Back 

NCSL in the News: November 2011

NCSL in the News: 2011

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: November 2011

Nov. 30

Should Washington budget like the states?
Biennial budgeting still may make sense for legislatures that meet on a part-time basis, but even here, analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that those states must meet in the off years to enact changes necessitated by shifts in the economy and priorities.
Governing

Editorial, 11/30: United we stand, divided they fall
An audit showed annual savings for the first year actually were $502,000, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Citizens complained the short work week was an inconvenience.
Editorial in the Lincoln Journal Star

Lottery sales rise to records as states wager for more revenue
At least 28 states have considered lottery or gaming-related bills since 2010 to close budget gaps, according to data from the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Walgreens CMO talks to state legislatures about expanding healthcare access
Walgreens' chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus delivered a keynote session Tuesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum here. The presentation, titled “Expanding Access to Care for Women and Exploring Health Delivery Models,” outlined the innovative approaches in health care today and shared how Walgreens complements these new models.
Drug Store News

Black Friday, Cyber Monday online deals hurt state budgets
But online-only retailers—those without brick-and-mortar stores—do not have to charge sales taxes in those states in which they do not have a physical presence, according to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states will miss out on an estimated $23.3 billion in 2012 from not collecting sales tax from online and catalog sales. U.S. News and World Report

Gallivan named vice chairman of national committee for human services
State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elba, has been named vice chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Human Services and Welfare Committee for 2011/2012. MPN Now.com

DN Editorial: Occupy Harrisburg: automatic legislative pay raises
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, commissions operate differently depending on the state, but most have members appointed to fixed terms by elected officials.
Editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Yuk, another automatic pay raise
Their salaries rank second nationally among all state legislative bodies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Tribune-Democrat

Governments want a slice of Cyber Monday
St. Joseph and Buchanan County won’t see a penny in the form of sales tax. Online retailers do not collect sales tax on most purchases and the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates municipalities could miss out on an estimated $23 billion in online sales tax in 2012. St. Joseph News-Press

Increasing number of parents skipping vaccinations for school children
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 out of fifty states grant exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. Emax Health

State's new trick: old dogs
Of 41 states that have state income tax, several offer tax breaks for pensions, but only Pennsylvania fully exempts public and private pensions as Mr. LePage is proposing to do, said Ron Snell, a senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

Wirth makes another push for corporate income tax
A 2010 study by the nonpartisan National Council of State Legislatures found that the economies of states with higher corporate income tax levels are hurt by combined reporting — "specifically at tax rates that are approximately above the national median corporate income tax rate." Santa Fe New Mexican

Nov. 29

States push to catch winter's silent killer with carbon monoxide alarms
"We're seeing more states address this issue," partly because of well-publicized deaths from CO poisoning, says Scott Hendrick of the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Black Friday sales suggest a strong Cyber Monday
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates about $23 billion in online sales taxes will not be collected in 2012. NPR

Retail: On Cyber Monday, consider state sales tax ramifications
"If we don't close the loophole now, it will continue to get bigger," said Neal Osten, director of the conference's Washington office. Reno Gazette Journal

Editorial: Occupy Harrisburg: automatic lesiglative pay raises
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, commissions operate differently depending on the state, but most have members appointed to fixed terms by elected officials. Some commissions have direct authority to raise or lower salaries, others make recommendations for officials to approve or to be ratified by voters. Philadelphia Inquirer

Editorial: Tell state legislators to recant 1995 rule
For the four caucus leaders, salaries will be $118,845, up from the current $115,364, according to the P-G’s Harrisburg bureau. Their salaries rank second nationally among all state legislative bodies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tribune-Democrat

Governments want a slice of Cyber Monday
Online retailers do not collect sales tax on most purchases and the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates municipalities could miss out on an estimated $23 billion in online sales tax in 2012. News-Press Now

Increasing number of parents skipping vaccinations for school children
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 out of fifty states grant exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. eMaxHealth

The $23 billion ‘Amazon Tax’ loophole
Given the grim financial situation they have faced over the past four years, states have never had a greater need for more power to collect sales tax, says Neal Osten, Washington director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fiscal Times

Nov. 28

WA lawmakers return to Capitol for special session
Washington state isn't the only one where lawmakers have asked voters to choose between taxes and cuts. Last year, there were four legislative referendums to the people in three states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Times

Sales taxes online could be required if bill passes
Technically, customers are supposed to voluntarily mail in the sales tax when their online merchant doesn't impose the levy, but few do, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It estimates that states will lose $23 billion in sales tax revenue in 2012 alone unless Congress acts to enable collections from large online merchants. Times-Picayune

