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NCSL in the News May 2013

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: May 2013

May 31

Minnesota will host nation's legislators in 2014
The National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research and policy group, is planning its annual legislative summit in Minneapolis. It's set for August 2014. Associated Press in Minneapolis Star Tribune

Michigan moves into national forefront of preschool funding
“A lot of states are trying to recover to previous levels,” said  Phuonglan Nguyen, policy specialist for the National Council of State Legislatures. “This session we’re seeing a lot of states looking at increasing access and enrollment” to early childhood programs. Bridge Magazine

Social media privacy protection legislation in Washington and Concord gaining steam
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, bills on this topic are pending in 35 states. The Nashua Telegraph

(Opinion) The politics of free food
“There’s a personal relationship attached to gifts and perks,” said Peggy Kerns, the director of the National Conference of State Legislatures Center for Ethics in Government. A former Colorado lawmaker herself, Kerns offered a vision of resentful voters, sitting shivering at the end zone of a Broncos game, while comfy officials enjoyed the buffet in a corporate sponsor’s luxury box. The New York Times

BTC chief claims occupancy tax proposals may decrease meetings and business travel
Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, told members of the National Conference of State Legislatures that proposed occupancy taxes are a bad idea that can result in fewer meetings and diminished revenues and taxes for communities. International Meetings Review

May 30

Pennsylvania pension overhaul plan stands idle
Many states have made changes to pension plans in recent years in light of the recession, such as requiring increased employee contributions and mandating higher age and service requirements for new members, said Luke Martel, a senior policy analyst with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Colorado getting a climate change czar
New York state has an office to study climate change, and Pennsylvania has a climate-change manager within the state’s department of environmental protection, said Glen Andersen, energy program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in CBS4 Denver

Wisconsin's voter ID law constitutional, appeals court rules
The law, which still faces legal challenges, would put Wisconsin among nearly three dozen U.S. states with voter ID measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Politicians' salaries will stay on diet
Lawmakers in Oregon make $22,260 a year, as well as a $123 per diem when the state Legislature is in session. That’s right in middle of the pack among state legislatures, according to data compiled this year by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Register-Guard

Vermont passes law on unclaimed life insurance
Since last year, eight states have passed legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Valley News

With stand your ground laws still standing, two Alabama shooters escape liability
Alabama is one of at least nine states that passed the aggressive ALEC and NRA-backed “Stand Your Ground” statute that authorizes unfettered deadly force in self-defense, and one of 21 with a similar law that imposes no duty to retreat when facing an “attacker” in any place where one is lawfully present, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. thinkprogress.org

New Jersey ranked among worst states for minimum wage workers
Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bloomberg calculated the hourly personal income and used minimum wage rates from February 13, 2013. CBS Philly

May 29

Wisconsin's voter ID law constitutional, appeals court rules
The law, which still faces legal challenges, would put Wisconsin among nearly three dozen U.S. states with voter ID measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Stand Your Ground Law played key role in Autauga County murder trial
There are 21 states that have so-called Castle Laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Montgomery Advertiser

Raw-milk advocates claim victory in Wisconsin Trial
In 30 states, consumers can purchase raw milk, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wisconsin, known for its dairy industry, bans raw-milk sales, except on an incidental basis when it is sold directly to consumers at a dairy farm where the milk is produced. Thomson-Reuters News & Insight

Officials ponder plan for pension reform
Luke Martel, senior policy specialist of the National Conference of State Legislatures, reported that from 2009-13 eight states "made fundamental changes to their pension plans" and, during that same time, 27 states increased employee contributions to the plans. lancasteronline.com

Vouchers bill, which would help send students to private schools, passes critical test
A dozen states and Washington, D.C., have voucher programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Charlotte Observer

New Hampshire Senate removes student IDs for voting
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), there are twelve states in the U.S. that reference student identification cards in its requirements for voter idenficiation including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington. CR80News

The basics of Obamacare
National Conference of State Legislatures: This organization is closely monitoring the status of state health-insurance exchanges. Visit NCSL.org.
Entrepreneur

May 28

California faces new quandary, too much money
“We’re seeing a change in conversation in state legislatures this year,” said Todd Haggerty, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They’re not talking about how to close a budget gap anymore, which is a welcome relief after years of that during and after the Great Recession. Rather, states are having conversations about how to allocate increased revenues.” The New York Times

NC House panel backs grants for private schools
Of the 12 states with voucher programs, eight offer vouchers to students with special needs and four offer them to low-income students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the News & Observer

Texas passes business tax cuts worth more than $1 billion
Thirty-five states are taking up tax reform in their current legislative sessions, according to a recent survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters on cnbc.com

States raise college budgets after years of deep cuts
"It's going to be a better year for higher education," said Julie Bell, who oversees education issues at the National Association of State Legislatures, which represents state lawmakers. Wall Street Journal

New Hampshire Senate votes 18-6 to legalize medical marijuana
Based on the records of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a non-government organization that works for the state legislatures, there are 18 states in the U.S that have legalized the medical use of marijuana. Headlines & Global News

Pocono Internet retailers keep sharp eye on progress of online sales tax proposal
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill. Bloomberg Businessweek

Maine lawmakers grapple with falling gas tax revenues
About a dozen states index their gas taxes to inflation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. press-herald.com

