NCSL in the News | November 2018

11/1/2018

Nov. 30

Bills to ease upgrade to 5G wireless go to Michigan governor
The State
Michigan would become the 21st state to enact laws that streamline regulations to facilitate the deployment of fifth-generation, or 5G , small cells, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawsuit claims Kyl appointment violates Seventeenth Amendment
Arizona Mirror
Arizona is one of 36 states in which governors fill Senate vacancies through appointment, with the appointee serving through the next general election, according to reports by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Congressional Research Service. 

Many Kansas lawmakers start as appointees to fill vacancies
The Hutchinson News
Under the system, party officials choose a replacement and the governor appoints that person, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Alternative charter gives teen parents, homeless students support needed to graduate
Education Dive
Across the United States, only 40% of teen mothers finish high school, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

Nov. 29

Panel hears concerns about pay raise for Albany Officials
Newsday
NCSL Information Cited.

Facebook, Twitter crack down on AI babysitter-rating service
Chicago Daily Herald
Such requests might run afoul of the law in 26 states, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Parsa said the service is "perfectly legal."

New Minnesota legislators get Capitol crash course in the Capitol and its ways
Minnesota Star Tribune
Rep. Gene Pelowski, D-Winona, led two meetings this week where lobbyists, advocates and an expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures suggested potential changes.

Three Kansas senators are resigning. Voters won’t get to pick their replacements
The Witchita Eagle
Kansas is one of three states where party officials choose a replacement and the governor appoints that person, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Many Kansas lawmakers start as appointees to fill vacancies
Bristol Herald Courier
Under the system, party officials choose a replacement and the governor appoints that person, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio House passes bill blocking cities from imposing plastic bag fees
Dayton Daily News
“Regulating bags can mitigate harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes, forests and the wildlife that inhabit them. Reducing bag use can also relieve pressure on landfills and waste management,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The 2018 blue wave, in 3 charts
WZVN-TV
Democrats still badly trail Republicans in control of state chambers, but they picked up a net of six along with at least 332 state legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislators

Lowering hurdles of licenses
American Veterinary Medical Association
Suzanne Hultin, director of the Employment, Labor & Retirement Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the project of examining state licensing rules helps policymakers research effects of license requirements on people such as military veterans and their spouses, immigrants who have work authorization, and people with criminal histories. The project is helping policymakers connect with experts and learn from one another, she said.

Nov. 28

Facebook, Twitter crack down on AI babysitter-rating service
Washington Post
Such requests might run afoul of the law in 26 states, according to datafrom the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

State lawmakers file early legislative proposals
Journal Record
Treat held an interim study on the topic in October. Officials from states that have implemented similar structures testified about what worked and what didn’t. An analyst from the National Conference of State Legislatures talked about which states across the country have an equivalent and how they function.

Hearings Begin on Proposed Albany Pay Raises

Newsday
NCSL Information Cited.

Pitch in works for death-penalty ban for mentally ill
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Arkansas and 30 other states have capital punishment.

Frank Chopp to step aside as Washington House speaker in spring
Kitsap Sun
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Chopp is the second longest-serving House speaker in the nation, second only to Speaker Michael Madigan in Illinois.

Nov. 20

Anti-vaccination stronghold in North Carolina hit with state’s worst chickenpox outbreak in 2 decades
Anchorage Daily News
Forty-seven states allow religious exemptions to vaccine requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Planting the Political Seed: A New Fellowship to Educate State Legislators on Child Welfare
The Chronicle of Social Change
This summer, the National Conference of State Legislatures convened its first-ever child welfare fellowship for state-level politicians.

Maine led the nation with ranked-choice voting. Will others follow?
Bangor Daily News
Patrick Potyondy, a legislative policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Elections and Redistricting Program, has written that ranked-choice voting is gaining traction nationally as an election reform, with lawmakers in 19 states introducing legislation to allow some form of ranked voting.

Shading Out Solar: State Policies In Ohio Valley Dim Future Of Energy Jobs
WKU Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states, Washington, D.C., and three territories had adopted an RPS as of July, 2018. Eight additional states and one territory have set renewable energy goals.

Nov. 19

Dem gains in state legislatures fall short of wave hopes
The Hill
In an average election, about 12 legislative chambers change hands between the parties, said Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures... “Democrats can certainly claim victory. They certainly won the game, but it wasn’t a banner year for Democrats. It was modest success,” Storey said.
 
Constitutionality of Albany pay raise process questioned
Newsday
NCSL Information Cited
 
Voters, Courts Slowly Take Lawmakers' Redistricting Power
Law 360
NCSL Informated Cited
 
Do you need an ID to buy a box of cereal, as Donald Trump said? Of course not
PolitiFact
Ten states have a "strict" voter identification law, meaning that voters without acceptable identification must vote on a provisional ballot and also take additional steps after Election Day for it to be counted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Talking turkey: Facts and lore about a Thanksgiving star
Albany Herald
Of those huge-production states, only one has a town named after the bird, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Women elected in record numbers to state legislatures
Missouri Lawyers Weekly
In another first, women could end up holding the majority in two state legislative chambers at the same time — the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly, according to tallies by the center and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 14

Electric Scooters Have Been Burned, Buried and Butchered. They’re About to Be Regulated.
Pew Trusts
Next year, at least a dozen states are likely to take up e-scooter measures, according to Douglas Shinkle, who follows transportation issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only about 10 states specifically regulate them now, he said.
 
“It’s on lawmakers’ radar,” Shinkle said. “There’s controversy and consternation in some communities about where they should operate and whether they should be prohibited from sidewalks.”

Many States Have No Rules For Electric Scooters. That’s About To Change.
HuffPost
Next year, at least a dozen states are likely to take up e-scooter measures, according to Douglas Shinkle, who follows transportation issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only about 10 states specifically regulate them now, he said.
“It’s on lawmakers’ radar,” Shinkle said. “There’s controversy and consternation in some communities about where they should operate and whether they should be prohibited from sidewalks.”

Michigan voters join other states in reshaping redistricting procedures
M Live
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, prior to 2018 commissions had primary responsibility for drawing legislative districts in 13 states and congressional districts in six states.

Nov. 13

Democratic state gains may mean tighter gun, looser pot laws
The Denver Post
“This is the most hyper-polarized, hyper-partisan time we’ve see in generations, and nobody can deny that,” said Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat who is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women in Legislature to have modest gain in 2019
Great Falls Tribune
An initial count is that 45 women will serve in 2019, which is a slight increase from this year’s 42. That’s 29 women in the House and 13 in the Senate, said Katie Ziegler of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The morning after the morning after: What we learned from the 2018 election
MinnPost
But, no: Governing Magazine quoted someone from the National Conference of State Legislatures who said it hasn’t happened since 2014.

Despite slight drop, Arizona still leads nation in women officeholders
Cronkite News
The state has nothing to be ashamed of, however, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Two-thirds of Alabama voters cast straight party tickets
The News Tribune
Alabama is one of eight states that allow or offer straight-ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

No Statehouse Tsunami
Food Safety News
For our purposes, “going down in the basement,” means checking to see what the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures has come up with.
 
It’s the nonpartisan NCSL that keeps tabs on the foundation of American politics–all those secondary elective positions found at every state capitol. 

Nov. 5

Four States to Vote on Redistricting Measures Ahead of 2020 Census
The Wall Street Journal
These measures, plus a redistricting change Ohio voters approved in May, make 2018 the busiest year for such items, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

Los Angeles Times
A blue wave's biggest impact could be in the state legislatures
“These elections are huge,” said Tim Storey, elections analyst at the National Conference of State Legislators. “Eighty percent of the seats are up …Democrats are optimistic that they can pick up eight to 12 chambers and make substantial gains in others.”

'People Want Their Power Back': Redistricting Reform on More Ballots Than Usual
Governing
“It’s a big deal,” says Wendy Underhill, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' elections and redistricting team. “From 2010 to 2017, there were five measures on statewide ballots that address similar things. Now, there are five in a single year.”

Democrats Are Near Certain to Make Gains in State Legislatures, But How Many?
Governing
The president's party has lost, on average, 412 seats in midterm elections dating back to 1902, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

More Legislators With PhDs Might Be A Good Idea
Forbes
Comprehensive data on state lawmakers are sparse, but in 2015 the National Conference of State Legislatures conducted a survey to examine their education and occupational characteristics.

Explainer: High-stakes state elections will shape U.S. political power
Reuters
In midterm elections, the party in the White House typically loses approximately 400 seats around the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

'You can't hack paper': How Oregon fights election meddling
NBC News
Washington and Colorado also have mail-only elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A voter’s guide to election security
Pittsburgh Morning Sun
Voters in 37 states and the District of Columbia can register to vote online, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported. 

Election 2018: Voter ID amendment draws strong reactions
Salisbury Post
NCSL Information Cited

Hundreds Of Millennials Are Running In The 2018 Midterms — And Here's Why That's So Important
Bustle
The National Conference on State Legislatures tracks the ages of legislatures on both a state and federal level.

Nov. 2

'People Want Their Power Back': Redistricting Reform on More Ballots Than Usual
Governing
“It’s a big deal,” says Wendy Underhill, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' elections and redistricting team. “From 2010 to 2017, there were five measures on statewide ballots that address similar things. Now, there are five in a single year.” (The fifth this year being in Ohio, where voters approved a measure on primary ballots in May to make the drawing of congressional districts more independent and less partisan.)

More Legislators With PhDs Might Be A Good Idea
Forbes
Comprehensive data on state lawmakers are sparse, but in 2015 the National Conference of State Legislatures conducted a survey to examine their education and occupational characteristics.

Four More States Begin Online Sales Tax Enforcement Nov. 1
Bloomberg BNA
Even one state group—the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)—has recommended that states not fully prepared to enforce their laws wait until Jan. 1, 2019.

Thailand Mulls Becoming the First Country in Asia to Legalize Medical Marijuana
TIME
Medical marijuana is currently legal 31 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alabama business owners paying a 'living wage'
Alabama's News Leader
The National Conference of State Legislatures confirms 18 states started 2018 with higher minimum wages. However, Alabama wasn't one of them.
In fact, Alabama does not set a state minimum wage, meaning it follows the federal guideline of $7.25 an hour.

Learn about the North Carolina voter ID amendment, and watch out for misleading claims
Durham Herald Sun
However, the details of those 34 states’ laws vary widely (the National Conference of State Legislatures has a good compendium on its website).

IN THE SOUTH, AN AGGRESSIVE EFFORT TO PURGE FORMER FELONS FROM VOTING ROLLS
Pacific Standard
In the past decade alone, at least 11 states have made it easier for people with a past conviction to vote, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State legislation would ban minors from using commercial tanning beds
WZZM 13
According to an August report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states and the District of Columbia ban the use of tanning beds for all minors under the age of 18.

Nov. 1

Trump administration allows Wisconsin to question Medicaid applicants about risky behavior
Seattle Times
Many critics of the drug-testing plan had argued it would be stricken down in court if enacted. Fourteen other states have some type of drug screening or test as part of their public-benefits programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wisconsin was seeking to become the first to require it as a condition of eligibility for the Medicaid program.

Why Statehouse Races Are Just As Important As Federal Ones
WBUR
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson discusses what is at stake in statehouse races around the country with Tim Storey, director of state services at the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Hemp is being touted as the Midwest’s next big cash crop. What would that mean for the environment?
MinnPost
In a bid to find out if those statements are true, Minnesota and at least 38 other states are currently allowing some form of the crop’s production, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why Alabama balks at early voting
Montgomery Advertiser
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, early voting allows voters to visit an election official’s office or a satellite voting location and cast a vote prior to election day.

Why Doesn't Connecticut Have Early Voting?
Hartford Courant
While Connecticut is not one of the 37 states that allow early voting, it is one of 15 states that offer Election Day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

US states split on allowing citizen ballot initiatives
Daily Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the first state to adopt the initiative process was South Dakota in 1898.
 
Why Statehouse Races Are Just As Important As Federal Ones
WAMU 88.5
Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson discusses what is at stake in statehouse races around the country with Tim Storey, director of state services at the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Gripping, Flipping Statehouse Elections
Slate Magazine
There have been 30 midterm elections since the start of 1900, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in all but two the president’s party has lost state legislative seats—an average of more than 400 each time.