Debate heats up on voter ID laws
"It's boiling over," said Jennie Bowser, a senior election policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "People on both sides of the aisle are very protective of elections. They regard it as the cornerstone of American democracy." Montgomery Advertiser

Cyber Monday: Sales tax trail leads to econ, small business stories
But with Internet retailing becoming such a big part of many  households’ shopping patterns, states — cash-strapped on a number of levels, as you know — are becoming increasingly anxious to recover the revenue, which the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates at more than $23 billion for 2012, according to this Sandra Block column in USA Today. Reynolds Center

How system fell $17 billion into the red
Nationwide, states are scrambling to get their retirement systems under control. In 2010 and 2011, 40 states passed some form of major retirement legislation – an unprecedented flurry of activity that has spawned at least nine lawsuits in nine states, according to Ron Snell, who tracks state retirement systems for the National Conference on State Legislatures.The State

Breach concerns rise for health care firms
In addition, 46 states have laws requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Business Insurance

How to win an assembly seat without getting elected
Nationally, the process used by states are evenly split, with half continuing to fill legislative vacancies through special elections and the other half using some process of appointment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Still, the NCSL's research shows that only four other states -- Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and North Dakota -- use a process like New Jersey's. NJ Spotlight

College tuition costs are just part of the challenge for illegal immigrants
An estimated 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from high schools in the United States each year and about 5 percent of them attend college, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twelve states—including Illinois, California and Texas—allow in-state tuition for at least some of these students. Gazette Extra

Retail landscape reflects state of US
The National Conference of State Legislatures now estimates states will leave $23 billion in online sales tax uncollected in 2012. Memphis Daily

Dividing electoral votes by district would make bad system worse
As John Samples of the Cato Institute recently pointed out in a panel discussion at the National Conference of State Legislatures, the district approach would extend the effects of gerrymandering of congressional districts to the highest office in the land. Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Otto endorses Chisum for railroad commission
Chisum has served on the Energy Council and is former Chairman of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and Environmental Regulation. The Dayton News

Spending cuts promise grim picture for schools, other programs
Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the fiscal 2012 budget cuts are "child's play'' compared to the cuts scheduled to begin in 2013. The fiscal 2012 cuts amount to "a slight reduction of $7 billion in an almost $4 trillion budget,'' Bird said. "This is not even sticking your toe in the water in terms of what's coming in January of 2013.'' WGRZ-TV and The Ithaca Journal

Nov. 25

NCSL closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 24

NCSL closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 23

Rules keep Americans from getting licenses
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for repeal of the Real ID Act, says 16 states have passed laws opposing compliance with the act while the National Governors Association has labeled it "unworkable."  UPI.com (AP)

Nebraska lawmaker pushing voter ID again
Thirty-one states require voters to present some kind of identification in order to vote — and in 15 of those states it must be a photo ID. But Nebraska is one of 20 states with no voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Watchdog

Nov. 22

Deficit panel’s failure aims at defense while sparing Medicaid
“States get saved on the Medicaid side while they get punched in the face on education, transportation, energy, environment, labor and all the other programs that are out there, many of which have gotten mandated activities in them,” said Michael Bird, a lobbyist in Washington for the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg Businessweek

Real ID Act blocks some Americans from driver's licenses
Sixteen states have passed laws opposing compliance with Real ID, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Department of Homeland Security, acknowledging that the law's documentation requirements are burdensome and cause privacy concerns, has several times delayed the deadline for states to comply.  USA Today

States, retailers pushing feds for online sales taxes
About eight years ago, Michigan spent $10 million to educate residents about their obligation to pay sales taxes on catalog and online purchases. The following year, Michigan collected $1 million in taxes from online sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  LaCrosse Tribune

HHS flags first ‘unreasonable’ premium increase
The law does not give the federal government power to reject increases, but about two dozen states have given reglators authority to approve or disapprove of some types of insurance premium changes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Kaiser Health News

Occupy movement attracts one-time strange bedfellows
Labor leaders aren’t resting on any laurels, though. The National Conference of State Legislatures tallies more than 700 bills introduced this year aimed at limiting union rights or authority.  Kansas City Star

Panel's debt-deal failure could hurt Maine in later years
But Head Start's federal funding could go from $7.5 billion to as low as $6 billion, according to an estimate by the Federal Funds Information for States, a joint service of the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Kennebec Journal

Your Money: E-shoppers' sales tax responsibilities
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that uncollected online sales taxes will cost states $23 billion in 2012. "If we don't close the loophole now, it will continue to get bigger," says Neal Osten, director of the conference's Washington office.  USA Today