Self-defense law at center of Autauga case
Between that old concept and the Alabama model--which eight other states also have--is a middle ground that says an individual doesn't have to retreat if they are in their home or business. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about a dozen states take that approach. Associated Press in The Gadsden Times

Desert Sands Unified School District's workers opt out of insurance for cash
These contribution levels are a large jump from just a few years ago, but they are still about 10 percent lower than the average employee contributions in the private sector, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Desert Sun

La. ranks high in gun violence, low in gun safety
Lawmakers in 30 states, including Louisiana, introduced some type of legislation this year to restrict federal oversight of gun regulations, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Advocate

School officials: Carroll prepared for new concussion guidelines
In 2011, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation regarding concussions. A school system must develop policies and programs to educate coaches, school personnel and parents. Student-athletes should be removed from play after a suspected concussion. A health-care provider must evaluate them, and the student must be cleared for play before he or she returns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Carroll County Times

Rick Scott says budget sets record low for state workers per capita this century
(The National Conference of State Legislatures did not have an updated ranking to reflect Scott's tenure.) The Miami Herald

(Opinion) Local businesses squeezed out by out-of-state online competitors' unfair advantage
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho had $103.1 million in uncollected sales tax revenue in 2012 because of purchases made online. The Spokesman-Review

(Opinion) The debate about feticide has taken a back seat to abortion
In addition to the federal “Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA),” at least thirty-eight states currently have some form of feticide measure on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Republic

May 24

N.H. Senate passes medical marijuana law; negotiations with House likely over changes
Medical marijuana laws are on the books in 18 states plus the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Concord Monitor

Maine governor moves out of State House office over TV dispute
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it wasn't aware of similar moves by other governors but was checking further. The National Governor's Association said it did not track such moves. AP/FOX News

Women’s Equality or Public Financing? We Need Both (Opinion)
At the moment, National Conference of State Legislatures data show that New York State, despite its progressive reputation, is tied with Arkansas for thirtieth place when it comes to the proportion of its legislature made up of women—New York City is further along. The three states with public financing—Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine—come in third, ninth and tenth, respectively. The Nation

Unprecedented pursuit of the death penalty (Opinion)
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws that impose criminal penalties for crimes against pregnant women, and 23 states expand the law to cover the earliest stage of pregnancy, such as conception or fertilization. Abington Mariner

Legislative Organization Brings Political Parties Together
Similar in age but much smaller and less well known than the National Conference of State Legislatures or even the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), SLLF was born at a time when state legislatures were believed to be inefficient and inadequate. Governing

Bill balances desires of adoptees, birth parents
Court orders still are required to release adoption records in 25 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tacoma News Tribune

Iowa View: Lawmakers' mess needs more discipline (Opinion)
Eleven states actually have no limit on the length of the session, including South Carolina, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio. On the other hand, the National Conference of State Legislatures says that at 100 days, Iowa already has one of the longest set calendars for its Legislature. Des Moines Register

Do New Yorkers want recall power to remove corrupt lawmakers from office?
Historically, however, most recall attempts at the state level have been unsuccessful. Most such efforts take place at the local level, the National Conference of State Legislatures, ncsl.org said. Saratogian

Senator gets wax tribute at Griot
Senator Banks was appointed by the Governor to the state’s Commission on Lead Poisoning, and to the following national legislative committees: Executive Committee and Management Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference; and the Committee on Health and the Committee on Human Services of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The St Louis American

Senate vote keeps NH's stand-your-ground law
Laws in at least 20 states say a person has no duty to retreat from an attacker in any place the person has a legal right to be, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Beaumont Enterprise

Democrats strike back at GOP voting measures
Colorado is the 11th state to allow same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Watertown Public Opinionl

SST Board Begins Laying Groundwork to Implement Online Sales Tax Legislation
State Budget Update: Spring 2013, by the National Conference of State Legislatures. BNA

Drug testing as a condition for unemployment benefits supported by some lawmakers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Reuters reports, Indiana and Kansas also require drug testing as a condition for receiving unemployment benefits. ABA Journal

Divergent opinions offered on education standards
No state has yet to actually undo the standards, said Daniel Thatcher, a policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures during a presentation at the hearing. Post-Crescent

Texas lawmakers approve drug tests for unemployment applicants
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that eight states—Kansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah—have passed laws that deal with drug screening and testing for those seeking public assistance, although some of those measures have met with legal challenges. Inside Counsel

May 23

Veterans Seek Help from States and Localities
More than 20 other states have adopted some kind of policy to make it easier for vets to count military experience when applying for private-sector jobs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, including Virginia and New York. Governing

Common Core school standards ruffle feathers among strange bedfellows
It’s not surprising that questions about Common Core are emerging now, Daniel Thatcher, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told a joint session of the committees on Education, which held an informational hearing at the Capitol. Madison Cap Times

Moody’s Defied as Local Bond Risk Falls to 2010 Low: Muni Credit
Tax revenue in the 50 states this year will surpass the record of $670 billion from 2008, according to Todd Haggerty, who tracks budget issues for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Texas lawmakers OK drug tests for some unemployment applicants
Two states have passed laws requiring drug testing of unemployment benefits recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Indiana passed its law in 2011 and Kansas passed one this year that goes into effect in July. CTNow.com Fox CT

SERS urged to cut travel budget further
“It’s consistent with very long-term trends, which is what the pension funds are concerned about,” said Ron Snell, former director of state services for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Columbus Dispatch

Bill would give juvenile offenders a chance at parole
If the bill becomes law, Connecticut would become the fifth state to legislate in reaction to the high court decision last spring barring mandatory life sentences for murder, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Day

Families of victims despair at idea of possible shortened sentences
Five states already have passed legislation in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, while 10 states, including Connecticut, have pending legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Day

Divergent opinions offered on education standards
No state has yet to actually undo the standards, said Daniel Thatcher, a policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures during a presentation at the hearing. Post-Crescent

(Opinion) State's gaming market ranking suggests GOP should heed Moak
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the DOJ decision opened the door to any form of online gaming over the provided it isn't the so-called "sports book." Mississippi Press

Gov. Inslee signs bill giving adoptees more access to birth records
Laws vary by states but court orders are still required to release adoption records in 25 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nina Williams-Mbengue, program director for NCSL’s Children and Families Program, said in an email that at one time nearly all states sealed adoption records but laws are changing. The News Tribune

May 22

States Bring Renewed Swagger to Top States 2013
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which monitors the states' economic health, reports in its annual "Spring Budget Update" that the general outlook among legislative fiscal officials "is one of stability, with a dose of uncertainty, as states continue to plod their way through an extended economic recovery." CNBC

The high price of tanning
In Massachusetts, children ages 14-17 already need parental permission to use an indoor tanning bed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Salon operators have to limit exposure times and provide eye protection for customers. The Boston Globe

Common core education standards debated at hearing
No state has yet to actually undo the standards, said Daniel Thatcher, a policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures during a presentation at the hearing. Green Bay Press-Gazette

Dwindling funds threaten Coos Bay streets
Increased fuel efficiency means people are using less gas. Since only about a dozen states tie their fuel tax to inflation, the revenue loses grow every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The World

Vermont Senate May Probe Publicly Funded Lobbying Organizations
Four states have restrictions on lobbying activities by publicly funded entities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ten prohibit state agencies from using public funds to retain lobbyists. Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government for NCSL, says such restrictions are usually prompted by a reaction to a lobbying effort. Valley News

NC House panel hosts public debate on voucher bill
Of the 12 states that have voucher programs, eight of them offer vouchers to students with special needs and four offer them to low-income students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Daily Southerner

(Opinion) School bus cameras: An idea whose time has come?
The National Conference of State Legislatures did a study of bus safety last year. It wrote that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says an average of 24 students are killed in bus accidents each year, and I haven't found any source to contradict that. South Coast Today

Wis. panel considers bill limiting local recalls
Recall occurs most frequently at the local level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The NCSL said estimates show three-fourths of recall elections are at the city council or school board level. AP

Early in-person voting bill gets Maine Senate approval
Maine is one of 27 states that already allow no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Morning Sentinel

Employers can't get your Facebook, Twitter passwords under new law
Washington is the eighth state to have a this type of Facebook and Twitter law. Similar measures are being considered in 33 other states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. KIRO-TV

May 21

Proponents of health care expansion weigh next moves
Joy Wilson, health policy director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the 2013 legislative session likely laid the groundwork for reluctant legislatures to pass the expansion next year—when states will have lost only one year of the three-year 100% federal funding for expansion.“I think some states will reconsider next year,” Wilson said. ModernHealthcare.com

City urges changes in state sales tax rules
In all, states lost a total of $23 billion last year due to out-of-state sales — about half of which were via Internet sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which lobbied for the national bill. Glocester Times

Teens, technology, law: when sexting is not pornography
Nationally, at least 20 states have passed legislation on sexting since 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Sydney Morning Herald

Judge to rule on Kentucky health exchange lawsuit
Exchanges must be self-funded by 2015, and Kentucky has received nearly $71 million from Washington, D.C., to set up the program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State Journal

NC House panel hosts public debate on voucher bill
Of the 12 states that have voucher programs, eight of them offer vouchers to students with special needs and four offer them to low-income students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in NCEN.com

Hispanic college numbers increase
Two-year and less than two-year institutions enroll more than 58 percent of the Latino students in college, a National Conference of State Legislatures July 2011 report stated. Imperial Valley Press

(Opinion) Bill to ban mandated flu vaccinations an unwise idea
The AP reports that seven states considered bills to require health care workers be immunized after the swine flu outbreak in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. jsonline.com

May 20

States bank on online sales tax
"If this is passed it's a huge source of revenue for the states," says Jon Kuhl, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which estimates states lost a collective $23 billion in uncollected sales taxes last year from online shopping. "As more and more people do their shopping online that figure is even going to grow." Wall Street Journal

'Your Ad Here' still a possibility at rest areas
Four states have looked at adding or expanding sponsorships and advertising to fund highway projects this year, said Jaime Rall, senior policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbus Dispatch

Michigan state employees make more than peers in other states
Earlier that year, state employees--based on the 10 percent health care premium--paid the sixth-lowest health premiums among state employees nationwide for standard family plan coverage, according to a report compiled in July 2012 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. WZZM 13

Web stores brace for sales taxes
States missed out on collecting $23 billion on remote sales in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Crain's New York Business

(Blog) Are school vouchers losing steam?
After the 2010 Tea Party wave there was “a big spike in the number of states considering voucher legislation,” says Josh Cunningham, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The Washington Post

Late-night votes just add to chaos
Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she has never heard of a state using this system. She questioned its usefulness and said it would be hard to track all those deadlines.“I don’t think there is anything that is ever going to fix (the deadline push),” Erickson said. “It’s human nature to procrastinate.” News & Record

