carry firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News On 6. More

Maine panel told exchange setup will be big task
The exchanges are the "centerpiece of the whole thing. This needs to work," Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures told the 17-member committee at its first meeting. WBZ-TV. More

Latest on healthcare tax credit: Feds qualify who’s eligible, what’s covered
About 20 states offer these benefits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hr Morning. More

Marijuana tax among plans for cash-strapped US states
"The tried and true approach the states have taken, not only in regards to the recent economic downturn but past downturns or fiscal crises, is [spending cuts] first, tapping reserves second and, lastly, raising taxes," Arturo Perez, a Denver fiscal analyst with the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, told the Herald. "That's the one-two-three step that states have followed time and time again." Sydney Morning Herald. More

May 20

Southern NH restaurateurs object to local meals tax
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures said only two other states and the District of Columbia have a rooms and meals tax higher than the one imposed by New Hampshire, which increased 1 percent less than a year ago. Eagle Tribune. More

Connecticut not alone in gambling on more federal aid
Connecticut is one of 21 states counting on Congress to approve billions in emergency health care aid for next year - and lacking any back-up plan if the funding doesn't come through, according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.The Connecticut Mirror. More

In some states, pension pain yields budget gains
Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Vermont and Wyoming hiked contributions from some or all current employees, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures.Stateline. More

You're footing the bill: lawmaker perks
The National Conference of State Legislatures said that puts their salary at $95,291 per year.  Even with the cut, that puts them at the top of the pay scale.Central Coast News. More

May 19

Thirty-three, ninety-nine
Maine is45th in the country for the number of people in each House district, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bangor Daily News. More

Tennessee legislators push resolution to honor Arizona
But the National Conference of State Legislatures noted questions have been raised about the implementation and constitutionality of the illegal immigration law. Kingsport Times News. More

Let's take optional meals tax off table
As of four years ago, 43 states authorized local option sales or income taxes, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in Nashua Telegraph. More

Students propose solutions to challenging public policy issues
Project Citizen is administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education in cooperation with the National Conference of State Legislatures. WisBar. More

NY loosens mail-in ballot requirements, joining 29 other states
An opinion piece in the American Thinker decries the recent loosening of absentee/mail-in ballot requirements in New York, the latest state - making 30 total, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures - to adopt a no-excuse policy for voting by mail.Texas Watchdog. More

Insurance coverage expanding for cancer clinical trials
A state-by-state overview of insurance coverage of clinical trials is available in both the Clinical Trials section of the NCI Web site and at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Clinical Trials: What Are States Doing? NCI Cancer Bulletin. More

Can anti-texting, teen driver bans be enforced?
Georgia would join at least 11 others that ban teens from using phones behind the wheel, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures list. 13wmaz. More

Congressman McDermott blasts Republicans' deceptive claims
On a bipartisan basis, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of Counties have all urged Congress to continue the TANF Emergency Fund as a way to create jobs and help families. eNews Park Forest. More

Kan. sales tax hike cuts against state's image
The most common option appears to be raising tobacco taxes, which more than 20 states have done, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lake Wylie Pilot. More

May 18

Despite trend, Mo. texting ban falls short
In all, more than 200 distracted-driving bills have been considered by state legislatures in 42 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. More

Administration releases new guidance on small business health care tax credit
According to lists compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 20 states offer these benefits. Big News. More

NH restaurant, hotel owners pan local tax option
According to a 2006 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, only two states and the District of Columbia had higher lodging taxes than New Hampshire. ABC News. More

Life 'cruel and unusual' punishment for teens, court rules
A handful of states -- including Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oregon -- currently prohibit sentencing minors to life without a chance for parole, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN. More

OPINION: Providing for help: Fee plan would stabilize health care ...
A recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 44 states (including Oklahoma) and the District of Columbia have some kind of ... Insurance News Net (press release). More