Retired Kansas workers return to school, government jobs
Kansas is one of more than a dozen states that have passed some kind of legislation designed to reduce the cost of rehiring teachers or other workers who also receive pension checks, said Ron Snell, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Kansas Reporter

Congressional stalemate may trim state aid while shielding munis
“They have a little more certainty here,” said Howard, whose organization was created by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They know what set of programs is likely to be affected and they can take the worst-case scenario.”  Bloomberg Businessweek

Fremont senator to push voter ID again
Thirty-one states require voters to present some kind of identification in order to vote — and in 15 of those states it must be a photo ID. But Nebraska is one of 20 states with no voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Missouri News Horizon

State dealt blow by federal impasse
Hurley said states have known, one way or another, that federal payments would be reduced in the coming years. But with a deal now all but gone to keep the across-the-board sequestration process from occurring, the water is made more murky.  "NCSL has advocated that we don't want state's to be disproportionately hit. We don't want a reduction in federal savings to be all from cuts to state programs," Hurley said.  Buffalo News

Short session can be long on results
During a time when there was so much political protest, the redistricting process was one of the smoothest in recent memory. It was the first time I had experienced the process firsthand, but Tim Storey, a national expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Indiana did very well.  Opinion in the NWI Times

Nov. 21

Lawmakers to rally opposition against state immigration law
By the end of June, 40 states had enacted 257 immi­gration-related laws and res­olutions, according to the Na­tional Conference of State Legislatures.  Montgomery Advertiser and USA Today

AP interview: Internet tax a states' rights issue
States striving to make ends meet in tough times will lose more than $23 billion in uncollected sales taxes in 2012, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates.  Associated Press

Pa. legislative health plan changes, savings eyed
Only 5 percent of active state employees in the United States were enrolled in indemnity plans as of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  MSN Money (AP)

TennCare fears loss of federal fees
Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have some type of Medicaid-related provider fee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The only states that don’t are Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii and Wyoming.  The Tennessean

States, retailers press for online sales taxes
About eight years ago, Michigan spent $10 million to educate residents about their obligation to pay sales taxes on catalog and online purchases. The next year, Michigan collected $1 million in taxes from online sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Duluth News Tribune

Montana tax system ranks 28
Several states in recent years have hiked taxes in response to a combination of excessive government spending, and declining revenues due to a down economy. In July 2010, NCSL reported: “The impact of the severe economic recession that began in 2007 continued to create substantial revenue shortfalls during 2010 legislative sessions. As a result, state legislatures were prompted to increase taxes and fees for the ninth consecutive year as they worked to shore up state budgets.”  Big Sky Business Journal

Puzzling out how to help states with hard-hit Medicaid budgets
Joy Johnson Wilson says with the health law’s expansion of Medicaid in 2014, it is critical to reassess how federal dollars are matched to states.  She points out that there are no provisions in the new health care law to protect state Medicaid budgets against recessions. “Under the Affordable Care Act states are now responsible for a substantial expansion of an entitlement program,” she says. “Medicaid is an entitlement program, so we have to provide that care. While states are struggling now to do that, in 2014, it’ll be a whole other set of people coming onto the program, so I think it makes it much more important that there is some protection for state budgets.”  Kaiser Health News

Ethanol culprit of hunger in disguise
“Replacing only five percent of the nation’s diesel consumption with bio-diesel would require diverting approximately 60 percent of today’s soy crops to bio-diesel production,” says Matthew Brown, an energy consultant and former energy program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Business Recorder

Opinion: Fair competition
Across the nation, states could lose more than $23 billion in uncollected sales taxes in 2012 because of online purchases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If an online retailer wants to come into Washington and do business, fine. Bring it. Welcome to the competition. But they should be required to play by the same state rules that govern in-state retailers.  Editorial in The Columbian

State Senate committee looking at 'significant savings' with health plan changes
Only 5 percent of active state employees in the U.S.were enrolled in indemnity plans as of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  PhillyBurbs

Heavy hitters tried to boost Lynch’s education proposal
Nov. 30 also happens to fall on the same date for fall conferences of two of the leading legislative organizations.  The National Conference of State Legislatures has its meeting in Tampa, Fla., and Norelli is president-elect of the organization.  Nashua Telegraph

Nov. 18

A fix on the horizon for the online sales tax mess
Today, at a time when states are desperate for revenue, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that more than $23 billion in online sales tax revenue is on the table. Forbes

Kultala to speak with Clark Middle School students
Kansas State Senator Kelly Kultala is scheduled to speak with Clark Middle School’s government classes and student congress on Monday, November 21st at 2p.m. as part of the America’s Legislators Back to School Program, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas City Kansan

