NCSL in the News | November 2016

11/1/2016

Nov. 30

Obama's term ushered in a realignment of state legislatures
Washington Examiner
These maps, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, have been modified to reflect this election's result. Since January 2009, Democrats have gone from holding 55 percent of the roughly 7,400 state legislative seats in the 50 states to just 42 percent, and from controlling 62 of 99 chambers to just 30.
 
Attempt fails to overturn automatic-voter veto in Illinois
Washington Times
California, Oregon, and Vermont are among six states that have approved automatic voter registration, but Oregon is the only state that has implemented it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
All the People Trying to Kill Off the Electoral College
VICE
"Any time there is a difference between the popular vote and the electoral college the electoral college comes under scrutiny," Dan Diorio, a policy specialist in elections for the National Conference on State Legislatures, told me. "This time around, folks are focusing on it a lot."
 
Attempt fails to overturn automatic-voter veto in Illinois
Fox 32 Chicago
The bill sought to allow visitors to a handful of state agencies, such as the Department of Human Services and the Secretary of State, to be automatically registered to vote unless they opted out. California, Oregon, and Vermont are among six states that have approved automatic voter registration, but Oregon is the only state that has implemented it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
See All the Groups Joining Tuesday's #Fightfor15 Protests
Yahoo Sports
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states still have a minimum wage set at or below the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.
 
South Dakotans could vote on medically assisted suicide
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Backers say the initiative would provide dignity to suffering patients, while opponents say the measure constitutes suicide and shouldn't be permitted by state law. Five states have implemented similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Don't drain the swamp — fill it up | Opinion
Sun Sentinel
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 16 states, lawmakers report spending about half their time working on legislative issues and are paid less than $20,000 on average. But those states that do not spend much on their legislatures pass many more bills that favor narrow business interests, such as tax cuts, that wind up draining state coffers over the long run.
 
EDITOR'S BLOG: Wage awareness
Meat & Poultry
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of the states and Washington, DC, have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. When federal and state laws have different minimum wage rates, the higher standard applies. For example, California and New York have recently enacted laws that will increase those states’ minimum wages to the highest in the country, with both reaching $15 in a few years.

Nov. 29

Will Trump Join GOP's Voter ID Push From the White House?
NBCNews.com
Thirty-four states, most controlled by Republicans, have passed some kind of law mandating a formal identification to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those laws vary widely by state, and some of them have been struck down by courts.

How the ugly 2016 presidential election could change the way we vote in future ones 
Washington Post
“There's a lot of voter dissatisfaction out there,” said Dan Diorio, a voting rights expert with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. “And maybe a way to react to that is to look at these changes and think: 'Maybe we don't have to do things the way we always have. Maybe there's a better way.' "
 
What's the worst that could happen with Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Two scenarios.
Washington Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 13 states and the District of Columbia have state-funded school voucher plans. But in seven of those states, eligibility is limited to students with disabilities or students residing in districts that do not operate any public schools.
 
Where are the women?
Le Devoir
" In 25 years, we have not yet passed the fifth of seats in the quarter ," says Katie Fisher Ziegler, Director of Women's Network programs elected to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). " Growth was very slow over the last two decades and many people would like the pace is accelerating, as already inflated rapidly in the years 1970 and 1980. "    

How long will it take Democrats to become a national party again?
MSN News
You can trace a lot of the Democrats’ current problems to the party’s grass roots. Since Obama took office in 2009, Democrats have lost more than 900 seats in state legislatures. This election gave Republicans control in both state legislative chambers in 32 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “That’s more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party,” NCSL says on its website. “They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920.”
 
Branstad: Review of open records laws 'appropriate' after shooting
DesMoinesRegister.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books governing the use of police body cameras. Many states do not require the use of cameras, but they do outline policies for departments that choose to use them and govern when footage should be released.
 
Jill Stein Raises Millions for Recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania
OB Rag
Otherwise, the candidate or party that petitions the recount must first pay a deposit toward the cost of conducting the recount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
No proof of citizenship needed to vote in Connecticut
Journal Inquirer
There are 18 states that have more lenient voter registration laws than Connecticut and do not require any documentation at all, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Santa Fe officers to get refresher course on marijuana laws
KTXS
Ohio residents voted down a measure that would have made both recreational and medicinal marijuana legal on Nov. 3. Take a look at which states currently allow marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 28

CHARTS: Is The Electoral College Dragging Down Voter Turnout In Your State?
NPR
(NCSL Info. Cited ) 

GOP dominance at state level brings expectations from party, Trump
Washington Times
Republicans now hold more than 4,000 of the 7,383 legislative seats available, the most since 1920, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Republicans totally control both the governorship and legislature in 55 states.
 
What's the worst that could happen with Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Two scenarios
Washington Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 13 states and the District of Columbia have state-funded school voucher plans. But in seven of those states, eligibility is limited to students with disabilities or students residing in districts that do not operate any public schools.
 
Trump's attempt to 'drain the swamp' will make matters worse in Washington
Los Angeles Time
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 16 states, lawmakers report spending about half their time working on legislative issues and are paid less than $20,000 on average. But those states that do not spend much on their legislatures pass many more bills that favor narrow business interests, such as tax cuts, that wind up draining state coffers over the long run.
 
Weekly Round-Up: The Fate of the Multistate Tax Compact ...
Bloomberg BNA
Trump May Back States on Remote Sellers: NCSL Official: President-elect Donald Trump has already shown support for state taxation of remote sales, which gives advocates some hope, according to Neal Osten, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures Washington office.

Stein raises $2.3 million for recount requests in three key states
The Boston Globe
Otherwise, the candidate or party that petitions the recount must first pay a deposit toward the cost of conducting the recount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
More doctors log on to prescription monitoring program
Worcester Telegram
Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and Guam currently operate prescription drug monitoring programs, with Missouri as the exception, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. At least 26 states and Guam require prescribers to check the system before writing an opioid prescription.

Jill Stein Raises Millions for Recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan ...
San Diego Free Press
Otherwise, the candidate or party that petitions the recount must first pay a deposit toward the cost of conducting the recount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Schumer Says Dems Ready to Work with Trump, But Won't KO ...
GreatNews
Asked during an interview with The New York Times about possible pushback by GOP leaders on his costly infrastructure goals, Trump said, “Right now, they’re in love with me”, according to a tweet by Times reporter Maggie Haberman. In addition, the Connecticut Senate is tied and control of the NY state Senate is still undecided, according to the NCSL.
 
What will happen to NM's schools under a Trump administration?
Santa Fe New Mexican
The value of each voucher ranges from $20,000 per year for a special-needs student in Ohio to just 50 percent of the per-student state funding in Louisiana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
It pays more to be a Pa. state legislator in 2017
PennLive.com
Still, the $85,339 base legislative salary in 2016 was higher than their counterparts in other states except California where the base pay tops $100,000, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
 
The Electoral College undermines democracy
NewHistorian
It's also worth remembering that the dynamics of this election would be completely different if the popular vote actually mattered. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who just completed a term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, was going to be the Senate sponsor of Eliason's bill. New Historian Info
 
3 Missing Perth Children Found Safe Through Public's Assistance
Parent Herald
The National Conference of State Legislature reported that in children between the ages of ten and eighteen who run away from their homes, 75 percent are girls.

