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NCSL in the News November 2013

NCSL in the News: November 2013

11/1/2013

Nov. 28-30

Sales tax legislation on retailers' shopping list
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost $23 billion in uncollected sales tax revenue from out-of-state sales last year. USA Today

Rolly: Senator introduces an inflammatory idea: Compromise (Opinion)
Many of his ideas come from his participation in the National Conference of State Legislatures, for which he will serve as president in 2015. The Salt Lake Tribune

Statistics disprove gun claims
Recently, McClatchy DC published homicide data, taken from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, for states that have passed stand-your-ground legislation. The Columbus Dispatch

State politicians stymied by metal thefts
The problem has become widespread enough to have caught the eye of the National Conference of State Legislatures, which will host a panel discussion on the topic next week for lawmakers from around the country. Politico

New Mexico lawmakers commonly become lobbyists
New Mexico is one of 15 states that do not prohibit legislators from becoming lobbyists immediately after vacating their elected positions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Houston Chronicle

Politics Notebook: Candidates face fundraising ‘blackout’
New Mexico is one of 29 states that have laws limiting such contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Albuquerque Journal

Oregon Lottery: The Internet takes gambling into living rooms
Jon Griffin of the Colorado-based National Conference of State Legislatures tracked online gambling legislation in 19 states this year. His findings: A handful of bills were introduced to prohibit online gambling, while far more lawmakers -- from Massachusetts to Hawaii -- sought laws to legalize it. It’s a trend he expects to continue.
“States have only had two years to think about this,” Griffin says. OregonLive.com

On illegal immigration, more cities are rolling out a welcome mat
From January to June this year, 43 states and the District of Columbia enacted such laws or resolutions related to immigration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Christian Science Monitor

San Jose Pension Crush Spurs Bid to Ease California Pacts
Most voters never read more than the title and summary of the text, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Gates Foundation pours millions into Common Core in 2013
Meanwhile, the National Conference of State Legislatures won $447,046 in November to “continue its support of state legislators on Common Core and teacher effectiveness”... The Washington Post

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette slams federal judge's order to give Michigan juveniles a chance for parole
Nationwide, about 2,500 inmates are serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lansing State Journal

Nov. 27

Gun-rights advocates score another victory in Colorado (sort of)
At least 19 states allow the recall of state lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Roadkill for Thanksgiving? Montana approves
In the spring, the Montana legislature passed the law creating a permit system for salvaging roadkill, joining at least 14 other states that have similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. HLNtv.com

Judge tells state: Give juvenile lifers a shot at parole
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 2,500 inmates nationwide are serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles. The Detroit Free Press

Private Toll Road Investors Shift Revenue Risk to States
Thirty-three states allow private ownership of highways, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

A 50-state budget report puts New York in the middle
The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a report previewing the state budget cycle in all 50 states, which finds New York somewhere in the middle of most metrics. Capital New York

Get Ready For Black Friday Protests All Over The Country From Wal-Mart Employees
In 2013 a total of 34 states introduced wage legislation that "[provide] for increases to the state minimum wage, addressing base wages for tipped employees, and restricting the authority of local units of government to enact or enforce a local minimum wage," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Business Insider

North country politicians oppose medical marijuana bill
Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Watertown Daily Times

Bill takes aim at bias against unemployed
In addition to Massachusetts, laws are pending in Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Nevada, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chelmsford Independent

Matthew T. Mangino: ‘Stand your ground’ here to stay
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bill in North Carolina that would have amended aspects of the law regarding use of force against an intruder never made it out of committee. Medfield Press

Nov. 26

Voter ID cards are just months away in Mississippi
A total 34 states have passed some form of voter ID law — controversial requirements that vary from state to state — according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

What will the U.S. House do with online sales taxes?
Estimates of foregone sales tax revenue from these transactions total some $23 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The NCSL identifies an annual $303.4 million in uncollected Mississippi sales tax revenues. gulflive.com

Tesla Woos Car-Guy Lawmakers to Counter Dealers’ Cash
Tesla brought that show to the National Conference of State Legislatures annual summit in August in Atlanta. Bloomberg Business

Chris Christie OK with Dream Act, but will not sign N.J. Senate version
Sixteen states already offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Star-Ledger

Poll: Should employers be allowed access to your private social media info?
In the last two years, 14 states have passed laws barring employers from demanding that prospective hires and/or current employees allow access to their non-public postings on social sites, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. silive.com