Small biz tax credits can cover 35% of health care costs
A recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 44 states (including Oklahoma) and the District of Columbia have some kind of provider fee. eCreditDaily.com. More

May 17

Millions of small businesses could be eligible for health care tax
The IRS said the value of the credit would not be reduced by state health-care tax credits, which exist in as many as 20 states, according to a list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post. More

States' budget problems cut into help for children
All over the country, the financial crisis has forced states to make cuts to close what the National Conference of State Legislatures found was an overall budget gap of $174.1 billion this fiscal year and has lawmakers looking to cut another $89 billion next year. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. More

Ramsey's 'boot' misses the fix for health fund
Michael Bird, the National Conference of State Legislatures' senior federal affairs counsel, said the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have included funding in different bills. Chattanooga Times Free Press. More

Gaming ETF could win as states consider vices
For fiscal 2011, 38 states project combined budget shortfalls of $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. ETF Trends (blog). More

After 2010, the deluge - Next year's deficit will make this year's ...
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), in its annual rankings of states by size of state budget deficit, put Minnesota at sixth place. Politics in Minnesota. More

Special to CNBC.com
The group spearheading the drive, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), recently released a report showing that that US states could eliminate 13 percent of their combined budget gaps if there was an online sales tax. CNBC. More

Mom to be charged with killing unborn infant while DUI
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states currently have fetal homicide laws of some kind. Lifesite. More

How to solve state deficits (AMZN, OSTK)
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is spearheading the movement. Benzinga. More

Racetracks and slots — a very uneasy marriage
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least a dozen states now have horse or dog tracks with some sort of additional gambling. msnbc.com. More

Making elections less 'safe'
"The framers of the Constitution provided that power to the states," notes Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Parade Magazine. More

States' budget woes hitting programs for kids hard
All over the country, the financial crisis has forced states to make historic cuts to close what the National Conference of State Legislatures found was an overall budget gap of $174.1 billion this fiscal year. The Associated Press. More

May 14

Delaware house passes cell phone ban
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states, including New Jersey and New York, and Washington, D.C., require drivers to use hands-free devices. Delaware News Journal. More

Blue state Vermont 1 of few trying tax cuts
Other recent state tax cuts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, have been enacted or are awaiting gubernatorial approval in: Georgia, which will eliminate taxes on retirement income for those 65 and older; Florida, which has passed tax cuts for the entertainment industry and for companies hiring new workers and has capped sales taxes on yachts; and Alaska, which has a cruise ship passenger tax that the legislature reduced from $46 to $34.50. Associated Press. More

Minn. among 38 states facing budget shortfalls
Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the reason for most of the budget trouble can be attributed to less revenue and more residents seeking help from state government. Minnesota Public Radio. More

Cell phone handset ban passes House by wide margin
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states, including New Jersey and New York, and Washington, D.C., require drivers to use hands-free devices. Twenty-two states and the nation’s capital outright prohibit texting while driving, and three more states have texting bans that will go into effect later this year. Newark Post. More

Minnesota isn't alone when it comes to budget crises
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported last month that 38 states and Puerto Rico are facing $89 billion in budget shortfalls. Minnesota Public Radio. More

Police divided over merits of ticket quotas
Bills to ban quotas are pending this year in Illinois, Tennessee and Michigan, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. A number of states already have passed such laws, including California, Maryland, Texas and New York. Ohio is not one of them. Cincinnati Inquirer. More

Nation's racetracks warily embrace slots, video gambling amid concern of being shoved aside
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least a dozen states now have horse or dog tracks with some sort of additional gambling option. Los Angeles Times. More

Traffic cameras divide nation's drivers
At least six states — Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire and West Virginia — prohibit camera enforcement, according to Anne Teigen, a transportation policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today. More

Arizona immigration law: Other states mull own versions of migrant law
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state efforts to tackle immigration-related issues have climbed dramatically in recent years. Arizona Central. More