Department of Education spotlights homeless youth
Pocono Record
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, between 6 percent and 22 percent of homeless girls are estimated to be pregnant.
  
Sen. Sally Doty weighs in on budget recommendations
Dailyleader
The recommendation also seeks to increase sales taxes revenue by enforcing sales tax for online retailers, something that could be costing the state over $134 million in tax revenue, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Is the Electoral College dragging down voter turnout in your state?
89.3 KPCC
And finally (and perhaps most controversially), there are voter ID laws. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists nine states with some form of "strict" law requiring that people show identification at the polls. 

SC's 9 electors, including Clarendon GOP chairman, inundated with ...
Manning Live
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the last time an elector crossed over to back another party’s nominee was 1972, when Virginia Republican elector Roger L. MacBride cast his vote for Libertarian candidate John Hospers. South Carolina is one of 29 states where law or party rules require electors to cast their votes for the candidate who won the state’s balloting, faithless electors can be subject to criminal penalties. Other states, according to NCSL, impose civil penalties.

Election means fewer women in Oklahoma Legislature
Shawnee News Star
Only Wyoming will have a smaller percentage of female legislators in 2017 (10, or about 11 percent), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

TURMOIL AND TUTORING
Florida Courier
This election gave Republicans control in both state legislative chambers in 32 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s the most in the history of the Republican Party and the largest number of seats since 1920.
 
Las Vegas Gaming Control Board takes a gamble on esports betting
Mashable
The legality of online esports betting in the U.S. is decided on a state-by-state basis. According to The National Conference of State Legislatures, only Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow it. Fans may check with their state legislation on the current status. 
 
What Will Donald Trump Actually Do About the Federal Minimum Wage?
ATTN
Each state's minimum wage has to at least meet the federal rate, which is only $7.25 an hour. Currently, there are at least 19 states where people are being paid as low as $7.25 an hour for their work, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 23

Meet Sex-Ed YouTube Star Laci Green Whose Channel Has Nearly 1.5 Million Subscribers
ABC News
Green’s work comes at a time when only 24 states and Washington, D.C., require public schools to teach sex education, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thirty-five states and D.C. still allow a parent to opt their child out of sex-ed.

Will GOP majority make MN Senate vote data more open?
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
But this month, Cerling said little got done over the past six months. The Senate reached out to the National Conference of State Legislatures for “advice and guidance on how to improve” but did no more.

Will Republican Majority in Minnesota Senate Open Up Vote Data?
Government Technology
But this month, Cerling said little got done over the past six months. The Senate reached out to the National Conference of State Legislatures for “advice and guidance on how to improve” but did no more.

Senator Lorraine Inouye completes energy institute course
Hawaii 24/7
In 2012, the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the federal government of Canada joined the effort to make the program nationwide and also include Canadian legislators.
 
Kim Suhr: Unhappy with the election results? Run!
Madison.com
In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states will begin the new year with minimum wages higher than the federally mandated $7.25, many with gradual phase-ins and/or tied to increases in cost of living.

RURAL MATTERS: And it's not about agriculture
Dickinson County News
Two summer articles from the National Conference of State legislatures, NCSL, brought sobering news for rural areas.

PROPOSITION 206: Minimum wage hike takes effect Jan. 1
White Mountain Independent
Arizona was one of four states that approved a minimum wage hike during the recent election, according to the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado, Washington and Maine voters also raised wages in their states.
 
Election Means Fewer Women in Oklahoma Legislature
KOSU
Only Wyoming will have a smaller percentage of female legislators in 2017 (10, or about 11 percent), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Many Americans Like Obama, But Reject His Party
Voice of America
While voters made major changes on the national level, the National Conference of State Legislatures notes that “voters left the overall partisan landscape in state legislatures relatively unchanged.”

Nov. 22

Democrats search for answers to stem a spreading Republican tide
Reuters
Republicans also command 32 state legislatures and have full control -- meaning they hold the governor’s office and both legislative chambers -- in 24 states, including swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, they controlled just nine. “There are more Republicans at the state legislative level than there have ever been,” said Tim Storey, an analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump, State Leaders Differ On School Reform
Huffington Post
Before battling begins, Trump and Congress should take a reality check by looking at what state legislators are saying is needed to improve American schools. No Time to Lose (August 2016) from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) contains conclusions from an 18-month-study by these state officials of the educational systems of high performing countries. Their first conclusion is that “most (American) state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world ... leaving the United States overwhelmingly unprepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.” They explain that “recent reforms have under-performed because of silver bullet strategies and piecemeal approaches“ (emphasis added).
 
Many Americans Like Obama, But Reject His Party
Voice of America
While voters made major changes on the national level, the National Conference of State Legislatures notes that “voters left the overall partisan landscape in state legislatures relatively unchanged.”
 
Snyder to sign autonomous car bills into law
The Detroit News
Michigan is one of eight states that, along with Washington, D.C., have laws allowing testing of autonomous cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Florida and Nevada have laws allowing for the “operation” of those cars beyond testing. Arizona’s governor signed an executive order.

Will GOP majority make MN Senate vote data more open? (It’s not now.)
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
At the time, a spokesperson for the Senate’s DFL majority said they had been unaware the Senate was lagging in data transparency and promised to explore software upgrades to make its votes as accessible as the House’s. “Technology has quickly evolved and the information you’ve shared is a clear indication we should to take a closer look at how we publish our information,” said Amelia Cerling, a spokeswoman for the Senate DFL. But this month, Cerling said little got done over the past six months. The Senate reached out to the National Conference of State Legislatures for “advice and guidance on how to improve” but did no more.

Nov. 21

Republicans build on their dominance in state legislatures
Fox News
“Republicans certainly bested expectations on the national level and that holds true for the states where they are likely to come out ahead by 30 to 40 seats,” Dan Diorio, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told FoxNews.com.
 
Donald Trump's Victory Looks Set to Renew Battle Over Abortion ...
Wall Street Journal
November’s election left Republicans in control of both legislative chambers in 32 states, an all-time high for the party, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Female State Legislators Miss Out on Record Number of Seats After Clinton Defeat
Bloomberg
At 24.8 percent, the percentage of women in statehouses will remain about the same as it’s been since 2008. Women won an estimated 1,834 seats in 46 state government elections, up from 1,805 but less than those needed to top the 25 percent many predicted, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Contested races could alter the tally.

In Their Coastal Citadels, Democrats Argue Over What Went Wrong
Wall Street Journal
Sources: Edison Research (exit polls); WSJ analysis of data from Council of State Governments, National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors Association (state control)
 
Why So Few Kids Are Getting the HPV Vaccine
Governing
The slow adoption isn't for a lack of trying, though. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states have introduced legislation that would either require the vaccine or educate students about its benefits.
 
Analysis: Live by the party, die by the party
Texas Tribune
Forty states don’t allow straight-ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eleven states have dumped or limited it since 1994, according to NCSL.
 
Paul Rolly: Clinton won the popular vote and lost the election, so Utah won’t change a thing
Salt Lake Tribune
Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, was preparing a bill to have Utah join the compact. Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, was looking to do the same thing in the Senate. Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who just completed a term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, was going to be the Senate sponsor of Eliason's bill.
 