Supporters of N.J. DREAM Act puzzled by Christie's comments
Sixteen states currently allow immigrants who grew up there but do not have legal status to pay in-state tuition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. nj.com

Time To Re-Think Recall Elections
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states currently allow recall of state officials. thinkprogress.org

Do You Need a License to Sell Scrap Metal?
In 2011, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported on the nationwide theft problem of metals, particularly copper, due to the increasing value of the metals to scrap metal dealers. azcentral.com

New York holds medical marijuana hearings on December 5
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), there are twenty states and the District of Columbia who have some form of legality for the public use of medical marijuana programs. Digital Journal

Parents Revolt vs. Pearson, McGraw-Hill Tests
Citing a database of the National Conference of State Legislatures, PRW says that from 2008-12, legislatures of 39 states passed 157 bills that expand online schooling, regulate virtual education, or modify existing regulations. O'Dwyer's

Nov. 25

Nebraska lawmaker to introduce school guns bill
Arkansas, Oklahoma and Virginia each passed laws this year that allowed permit holders to carry weapons on school grounds, said Lauren Heintz, a research analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. But none of the laws applied to public schools, and in Virginia, the permits were only allowed for security officers hired to protect students and employees. At least 38 states and the District of Columbia prohibit firearms on school grounds, according to data compiled by the group. AP/newstimes.com

Texas’ future as swing state could be tied to Latina state senator’s political plans
Pelosi said she worked with Van de Putte when the Texas senator served as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She  is a pharmacist from San Antonio, was a co-chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention and served as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures from 2006 to 2007. NBCLatino

How a small California town curbed a teen suicide epidemic—by talking about it
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that since 2010, suicide among 15- to 24-year-olds has increased by about 6 percent. For 10- to 14-year-olds, the numbers shot up by 100 percent. The Christian Science Monitor

Nearly every state addressing medical marijuana legislation
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, making the distribution of marijuana, even for medical purposes, a federal crime, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huron Daily Tribune

Anzelc introducing constitutional amendment to raise minimum wage
If Anzelc’s amendment makes it on the ballot and is approved by voters, Minnesota would become the sixth state to add a minimum wage to its constitution and the 12th to implement automatic hikes, according to data maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. pineandlakes.com

EDITORIAL: Swallow Scandal Should Push Lawmakers to Give Power Back to Citizens
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that in the nearly 100 years the recall has been available in any state, a recall election has only taken place 26 times. Utah Political Capitol

Nov. 22

Newtown Prompts Flood of Mental-Health Spending by U.S. States
States have been able to spend more as revenue grew an estimated 5.3 percent in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Is oversight of for-profit colleges rigorous enough?
“Lawmakers have begun to look for ways to better hold these schools accountable for graduating students that can find gainful employment, not be overburdened with large debt they are unable to pay back, and in this way ensure taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment,” said a July 2013 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. MinnPost

Nov. 21

Expert lays out bumpy alternatives to tolls at legislative hearing
The presentation by Jaime Rall, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, broke little new ground for the commission and, according to Rall, essentially repeated a report she had given to the state Senate in May. Providence Journal

"Knockout game" violence leads to call for law
The bill may be the first of its kind in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WABC

Floridians overwhelmingly support medical use of marijuana: poll
A total of 20 states and the District of Columbia have approved public medical marijuana programs since California led the way in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

'Stand your ground' proposal clears Ohio House
At least 22 states have similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally eliminate a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat. AP/CantonRep.com
 

Nov. 20

House Again Passes DATA Act
Jeff Hurley, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, says the organization hasn't taken an official stance on the legislation but has concerns that it could effectively be an unfunded mandate, since states are unlikely to receive additional funding to comply with expanded reporting rules. That's all the more troubling, Hurley says, since the legislation comes at a time when states are experiencing the loss of federal funds through sequestration and other cuts. Governing

Silver Haired Legislature to take bills to Oklahoma Capitol
Todd Haggerty of the National Conference of State Legislatures said Oklahoma is 16th when it comes to fee reliance for state revenue and has a greater reliance on fees than most states in the region. Haggerty said it would be to the benefit of Oklahoma to assess its fee structures for future economic development and financial stability. NewsOK