Cleveland middle brings "project citizen" to capitol
The Project Citizen program is administered with the assistance of a national network of state and congressional district coordinators in every state and is conducted with the assistance of the National Conference of State Legislatures. WDEF-TV. More

Lactation breaks, always commendable, are now law
Twenty-four states already have rules that protect breastfeeding in the workplace, reports the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Womens Radio. More

May 13

Kan. sales tax hike cuts against state's image
The most common option appears to be raising tobacco taxes, which more than 20 states have done, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but sales and even income taxes have been in the mix. Associated Press. More

Arizona immigration law: Other states mull own versions of migrant law
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state efforts to tackle immigration-related issues have climbed dramatically in recent years. The Arizona Republic. More

California budget battle looms
California is not alone -- at least 38 states and Puerto Rico are dealing with fiscal 2011 gaps that total $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research group. Reuters. More

Lactation breaks, always commendable, are now law
Twenty-four states already have rules that protect breastfeeding in the workplace, reports the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Without weakening these provisions, the new health-reform bill will strengthen the laws in other states. WomensRadio. More

May 12

Immigration policy issues grip Tennessee
In the first three months of 2010 alone, lawmakers in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills related to immigration, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tennessean. More

State service disruptions to vary by agency
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, of the 16 other states that have attempted to furlough their workforce in the last year, so far only half have successfully implemented the furloughs in some form.
WGRZ-TV NBC Buffalo. More

Furloughs and layoffs in other states: Hard to implement
Half of the states in the US have had to turn to either layoffs or furloughs or both, to try and balance their budget over the past three years, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  WBEN 930 News. More

Strapped states cash in on gambling and other vices
For fiscal 2011, 38 states project combined budget shortfalls of $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan policy research group. Thirty-one states expect budget gaps totaling $73.5 billion in 2012. As a result, says Todd Haggerty, an analyst at the group, lawmakers are "trying anything and everything in order to bring their budgets into balance." Politics Daily. More

Eighteen states opt out of risk pools
Richard Cauchi, the health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said it made sense that some states didn't want to take on the challenge of building an insurance pool from the ground-up.
"All six of the states that have no such program have opted not to join the federal structure. That, I think, is perhaps understandable," said Cauchi. "It's a short-term outcome with a very short deadline for states that have no history of implementing such a program. They may feel, ‘well, if the federal government has the resources, at least for now, it might make sense for them to run it.'" Congress.org.  More

May 11

States raise pressure on Congress to extend enhanced Medicaid spending
NCSL is again asking the US Congress to extend enhanced Medicaid funding for states, given how many have adopted budgets assuming the increased federal aid would be forthcoming.Washington Post (blog). More

Strapped states find new virtues in vice
As a result, says Todd Haggerty, an analyst at NCSL, lawmakers are "trying anything and everything in order to bring their budgets into balance." Wall Street Journal. More

Other states take cue from Arizona law
Ann Morse, who monitors immigration legislation for NCSL, said most attempts to pass legislation modeled on the Arizona statute probably will have to wait till next year. NewsMax.com. More

Legislature votes to furlough NY workers
Half of the states in the US have had to turn to either layoffs or furloughs or both, to try and balance their budget over the past three years, according to research from NCSL.WBEN 930. More

Bill would make teen sexting a misdemeanor
At least 15 states this year that have introduced or are considering sexting bills for minors, according to NCSL. Dayton Daily News. More

New state budget balanced on some risky assumptions
NCSL sent out a warning in late April advising that this proposed increase was "on the ropes" due to a lack of funding. The Connecticut Mirror. More

Budget warriors getting slow start
They have pushed to bring in staff members from NCSL to run the meetings, hoping to diffuse the politics and utilize people who know what other states are doing to handle theirshortfalls. The Columbus Dispatch. More

May 10

Editorial: Congress’ inaction empowers Arizona to go it alone
The National Conference of State Legislatures recorded 222 immigration state laws and 131 resolutions passed in 48 states, most in response to the lack of congressional action. Editorial in the Globe Gazette. More