Republicans Now Control Record Number of State Legislative ...
CNSNews.com
Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
GOP Education Priorities: 13 Stalled House and Senate Bills That ...
The 74
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and others have proposed a federal program that would give tax credits to individuals and businesses that donate to organizations providing scholarships to low-income children. Individuals could receive up to $4,500 and businesses up to $100,000. Similar programs existed in 16 states, including Florida, as of January, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Victims Legally Dictated To Keep Contact With Rapist
Parent Herald
An approximate of 17000-32000 pregnancies due to rape are reported across America every year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and around 32-50 percent of rape victims who get impregnated keep their babies.

AG, governor have same goal on internet sales
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
The governor cites a National Conference of State Legislatures’ study estimating the state losing a more modest, but still sizable $134 million annually on internet sales.

Why you're paying more for that burger and fries
Crain's Chicago Business
Fourteen states began 2016 with higher minimum wages than the year before, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And voters in four more states—Maine, Arizona, Colorado and Washington—this month voted to increase their minimum wages to at least $12 an hour by 2020. 

NH Gov.-Elect Sununu May Scrap Same-Day Voter Registration
Valley News
New Hampshire and 12 other states allow voters to register to vote on an election day, and a handful of others, including Vermont, will implement a similar provision in the next couple of years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The current deadline to register in Vermont is the Wednesday preceding the election.
 
Medical marijuana advocates up in arms over Jeff Sessions
Alabama Today
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized medical marijuana under state law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A ballot initiative giving Floridians a state constitutional right to medical pot passed earlier this month with 71 percent of the vote.
 
McClellan says she wins CD6 state school board race; Scheffel not ...
Aurora Sentinel
To trigger a recount, the two candidates would need to be separated by a margin less than or equal to one-half of 1 percent of the victor’s final tally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Frenchman gets life for rape, murder of British pensioner
Inquirer.net
Exact stats aren't tracked, but there are an estimated 17,000 to 32,000 rape-related pregnancies in the United States each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump's Transition in Disarray, But GOP is Soaring
Townhall
According to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Republicans will now control more legislatures "than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party."
 
Rape Victims Forced To Parent With Their Attackers
Opposing Views
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are an estimated 17,000 to 32,000 rape-related pregnancies in the United States each year
 
State GOP leaders shifting position on online sales tax
Hattiesburg American
“The working group estimated that Mississippi was losing $67.2 million annually in uncollected taxes on remote sales. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates Mississippi’s loss at over $134 million.
 
How viable is Trump's plan to expand cross-state insurance sales?
Employee Benefit Adviser
State health insurance research and tracking by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows at least 21 states, as of fall 2016, are considering this idea. Of those 21 states, five of them have signed state laws allowing the buying and selling of health insurance across state lines:

Nov. 18

Donald Trump staffing a new government
Washington Times
According to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Republicans will now control more legislatures “than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party.” “They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920,” the NCSL said. What this means in terms of the GOP’s future political power cannot be overstated. “In 24 of the 32 states with Republican-controlled legislatures, voters have also elected Republican governors, compared to only six states for the Democrats,” NCSL reported.

Why So Few Kids Are Getting the HPV Vaccine
Governing
The slow adoption isn't for a lack of trying, though. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states have introduced legislation that would either require the vaccine or educate students about its benefits.

Female State Legislators Miss Out on Record Number of Seats After Clinton Defeat
Bloomberg
At 24.8 percent, the percentage of women in statehouses will remain about the same as it’s been since 2008. Women won an estimated 1,834 seats in 46 state government elections, up from 1,805 but less than those needed to top the 25 percent many predicted, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Contested races could alter the tally.
 
'I have to text my rapist': Victims forced to parent with attackers
CNN
Exact stats aren't tracked, but there are an estimated 17,000 to 32,000 rape-related pregnancies in the United States each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State workers get 6 weeks paid parental leave - for now
St. Cloud Times
Minnesota will be the fourth state to offer paid parental leave to employees, joining California, New York and Rhode Island, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
California lawmakers look to fight Trump's immigration plans
ABC10.com
California also allows immigrant students to qualify for in-state tuition based on the amount of time they have spent in the public K-12 school system, similar laws exist in at least 18 states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Trump hasn't identified in-state tuition as an immigration policy priority, so it's unclear whether he would leave this up to states' discretion

Dead wrong: Media view of a GOP in crisis contradicted by state-level results nationwide
World Tribune
Republicans are now in control of a record 67 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

RealClearPolitics: GOP Strongest It's Been in 80 Years
Newsmax
"That's more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. "They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920." "Republicans bested expectations," NCSL policy expert Dan Diorio added. "Having already reached the peak of control in party history, Republicans will maintain a similar level of control in a year when many Democrats are expected to net seats and chambers."

Election 2016: Elector rejects calls to dump Trump
Coastal Observer
South Carolina is one of 30 states that has laws that bind electors to vote as pledged, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Obama's term comes to close
Northern Star Online
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9 percent from 10.2 percent in 2009.
 
Clinton's defeat spurs more women into action, advocacy
The Detroit News
Women are woefully under-represented in the Michigan Legislature. Only 26 members of the state House are women. Their numbers are even worse in the state Senate, where only four are female. All told, only 20 percent of the state Legislature is female, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Donald Trump was right: The election was rigged. Now it's time to ...
Politix
Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Could school vouchers take hold in Washington state?
Grays Harbor Daily World
Currently, about a dozen states nationwide provide subsidies to parents who send their children to private schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some of those states reserve the funding, known as school vouchers, for special education students or low-income students.
 
Portage Police take body cameras for trial run
WiscNews
Police departments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, are required to use them to some extent in five states: Connecticut, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and California. In 12 states there is some level of funding provided for equipping officers with cameras including the five mentioned as well as Massachusetts, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas and Colorado.

Nov. 17

Republicans Now Control Record Number of State Legislative Chambers
CNSNews.com
Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Could school vouchers take hold in Washington state?
The News Tribune
Currently, about a dozen states nationwide provide subsidies to parents who send their children to private schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some of those states reserve the funding, known as school vouchers, for special education students or low-income students. Vouchers have been a popular cause among conservatives for years. But the concept has faced stiff opposition in Washington state.
 
Election Results Show Women Lost Ground in Serving in Office
Oklahoma Watch
Only Wyoming will have a smaller percentage of female legislators in 2017 (10, or about 11 percent), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bryant joins growing GOP chorus supporting online sales tax ...
Oxford Eagle
“The working group estimated that Mississippi was losing $67.2 million annually in uncollected taxes on remote sales. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates Mississippi’s loss at over $134 million.
 
Editorial: Women in the House
York Dispatch
Nationally, women composed 24.4 percent of state legislators in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 16

Public Officials of the Year: Deb Peters
Governing
Peters is president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and she has used her position at NCSL to make a broader push on the sales tax front. 
 
Missing Children 2016: Police Search For Teen Girl In Pennsylvania
International Business Times
Studies have shown that one in seven youths aged 10 to 18 will run away and that 75 percent of those young people are females, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported. There are different reasons why people choose to run away. Some of the common reasons include transitioning from foster care to some other public systems, family problems or economic problems.
 
Now in Trump's shadow, Republican governors put presidential aspirations on hold
Albuquerque Journal
Republicans also control roughly two-thirds of state House and Senate chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Colorado presidential elector seeks to block Donald Trump 
The Denver Post
There’s no federal law requiring electors to vote for the party that nominated them, but 29 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that attempt to force presidential electors to vote with the will of their state’s voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'Faithless electors' have never changed an election
KOIN.com
Twenty-one states don’t require their electors to go along with the popular vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 29 states that require faithfulness from their electors can impose a variety of punishments, including fines.