Illinois governor expected to sign gay marriage into law
On the other side of the issue, voters in more than two dozen states have approved state constitutional provisions that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, according to the National Conference of State State Legislatures. Reuters

Details of WV medical marijuana bill emerge
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana, though it’s still prohibited under federal law. Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Apparent campaign violations, large expenses should prompt reforms in Louisiana law, some say
Louisiana's limits for individuals and political action committees are in line with much of the nation, according to campaign finance regulations collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Times-Picayune

Opponents Decry Ohio 'Stand Your Ground' Proposal
At least 22 states have similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally eliminate a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat. At least nine of those state laws include language stating one may "stand his or her ground." Ohio's bill doesn't include such language. NBC

LOWENSTEIN: A crack in Toronto’s reputation
But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states (including Connecticut and New York) currently do not allow recall elections. Yale Daily News

Price Transparency Tools: The Good News, The Challenges, And The Way Forward
CPR recognizes organizations like the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP) for helping them along, as well as organizations like the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) that have created and shared model legislation. Health Affairs (blog)

School Buses May Be the Next Frontier for Wrap Companies
The National Conference of State Legislatures says, “Allowing advertising on school buses is a new trend that has attracted significant interest at state legislatures the past few years. WindowFilmmag.com

Other views: Food safety kerfuffle
Echoing that view, the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures says King's amendment would "erode state sovereignty by preempting state laws protecting our nation's food production and manufacturing as well as increase state administrative costs." Monterey Herald

Nov. 19

Farm bill takes aim at state animal welfare laws
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the language would "pre-empt" state agricultural laws designed to protect the safety and well-being of farmland, waterways, forests and people. AP/US News & World Report

Schauer proposes hiking state minimum wage to $9.25 an hour
If the $9.25 rate were adopted, it would top Washington state’s nation-leading $9.19 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Detroit News

Colorado to Tighten Drilling Rules
"A lot of states are trying to strike a balance between the economic potential of oil and gas development and making sure the industry is well regulated," said Kristy Hartman, an energy-policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

New Jersey Senate passes bill that grants in-state tuition rates to immigrants
Sixteen states already offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. lehighvalleylive.com

Lawmakers, governor concerned about e-cigarettes
Twenty-seven states already have enacted laws banning their sale to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Albuquerque Journal

'White moms' remark hurts fight for better schools
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, between 28% and 40% of four-year college students have to enroll in at least one remedial course to learn content and skills they should have learned before earning their high school diplomas. CNN

Legislature could expand its budget and planning powers
Some of the proposed changes directly result from the independent review of LRC and the Legislature by staff members for the National Conference of State Legislatures organization. Rapid City Journal

Leak spurs talk of school carbon monoxide alarms
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only two states have laws requiring monitors in schools. AP/News & Observer

College Completion: Performance-Based Funding Can Enhance Individual Investments and Promote the Public Good
As the National Conference of State Legislatures recently explained, "Typically, colleges receive state funding based on how many full-time equivalent students are enrolled at the beginning of the semester. That model provides incentives for colleges to enroll students--but not necessarily to help them graduate." Huffington Post

Doing what states won't: Chattanooga poised to become next to offer same-sex benefits
"A number of cities are doing for their employees what the states won't do," said Jack Tweedie, senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's rather different than legalizing same-sex marriage, but it's a step in the same direction."  Chattanooga Times Free Press

Dewhurst urges state to delay shutting down high risk pool
Nationally, 35 states have created such pools, which covered about 222,000 people at the end of 2010, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Dallas Morning News

MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT SUPPORTERS TO GOODLATTE: RELEASE A BILL
It’s been more than two months since House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte released his seven principles on online sales tax collection and supporters are getting antsy. After the National Conference of State Legislatures flew in Republican state lawmakers last week to whip support, the Alliance for Main Street Fairness sent a letter yesterday to the Virginia Republican urging him to draft online sales tax legislation for the House. Politico

How Would Your City Handle A Mayor Like Rob Ford?
Voters are able to recall mayors or other local officials in at least 29 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. State officials are subject to recall in 19 states. KOSU

Pa. House Bill would regulate indoor tanning facilities
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast without any statewide tanning legislation — an issue that Rep. Frank Farry, hopes to change. The Daily Collegian