Minnesota finalizes sale of $757M in tobacco bonds
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about 20 states have borrowed against their settlement money, some more than once. AP in Duluth News Tribune

Opinion: Tuition breaks should be limited
About 65,000 "undocumented" students graduate from U.S. high schools every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fort Dodge Messenger

Same love, different rights
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, domestic partners in California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington receive “nearly all state-level spousal rights.” Furthermore, Hawaii, Maine, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia all give domestic partners “some state-level spousal rights.” Colonnade: Georgia College and State University

Opinion: Public pensions must be on the table
In all, 40 states have enacted some kind of significant revision to state retirement plans in the last two years, says the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Science Monitor

States, retailers push to end online tax loophole
Neal Osten, Washington director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said states have never had a greater need for more power to collect sales taxes. Canadian Business Journal

Nov. 17

Legislators, retailers work to close online sales tax loophole
Neal Osten, Washington director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said states have never had a greater need for more power to collect sales taxes. Minnesota Public Radio

Amazon parts With EBay to lobby for streamlined online sales tax
Next year states will forgo about $23.3 billion in uncollected taxes from out-of-state online and catalog sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That uncollected revenue hurts states especially, as many face budget gaps. Bloomberg

RI lawmakers to vote on landmark pension overhaul
This year, more than a dozen states increased the amount public workers contribute toward their retirement, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fourteen states voted to raise retirement ages or increase the time an employee must work before being eligible for benefits. Kansas City Star

Vast majority of Santa Clara County voters opted to vote by mail
In 1978, California was the first state to extend that option to any voter; 26 other states have followed suit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Peninsula Press

Nov. 16

Lawmakers supporting tougher reporting of child abuse on college campuses
Information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that there is a gray area in states as to who is required to report cases of sexual abuse. Some states require "school officials" or "school administrators" to report, without detailing whether that includes colleges and universities. Ithaca Journal

Elections give GOP a solid hold on South
Even though the 2011 outcome represents a milestone of sorts for the GOP, the news isn’t grabbing national headlines. That’s probably because the Southern realignment from Democrat to Republican has been a long time in coming, said Karl Kurtz, a political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Times

Wisconsin recall effort starts as Gov. Walker's foes start petition drive
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a handy page on state recalls that provides perspective on how infrequently the procedure is used to remove state legislators. NPR Politics Blog

Meridian trustees ponder new school rules targeting ‘sexting’
But in 2011, at least 21 states introduced bills or resolutions aimed at sexting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Idaho Statesman

States urged to promote union-district cooperation
Ms. Weiss later carried that message to state lawmakers from around the country, when she spoke at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in August. Education Week

Nov. 15

Plan embroils tuition rules in a hot issue
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that 5% of about 65,000 illegal immigrants who graduate from high school across the country every year go on to college. Wall Street Journal

20-20 state senate: what does it mean?
In the United States, it's not unusual for legislative chambers to be evenly divided among the parties. Every even year since 1984, elections have produced at least one deadlocked legislative chamber, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, which provides research, technical expertise and lobbying for the nation's 50 legislatures. Leesburg Today

Cuomo: NY budget gap may widen to $3.5B
New York joins California and Florida in reporting revenue below forecasts in the past month. U.S. states are projecting combined budget gaps of $31.9 billion in fiscal 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Bloomberg

Bad credit a hurdle for many job seekers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Delaware has no pending legislation on the issue. Delmarva Now

Murfeesboro couple testify in D.C. about voter ID experience
Fourteen states now have such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tennessean

New York lawmakers push for colleges to report child sex cases
Information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that there is a gray area in states as to who is required to report cases of sexual abuse. Some states require “school officials” or “school administrators” to report, without detailing whether that includes colleges and universities. Poughkeepsie Journal

Nadler: Voter ID laws a ‘deliberate plot by conservatives’ to suppress votes
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Idaho, South Dakota and Hawaii currently require voters to present photo ID at the polls. Daily Caller

Tennessee voter ID law excludes college students
The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures classifies Tennessee's voter identification requirements as among the strictest in the nation, alongside Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, and Georgia. Campus Progress

Nov. 14

Close the loophole: Taxing Internet sales is matter of fairness
Governors and legislators are up in arms, too. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, next year this online sales tax loophole will cost states $23 billion in avoided taxes. Columbia Daily Tribune

Complying with Walsh Act costs Ohio $10 million
A National Conference of State Legislatures’ database revealed that 48 states have enacted nearly 350 laws related to residency restrictions, sentencing and monitoring sex offenders since 2008. Youngstown Vindicator