Capitol readies for hell week
The timing of the special session on education is interesting, coinciding with the release of a "census" of the 50 state legislatures, published by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Charleston Gazette. More

Revenue: April numbers are sobering
Also in April, the National Conference of State Legislatures warned its members - including Mississippi lawmakers - that the anticipated congressional extension of an additional six months of enhanced federal matching funds for Medicaid, the so-called FMAP funds, that had appeared certain weeks ago was now "on the ropes." NCSL urged legislators across the country to bring increased pressure on member of Congress to extend the additional Medicaid funds. Opinion in the  Clarion Ledger. More

Health coverage extensions for young not universal
A state-by-state list is available from the National Conference of State Legislatures at http://bit.ly/9Sg5El. The Associated Press in the Southtown Star. More

'Sexting' a serious offense
These harsh consequences have motivated state lawmakers to consider re-writing laws to lessen penalties, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. Guam Pacific News Daily. More

Personal finance: health care rules change for adult children
In New Jersey, it's until age 31, as long as the child is unmarried. And more than 30 states no longer require that students be enrolled in school to get coverage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Scaramento Bee. More

Traffic camera legislation stalls out in Tennessee Senate
While the issue may be dead in Tennessee for now, the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates other states are altering their relationship with traffic enforcement cameras. Times News, FL. More

It's time to stop buying mistaken notions about job creation
The National Conference of State Legislatures seems to agree with me. On their site they state: State legislatures support efforts to... Fully Engage America's Businesses in the Workforce System. Opinion in the Chino Hills. More

Medicaid, state police could shut down without Kentucky budget
Five states have endured partial government shutdowns since 2002 because of the failure to enact a budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier Journal. More

Gift cards keep on giving: New law will eliminate inactivity fees, keep cards from expiring
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana is among several states without statues for gift cards. Indiana law does state gift cards are exempted from the state's unclaimed property act. iStock Analyst.com. More

Immigration
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, since then, 48 states have considered measures to reform immigration laws. Last year, state legislatures enacted 222 laws and 131 resolutions on the subject. Wilson County News. More

As bad a time as it is to raise health insurance rates for education employees, there really wasn't any choice
Nationally, the average state employee paid $56.52 a month for single health insurance coverage in 2009, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Blog in Birmingham News. More

May 7

Immigration blueprint
Ann Morse, an immigration expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the lawsuits that have been, or will be, filed against S1070 may give other states time to watch and learn before following Arizona’s lead. “It will be a wait-and-see kind of movement by states,” she said. Arizona Capitol Times. More

Money and elections: One issue dealt with, another left hanging
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 states currently prohibit or restrict corporate or union spending. Four states have updated their disclosure laws in response to the court's ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission. CT Mirror. More

Washington dithers as immigration roils states
But even last year, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that a record 1,500 immigration bills were considered in all 50 states. Op-Ed in the Boston Globe. More

Ala. educators to pay more for health insurance
According to a nationwide study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average state employee paid $56.52 monthly for individual health insurance coverage in 2009. The Associated Press in the Gadsen Times. More

Budget endgame: nasty after all?
Roughly two-thirds of states across the country drew up their 2011 budgets assuming that they could utilize the enhanced payments to help square the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  “It doesn’t look good right now,” says Rachel Morgan, senior health policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislators. “We never said that it was a sure thing.” Politics in Minnesota. More

May 6

Recession, enforcement driving illegal immigrants to leave U.S.
Further polarizing the issue, state and local lawmakers, who once left immigration enforcement to the federal government, have stepped in. In 2009, states enacted 222 immigration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lake Wylie Pilot.  More

Preschool progress hurt by recession, Rutgers study shows
And it was before the state budget debacle known as Fiscal Year 2010, they said. State lawmakers started the year having to make up more than $145 billion in budget deficits last year, only to see revenue holes explode months later, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politics Daily. More