Nov. 18

Farm-Bill Conferees Focus on Food-Stamp Fight
The National Conference of State Legislatures last week endorsed the Senate version of the nutrition title and opposes the House one because it would increase state administrative costs and program complexity. National Journal

ybrina Fulton to speak at Harvard Law
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 22 states have laws that allow that "there is no duty to retreat (from) an attacker in any place in which one is lawfully present." Bradenton Herald

Nov. 16 & 17

Tennessee Governor Hesitates on Medicaid Expansion, Frustrating Many
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that as of this month, 21 states, all of them with Republican governors or Republican-dominated legislatures, have announced that they would not expand Medicaid, while 27 others, plus the District of Columbia, have already approved an expansion or indicated that they would do so. The New York Times

Amendment To Farm Bill Could Be End To Humane Farming Standards
The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures wrote to the House and Senate agriculture committees on Tuesday, Nov. 12, asking them to pass the farm bill without the amendment. King’s act would “erode state sovereignty by preempting state laws protecting our nation’s food production and manufacturing as well as increase state administrative costs,” the group wrote. Huffington Post

Colorado drivers likely to have option to pay to for the fast lane
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have some form of tolling authorization or facility. The Gazette

Glenda Overstreet: Native Americans deserve recognition
According to The National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is listed as having four Federal and State recognized tribes: the Iowa Tribe (Kansas and Nebraska); Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas; Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation; and Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri (Kansas and Nebraska). The Topeka Capital-Journal

Public-private partnerships filling the skills gap
State budgets have begun to stabilize, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but the return to pre-recession levels of education funding will take time. Daily Messenger
 

 Nov. 15

Legalized marijuana is ‘new tobacco industry’
Twenty states and the District of Columbia have public medical marijuana programs, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use. Quad-City Times

Leticia Van de Putte to announce political plans Nov. 23
Van de Putte, a pharmacist who served in the Texas House from 1990-99 and has been in the Senate ever since, was co-chair of the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and is the former president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. American-Statesman

Court: Press Herald has right to 911 transcripts
Thirty-nine states have no restrictions on the release of 911 calls or the information in them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Five, including Maine, impose some restrictions. Six states keep 911 recordings confidential. Portland Press Herald

Nov. 14

Wisconsin Assembly approves measure to make recall elections tougher
Eighteen states allow recalls of elected state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, eight states require grounds for elected officials to be recalled. Chicago Tribune

State Republican Leaders Fly In For Online Sales Tax Push
A group of Republicans affiliated with the National Conference of State Legislatures will storm Capitol Hill today to encourage their GOP counterparts to support the Marketplace Fairness Act, an online sales tax bill that would give states the ability to mandate online, out-of-state retailers collect sales taxes from consumers. Politico

Cash-Strapped States Turn to Public-Private Partnerships
Since these partnerships began two decades ago, their popularity has increased to the point where today, two-thirds of the states have laws authorizing so-called “P3s,” and 24 states recently have considered legislation related to the partnerships, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline
 

Nearly every state addressing medical marijuana legislation
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, making the distribution of marijuana, even for medical purposes, a federal crime, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. scoopsandiego.com

Analysis: Unions took advantage of Citizens United decision
The 2012 election left only three split state legislatures in the country — Iowa, New Hampshire and Kentucky. The last time the number was so low was 1944, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Beneficiaries of loose campaign finance rules may not be who you think
The high court ruling invalidated prohibitions on corporate and union spending in 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The News-Herald

Was the glut of outside spending in 2012 state races just the start?
The high court ruling invalidated prohibitions on corporate and union spending in 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. publicintegrity.org

Editorial: Universities smart to ban guns on campus property
After some on-campus incidences, particularly the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University, some state legislatures moved to ease campus prohibitions on guns, but most have held their fire, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures report. The Spokesman-Review

 

Nov. 13

State legislatures to Congress: Pass a farm bill! (But first drop a controversial piece)
It would “erode state sovereignty by preempting state laws protecting our nation’s food production and manufacturing as well as increase state administrative costs,” the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan group that represents the nation’s state legislative bodies, wrote in a Tuesday letter to the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees. The Washington Post

An extended look at the Gonzaga gun issue
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports several legislative bodies have either already passed such measures or are considering laws that would enable concealed carry on campuses (including Utah, Kansas and Wisconsin). The Spokesman-Review

Democrat Leticia Van de Putte says she’ll run for lieutenant governor
She was president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and is a member of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. The Dallas Morning News

Sen. Griffin earns certificate in energy policy planning
Arizona Sen. Gail Griffin recently completed a 60-hour university program in energy policy planning. The program is awarded through the University of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s Energy Horizon Institute, in a partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures and support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Copper Era

N.H. lawmakers deliver blow to Maine modified-food labeling bill
It appeared that industry heavyweights were initially taken aback by activists who introduced labeling legislation this year in at least 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

N.H. House panel recommends rejecting tax breaks for film, TV productions
Forty-five states offer motion picture incentives such as tax credits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Dakota do not. Concord Monitor

The way West Virginia prices its bills is flawed, reports find
In a 1999 survey, the National Conference of State Legislatures found that just six of 40 states have such systems. The Washington Post

State law vague on why officials exempted from concealed permits
A 2011 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures showed no other state with such an exemption; most states exempt only peace officers, retired peace officers, military members, and in some cases, judges and prosecutors. KBOI2.com

Commentary: Raise the minimum wage, really?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Garden Commentary button in JPG - no shadowState is the fifth state to add a minimum wage to its constitution and the 11th to implement automatic hikes. The Statehouse File

Nov. 12

Where Can Veterans Find Jobs?
James R. Reed of the National Conference of State Legislatures said 34 states have acted in recent years to allow military training, education and experience to count toward occupational licenses. Governing

Coordinating Foster Care Across the 3 Branches of Government
So it is interesting and heartening that the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices is collaborating with Casey Family Programs, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Council of State Courts, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in supporting what's being called the "Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being." The initiative is aimed at engaging all three branches of government -- as well as the broader services and advocacy community -- to improve the well-being of kids in foster care. Numerous states are participating, from Connecticut to Tennessee. Governing
 

Nov. 11

More states consider toll roads to raise infrastructure dollars
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 42 states and the District of Columbia now have some sort of tolling authority or facility. Public-private partnerships are becoming more popular, according to the NCSL's Jaime Rall. Thirty-three states have authorized such agreements, up from 29 in 2010, and at least 24 states have considered legislation that would create a public-private road partnership this year, twice the 2008 figure, Rall said. USA Today

Bloomberg by the Numbers: $7.25
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages that are above the federal level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Blair Horner: Lessons From New York's Casino Vote
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 16 states offer voters' guides (including Massachusetts) usually to help explain referenda questions on the ballot. WAMC

Voter ID laws challenged in state, federal court as discriminatory
Texas is one of 34 states that passed voter ID laws, although not all of them are in effect for reasons such as future dates or court challenges, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. United Press International

No, you can't salvage the meat
Most of the roadkill-salvage-friendly states are in the South and Midwest, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mail Tribune

GOP state senators: Richest donors should be able to give us more (column)
According to the most recent data published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, he’s right, at least for now. Twelve states place no limit on what individuals can contribute to candidates for state or local office. Of the 38 states that have limits, 17 allow individual contributions larger than Michigan’s $3,400 maximum, while 20 set their ceilings lower. Detroit Free Press

PUBLIC OPINION: Legalization Of Marijuana More Popular
Since then, 20 other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws, while Colorado and Washington state allowed recreational use — a move Alaska, California, Nevada and Oregon each twice rejected between 1972 and 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. whotv.com

Voter ID laws challenged in state, federal court as discriminatory
Texas is one of 34 states that passed voter ID laws, although not all of them are in effect for reasons such as future dates or court challenges, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. istockanalyst.com

Florida at forefront on wages
New Jersey became the fifth state to have such a constitutional provision, joining Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Herald-Tribune

Strict voter ID laws stop voters, not fraud
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states now have laws that require voters to show IDs when they get to the polls, including Kentucky. Mansfield News Journal

Shumlin appoints Ryerson of Randolph to Vermont House
Vermont’s is the second-most female legislature in the country, with about 40.5 percent of House and Senate members being female to Colorado’s 41 percent, according to the Women’s Legislative Network, an affiliate of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bennington Banner

Doing More Than the Minimum
New Jersey became the fifth state to have such a constitutional provision, joining Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Ledger

Nov. 8

Hot Springs man wants gender equity in Montana Legislature
Women make up an average of 24.2 percent of the membership of the 50 state legislative bodies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado and Vermont lead the way with 40 percent of their legislators female. The Missoulian

State House for Sale: Big businesses pay off in jobs, political contributions in South Carolina
Twenty-one states ban direct corporate-to-candidate campaign contributions, including North Carolina, Texas and Michigan, according to an ongoing study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sacramento Bee