Sen. Winters gets national position
State Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, is the new vice chairwoman of the labor and economic development committee within the National Conference of State Legislatures. Statesman Journal

Providing prices isn't as easy as it sounds
At least 30 states have enacted or are considering some form of health care price transparency law, said the National Conference of State Legislatures. American Medical News

Voter ID coming under scrutiny
"It's boiling over," said Jennie Bowser, a senior election policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "People on both sides of the aisle are very protective of elections. They regard it as the cornerstone of American democracy." Hattiesburg American

Opinion: Call for recall
Nineteen states, the District of Columbia and 29 local jurisdictions have recall provisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Frederick News Post

New effort to legalize same-sex marriage begins
Currently, gay marriage is legal in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Times

Credit score can thwart job seekers
Six other states have similar laws that limit employers' use of credit information: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Delaware has no pending legislation on the issue. Delaware News Journal

Fort Worth pension fix starts with people who benefit
The recession and stock market walloped public pensions nationwide, and many responded more aggressively than Fort Worth. In the past two years, 27 states increased employee contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fort Worth Star Telegram

Laws cracking down on synthetic drugs legally sold in stores
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures' last count in August, at least 38 states had passed legislation to snuff out synthetic marijuana and 30 had passed laws to ban synthetic cocaine. Chattanooga Times Free Press

Breastfeeding in court up to judge
Thoses numbers come from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  But even if it was, a judge can decide what is -- and is not -- appropriate behavior in a courtroom. WOOD TV: NBC Michigan

Nov. 11

Debate heats up over voter ID laws
"It's boiling over," said Jennie Bowser, a senior election policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "People on both sides of the aisle are very protective of elections. They regard it as the cornerstone of American democracy." USA Today

States find SORNA non-compliance cheaper
So, many states found "it's cheaper not to comply," Frederick says. New York was one such state.Governing

Annapolis could brush off Frederick proposal for school board taxing authority
That sentiment is common across the country because the flow and control of tax dollars have stayed consistent over a long period of time at the local level, making it difficult and rare for municipal, county and regional governments to change those structures, said Dan Thatcher, a policy specialist in the National Conference of State Legislatures’ education program. Gazette

Sales taxes: coming to an online retailer near you?
The severe economic problems of many state and local governments add to the impetus to pass the legislation, which would boost revenue without creating a new tax, said Neal Osten, director of the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures." Business Insider

Despite controversy, Florida moves forward with teacher merit pay
“Florida has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the merit pay issues,” Michelle Exstrom, education program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the AP. “And I think a lot of states have looked at Florida’s struggles and said, ‘You know what, it’s not clear cut how to make this work.’" Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Senate repeals 3% withholding law
Massachusetts state Rep. Jay Kaufman, part of the National Conference of State Legislatures budgets and revenue team, called the 3 percent rule "intolerable and unacceptable in a world
where budgets must be balanced." Governing

Senate vote paves way for Berlusconi exit
States have reduced spending by an estimated $513bn from 2008 to 2013, says the National Conference of State Legislatures, which includes the forecasted budgets of some states. Financial Times

Voter ID still faces hurdle
"There is some question about whether DOJ under the Obama administration might take a different view than DOJ under the Bush administration," said Jennie Bowser, a senior election policy
analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Clarion Ledger

Prospect of online companies charging sales tax is growing
The severe economic problems of many state and local governments add to the impetus to pass the legislation, which would boost revenue without creating a new tax, said Neal Osten, director of the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nashua Telegraph

Nov. 10

Prospect of online sales tax grows
"We believe at some point Congress will say … 'This is something we can do for the states that does not cost the federal Treasury a dime,'" said Osten, whose group has supported similar measures for years. "I think in the end, that is going to be the winning argument for Congress."  Los Angeles Times

Unions and young people: A winning combination for 2012?
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that more than 700 bills targeting unions were introduced in 2011. Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, New Jersey and other states controlled by Republicans have sought to curb the power of unions with legislation.  The Atlantic

Election Day: Statehouse results from around the nation
The GOP holds 21 legislatures while Democrats control 11. The parties are split in 17 statehouses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Land Line Magazine

Congress closes in on plan
Jon Kuhl, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said he expects states to be squeezed further by cuts in federal funding as the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction tries to craft a plan this month to cut more than $1 trillion from the federal budget.  “(States) really need every dollar they can so they don’t have to cut more programs,” Mr. Kuhl said.  Worcester Telegram

iPhone 4S release date: Siri to change texting driving laws?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have banned texting while driving.  While no state has outlawed all phone use in the car for adults, California, Georgia and Massachusetts, among others, have done so for under-18 drivers.  The Christian Post