Lawmaker tries to ban mandatory flu shots
The National Conference of State Legislatures said the Wisconsin bill was the only one it was aware of that would bar employers of any type from requiring vaccinations. LaCrosse Tribune

Maine House approves enhanced early voting, but hurdles remain
Maine is one of 27 states that already allow no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

Inquirer Editorial: Christie vs. the voters
In any case, the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state legislation, makes a distinction between the two kinds of convenience voting. And according to the conference, all but six of the 32 states that allow early voting also offer no-excuse absentee ballots. The Philadelphia Inquirer

State employees make more than peers in other states
Earlier that year, state employees - based on the 10 percent health care premium - paid the sixth-lowest health premiums among state employees nationwide for standard family plan coverage, according to a report compiled in July 2012 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. WZZM 13

Legislators tout benefits of online registration
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 states, including Indiana and West Virginia, have approved online voter registration. The Columbus Dispatch

A Louisville guide to online sales taxes
Kentucky loses out on $224 million annually in uncollected sales taxes, while Indiana loses $398 million, according to estimates from a 2009 University of Tennessee study compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. courier-journal.com

Cleveland kidnapping horrors focus attention on laws protecting unborn children
There are anti-feticide laws in at least 38 other states, with several of those laws making it a separate offense to kill a fetus when a pregnant woman is murdered or assaulted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. National Catholic Register

Democrats strike back at GOP voting measures in Colorado
Colorado is the 11th state to allow same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Huffington Post

Bill-job conflict: it's routine in Olympia
Nearly 80 percent of state lawmaking bodies in the U.S. are considered part-time legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Olympian

Is 71 years a life sentence? It's 'cruel and unusual,' says local attorney
In Illinois, 103 juveniles have been sentenced to life in prison, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Daily Journal

50-state survey of gift card laws
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recently released a chart that provides an overview of state gift card statutory requirements in all US states and territories as of mid-March 2013. JD Supra Law News

Small businesses could face financial hardship because of the Affordable Care Act
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, small businesses in the past have paid on average about 18 percent more than larger firms for the exact same health insurance plan. Insurance News Report
 
(Opinion) SID SALTER: GOP should heed Moak’s online gaming tax effort
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the DOJ decision opened the door to any form of online gaming over the provided it isn’t the so-called “sports book.” djournal.com
 

May 17

The last of the 2008 Doomsday scenarios is fading away
A recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures says only a few states still face budget difficulties, while a growing number expect to finish 2013 with budget surpluses. Forbes

Illinois income tax collections rise 33% in April
States, which enacted a slew of tax changes in 2009 to deal with the effects of the 2007-2009 recession, have once again turned their attention to taxes now that their economies have largely stabilized, said Todd Haggerty, a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters in The Chicago Tribune

Pot regulations in Washington may differ from Colorado's
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow the medical use of marijuana and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

(Blog) Illinois is not the worst place to be a Republican
In nine states, Republicans are less influential in at least one chamber of the legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 5NBC Chicago

May 16

April income tax collections climb in many states, but may be blip
States, which enacted a slew of tax changes in 2009 to deal with the crippling effects of the 2007-2009 recession, have once again turned their attention to taxes now that their economies have largely stabilized, said Todd Haggerty, a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters in wsbt.com

Inquirer Editorial: Virtual discount is just a tax dodge
Beyond harming local businesses, the practice costs states about $23 billion a year in lost sales tax revenue, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Inquirer

Dohrman presents Missouri vets legislation at NCSL Spring Forum
State Representative Dean Dohrman traveled to Denver May 2–4 to make a presentation at the Spring Forum of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Sedalia News-Journal

Following New York's lead, states consider raising age for tobacco sales
The minimum age to buy cigarettes in the U.S. is 18, though Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have raised the limits to 19, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

Powerball: Seven States That Won't Cash In on the $360M Drawing
Jon Griffin, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that while there's ample funding for casino studies, there hasn't been much empirical research on the economic impact on states that did not participate in lotteries. "I've never conducted any research as to why these states aren't participating in lotteries," he said. "With so many states having lotteries compared to states that have casino gaming, most people don't think much about state lotteries." WGOW

Could immigration reform bankrupt local governments?
“This is now a 50-state issue,” says Sheri Steisel, senior federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Everybody has a stake in this. For states like California and New York, there is the potential of a lot of people coming to the state and local government for assistance.” VOXXI

(Commentary) New legislation aims to ensure that Marylanders are better prepared for college or careers
State officials including legislators, educators and staff have taken advantage of reform networks and nonpartisan research offered by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Southern Regional Education Board, Complete College America, Lumina Foundation's Strategy Labs, and others. The Baltimore Sun

Illinois poised to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries
Illinois would become the 13th state to allow this group of teens to vote in primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Tribune

Most doctors still reject Medicaid as program expansion nears
That's why 77 percent of the nation's 2,000-plus rural counties are designated as health professional shortage areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mail Tribune

Some Pennsylvania schools allow guns amid review
Twenty-two states ban concealed weapons on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Pike County Courier

Critics slam new cloning research
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states have addressed the issue of cloning. Reuters in the Toronto Sun

Cloning, stem cells long mired in legislative gridlock
At least 15 states ban cloning, either for reproductive purposes or research or, in come cases, both, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kaiser Health News

Health reform could affect Native Americans in Pa.
Neither the National Conference of State Legislatures, nor the National Congress of American Indians, listed any tribes--whether federally recognized or not--with headquarters or other contact information in Pennsylvania. Associated Press in phillyBurbs.com

Guest editorial: Internet sales tax needed
According to the national Conference of State Legislatures, Tennessee failed to receive $749 million in state and local sales taxes on Internet sales last year. Knoxville News Sentinel

Why Criminalizing Teen Sexuality Isn’t The Best Way To Keep Our Youth Safe
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 20 states have enacted some kind of teen sexting measure. ThinkProgress

Public funding spurs couples to seek fertility treatment
To learn more about infertility coverage, state by state, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures. Medical Xpress

Depression can be lethal CDC: suicide rates exceed motor vehicle death
Sources: Suicide.org, Centers for Disease Control and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Highlands Today (The Tampa Tribune)

May 15

Kentucky governor unveils health benefit exchange website
Kentucky has received nearly $71 million from Washington, D.C., to set up the state-run exchange, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State Journal

Texas House approves bill that would allow guns on college campuses
Texas is one of 22 states than ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thompson Reuters global-post.com

Budget surpluses spur tension in some Republican-controlled states
Only a few states still face budget difficulties several years after the Great Recession forced widespread cuts to public education and social services, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in WABC-TV New York and Washington Post

Maine panel endorses labels for genetically modified food
No state has passed such a labeling law. At least 18 states are considering them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

Why 'feticide' charges are more complicated than they seem
Thirty-eight states have laws on the books that make killing a fetus in a violent act a separate crime from the harm done to the pregnant woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mother Jones

May 14

Most doctors still reject Medicaid as program expansion nears
That’s why 77 percent of the nation’s 2,000-plus rural counties are designated as health professional shortage areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fresno Bee

Why Might the Cleveland Kidnapper Get Charged With Murder?
In fact, there’s some precedent: at least 38 states have laws—some like Ohio’s—against fetal homicide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. National Journal

May 13

After years of cuts, sudden budget surpluses causing tension in some Republican-led states
Only a few states still face budget difficulties several years after the Great Recession forced widespread cuts to public education and social services, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Washington Post

Could Indiana become a drone testing center?
That debate has spread throughout the country with drone-related legislation introduced in 39 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Indiana, the Senate voted in February to study the use of drones in the state. Indianapolis Star

Murder case against Cleveland kidnapping suspect tough to prove
Ohio is one of 38 states to have a fetal homicide law on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The law in Ohio makes it a crime to murder a person "who is or was carried in the womb of another." NBC News

Maine panel: 911 confidentiality bill shouldn't pass
lready, Maine is one of five states that place certain restrictions on the release of recordings or information contained in the recordings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Press Herald

Online Sales Tax: Why E-Commerce Companies Are On Both Sides Of The Debate
According to a study commissioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures (which supports the bill), states lost out on roughly $11 billion last year from out-of-state sales tax on online purchases. www.MarketingLand.com

House Dems push emergency contraception, sex ed bills for 'Women's Health Week' in Michigan
As of August, 16 other states had enacted laws to provide information about or initiative emergency contraception, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Michigan Live

L.A. County officials worried about costs of immigration overhaul
The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging Congress to allocate to local and state governments some of the fees paid by applicants for legalization. "For states like California and New York, there is the potential of a lot of people coming to the state and local government for assistance," said Sheri Steisel, senior federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Just because the federal government has decided not to provide access to federal benefit programs does not mean that the need goes away... This is now a 50-state issue... Everybody has a stake in this." Los Angelese Times in The Morning Call

Guns, schools, drug testing on state legislature docket
A 2011 review by the National Conference of State Legislatures found only four states — Missouri, Oregon, Utah and Virginia — with no limit on contributions. Gadsden Times

Editorial: Internet sales tax payments bill would benefit Tennessee
Tennessee residents who are not charged sales taxes by online retailers are supposed to pay the tax directly to state government, but few do. According to the national Conference of State Legislatures, Tennessee failed to receive $749 million in state and local sales taxes on Internet sales last year. Knoxville News Sentinel

Some Pa. colleges allow students to carry guns
Pennsylvania is among 23 states that allow individual colleges or universities to decide if they'll ban concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Level the playing field with online sales tax
Nationwide, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the lost tax revenue was about $23.3 billion in 2012. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Americans online may soon pay states $23 B
Some states already have sought to collect sales taxes. Nine of them, including California, have enacted legislation to require out-of-state retailers with affiliates in the state to collect taxes due from their customers, said Max Behlke, who follows e-commerce for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Such steps haven’t provided a solution, he said. Delaware Online

Kentucky officials lobby Washington to legalize hemp
Besides Kentucky, Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia have passed laws promoting the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier-Journal

Battle lines sharpen over an Internet sales tax
Last year, Internet sales in the U.S. totaled $226 billion, up nearly 16% from the previous year, according to government estimates. States lost $23 billion in revenue last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill. MSN Money

May 10

Ramsey urges Internet tax OK; bill now stuck in U.S. House after Sentate passage
Tennessee loses an estimated $748 million in uncollected tax on Internet sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chattanooga Times Free Press

Pennsylvania's Kutztown University lifts ban on guns
Sixteen states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus under certain conditions, but none of those measures passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. FoxNews.com

Maricopa analysis: Early-voting plan would ax 20K from list
Seven states including Arizona and the District of Columbia allow voters to join a permanent early voting list, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. KTAR.com

Tennessee AG: 'Ag-gag' bill constitutionally suspect
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 bills addressing recordings of agricultural operations have been proposed this year in 10 states. The Nashville Ledger

Christie vetoes early voting bill, angering Democrats
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia had instituted some form of in-person early voting as of September 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. nj.com

Minnesota: Sequester cuts hit education and state's most vulnerable
A recent survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that only five states and the District of Columbia are taking steps in their budgets to make up for the sequestration cuts. wsws.org

(Blog) Capitol Report: Veterans, budget and the CCW information controversy
Saturday I flew to Denver to participate in the National Conference of State Legislatures Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force. The Marshall Democrat-News

N.J. governor vetoes employer Facebook password request ban
Maryland passed a law last year banning the practice, and California, Illinois and Michigan followed suit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. lawyers.com

Long not sold on Internet sales tax
Missouri missed out on an estimated $430 million in 2012 because of the inability to collect sales tax from catalog and online sellers, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. News-Leader.com

May 9

Lt. Gov. Ramsey says Rep. Blackburn wrong to oppose Internet tax bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Tennessee and local governments across the state lost about $748 million in uncollected state and local sales-tax revenue on Internet purchases in 2012. The Commercial Appeal

Plenty yet to learn in Cleveland captive case
Ohio is one of 38 states with a fetal homicide law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Indiana, Ohio compete for drone industry
That debate has spread throughout the country with drone-related legislation introduced in 39 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asbury Park Press

Hickenlooper to approve same-day voter registration, other election reforms
Eight states and the District of Columbia allow same-day voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in coloradoan.com

Bill before Alabama House today repeal state limit on corporate campaign contributions; Lawmaker says it's a 'pretend' cap
Alabama would become one of the few states with no contribution limits, according to 2011 information from the National Conference of State Legislatures. al.com

Three voting bills to get day in court
The effects of laws such as these vary, according to a Tribune-Review examination of data from George Mason University's United States Elections Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures. triblive.com

Tax-free Internet shopping in jeopardy
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales. Acadiana Business

(Opinion) More evidents voter ID laws don't suppress minority voting
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, four states (including Georgia) have "strict" photo ID requirements. Another seven have photo ID requirements. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Editorial) U.S. House should support Marketplace Fairness Act
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that West Virginia currently misses out on about $103 million annually in sales tax, Ohio about $628 million and Kentucky $224 million. The Herald-Dispatch

(Opinion) Collect Internet sales tax; support local business
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn’t collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Bristol Press

Excerpts from recent South Dakota editorials
While ALEC conferences may have good content, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments both are longstanding, nonpartisan groups specifically for state officials. Associated Press in the Argus Leader

Editorial: Some limits, more disclosure
The National Conference of State Legislatures www.ncsl.org summarizes how states handle contributions. connectionnewspapers.com

ALEC in Nevada spotlight
For many years, the Nevada Legislature has paid $1,000 a year dues to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), just as it does to groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments. But in the case of ALEC, the lawmakers were actually making a contribution of taxpayer dollars to a right wing political group. Reno News & Review


May 8

Lot at stake for Nebraska in sales tax revenue from online sales
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Nebraska loses some $118 million a year in uncollected tax revenue from Internet sales. Lincoln Journal Star

Oregon Senate to vote on tanning bill
More than 30 states regulate indoor tanning for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Statesman Journal

Online tax could be state budget windfall
A University of Tennessee study cited by the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates Alabama lost $170 million in uncollected remote taxes in 2012. Montgomery Advertiser

U.S. Senate passes bill letting states tax online sales
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn’t collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill. Associated Press in yourhoustonnews.com

Bill to collect sales taxes on online purchases faces uncertain future in the House
The National Conference of State Legislatures has estimated that states collectively lost $23 billion in uncollected online sales taxes last year. Huffington Post

Court says pot smokers can be fired, even in Colo.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of all states have such laws. Associated Press in The Denver Post

N.H. Senate panel removes home-grow option from medical marijuana bill
Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana since 1996, including the other five New England states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Concord Monitor

(Editorial) Do more to support female candidates
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Iowa ranks 27th in the nation in the proportion of women in its Legislature. The Daily Iowan

Mapping the same-sex marriage movement
Map showing status of same-sex marriage laws attributed in part to National Conference of State Legislatures. National Journal

A sampling of editorials from around New York
(Buffalo News) As expected, Walmart, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are all in favor of the legislation. Newsday

'Marketplace Fairness Act:' example of what Washington does best
States “lost” $23 billion last year because they could not collect on out-of-state sales from the Internet, catalogs, mail orders and telephone orders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures that supports the tax bill. The Marietta Daily Journal

May 7

Senate passes bill for taxing Internet sales
The bill is also supported by the National Governors Association, since sates would have collected an additional $23 billion in revenue last year if Internet sellers had been subject to state sales taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New American

Conn. legislatures mulls worker retirement access
California has been the only state to establish a retirement savings plan for private workers who do not participate in any other type of employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in boston.com

Retailers in Washington to plead for online sales tax collection
By not forcing online retailers to collect the tax, states lose out on about $23 billion every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. NJBIZ