Hawaii law requires proof that drivers are legal
States are waiting to see what Congress does before taking action, said Melissa Savage, who tracks REAL ID response for the National Conference of State Legislatures."A lot of states have been struggling financially, so the REAL ID stuff is taking a back seat," she said. Honolulu Advertiser.  More

Fear index spikes on Greek woes and InterMune stock plunges 80% as FDA rejects lung drug
The stimulus funds have staved off what could have been even deeper cuts, said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Financial News USA. More

Budget endgame: nasty after all?
The basic problem: There’s no apparent political will to add another $25 billion to a federal deficit that is already a political liability to the White House and the Democratic Congress. “It doesn’t look good right now,” says Rachel Morgan, senior health policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislators. “We never said that it was a sure thing.” Politics In Minnesota. More

Kohls, Brod join ranks of the departing
Minnesota’s legislators earn $31,140 a year, plus per diems of $96 (for senators) or $77 (for House members) during the session. That amount ranks Minnesota squarely in the middle of the states when it comes to legislative compensation; according to statistics kept by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the highest-paid legislators are members of the California Assembly, who earn $95,291 a year, plus a $173 per diem.
Politics In Minnesota. More

May 5

Milwaukee / Prison release gets a second look
Wisconsin was one of 13 states that last year either created or expanded programs to speed up early release, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press in the San Jose Mercury News. More

Goodbye, stimulus. Hello, state budget cuts
The stimulus funds have staved off what could have been even deeper cuts," said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "You're seeing states now are coming to that point where they will have to make additional cuts or find new sources of revenue for fiscal 2011 and that will continue in fiscal 2012." CNNMoney.com. More

Leave or go to jail, Metcalfe tells illegals
Since 2005, the number of bills filed and laws enacted by state governments on immigration problems has increased, said Ann Morse, an official who handles immigration issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. More

In our view: The pain isn’t over
In fact, two-thirds of states “crafted 2011 budgets assuming that more (Medicaid assistance) would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures … (but) it’s not at all clear that the Medicaid assistance will ever materialize.” Columbian. More

States rely on federal funds to buttress medicaid programs; worry about the future
So critical, in fact, that two-thirds of the states crafted 2011 budgets assuming that more of it would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Medical News Today. More

Buffett says GM rescue may mean U.S. can’t say no to states
State lawmakers working to close $142.6 billion of deficits in fiscal 2010 budgets relied in part on some of the $787 billion of federal stimulus money provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Conference of State Legislatures said in a report in July. Bloomberg's Business Week. More

Virginia attorney general details fight against health care reform, EPA
Members of at least 39 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose provisions of health care reform, including single-payer provisions and mandates that would require purchase of insurance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Kingsport Times News. More

Mayday: Arizona's immigration law takes center stage
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state laws relating to immigration have increased substantially in recent years. Libcom.org. More

Washington's budget motto: "In Congress we trust"
The Medicaid assistance, set to expire at the end of December, has become a critical component in many state budgets during a time of devastating deficits. So critical, in fact, that two-thirds of the states crafted 2011 budgets assuming that more of it would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Policy Center in the Seattle Post Globe. More

Illinois not alone in crossing fingers for medicaid boost
The National Conference of State Legislatures further noted that "19 states have no backup plan in place should Congress not come through with the money they’ve been expecting." Progress Illinois Blog. More

US tax collections bear bad news for states-report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, last year six states received more than half of their annual revenue from personal income taxes, with more than two-thirds of Oregon's revenue generated by income tax. Retuers. More

States rely on federal funds to buttress medicaid programs; worry about the future
So critical, in fact, that two-thirds of the states crafted 2011 budgets assuming that more of it would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kaiser Health News. More

May 4

Health coverage extensions for young not universal
A state-by-state list is available from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press. More

Colo. teachers worried about changes to tenure law
The push is driven by a desire to win millions of dollars in education reform money -- known as "Race to the Top" -- from the Obama administration, said Michelle Exstrom, a senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures. BusinessWeek. More

Time running short for Medicaid help
Two-thirds of the states crafted 2011 budgets assuming that more of it would come through, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline.org. More

NY governor seeks to counter deportation laws
The National Conference of State Legislatures says immigration bills are proliferating. The Associated Press. More

Bill would allow volunteer to help diabetic students
At least nine states, including Indiana and Tennessee, have passed legislation that permits student to self-manage their diabetes at school or allows a trained volunteer to do it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Tribune. More

States offer variety of health coverage extensions
The complete list, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, can be found at http://bit.ly/9Sg5El. The Associated Press. More

FIPSE'S Freefall Continues
"I want the department ... to become an engine of innovation that recognizes success and scales up best practices at the local level," Duncan said in one (typical) speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures in December. Inside Higher Ed. More

Gazette opinion: Does state's Legislature look like Montana?
Drawing on reports from the National Conference of State Legislatures and other research sources, Legislative Services Director Susan Byorth Fox compared ... Billings Gazette. More

May 3

Borrowing still separates Rell, Democrats
And even though the National Conference of State Legislatures warned recently that this funding was "on the ropes" and at jeopardy of bogging down in Congress, both the Rell administration and the Democratic legislative leadership have been willing to build it into a revised 2010-11 budget. The Connecticut Mirror. More

Health insurers extend coverage to adult children
In Utah, a law allows unmarried dependents to retain coverage until age 26, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Business Insurance. More

Arizona hits nerve on immigration law
Since 2007, 668 new immigration laws were passed and 245 resolutions were adopted by various states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Nashua Telegraph. More

Fear, economy slow rise in undocumented immigrants
State and local lawmakers who once left immigration enforcement to the federal government have stepped in. In 2009, states enacted 222 immigration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. McClatchy Newspapers in the Charlotte Observer, The Kansas City Star and Miami Herald. More and More and More

Q+A-Arizona's tough immigration law and U.S. reform
The National Conference of State Legislatures says other states may look at similar measures, although the prospect of costly legal challenges and controversy generated by the Arizona law means that it will go slowly. Reuters. More

Pennsylvania needs campaign finance limits
Fewer than a dozen allow the liberal giving that we do, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Editorial in the Patriot News. More

POKIN AROUND: Despite what state senator says, ignore red-light camera tickets at your own peril
Six states ban red-light cameras, according to Anne Tiegen, with the National Conference of State Legislatures: Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Montana, which allows photo enforcement at railroad crossings. Surburban Journals. More

Harsh economy slows influx of illegal immigrants
In 2009, states enacted 222 immigration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. McClatchy Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle in the Modesto Bee. More

Lawmaker: Urgency 'not there' to make more cuts
That money still has not arrived, and it's looking less likely the state will ever get it, said Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, citing a letter from the National Conference of State Legislatures. KOMU-TV. More

Several governors come out against Arizona law
Ann Morse, a senior analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, predicted that many states, if considering similar legislation at all, would be slow to move, given that most have finished or did not have general legislative sessions this year. No new immigration laws have been introduced by states since the Arizona measure was signed into law, she said. Wall Street Journal. More

Breast cancer genetic testing leads to alleged employment discrimination
Colorado has legal statue to protect the privacy of genetic information. However, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), no Colorado law exists regarding genetic employment discrimination.  The website of NCSL lists and compares legislation for all states. Examiner. More

Hawaii lawmakers pass civil unions bill
Five U.S. states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hawaii would join New Jersey in allowing civil unions. CNN.com. More

Turn your key and breathe
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 146,000 ignition interlock devices are in use nationwide. Review Messenger. More

Rep. Geanie Morrison to give UHV commencement address
She also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Stimulus funding, as the co-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures - Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education, and as a commissioner of the Education Commission of the States. Victoria Advocate. More