Sen. Durbin tries again to tax online retailers
Specifically, the original Main Street Fairness Act mandated that states sign the 'Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement,' a document created in 1999 by the National Governor’s Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures and since passed by 24 states, designed specifically to encourage states to voluntarily simplify their myriad sales tax structures into something resembling uniformity, allowing them to tax online retailers.  TPM

Wash. could gain $483M in taxes from online sales
The National Conference of State Legislatures also came out in favor of it today and so did major online retailer Amazon.com.  The Olympian

Rep. Jim Murphy receives Texas Association Of Business "Champion For Free Enterprise" award
Murphy was recently appointed by Speaker Joe Straus to represent Texas on The US Energy Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Task Force on State and Local Taxation of Communications and E-commerce, and the NCSL Committee on Budget and Revenue.  Power Engineering Magazine

Nov. 9

Ohio repeals union law as U.S. voters reject leaders’ policies
Ohio voters backed the constitutional amendment that would block any mandate that individuals buy health insurance by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent, according to the AP. Ohio joins four states that considered similar measures last year and four slated to vote next year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg Businessweek

Mississippi voters approve voter ID proposal
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 30 states require all voters to show ID at the polls — many of them in the Deep South. Fourteen of the 30 require photo ID.  Hattiesburg American (AP)

Minn. burns future tobacco cash for budget fix now
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about 20 states have borrowed against their settlement money, some more than once.  Bloomberg Businessweek (AP)

Mica ending effort to seize Amtrak northeast rail corridor
"We can't wait 30 years. We can't wait 15 years. This has to happen now," Smith, who serves as co-chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures' high-speed rail committee, said at the news conference.  San Francisco Chronicle

Democrats to state secretaries: Keep voting requirements loose
“It’s remarkable,” Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said of the proliferation of new laws. In all, 33 states have considered new voter ID laws this year.  “I very rarely see one single issue come up in so many state legislatures in a single session,” she said.  The New American

Marketplace fairness: Closing the online sales tax loophole
Governors and legislators are up in arms, too. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, next year this online sales tax loophole will cost states $23 billion in avoided taxes.  Opinion in the National Review Online

Mixed results on voter restrictions
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Mississippi now ranks as the 31st state in the nation to require voters show an ID before casting a ballot.  Politico

Election results 2011: Voters signal that GOP overreached
Thirty states require all voters to show ID at the polls – many of them in the Deep South, says the National Conference of State Legislatures.  MinnPost.com

How to know when your private data is lost or stolen
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Security Breach Legislation 2011, 46 states currently require organizations to send notifications to people whose private data has been compromised due to breaches affecting a minimum number of people (usually 500).  CNET

State Rep. Dan Flynn named to National Conference of State Legislatures leadership
“I am honored to represent Texas’ agenda in the continuing debate over the changing State-Federal relationship,” said State Representative Dan Flynn about his appointment as Co-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Budget & Revenues Committee.  Texas Insider

Nov. 8

Sec. Duncan says he supports allowing kids of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition
Another dozen states have similar laws or policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In contrast, four states have laws specifically prohibiting illegal immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition, and two states bar those who are illegally in the country from attending public secondary schools altogether.  Washington Post (AP)

What to watch for on Election Day 2011
Mississippi's Initiative 27 would enact a new requirement that voters provide photo identification at the polls. If passed, Mississippi would become the eight state with such a law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Los Angeles Times

Special sessions: a calculated risk
This year, special sessions have been more common than is usual. Brenda Erickson, a longtime analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, notes that state special sessions generally happen more frequently during redistricting years and tough economic times.  Stateline

Web sales tax fight heats up in Congress
“Something very big will likely happen very soon,” said Neal Osten, director of the Washington office for the NCSL, which also supports congressional legislation. With the deficit-reduction supercommittee poised to cut federal aid to states, “Congress at the end will think they have to do something for the states, and this will be $23 billion without costing a penny.”  Politico in the Virginian-Pilot

Commissioners weigh drug testing for those on aid
Lawmakers in 36 states this year have proposed drug testing requirements for those who receive food stamps and cash assistance, according the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Charlotte Observer

Mississippi voters to decide on 3 constitutional amendments
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 30 states require all voters to show ID at the polls, many of them in the Deep South. Fourteen of the 30 require photo ID.  MyFox Memphis

Duncan supports children of illegal immigrants paying in-state tuition; 'They are going to be taxpayers'
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states currently have measures that allow children of illegal or undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition: California, Texas, New York, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut.  MLive