Texas House approves carrying guns on campus
Texas is one of 22 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, said the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbus Dispatch

Dual House bills eliminate need for explanation on emergency mail ballots
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Rhode Island is currently one of 21 states nationwide that are considered to be “excuse-required” states, meaning voters are required to provide a necessitating reason or excuse when applying for a mail ballot. WoonsocketPatch

Congressmen noncommital on Internet sales tax
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports the legislation, makes the point that "States will lose an estimated $23.3 billion in 2012 from being prohibited from collecting sales tax from online and catalog purchases." mystateline.com

GOP hurdles await Internet sales tax plan
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports the bill, estimated that states lost out on $26 billion in sales taxes in 2012 alone. USA Today in floridatoday.com

Plastic bag tax scrapped by Baton Rouge lawmaker
The National Conference of State Legislatures says municipalities have enacted bans or taxes on plastic bags, but nothing has been done statewide except in Hawaii, where all counties have banned the bags at checkouts because of environmental concerns. Associated Press in klfy.com

Collecting sales tax on Internet purchases: so how would that work?
State treasuries lost around $11 billion in uncollected tax revenue from Internet sales last year, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures which supports the legislation. today.com

Reform update: Ore. study could impact national Medicaid debate
Joy Wilson, health policy director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, agreed that the study results have not yet drawn much attention at the state level. ModernHealthcare.com

Lawfare: Today's headlines and commentary
Lawmakers have introduced 85 pieces of legislation in 39 states this year relating to drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawfare

(Opinion) Internet sales tax: level the playing field
Nationwide, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the lost tax revenue was about $23.3 billion in 2012. jsonline.com

May 6

States take lead on oversight of compounding pharmacies
Last month, Virginia, which had 53 infections from the outbreak, passed a compounding bill, which will require a current inspection report before an out-of-state compounder is registered. And Georgia, which had just one meningitis victim, passed a detailed bill giving itself the authority to regulate out-of-state pharmacies, said Kara Nett Hinkley, health programs policy associate at NCSL.  Politico

If you shop online, you may be a tax cheat
In states with sales taxes, if you buy something from an out-of-state retailer and don’t pay taxes, you are supposed to pay those taxes when you file your state tax return, said Neal Osten, director the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in Decatur Daily

Gift cap now Georgia law
Peggy Kerns is with the National Conference of State Legislatures and a former Colorado lawmaker. She says gift caps send a message to voters."It’s really so the public understands the lawmakers is out for their best interests, and not whatever sector is trying to push a law,” she said in a phone interview. GBP News

Senate bill to let states tax Internet purchases
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill. Associated Press in NPR

Drone wars hit the states
Lawmakers have introduced 85 pieces of legislation in 39 states this year relating to drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politico

Pa. gifts that keep on giving
Nine states have gift bans or very low thresholds: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Peggy Kerns, director of the ethics center at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says other states are moving in that direction: "The trend is to tighten gift regulations . . . it's very important to calm a skeptical public." Philly.com

Mobile city official hopeful for successful passage of Internet sales tax
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the measure, estimates that states lost $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales. al.com

Poll: Will online sales tax change your online shopping habits?
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study by three business professors at the University of Tennessee. About $11.4 billion was lost from Internet sales; the rest was from purchases made through catalogs, mail orders and telephone orders, the study said. The study was done for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Patriot-News

Should the Senate OK proposal to collect billions in unpaid Internet sales taxes? Take our poll
The measure would enable states to charge and collect an estimated $23.3 billion in taxes that now go unpaid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Online sales tax set to pass in Senate
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates states in 2012 lost more than $11 billionin sales tax revenue from online retailers based in other states. WDTV.com

Internet tax bill targets all digital downloads
Washington state law taxed computer software, which tax officials then interpreted to include music, movies and e-books, part of a trend that alarmed (PDF) a committee of the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. cnet.com

(Opinion) Taxpayers shouldn't pay for lawmakers' trips, memberships
That’s an issue because ALEC — described on its own website as “a nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers” — is not nonpartisan in the sense that an organization such as the National Conference of State Legislatures is. The Daily Republic

(Opinion) Internet sales tax proposal a bad idea
The exemption of Internet and out-of-state retailers from collecting state sales taxes reduced state revenues by $23.3 billion in 2012 alone, according to an estimate by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Idaho Press-Tribune

Texas House approves bill that would allow guns on college campuses
Texas is one of 22 states than ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Philly CEO: Proposed Internet sales tax a 'nightmare'
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost $23 billion in 2012 because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales. Pennsylvania, for example, could collect up to $400 million in additional state sales tax if the legislation were to become law. Philly.com
 

May 3

Congress poised to level playing field between physical, virtual merchants
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost a whopping $23 billion last year on out-of-state sales over the Internet. Besides that, the different standard for online retailers has been an inherent inconsistency – and unfairness – with what is required of retailers in a physical storefront.  Hutchinson News
 
Oregon ready for its close-up as governor fights for film incentives
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states offer incentives for film production. But the Tax Foundation, a critic of such incentives, reported that several states have questioned their job-generating capacity and dropped or reduced them from their peak in 2010.  Statesman Journal
 
Bill protecting workers’ emails, social media heads to Senate
More than 30 other states are considering similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Dallas Morning News
 
E-Fairness good for Idaho
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho had $103.1 million in uncollected sales tax revenue in 2012 because of purchases made online.  Coeur d'Alene Press
 
States balk at making up for cuts, guard revenues
A survey released by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Thursday showed that they indeed are not compensating for the reductions, but are setting aside reserves in case the cuts slow their future revenues.  Chicago Tribune
 
Chambers argues synthetic drug bill too broad
At least 41 states have passed laws to ban K2, and at least 43 have banned bath salts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Lincoln Journal Star
 
What’s Too Young for a Gun? The Industry Behind the 5-Year-Old Killer
According to the most recent data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, few states have meaningful restrictions for children. In Oklahoma, for example, youths under age 16 can hunt alone for big game provided they’ve taken a hunter-education class.  The Daily Beast
 
Do you know what's in the 'compromise' federal immigration bill?
The "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” (S.744) is merely 844 pages long, so it's good to have help from the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures to understand the proposed legislation, section by section.  ChicagoNow
 
Congress leveling tax field for retailers
And the growth is accelerating. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated uncollected sales taxes from online purchases cost states about $11 billion last year; that figure was $7.7 billion in 2008.  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
 
Confederate flags and state paying group's membership fees
That’s an issue because ALEC — described on its own website as ‘‘a nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers’’ — is not nonpartisan in the sense that an organization such as the National Conference of State Legislatures is.  Aberdeen News
 
Kansas gun law is under fire
Swept up in a states’ rights fervor, Kansas and Missouri were two of 31 states this year that considered bills to nullify federal gun-control laws discussed in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Olathe News
 
Morning Memo: Fracking board under fire, Letterman takes shot at 'Dick' Burr
Republican Rep. Craig Horn received an excused absence -- like the others -- to attend a National Conference of State Legislatures conference in Denver.  News & Observer
 
Philly CEO: Proposed Internet sales tax a 'nightmare'
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost $23 billion in 2012 because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales. Pennsylvania, for example, could collect up to $400 million in additional state sales tax if the legislation were to become law.  Philly.com
 
All things considered, they’d be better off in Philadelphia
But we’re wondering how many people in Columbus are going to be eagerly watching members of the Legislature and, for that matter, the administration, and what conferences they will be attending — and where. Atlanta, where the National Conference of State Legislatures will be holding its convention this summer is probably safe.  Youngstown Vindicator
 
Rep. Dempsey selected as an Early Learning Fellow
State Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) has been selected as one of only 34 state legislators and legislative staff from 27 states as an Early Learning Fellow by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Rome News-Tribune

May 2

Billionaire's son pushes for campaign-finance overhaul
New York would join 25 states that already provide some public funds for state elections, including 14 that use matching funds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  USA Today
 
Michigan House OKs Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients
Legislation requiring some form of drug testing or screening for welfare recipients has been proposed in at least 29 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Measures have passed in eight states.  CBS Detroit

Struggling Catholic schools strategize to draw new students
Catholic school officials see more hope in programs that allow individuals and corporations to allocate part of their state taxes toward private-school scholarships. Fourteen such programs exist in 11 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Yahoo News
 
FBI Inquiry Into Ties to Donor Clouds Virginia Governor’s Future
Virginia is one of only 10 states that don’t place limits on such giving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which reviewed laws that apply to lawmakers.  Bloomberg
 
Collecting Internet sales taxes will level the playing field for retailers
As expected, Walmart, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are all in favor of the legislation.  Buffalo News
 
Florida Cyberbullying Bill Passes
According to definitions listed on National Conference of State Legislatures , cyberbullying refers to electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context.  Fox 10 TV
 
Maine bill would limit ammo magazines to 10 bullets
Meanwhile, several states have bills that would nullify any attempt by the federal government to outlaw high-capacity magazines or assault weapons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Kennebec Journal
 
GOP fights Colorado elections legislation until past midnight
Eight states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-day voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two other states, California and Connecticut, have passed same-day voter registration but have not implemented it, according to NCSL.  Durango Herald

May 1

Arizona legislature votes to make gold, silver legal tender
'More than a dozen states have considered similar legislation in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Chicago Tribune
 
Colorado approves lower tuition for illegal immigrants
The law restricts in-state tuition benefits for an estimated 50,000 - 65,000 unauthorized immigrant students each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  RT
 
Maine House resoundingly votes down proposal to shrink size of Legislature
Since 1960, five states — Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois, Connecticut and Vermont — have reduced the size of their legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bangor Daily News

Election Day voter registration measure unveiled
Same-day voting registration has existed in Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin since the 1970s, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Delaware Newszap
 
Alabama House passes bill to make voter registration deadline one week earlier
At 17 days, Alabama's deadline would still be closer to election day than many states. According to a listing of state deadlines as of November 2011 by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee all had 30-day windows.  AL.com
 
Another View: Improve plan for Internet sales tax, then enact it
Nevada, in fact, already has joined with 43 other states in the Streamline Sales and Use Tax Agreement, a national effort by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to make it easier for companies to comply with the variety of state laws.  Alexandria Town Talk
 
Arkansas prepares to launch Medicaid IG office
"I think states that are looking at Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act are interested in ensuring that if they are expanding, the money is going to legitimate services rather than fraud and abuse," Comlossy said.  NorthJersey.com
 
Going past midnight, Senate GOP fights Colorado elections changes before bill's initial OK
Eight states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-day voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Republic
 
Christie faces potential legal fight over school vouchers
Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have some form of voucher program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Star-Ledger

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