Now in Trump's shadow, Republican governors put presidential ...
Albuquerque Journal
Republicans also control roughly two-thirds of state House and Senate chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Donald Trump was right: THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED. In his favour.
The London Economic
As a response to constant paranoia about voter fraud, 30 mainly Republican states have adopted a system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bay State Legislature ties all-time high for women
Sentinel & Enterprise
With 25 percent this year and 26 percent next, the percentage of women lawmakers in Massachusetts is slightly higher than the nationwide share, which the National Conference of State Legislatures says will hit 24.7 percent next year with 1,824 women expected to serve across the 50 legislatures.
 
With a Republican Congress and White House, efforts to regulate ...
OCRegister
About 16 states considered some sort of proposal during the last legislative session to require manufacturers to disclose how they price their products or how much they spend on research and development, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Vermont’s proposal was signed by the governor in June.

Nov. 15

Now in Trump's Shadow, Republican Governors Put Presidential Aspirations On Hold
Bloomberg
Republicans also control roughly two-thirds of state House and Senate chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump's plan to rebuild America will be a lot harder to pay for than it ...
CNBC
Last year, eight states — Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Washington — passed legislation to increase gas taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and two more states — Kentucky and North Carolina — moved to limit declines in gas taxes from lower pump prices.

Dan Patrick says Texas is eager for a Trump administration that isn't ...
Dallas News
Speaking to an audience at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ post-election briefing, Patrick made it clear that he had little interest in bipartisan compromise on many of his central issues: school choice, voter ID, reducing environmental regulations, and further restricting abortion.

Bay State Legislature ties all-time high for women
Sentinel & Enterprise
With 25 percent this year and 26 percent next, the percentage of women lawmakers in Massachusetts is slightly higher than the nationwide share, which the National Conference of State Legislatures says will hit 24.7 percent next year with 1,824 women expected to serve across the 50 legislatures. "Election Day did not turn out to be the historic event watchers of women in politics may have expected," NCSL Women's Legislative Network program manager Katie Ziegler wrote in a blog post. "And, at the state level, women's representation will be virtually unchanged." Nationwide, the portion of women in state legislatures ranges from 13.2 percent in Mississippi to 42 percent in Colorado, NCSL figures show.
 
Pittsburgh City Council to decide zoning rules for medical marijuana ...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mr. O’Connor said Pittsburgh may see its first applications from the burgeoning sector by spring 2017. Twenty-eight states have moved to legalize some amount of medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Reviewing Old Unfunded Mandates Could Help NJ Officials Follow ...
NJ Spotlight
The National Conference of State Legislatures has also estimated as much as $131 billion in costs were shifted to the states by the federal government between 2004 and 2008.

Movie Production Incentives and film tax credits: Do they create jobs?
Journalist's Resource
As of 2016, 37 states offer MPIs, which vary considerably from state to state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). A 2016 NCSL report shows that, for example, Colorado and Arkansas offer rebates to offset a portion of production costs. Connecticut, on the other hand, offers tax credits as well as exemptions on hotel and sales taxes. 
 
Popular vote totals for presidential race 2016: Clinton leading as last ...
AL.com-4
The U.S. Constitution gives electors a good deal of leeway when it comes to casting their ballots, though, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 30 of the 50 states have laws that bind electors to vote in accordance with their respective state's popular vote. 
 
New Hampshire Neighbors Approve Recreational Marijuana Legislation
New Hampshire Public Radio
Four out of five states with ballot measures this year to legalize recreational marijuana did so, including our neighbors Maine and Massachusetts. We find out what this might mean for similar efforts in New Hampshire, and the impact on federal laws. Karmen Hanson - Program Manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Iowa may consider tougher penalties after two officers killed
Newton Daily News
Four out of five states with ballot measures this year to legalize recreational marijuana did so, including our neighbors Maine and Massachusetts. We find out what this might mean for similar efforts in New Hampshire, and the impact on federal laws.

Nov. 14

The Left's Despots, Not Donald Trump, Deserve The Left's Fury
Forbes
At the state level, there now will be 33 Republican state governors, the most since 1922. Republicans control “more than twice as many legislative chambers at 68 than Democrats, who hold 30, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” In other words, where actual elections are involved the left is getting itself creamed.
 
GOP Solidifies Hold on State-Level Leadership
Education Week
And in at least 32 states with partisan control, Republicans will have control of both legislative chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Democrats will have such control in at least 13 states, and three states are split. New York was still undecided as of the end of this week.)
 
More Than 2.4 Million Sign Electoral College Vote Change Petition
Newsmax
Berg maintained that there are 24 states that bind electors, but according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states bind electors and can impose fines for those who vote against their state's will.

No, the Electoral College won't make Clinton president instead of Trump
Vox
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 30 of the 50 states have passed laws "binding" their electors to vote in accordance with the presidential popular vote in their state. But in most, the penalty for not doing so is only a fine, and it’s unclear whether stiffer penalties would hold up in court — it’s never been tested, and the Constitution does appear to give the electors the right to make the final call. Furthermore, there are still 20 or so states that haven’t even tried to bind their electors.
 
WONG: Reform affirmative action
University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
Today, affirmative action is cited as a tool to increase diversity, and has — in colleges and universities — “resulted in doubling or tripling the number of minority applications to colleges or universities, and have made universities more representative of their surrounding community,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In this respect, affirmative action has 

Michigan lawmakers to consider energy, driverless car bills
The Oakland Press
Michigan is among eight states with laws related to autonomous cars, while Arizona’s governor has issued an executive order, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada was the first state to authorize self-driving vehicles in 2011, and California, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah followed.
 
Status Report: Gazelka wins slot as new Senate majority leader
Politics in Minnesota
Agenda items include a presentation on scope of practice by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the presidency. Here's ...
The Diamondback
According to the National Conference of state legislatures, 30 states have laws that attempt to bind electors to vote for the winner of that state, but electors can technically defect and pay a fine. 
     
Trump now says 'Crooked Hillary' is 'very strong and very smart'
The Highbury Clock
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there's no federal or constitutional law against faithless electors, but 30 states have provisions in place that would punish or replace electors who don't vote for the party that nominated them. 
 
SB 1070 author to join Trump's transition team
Tucson News Now
“SB 1070 includes provisions adding state penalties relating to immigration law enforcement including trespassing, harboring and transporting illegal immigrants, alien registration documents, employer sanctions, and human smuggling,” explains the National Conference of State Legislatures website. “The trespassing provision appears to be the first of its kind to be enacted in the United States.”
     
Does mail voting save money, increase turnout?
Fort Pierce Tribune
A recent Government Accounting Office study concluded that “quantifying the total costs for all election activities is difficult,” but a Colorado study predicted a $1.05 saving per voter, and mail voting has reduced Denver's costs, said Wendy Underhill, who studies elections at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump helps Republicans strengthen power in Southern state ...
Facing South
With Republicans winning the Kentucky House, the 2016 elections ended with Republicans in the majority in every state legislative chamber in the South. (Map from the National Conference of State Legislatures.)
 
Can Electors Make Hillary Clinton President On Dec. 19?
Bustle
An elector who chooses not to vote in line with the popular vote is known as a “faithless elector.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there’s no federal or constitutional law against faithless electors, but 30 states have provisions in place that would punish or replace electors who don’t vote for the party that nominated them.

Nov. 11

GOP Sees Gains in State Legislatures
Wall Street Journal
“Republicans certainly bested expectations,” said Dan Diorio, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “We expected Democrats to pick up chambers and pick up seats. Instead, it looks like Democrats will actually lose seats.”

Missouri voters back photo ID mandate; court fight likely
Missouri Lawyers Media
Missouri was the only state this election to ask voters to consider a change in photo-identification requirements, said Wendy Underhill, the program director for elections at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Momentum To Regulate Drug Prices Uncertain After Prop 61 Defeat ...
California Healthline
About 16 states considered some sort of proposal during the last legislative session to require manufacturers to disclose how they price their products or how much they spend on research and development, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Vermont’s proposal was signed by the Governor this past June.
 
Lawmakers send autonomous car bills to Snyder
The Detroit News
Michigan is one of eight states that, along with Washington, D.C., have laws allowing testing of autonomous cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Florida and Nevada have laws allowing for the “operation” of those cars beyond testing. Arizona’s governor signed an executive order.
 
Why is it so hard for our state to oust indicted politicians?
The Ledger
From Alaska to California and Arizona to Georgia, Michigan and Montana, 29 states have provisions allowing the recall of public officials, including several, such as Oregon, which allows any public officer to be booted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Military policeman prepares to defend the public by learning civilian ...
William & Mary News
The National Conference of State Legislatures determined that between 2000 and 2012, more than 900,000 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom used their education benefits to attend institutions of higher learning across the United States. In a region including more than 230,000 veterans, William & Mary’s student body often includes service members looking to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
 
What Happens When Golf Carts Hit the Streets
Insurance Journal
At least two dozen states have passed laws authorizing local governments to allow golf carts on public roads and regulate their use, said Amanda Essex, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many states prohibit them from being driven at night, limit them to roads with slower speed limits, or require their drivers to have a license.
 
GOP Takeover of Iowa Senate Part of National Trend
Iowa Public Radio
Daniel Diorio with the National Conference of State Legislatures says Republicans now control two-thirds of all House and Senate chambers nationwide. “Republicans are at their all-time high for state chamber control,” Diorio said. “So they have really dominated ever since 2010 state legislatures across the country.”

Nov. 10

Republicans hold on to state legislative edge in US election
Reuters
After an election in which more than 80 percent of 7,383 state legislative seats nationwide were up for grabs, Republicans and Democrats were likely to control the same number of chambers they had previously, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which is still compiling voting results. Republicans, who have dominated control of legislatures since the 2010 mid-term election, held the majority in 67 of the country's 98 partisan legislative chambers, while Democrats had 31 going into the election. Nebraska's single chamber is nonpartisan. "Neither party can sort of boast of having a big night down on the state level," NCSL elections analyst Tim Storey said. "Republicans will remain in a dominant position in terms of policy making."

GOP Takeover of Iowa Senate Part of National Trend
Iowa Public Radio
Daniel Diorio with the National Conference of State Legislatures says Republicans now control two-thirds of all House and Senate chambers nationwide. “Republicans are at their all-time high for state chamber control,” Diorio said.   “So they have really dominated ever since 2010 state legislatures across the country.”
 
Final Summary of GOP Gains in the States
National Review Online
Although control of a few chambers remains up in the air at this writing, the 2016 cycle has proven to be a good one.“In short, Republicans bested expectations,” wrote Dan Dorio, an elections analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Having already reached the peak of control in party history, Republicans will maintain a similar level of control, in a year when many expected Democrats to net seats and chambers.” 
 
GOP flips three governors' seats
Washington Times
Republicans also controlled more than twice as many legislative chambers at 68 than Democrats, who hold 30, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump won. But so did marijuana legalization, gun control, and wage increases
Vox
Prior to the election, Republicans held 67 of 98 partisan chambers in the nation, while Democrats held 31, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The full results aren’t in, but control switched from Democratic to Republican in the Kentucky House, Iowa Senate, and Minnesota Senate and from Republican to Democratic in the New Mexico House, Nevada Assembly, Nevada Senate, and Washington Senate. There was also a tie in the Connecticut Senate, weakening Democratic control there.
 
Republicans hold on to US state legislative edge in election
Yahoo Singapore News
After an election in which more than 80 percent of 7,383 state legislative seats nationwide were up for grabs, Republicans and Democrats were likely to control the same number of chambers they had previously, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which is still compiling voting results.
 
Why is It So Difficult for Tennessee To Oust Indicted Politicians?
Memphis Daily News
From Alaska to California and Arizona to Georgia, Michigan and Montana, 29 states have provisions allowing the recall of public officials, including several, such as Oregon, which allows any public officer to be booted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Republicans Maintain Strong Control of State Capitols. Here's What That Means
The Daily Signal
“Democrats were poised to make gains due to the natural return of the pendulum to the other side,” said Tim Storey, the director of state services at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “But they did not make huge gains and Republicans got a couple of [new] chambers. So Republicans remain in a dominant position.”

What Is The Impeachment Process? It's Complicated
Romper
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the presidential impeachment process typically has two major stages: the first stage involving the House of Representatives, and the second stage involving the Senate. 
 
Colorado voters reject state health care system
JURIST
The National Conference of State Legislatures [official website] reports that between 2010 and 2015, at least 21 states have enacted laws attempting to challenge or completely opt out of mandatory provisions of the ACA. 
 
What Happens When Golf Carts Hit the Streets?
Government Technology
At least two dozen states have passed laws authorizing local governments to allow golf carts on public roads and regulate their use, said Amanda Essex, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many states prohibit them from being driven at night, limit them to roads with slower speed limits, or require their drivers to have a license.
 
7 Petitions To Protest Donald Trump Being Your President-Elect
Bustle
Even though 26 state officials have been recalled, according to National Conference of State Legislature, it's impossible for a president to be booted by petition. That hasn't stopped people form trying though. 
 
Chang wins seat, securing all-Democrat Hawaii Senate
Thegardenisland.com
The last time a party held all the seats in any state Legislature was 1980, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Nov. 9

Republicans hold on to US state legislative edge in election
Reuters
After an election in which more than 80 percent of the nation's 7,383 state legislative seats were up for grabs, Republicans and Democrats were likely to control the same number of chambers they had going into the election, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which is still compiling voting results.
 
President Obama's Election Day message
Washington Post
If you forgot to register to vote, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck today. There are a dozen states that allow people to register to vote on Election Day, a process known as same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Not registered? Here are the states where you can sign up today ...
Washington Post
If you forgot to register to vote, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck today. There are a dozen states that allow people to register to vote on Election Day, a process known as same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
What Happens When Golf Carts Hit The Streets?
Huffington Post
At least two dozen states have passed laws authorizing local governments to allow golf carts on public roads and regulate their use, said Amanda Essex, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many states prohibit them from being driven at night, limit them to roads with slower speed limits, or require their drivers to have a license.
  
What the 2016 Election Results Mean for Health
Scientific American
Until now four states and the District of Colombia had approved adult recreational marijuana use, giving 5.6 percent of the U.S. adult population legal access to cannabis without a doctor’s orders, says Karmen Hanson, a marijuana policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. A much larger swath of the country—25 states, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico—had already allowed medical use. (Donald Trump has also said that he supports medical access.)
 
GOP will dominate state legislatures as Trump enters White House
Raw Story
After an election in which more than 80 percent of the nation’s 7,383 state legislative seats were up for grabs, Republicans and Democrats were likely to control the same number of chambers they had going into the election, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which is still compiling voting results.
 
Medical marijuana appears to pass in Arkansas
Arkansas Online
Before Tuesday, 25 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico allowed for comprehensive public medical-marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Chang Tops Slom In Race To Unseat Hawaii's Only GOP Senator
Honolulu Civil Beat
In losing his bid for another four-year term, the 25-member Senate will become the first one-party chamber in the nation since 1980, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Advocates Plan Push For Paid Maternity Leave
North Carolina Health News
Only 11 percent of North Carolina private-sector workers have paid family leave, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina workers are guaranteed only 4 hours per year to attend to their child’s school-related needs.
 
The Latest: Objection to all-Democratic Hawaii state Senate
Thegardenisland.com
Hawaii could become the only state in the country with a one-party legislative body if Chang wins. The National Conference on State Legislatures says the last time that happened was in 1980.

Here's What Happens If There is Tie Between Donald Trump and ...
LawNewz
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states and the District of Columbia permit a losing candidate, a voter, a group of voters or other concerned parties to petition for a recount. (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and the District of Columbia do not.)
 
Florida Recount Rules: What is Needed to Trigger a Recount?
Heavy.com
The law on recounts in the state is outlined in Florida Statute 102.141(7). However, as the National Conference of State Legislatures notes, a candidate cannot request a recount. However, a losing candidate can submit a written request that a recount not be held. It is up to the Secretary of State to order recounts in races.
 
Hundreds of immigrants become citizens and then vote on Election ...
LA Daily News
More than 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, allow some form of same-day registration and voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 8

Presidential election results 2016: What time, how to watch and live stream online
CBS News
While deadlines to register have passed in most states, 13 states and Washington, D.C. offer same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Millions of voters have also already cast ballots in 36 states and D.C. where early voting is offered.
 
OSCE boosts number monitoring US election
CNN
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a dozen states prohibit international observers. Among them are Iowa and Texas, where state officials in 2012 threatened to arrest OSCE observers if they entered polling stations. Seven states and the District of Colombia allow foreign poll watchers. Most other states leave the decisions up to individual counties.

From Pot to Guns, State Ballot Initiatives Are Bellwether of National ...
NBCNews.com
"The federal minimum wage hasn't been changed in a couple of years and states are looking if they want to make a change on their own," said Wendy Underhill, a program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Elections Unlikely to Resolve Clash Over Online Sales Taxes
Bloomberg BNA
Combined with an end-of-the-year omnibus package, there will be little oxygen in the room for doing anything else, said Max Behlke, manager of state-federal relations for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Absent an issue that is considered necessary and unlikely to move through the following Congress, lawmakers likely won't accomplish much else by year's end.
 
13 science and health issues left behind during this election
PBS NewsHour
One approach to the problem has been to institute bans or taxes on plastic shopping bags, but only three of 77 such proposals have passed in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Election could put Latina lawmakers atop both chambers of ...
Fox News Latino
Latinos constitute just 5 percent of the nearly 7,400 state legislators nationwide, the Times reported, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Judge says three late registrants may cast provisional ballots
MassLive.com
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 13 states offer some form of same-day voter registration, with such laws slated to take effect in California and Vermont in 2017 and Hawaii in 2018.
 
7 questions about that ballot question you may have missed
Post-Bulletin
Minnesota ranks 19th of the 39 states where lawmakers earn an annual salary, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
     
Kai Degner falsely says Declaration of Independence was penned ...
PolitiFact
Thirty-one states, including Virginia, have passed laws to allow hemp cultivation for commercial or research purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Most States Lack 'Return to Learn' Laws for Head-Injured Kids
MedPage Today
For this study, two coders searched the LexisNexis Injury Prevention Database, which is jointly maintained by the the National Conference of State Legislatures and the CDC.
 
Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained
Vox
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 30 of the 50 states have passed laws "binding" their electors to vote in accordance with the presidential popular vote in their state. But in most, the penalty for not doing so is only a fine, and it’s unclear whether stiffer penalties would hold up in court — it’s never been tested, and the Constitution does appear to give the electors the right to make the final call. Furthermore, there are still 20 or so states that haven’t even tried to bind their electors.

Nov. 7

Who Wins if California Voters Tax E-Cigarettes?
New York Times
Similar fights are playing out across the country. Cigarette companies have spent nearly $4 million to defeat a ballot measure in North Dakota on Tuesday that would also impose a tax on e-cigarettes. This year, at least 17 other states considered legislation to tax e-cigarettes, but only Pennsylvania and West Virginia actually did, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How States Moved Toward Stricter Voter ID Laws
New York Times
Thirty-two states — a figure that has been steadily rising — now have some form of voter ID laws, based on a count by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The number of states with the strictest laws is rising as well: Voters in seven states will be required to show photo identification in order to cast their ballots this year. In 2012, only four states required it.

What If? A Look at the Electoral College, Rogue Electors
ABC News
Twenty-one states don't require their electors to go along with the popular vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 29 states that require faithfulness from their electors can impose a variety of punishments, including fines.

Do I Need An ID To Vote? Voter Suppression Law Hurt Minorities ...
International Business Times
“There has been movement toward more voter ID laws, and toward stricter voter ID laws,” Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the Times. “Court challenges have gone in both directions. They haven’t all been either to undo voter ID or to support it.”

Can You Vote Online? No, Unless You're A Service Member Or ...
International Business Times
Despite being discussed at the federal level since 1999, only five states let people send in their votes through a website, or online "portal," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. These include Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, North Dakota and Missouri. Twenty-one permit certain people to return their ballots via email or fax, and six states allow people submit votes via fax only.

Colorado poised to make history with Latinas in charge of state legislature
Los Angeles Times
Cesar Blanco, interim director of the Latino Victory Fund, said that while Colorado’s possible history-making moment is something to be applauded, “we still have a lot of work to do.” There are 7,383 state legislators nationwide and fewer than 5% are Latino, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Minnesota's undocumented college students wait, worry as election ...
Minnesota Public Radio News
Minnesota is one of 20 states allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and one of five states that also provide financial assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Data from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education show 763 students applied for those benefits for the fall term

7 questions about the Minnesota ballot question
Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota ranks 19th of the 39 states where lawmakers earn an annual salary, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. California lawmakers have the largest salaries at $100,113. Among Minnesota's neighbors, Wisconsin legislators earn $50,950, Iowa legislators have a $25,000 base pay and South Dakota legislators get $6,000 per session. North Dakota legislators are paid a daily rate.

Voters will weigh in on adding fishing, hunting constitutional ...
Hartford City News Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, sportsmen in many states increasingly feel as if they are the ones outside the duck blind, and they are turning to state constitutions to ensure their hallowed pastime will continue in perpetuity.

Foreign Election Observers to Take Part in US Vote
Voice of America
Those that do not allow the observers, according to a list from the National Conference of State Legislatures, include the traditionally key battleground states of Florida and Ohio.

Donald Trump to host 'victory party' on election night
Stouffville Free Press
Twenty-one states don't require their electors to go along with the popular vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the history of the United States, a Republican has never won the White House without carrying Ohio.

WATCHING TUESDAY: It all comes down to math
CelebsCinema
Twenty-one states don’t require their electors to go long with the popular vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “2008 was the open seat for president and they had 75 percent on the election so we’re anticipating at least a 75 percent turnout for this election”, said Bryant.

Foreign Election Observers to Take Part in US Vote
Big News Network.com
Those that do not allow the observers, according to a list from the National Conference of State Legislatures, include the traditionally key battleground states of Florida and Ohio.

What if? A look at the Electoral College, rogue electors
La Crosse Tribune
Twenty-one states don’t require their electors to go along with the popular vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Immigration Policy Reforms Needed To Improve Labor Wages
Jobs & Hire
But while wage minimum wage rates are being passed via legislation in several states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the main reasons for these legislated wage rate changes are primarily due to cost of living, inflation, and the Consumer Price Index. This is despite the fact of official reports that indicate a drop in illegal immigration in the US by at least 8.7 percent between 2007 and 2015.

'Defining deviancy down': How Trump may spell the end of ...
Yahoo7 News
House members are required to annually file statements of their personal finances. In addition, all but three states — Idaho, Michigan, and Vermont — require state legislators to file financial disclosure statements, although the extent of those disclosures can vary widely. (You can see the disparities in this table provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures). 

Who's watching the polls? Some questions answered
The Philadelphia Tribune
Nonpartisan or citizen observers also are common at polling places and are permitted by at least 35 states and the District of Columbia, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of those states lack specific legislation regulating nonpartisan observers but allow them in practice.

Ask The Times: Straight ticket voting
MyWebTimes.com
A: Illinois abolished straight ticket voting in 1997. Straight ticket voting allows people to make one punch or mark to vote for all the candidates of one party. Ten states still offer straight ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Chang Raises, Spends 3 Times More Than Slom In Senate Race
Honolulu Civil Beat
If Slom loses, the 25-member Hawaii State Senate would become the first one-party chamber in the nation since 1980, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Here's what you need to bring with you to vote — and whether your ...
mySanAntonio.com
This Election Day, 32 states will have ID laws in effect, and seven require strict photo IDs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 4

How States Moved Toward Stricter Voter ID Laws
New York Times
“There has been movement toward more voter ID laws, and toward stricter voter ID laws,” said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several of these laws have been challenged in court. In July, a federal appeals court found that the Texas voter ID law discriminated against blacks and Latinos and ordered the state to assist people who did not have one of the seven valid forms of identification. A North Carolina law, which was set to take effect this year, was struck down along with several other voting procedures.
 
Citizen Initiatives Are Often More Confusing
New York Times
Why Are Ballot Measures So Confusing? The Opinion Pages: Room for Debate:
Wendy Underhill is the director of the elections and redistricting team at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa Police Shooting Renews Calls for 'Blue Lives Matter' Legislation
TIME
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 37 states include increased penalties for assaulting an officer. Lieberman adds that hate crimes protection would only further burden prosecutors because they would have to explicitly prove that a police officer was targeted for his occupation.
 
Minnesota's undocumented college students wait, worry as election nears
Minnesota Public Radio News
Minnesota is one of 20 states allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and one of five states that also provide financial assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Data from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education show 763 students applied for those benefits for the fall term.
 
Rules for poll watchers vary from state to state
news9.com KWTV
While poll watching rules differ, there are qualifications and rules that apply in most states, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures:

13 Urgent Science and Health Issues the Presidential Candidates Have Not Been Talking about
Scientific American
One approach to the problem has been to institute bans or taxes on plastic shopping bags, but only three of 77 such proposals have passed in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Here's what happens if neither Clinton nor Trump win on Tuesday night
MarketWatch
In many states — but not all — calling for a recount would be an option: 43 states allow a losing candidate or other concerned parties to petition for a recount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Proposed bill would allow 15-day early voting period in Pa.
Tribune-Review
Absentee balloting is the only way to vote early in the Keystone State, which is one of only 13 without some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. To legally get an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania, you have to be out of town on Election Day or medically incapable of voting.
 
Does Ohio lag behind the world with ease of voting?
WXIX
Same-day voting registration also would make voting easier, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia offer it. Ohio had “Golden Week,” a period during which people could register and vote on the same day. The week was a reaction to hours-long voting lines in the 2004 election. But the state legislature and Gov. Kasich, nixed it.
 
Kansas voters to weigh constitutional protection for hunting and fishing
Ottawaherald.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have constitutional provisions guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish. Vermont’s language dates to 1777; the guarantees in the other 18 states have passed since 1996. California and Rhode Island have language in their constitutions guaranteeing the right to fish, but not to hunt.

Nov. 3

Why sexual harassment persists in politics
The Boston Globe
Experts say employees of large private companies — and those in federal agencies — tend to have stronger protections than those who work in legislatures, and are afforded better training about harassment. In a recent study, the National Conference on State Legislatures asked its members if discussion of sexual harassment laws and policies was included in orientations for new lawmakers. Of 48 legislative chambers that responded, only 28 said yes.
 
Angeline Kopka, Once the Oldest Lawmaker in US, Dies at 100
ABC News
In 2008, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that New Hampshire had the oldest and youngest lawmakers in the country in Kopka and Jeff Fontas, both Democrats from Nashua. Kopka was then 92. Fontas was 21.
 
Voter ID Laws May Prevent 34000 Trans People from Voting on Tuesday
VICE
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 34 states with voter ID laws in place. Eight of those states (Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have laws that are considered "strict." These states require each voter to show government-issued photo identification to poll workers. As a result, they're the states that are most likely to suppress marginalized voting populations.
 
Who Can Vote For President? 13 Million Immigrants Living In America Can’t Partake In Presidential Election
International Business Times
Permanent residents can only participate in some local and state elections that allow for non-U.S. citizens to vote. But even then, their options are severely limited: only three states allow green card holders to participate in municipal or town elections, while only nine allow for permanent residents to vote in specific district elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. 

Donald Trump Qualifications For Office: He Is A Business, Man, But Is That Good For The Country?
International Business Times
But while some presidential candidates—such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who painted himself as a “CEO governor”—hold the belief that private-sector leaders own exceptional budgetary talents, the reality is less certain. Balancing state budgets is a requirement for every state with the exception of Vermont, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but some leaders manage to maintain state budget surpluses. 
 
As Presidential Election Approaches, Ex-Felons Push for Voting Rights
WTXL ABC 27
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida is one of three states where felons and ex-felons permanently lose voting rights.
 
In Virginia, you can vote early — if you have an excuse
The Daily Progress
In 37 states and the District of Columbia, some period of early voting is allowed and “no excuse or justification is required,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of January, Virginia was one of 13 states that required an excuse for absentee voting before Election Day, along with Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

Study: Tennessee is the No. 5 fattest state in America
Knoxville News Sentinel
The study draws on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Conference of State Legislatures. The prevalence of obesity and overweight people is the predominant factor in the ranking, though the study gives additional consideration to unhealthy habits and consequences (including physical inactivity and diabetes rates) and a small nod to a “food and fitness” category (which includes the number of fast-food restaurants and fitness centers per capita).
 