W.Va., Ohio right about tuition breaks
About 65,000 "undocumented" students graduate from U.S. high schools every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only about five percent of them go on to college.  Opinion in the Wheeling News-Register

Chicago-style: Rahm imposes higher fines
Illinois' financial situation is worse than any other state in the country according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, with the state's budget situation called "tenuous at best."  Town Hall

State tax revenues are up almost 11 percent compared to last year
Recent revenue gains are impressive, given that for the first time in 10 years states overall enacted more tax cuts than tax hikes, by a net $2.5 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That balance mainly reflected the expiration of temporary tax hikes in several states.  Business Insider

Rep. Jim Gooch named Vice Chairman of national ag and energy panel
State Rep. Jim Gooch has been named vice chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture and Energy Committee for the next year.  The Agriculture and Energy Committee is one of NCSL’s 12 main committees, and together they develop policies that help determine state agendas on Capitol Hill and throughout the federal government.  SurfKY News

Nov. 7

Mich. recall effort sparks reform talk
Nineteen states permit the recalls of state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Specific grounds for recall - such as the commission of a felony, ethics violations or incompetence - are required in eight of those states.  Lansing State Journal (AP)

Dems sue over redistricting plans in North Carolina
As the National Conference of State Legislatures noted last year, Republicans now control about 53% of all state legislative seats, the most they have since 1928, and have majorities in 54 of 99 state legislative chambers, the highest number since 1952.  Wall Street Journal (blog)

Texas votes on water conservation tax incentive
And since many states in the South and West already have land use tax exemptions in place - some for agricultural uses, others for wetlands, and several for wildlife conservation - taking the leap to water conservation and preservation will be relatively easy, especially since these areas have also battled droughts this decade, Morandi added.  "Water in the West doesn't tend to be a partisan issue. It's not Democrats vs Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives," he said. "It's dealing with a public resource that everyone needs."  Houston Chronicle (AP)

How are state fairs faring during tight times?
"States are asking: Does it really warrant state funding? Do we really need to be doing this? Should we take it a different direction or just cancel it altogether?," says Doug Farquhar, program director for agriculture at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Governing (blog)

With drugs in short supply, reports rise about price gouging on the "gray market"
Yet only three states — Kentucky, Maine and Texas — have price-gouging laws specifically addressing pharmaceuticals, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida law generally prohibits "unconscionable prices" during state-declared emergencies, such as hurricanes.  St. Petersburg Times

Teacher-lawmakers backed by court
New Mexico is the only state in which legislators don't receive a salary for their service, though established salary levels are minimal in some states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Albuquerque Journal

Mississippi voters deciding 3 ballot initiatives
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 30 states require all voters to show ID at the polls, many of them in the Deep South. Fourteen of the 30 require photo ID.  Canadian Business (AP)

Mailbox as ballot box gains wider favor
Minnesota is one of 17 states that allow certain elections to accept mail ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two other states -- Oregon and Washington -- handle all elections that way.  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Labor's new war chest
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that more than 700 bills targeting unions were introduced in 2011.  The Daily Beast

Voting wars heat up in the US
Currently, 14 states require voters to show photo ID before voting. In 16 other states, voters can present a non-photo form of identification, such as a bank statement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Al Jazeera

Economic good news: States' tax revenue rises
Recent revenue gains are impressive, given that for the first time in 10 years states overall enacted more tax cuts than tax hikes, by a net $2.5 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Fiscal Times

Traditional plans losing traction
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a January 2011 survey showed that 23 states offer a high-deductible plan combined with a health savings account. But of the eight-largest state programs, only Florida offered an HSA.  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Utah speaker, senator headed to China
Lockhart said she was invited on the trip, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, months ago, along with lawmakers from other states.  Salt Lake Tribune

Taxing online sales likely brings more hassle than revenues, Franchot study says
The other would mandate the adoption of the streamlined sales and use tax Proposed by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, this law would simplify how sales taxes are collected across states.  Maryland Reporter

Another first for the administration
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "All the states except Vermont have a legal requirement of a balanced budget. Some are constitutional, some are statutory, and some have been derived by judicial decision from constitutional provisions about state indebtedness that do not, on their face, call for a balanced budget."  Opinion in the Beaufort Observer

Louisiana House clerk to lead parliamentary-procedure review
The commission was formed by the National Conference of State Legislatures' American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries in 1984.  The Times-Picayune

Nov. 4

New laws on concussions protect student athletes
Thirty-two states have laws addressing student-athlete concussions and several others could eventually follow suit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fox News

Rep. Ellison introduces voting bills in Congress
“The Voter Access Protection Act” comes at a time when states across the nation, including Minnesota, have moved to establish photo ID laws as a protection against voter fraud. Legislatures in 20 states introduced such a bill in 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Minnesota Daily