Nov. 7

States launch programs to help veterans find jobs
James R. Reed of the National Conference of State Legislatures said 34 states have acted in recent years to allow military training, education and experience to count toward occupational licenses. USA Today

Voters say yes to majority of state ballot initiatives this year
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), voters in six states addressed 31 statewide ballot measures, many of those included bond issues and other financing requests. CivSource

Voting rights just for the right people? (Opinion)
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports on its website: "As of August 2013, a total of 13 states offer online registration, and another six states have passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, but have not yet implemented them. Five states presently offer limited online voter registration." Winona Daily News

Supporters Say Minimum Wage Hike Gaining Support
"Minimum wage is a cyclical issue for the states," said Jeannie Mejeur, a senior researcher for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "When the federal minimum wage hasn't been increased for several years, then the states start looking at it." Minnesota Public Radio

Kentucky lawmakers hear audit proposals for staff review
And the National Conference of State Legislatures of Denver proposed a more comprehensive and expensive multi-part examination that would include a study of compensation and worker classification and assistance with the LRC’s search for a new staff director. The Courier-Journal

Nov. 6

New Jersey Votes To Increase Minimum Wage
Christie's opposition notwithstanding, the amendment passed. That doesn't really surprise Jeanne Mejeur of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She says Congress hasn't raised the federal minimum wage lately, so a lot of states have been doing it on their own. "Minimum wage is a cyclical issue for the states. When the federal minimum wage hasn't been increased for several years, then the states start looking at it." NPR

National ballot measures across U.S.; they’ll tax pot in Colorado
According to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, 95 bills relating to the issue have been introduced in various legislatures so far this year — a reflection of growing public interest in the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods. Fox 4 Kansas City

Minimum Wage Hikes In NJ And SeaTac: Vote For $15/Hour Pay Could Spark National Dialogue
With the ballot’s approval, New Jersey will soon have one of the highest minimum wages in the Northeast, at $8.25 per hour. That rate, effective in January 2014, outpaces the state's neighbors in Delaware ($7.25), Pennsylvania ($7.25) and New York ($7.25) -- same as the federal minimum wage. Connecticut, whose current state minimum wage is $8.25, is slated for an increase in January, when it will go up to $8.70, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. International Business Times

New Jersey just became the fifth state to add a minimum wage in its constitution
The now-approved constitutional amendment raises the state minimum wage from the federally mandated $7.25 to $8.25 and sets it to increase automatically with inflation. It is the fifth state to add a minimum wage to its constitution and the 11th to implement automatic hikes, according to data maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Illinois Evading Pension Fix Leads State Gaps Wider: Muni Credit
Forty-eight states have enacted pension changes since the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009, according to Luke Martel, senior policy specialist at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. “In some states they need multiple rounds of reform, and Illinois would be one of those,” he said. Bloomberg Businessweek

5 facts about the U.S. Supreme Court’s public prayer case
Today, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 states have regular prayer in at least one legislative chamber. Pew Research Center

Nov. 5

New voter ID law tested during Texas elections
Texas is one of 34 states that have passed voter ID laws, though not all of have been enacted due to future implementation dates or court challenges, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Upstate's Year of the Female Mayor
Women make up about 22 percent of New York's Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And on the federal level, seven of New York's 27 Congressional representatives are women. Capital New York

Colorado bill vows education overhaul, but will voters raise taxes to fund it?
“The heart of it is that voters are agreeing to commit more of their income toward education,” says Dan Thatcher, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. “But they’re also agreeing to this 141-page piece of legislation that enacts new school funding formulas. [Those formulas] have never had life breathed into them in this way…. This is unique that voters are voting statewide on what’s one of the most complicated components of state law.” The Christian Science Monitor

Nov. 4

Election 2013: What we're watching
Wendy Underhill, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, explained that labeling genetically modified organisms, or GMO's, "might easily be a trend" since a number of states proposed legislation that would label GMO's in 2013, although none of the bills passed. "If it passes that might be a forecast" for future GMO measures, said Underhill. PBS NewsHour

N.J. ballot question tying minimum wage increases to constitution sparks expensive battle
Most studies on the minimum wage have been conducted by groups with a vested interest, according to Jeanne Mejeur of the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Jersey was the subject of the one most highly regarded by economists and policy makers. nj.com

Bill would place limits on lawmakers-turned-lobbyists
Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said there may be a trend toward lawmakers leaving early – but it happens mostly in states with term limits or with low pay for lawmakers. In those states, she said, officials nearing the end of their terms are less likely to wait for the end of a term before starting a job hunt. Kerns, herself a former Colorado legislator, said one advantage of a "cooling off" period is that it removes any suspicion that a legislator might have been interviewing for a lobbying job while voting on legislation. "It does eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest," she said. The Anniston Star

Pot tax, secession top Tuesday ballot measures
According to the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 95 bills relating to the issue have been introduced in state legislatures so far this year -- a reflection of growing public interest in the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods. CNN

Tuesday’s election could have widespread economic effects in at least three states
Voters will weigh in on 31 initiatives and referenda in six states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Colorado Tax-Hike Initiative Would Boost Funding for Education
Wendy Underhill, a researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures who has reviewed statewide initiatives in recent years, said few efforts have paralleled Colorado’s to raise income taxes specifically to benefit schools. The Wall Street Journal

Workers' Wages on Ballot in N.J.
New Jersey is one of 32 states that has a minimum wage set at the federal hourly rate of $7.25 according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

Mindy Gilbert: Amendment to farm bill undermines states (Opinion)
The National Conference of State Legislatures opposes the amendment, stating that, “The King Amendment not only violated the tenets of the Tenth Amendment, but would also have significant economic effects across the states.” Montgomery Advertiser

Growing use of caucuses to fill seats draws critics
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states fill legislative vacancies through appointment. The remaining states use special elections. AP/courier-journal.com

How much are state legislators paid?
With the average taxable income of a Louisiana legislator coming in at roughly $41,755, they're still far below their counterparts in places like Illinois ($67,836), Massachusetts ($60,032) and Ohio ($60,583), according to the latest salary breakdown compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. bestofneworleans.com

NJ voters asked to raise minimum wage to $8.25
Ten states have automatic adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index or other inflation formula, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They include Vermont, Oregon, Ohio and Florida. AP/philly.com

Same-sex marriage ban situation to get Unicameral attention
There are 35 states that prohibit same-sex marriage, although three — Colorado, Hawaii and Illinois — allow for civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Columbus Telegram

State House for Sale: Big businesses pay off in jobs, political contributions
Twenty-one states ban direct corporate-to-candidate campaign contributions, including North Carolina, Texas and Michigan, according to an ongoing study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State

Rolly: Lesson of Europe: Compromise not so bad (Opinion)
Sen. Curt Bramble just returned from an 11-day trip to Germany and Austria, sponsored by the European Union’s Partnership of Parliaments through his role in the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Salt Lake Tribune

P3s win in Virginia Supreme Court case
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), along with the National Conference of State Legislatures, filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case in which a lower court ruled Virginia’s public private partnership (P3) enabling legislation was unconstitutional because it allowed VDOT to set toll rates on the Midtown Tunnel Extension project in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Better Roads Magazine

Editorial | Don't delay LRC independent audit
The audit is supposed to be done by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. courier-journal.com

Alaska Legislature 'likes' Facebook access, but with conditions
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has warned about the potential pitfalls of social media usage, and teh need for policies to ensure that tools such as Facebook are not misused. Alaska Dispatch

EXCLUSIVE: Private-school choice gaining ground in SC
South Carolina is one of 13 states to adopt tuition tax-credit programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State

Oregonians to Vote on Immigrant Driver’s Licenses
Thirteen states, including Oregon, now have laws that allow immigrants to obtain a driver’s license or driving privilege card, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. insurancejournal.com

Nov. 1

What Others Are Saying: Judgment day in Congress coming on animal issues (Opinion)
There are nearly 100 major organizations opposing it, including the Humane Society of the United States, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, County Executives of America, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Consumer Federation of America and so many others. Des Moines Register

Women in elected positions (Opinion)
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, women make up 24.2 percent of all state legislators nationwide. Princeton Daily Clarion

The Repurposed Ph.D.
Karen Shanton explored unconscious cognitive processes for her philosophy Ph.D. from Rutgers but works at the National Conference of State Legislatures, which provides legislators with nonpartisan analysis. The New York Times

The Flip Side of England's Fracking Study: More Regulation
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a review of the dizzying array of state-by-state regulations. Forbes


 

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