Democrats expected to stay dominant in Oregon Legislature
Corvallis Gazette Times
"Republicans are at their strongest position in legislatures in the history of the party," said Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "You can't overstate it."
 
The Bare-Knuckle State Senate 22 Race
Free Times
Whomever wins will become part of a small but growing Senate minority.  South Carolina has the second lowest percentage of women in the state legislature in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with 22 House representatives and only two state senators among the 170 lawmakers.

Rauner gets passing grade from marijuana supporters
Herald & Review
So far, no state legislature has approved recreational use of marijuana outside of a ballot initiative, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s what would have to happen in Illinois, where voters have virtually no ability to legislate at the ballot box. 

Jeremy Alford: How much is your vote worth?
Alexandria Town Talk
Voters in South Dakota will likewise soon decide whether $12 million from its state treasury should be used to create a voucher-based system to fund future candidates who would otherwise have to disavow modern fundraising as we know it. There are presently 13 states that offer some variation of public financing, based on research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Louisiana, which is having enough trouble paying its education and health care bills, is not one of them.)

Nov. 2

Shock At The Pump: A Jump In NJ Gas Tax Marks An End To Cheap Fuel
NPR
New Jersey is in good company when it comes to raising gas taxes. It's the 19th state to do it in the last three years alone, according to Kevin Pula, policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "There's a shortfall of transportation funding around the country, at both the federal and the state level," Pula said. "It's not just an issue in one region of the country or that only affects urban states or rural states. A lot of states are struggling with this." Still, Pula says New Jersey's gas tax increase is notable for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it's designed to go up or down depending on how much gas drivers consume. So even if fuel-efficiency improves and drivers buy less gas, the state can still count on a steady stream of revenue.
 
Buyer's remorse? Some states allow early voters to change ballots
Washington Times
Thirty-seven states plus the District of Columbia offer no-excuse early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That total includes Colorado, Oregon and Washington state, where all voters cast their ballots by mail.

Uber and Lyft Riders May Face Discrimination, Study Says
Bloomberg BNA
Forty-five states plus the District of Columbia have public accommodation laws that prohibit hotels from discriminating guests based on race, gender, ancestry and religion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But many of those state laws stop short of specific protections for the broad demographic swaths that fall into Airbnb’s new policy.
 
What Happens if You Vote and Die Before Election Day?
VICE
But most states do count the votes of the recently deceased, according to the bi-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), an NGO that tracks US state election laws. In the case of Florida, state law spells it out clearly: "The ballot of an elector who casts an absentee ballot shall be counted even if the elector dies on or before Election Day."
 
From Police Shootings to Playground Injuries, Lawsuits Drain Cities’ Budgets
Governing
But the award was later reduced to $500,000, the maximum permitted under a Pennsylvania law that hadn’t been revised in over three decades. As of 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states limit the total damages recoverable from judgments against states, with many of those laws also applying to local governments.
 
GOP States in Better Budget Shape Than Democratic Ones
Bloomberg BNA
According to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 22 states where Republicans hold the governor’s mansion as well as both chambers of the legislature. In contrast, Democrats enjoy the same situation in only eight states.
 
Louisiana politics: How much is your vote worth?
Houma Courier
Thirteen states offer some variation of public financing, based on research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Louisiana, which is having enough trouble paying its education and health care bills, is not one of them.
 
Clinton and Trump prepare for possibility of election overtime
Duluth News Tribune
The losing candidate’s ability to contest the results with a recount depends in part on how close the unofficial results are and where. The nation’s capital and 20 states, including a handful of battleground states, call for an automatic recount if the margin is narrow enough, such as 0.5 percent or fewer of the total votes cast in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
     
Senate leader calls attack ads 'desperate'
Santa Fe New Mexican
The only out-of-state travel Sanchez charged to the state was for meetings hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Early results for Trump vs. Clinton: 18 million votes cast; can you vote early in Alabama?
AL.com
Thirty-seven states – including three that mail ballots to all voters – as well as the District of Columbia allow for early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Three of those states. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, use an all-mail voting system.
 
Kansas voters to weigh constitutional protection for hunting and fishing
Hays Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have constitutional provisions guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish. Vermont’s language dates to 1777; the guarantees in the other 18 states have passed since 1996. California and Rhode Island have language in their constitutions guaranteeing the right to fish, but not to hunt.
 
$10M pitched if higher ed's results, not enrollments, guide its funding
Arkansas Online
Tennessee was the first to adopt such a model in 1979, and as many as 25 other states started enacting similar funding laws in the 1990s. But by the early 2000s, many states discontinued the funding method because of design flaws and various other reasons, such as a political proponent leaving office, said Dustin Weeden, a senior policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Olympia voters to consider income tax on high earners
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
Washington is one of seven states — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming — without a personal income tax. New Hampshire and Tennessee have a limited income tax on interest, dividends and capital gains, but they do not tax wages and salaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 1

Clinton and Trump Prepare for Possibility of Election Overtime
Bloomberg
The losing candidate’s ability to contest the results with a recount depends in part on how close the unofficial results are and where. The nation’s capital and 20 states, including a handful of battleground states, call for an automatic recount if the margin is narrow enough, such as 0.5 percent or fewer of the total votes cast in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A losing candidate can ask for a recount in 43 states, while a few states will only consider that request if the race falls within a certain margin, according to NCSL. Political party officers can seek recounts in at least five states, and voters can seek recounts in at least 17 states, the group said.
 
Why Minnesota Lawmakers May Get Their First Raise Since '97
Governing
According to a 2014 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), lawmakers only got a raise that year in states where someone else was in charge of how much money they make.

How Teletherapy Addresses Mental Health Needs
Government Technology
Thirty-two states and Washington, D.C., have parity laws in place now or have enacted ones that will take effect next year. Twenty-three of those and the District of Columbia require that payments to teletherapy providers be equal to what they receive for in-office treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The remaining nine allow for somewhat lower payments that account for savings through reduced overhead and other factors.
 
$10M pitched if higher ed's results, not enrollments, guide its funding
Arkansas Online
Tennessee was the first to adopt such a model in 1979, and as many as 25 other states started enacting similar funding laws in the 1990s. But by the early 2000s, many states discontinued the funding method because of design flaws and various other reasons, such as a political proponent leaving office, said Dustin Weeden, a senior policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voter's Guide: Secretary of State race
UNM Daily Lobo
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, vote centers may improve voter turnout and reduce Election Day costs, but it would require the modernization of election technology.
 
EDITORIAL: Cap needed for campaign contributions
Columbia Missourian
Missouri is one of only eight states that place no limits on the amount of money that can be given in campaign contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Recall election procedures requested in honor of Laquan
Columbia Chronicle
According to figures compiled by National Conference of State Legislators, only a few states have that low a threshold for removal of elected officials.
 
Mich. educators grapple with how best to close computer literacy gap in schools
The Peninsula
The National Conference of State Legislators sounded an alarm in August when it released a report that said most state education systems have underperformed many other countries in the world, leaving students woefully unprepared to compete in a 21st century economy.
 
National groups back limit to prevent sales taxes from being expanded to services
Omaha World-Herald
Over the past five years about half the states have considered some sort of proposal to expand sales taxes to services, according to bill tracking by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Realtors and research by the Associated Press. Many of those proposals have failed.