Bill Janklow closes old political account
Jennie Bowser, a campaign finance expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said many states have guidelines about surplus contributions. For example, candidates can return the funds, donate them to charity, donate them to the state treasury or make donations to other political committees. Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Odds are long, but Republican rookies believe voters want change as they take on Statehouse veterans
“I’m confident about what I’m doing, and I’ve been really successful in creating jobs,” said Chivukula, who also is active with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “I don’t know what my opponents have been doing other than saying, ‘Cut, cut, cut.’” NJ Spotlight

Nov. 3

Gridlocked U.S. Senate thin on women lawmakers
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that the percentage of women serving in state legislatures in the country is down from 24.5 percent in 2010 to 23.4 percent this year. The percentage of women serving in Colorado dwarfs those figures at 41 percent. Colorado Independent

State House, Senate pass law against texting while driving
At least 34 other states ban all motorists from texting while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Delaware County Daily Times

Cautious companies can stop trained heart-attack help
The National Conference of State Legislatures said most state laws had been broadened in recent years to encourage use of the devices. Kansas in 2003 and Missouri in 2004 expanded their state laws governing defibrillator use. Kansas City Star

College GOP chapters disagree on Question 1
To vote in Maine, one must simply establish residency. Maine has no law requiring a specific piece of identification to register, while 14 states require photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Maine Campus

Springfield Voting: The "Hassle Factor"
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of September, seven states require voters to show a photo ID to vote, while in another seven voters are asked to show a photo ID but are allowed to vote without an ID if they can satisfy certain other requirements, such as providing their birth date or signing an affidavit attesting to their identity. Another 16 states require voters to present forms of identification but do not require them to be photo IDs; utility bills or bank statements with the voter's name and address, for example, are acceptable. Springfield Valley Advocate

Nov. 2

Web sales tax fight heats up
Their claims are bolstered by members of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who came to Washington in September to make the case for the proposal in meetings with members of the super committee and Congressional leaders. Roll Call

In implementing health reform, governors are turning to unilateral action
By my count, governors in five states -- Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Rhode Island and now Minnesota-- have used executive orders to move forward on the law. And when you count states that have pursued grant money through their executive branch, that number rises to 15, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

Feds make strides curbing illegal immigration as states pass new laws
According to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 40 states passed 257 new laws and regulations pertaining to immigration in 2011, which is an 18 percent decrease so far this year from 2010. Legal News Center

Senator Les Ihara, Jr. named to leadership post of National Conference of State Legislatures
Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. (D-Palolo, Kaimuki, Kapahulu) has been named co-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Legislative Effectiveness Committee. NCSL President Stephen Morris, Kansas Senate President, made the appointment. Hawaii Reporter

Texting ban applies to reading messages too
At least 34 other states ban all motorists from texting while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier Times

Colorado’s Hickenlooper calls for school cuts to trim budget gap
Colorado joined 11 states that previously forecast deficits in fiscal 2013 totaling $15.9 billion, according to a September report by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg
Senator Les Ihara, Jr. named to leadership post of National Conference of State Legislatures
Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. (D-Palolo, Kaimuki, Kapahulu) has been named co-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Legislative Effectiveness Committee. NCSL President Stephen Morris, Kansas Senate President, made the appointment. Hawaii Reporter

Texting ban applies to reading messages too
At least 34 other states ban all motorists from texting while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier Times

Colorado’s Hickenlooper calls for school cuts to trim budget gap
Colorado joined 11 states that previously forecast deficits in fiscal 2013 totaling $15.9 billion, according to a September report by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Nov. 1

‘Generational War’ seen as U.S. Debt Panel may target children’s programs
As a result, the U.S. Department of Education may face about $3.5 billion in spending reductions, according to the study by Federal Funds Information for States, which is also linked to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Senator Leahy sets DOMA debate
Six states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage and another five allow same-sex civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Main Justice

Providing employees with options can help at no cost to your business
From 1999 to 2009, employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums have increased an average of 131 percent, from $5,791 to $13,375, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Smart Business Network

Growing number of school districts weigh a 4-day week to cut costs
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states currently have districts with public schools offering four-day school weeks. School Transportation News

Former W.Va. Senate president dies at age 93
Former West Virginia Senate President Lloyd G. Jackson I of Hamlin, W.Va., died Saturday morning. He was 93. He was active in the National Conference of State Legislatures, Council on State Government and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association. Herald-Dispatch

 

NAVIGATE

Share this: 
New Members Welcome
Fall Forum 2014
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures