NCSL in the News | October 2014

10/1/2017

Oct. 31

First He Reinvented Government. Now He Wants to Reinvent Schools.
Governing
An analysis of the comparative quality of American schools by the National Conference of State Legislatures released last year did not mince words.

Highlights of Pennsylvania's casino gambling expansion law
Miami Herald
Four states — Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan — allow online lottery play, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Elections board endorses electronic voting system law change
San Francisco Chronicle
The National Conference of State Legislatures says direct recording electronic voting machines record votes and vote totals directly into computer memory, but don't use paper ballots.

Bump stock ban gets last-minute pushback
The Salem News
Several states, including California, New York and Connecticut, have bans or restrictions on bump stocks, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Hemp’s Time Has Come
Urban Milwaukee
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as of July 2017, 33 states passed some legislation related to industrial hemp including all our Midwestern neighboring states except Iowa.

Minimum wage bill sponsor says she'll keep pressing for deal
The State Journal-Register
The National Conference of State Legislatures listed 22 states and the District of Columbia that started the year with a higher minimum wage than Illinois.

Tolleson high schools crack down on motorists who ignore stop signs on buses by installing cameras
Cronkite News
However, only 15 states can actually use the camera footage to prosecute violators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 30

Latest harassment allegations spread to statehouses
The Detroit News
Most states have formal written policies for legislative employees on sexual harassment, according to a July report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Minimum wage bill sponsor says she'll keep pressing for deal
The State Journal-Register
The National Conference of State Legislatures listed 22 states and the District of Columbia that started the year with a higher minimum wage than Illinois.

Women ‘have a numbers problem’ in the Legislature
San Antonio Express-News
Women make up a higher 24.8 percent of all state legislators nationally, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures report.

Bill would allow Pennsylvania soldiers to vote online
Reading Eagle
Across the country, 32 states allow military members and those outside the country to file absentee ballots electronically, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Highlights of Pennsylvania's casino gambling expansion bill
The Republic
Four states — Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan — allow online lottery play, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ethics at issue in lawmaker's business role
The Garden City Telegram
Kansas is among the 14 states with the smallest legislative staffs and lowest pay, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures — though plenty of us wouldn’t turn up our noses at $88.66 per day plus a $140 per diem, even for just one-third of the year.

Stoners or slackers need not apply for college's degree in marijuana
The Keene Sentinel
Twenty-nine states, including Michigan and New Hampshire, have legalized medical marijuana. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 27

Will Oregon continue to be a sanctuary state?
Salem Weekly
This issue is nationwide and not going away. In an OPB story about Oregon’s sanctuary law,  Ann Morse, Program Director for the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislators, estimated that 29 states were considering bills that would change their sanctuary policies.

Lawmakers want to expand gambling in Pennsylvania. Here's what it means
Allentown Morning Call
Four states — Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan — allow online lottery play, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

On Election Security, Feds Flounder While States Make Strides
The American Prospect
EAC officials are working closely with the National Conference of State Legislatures, and with a “Defending Digital Democracy” project launched in July at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, to bring election officials together with tech experts, business leaders and other election stakeholders. Facebook and Google, under fire and possibly facing new regulations for their role facilitating Russian disinformation campaigns, are among those advising state election officials on how to guard against the types of threats they daily face.

Women who lead: today's role models
Stowe Today
Women have fared better in the state legislature over the last few years, where in 2016, there were 65 women in the 150-seat Vermont House of Representatives, and nine in the 30-member Vermont Senate, for a total of 74 women in the Vermont Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 26

"MeToo" response to Weinstein spreads to state legislatures
CBS News
Most states have formal written policies for legislative employees on sexual harassment, according to a July report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the rules are less clear for others who work at state capitols, including lobbyists and consultants. Also, the culture of statehouses may be fueling the problem.

Supreme Court poised to tell when time is tolled
SCOTUS blog
An amicus brief filed in support of the city by the National Conference of State Legislatures and other state- and local-government interest groups underscores this point, stressing that the suspension approach drags out litigation in ways that burden local government defendants.

State Senate OKs gambling expansion as budget work continues into night
Carlisle Sentinel
Four states — Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan — allow online lottery play, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Campaigns continue to remind Alaskan ivory products are legal
Alaska Journal
In addition to drafting legislation, they sent a letter Oct. 17 to the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington D.C.

Allowing Alaska Ivory Act introduced
Cordova Times
The Alaska congressional delegation also wrote to the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures to note the “potentially devastating and unintended consequences of broadly crafted state ivory bans that are currently in place or under consideration in nearly half of the United States.”

How Charlie Baker Thrives in Blue Massachusetts
The Weekly Standard
Baker isn’t shy about touting such relationships—he, Rosenberg, and DeLeo led a panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in August entitled “From Politics to Statesmanship: Solving Problems in a Partisan World.”

Local lawmakers push for 'identity passport'
Post-Bulletin
In the U.S., 11 states already have identity theft passports — including Iowa, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Senator Diegnan Speaks to South Plainfield Middle Students as Part of National Effort to Educate Youth about Civics
Tapinto.net
The Back to School Initiative is a bipartisan program sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures designed to educate students, the future voters and leaders of our country, about government. 
 
Putting a Finger on a Problem? Employees Challenge Biometric Scanners as Violating Privacy
Lexology
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have enacted some form of privacy laws to safeguard the collection of personal information. To date, Alabama and South Dakota are the only two states with no similar security laws.

Oct. 25

Cash-strapped undocumented immigrants in Chicago
USA Today
Only a half dozen states — California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington — currently allow undocumented students to receive state-funded financial aid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Latest front in Weinstein scandal: Statehouses say 'me too'
ABC News
Most states have formal written policies for legislative employees on sexual harassment, according to a July report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the rules are less clear for others who work at state capitols, including lobbyists and consultants. Also, the culture of statehouses may be fueling the problem.

High court upholds certificate of need restrictions
Northwest Georgia News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states currently maintain some form of CON program. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia also have CON programs.

Controversial school choice legislation defeated on a tie vote in Senate committee
PennLive.com 
Since 2011, five states have enacted laws allowing for education savings accounts that mostly serve targeted populations of students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Teen Birth Rate Plummets to Record Low as Trump Cuts Funding for Pregnancy Prevention
The 74
According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 30 percent of teenage girls who drop out of high school blame pregnancy and the demands of parenthood. 

Oct. 24

Reading This While Walking? In Honolulu, It Could Cost You
New York Times
At least 10 states have debated similar legislation dealing with distracted pedestrians or bicyclists; none of it has passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
A US drone advisory group has been meeting in secret for months. It hasn’t gone well.
Washington Post
In response to this and other issues, John Eagerton, chief of Alabama’s aeronautics bureau and a co-chair of the group; San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee (D); a representative of the University of Oklahoma; the National League of Cities; the National Association of Counties; and the National Conference of State Legislatures emailed a “statement of dissent” to other group members last month. 

In state capitols, women see rampant sexual harassment
The Hill
Only 25 state legislatures have some form of sexual harassment laws and policies on the books, according to a tally maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Michigan school offering a degree in marijuana — but it's not for stoners or slackers
Chicago Tribune
Twenty-nine states, including Michigan, have legalized medical marijuana. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Salt Lake Tribune
Poll: Three in four Utahs support legalizing medical marijuana
Some 29 states, along with Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico, have legalized medical marijuana in some way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Finally, a degree in marijuana: But it's not for stoners or slackers.
SFGate
Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Finally, a degree in marijuana: But it’s not for stoners or slackers
Press Herald
Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Verge
This map shows how few self-driving cars are actually on the road
Though fully-autonomous cars are still years away from widespread adoption, 25 states have already passed legislation or issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Hey dads – you’re entitled to FMLA Leave.
Payscale Career News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only a few have taken that step so far: Three states—California, New Jersey and Rhode Island—currently provide for paid family leave.

Oct. 23

A Blue State’s Red Leader
The Weekly Standard
Baker isn’t shy about touting such relationships—he, Rosenberg, and DeLeo led a panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in August entitled “From Politics to Statesmanship: Solving Problems in a Partisan World.”

Finally, a degree in marijuana: But it's not for stoners or slackers.
Washington Post
Twenty-nine states, including Michigan, have legalized medical marijuana. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Forbes projects the sale of recreational marijuana to jump to $11.2 billion by 2020.

Lawmaker wants to protect drivers who run over protestors blocking the streets
Miami Herald
None of those bills became law, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

LI manufacturers retrench in face of minimum wage hike
Newsday
Only Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state and Washington, D.C., match or exceed Long Island’s hourly minimum of $10 this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Got raw milk? Texas recall highlights struggles of niche industry
Dallas News
But the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has been monitoring laws on raw milk, says new language over the past two decades has given more flexibility.

NH Marijuana Legalization Study to ID ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’
New Hampshire Public Radio
Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of recreational marijuana, with Maine and Massachusetts having it approved in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State lawmakers attend summit on high-speed internet access
wwlp.com
Senator Adam Hinds discussed this issue with lawmakers at the 2017 Broadband and Cable Policy Summit hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators this week in Denver, Colorado.

Oct. 20

States’ Answer to Rising Health-Care Costs For Employees? You Pay for It.
Governing
“States have been wildly different in their approach to how much employees pay,” says Richard Cauchi, program director of health for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Some states have had a tradition for many decades of paying as close to 100 percent of the cost as is feasible. And other states have straightforwardly said it’s an expectation that an employee will pay a substantial amount.”

Kentucky plan would strip lawmakers of lucrative benefits
SFGate
No other state has tried to retroactively reduce retirement benefits for public workers, including elected officials, according to Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. Several states have tried to take away cost-of-living adjustments from retired workers. Those changes are usually challenged in court, and have only been upheld in some states, according to Luke Martel, who directs retirement system research for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers push for Election Day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting
Indianapolis Star
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 other states don't allow no-excuse absentee voting. A few states send ballots by mail to every citizen.

Two Sex Educators On Confronting Taboo Topics In The Classroom
HuffPost
Nearly half of U.S. teenagers say they’ve had sex. But according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 24 states and the District of Columbia require that public schools teach sex education.

Live in California or New York? Become a Certified Medical Cannabis Patient Online
The Pike County Courier
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have legalized medical cannabis.

Female Arkansas lawmakers start video project to empower young women
Arkansas Online
Arkansas also ranks below the national average in its proportion of female lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In high-tax NJ, pay-hike cap for cops, firefighters, a hot issue
Philly.com
Limits on government spending in some states implicitly cap arbitration awards for public employees who cannot strike, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Oversight board may cut pay of legislators
Theadanews
Oklahoma lawmakers usually spend more than two-thirds of a full-time job serving as legislators, but they typically need a second source of income to make a living, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 19

As Outcry Over Sexual Harassment Grows, Focus Shifts to State Legislatures
Governing
At least 37 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers had a written policy on sexual harassment in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Illinois Issues: Cities Lose Out On Retail Tax As Online Shopping Booms
NPR Illinois 
There isn’t a lot of analysis for loss of sales tax revenue on a city level. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates uncollected taxes from e-commerce totaled $11.4 billion in 2012. Of that, uncollected revenue in Illinois was around $506.8 million.

Study finds Californians most vulnerable to identity theft, fraud
Sacramento Bee
Using data from the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Internet Crime Complaint Center, Department of Homeland Security and National Conference of State Legislatures, WalletHub evaluated states based on criteria such as identity theft complaints per capita and average amount lost per theft.

State oversight board may cut pay of Oklahoma's legislators
Enid News & Eagle
Oklahoma lawmakers usually spend more than two-thirds of a full-time job serving as legislators, but they typically need a second source of income to make a living, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

UW Student: My Friend Was Raped, Gun-Control Laws Left Her Defenseless
MacIver Institute
Only Utah has a statute specifically declaring that public colleges and university do not have authority to ban lawful concealed weapons on their property, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 18

Recent editorials in Oklahoma newspapers
Miami Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states nationwide have a cooling-off period — with eight of them having two-year periods.

Early voting disadvantages seem to outweigh benefits
Washington Times
A review by the National Conference of State Legislators shows that the early voting period ranges from as much as 45 days before an election to as little as four days. The average length is just shy of three weeks: 19 days.

WV lawmakers hear proposals for elected state school board
Charleston Gazette-Mail (blog)
The state board and lawmakers have butted heads in recent years over Common Core education standards and standardized tests. One of the presenters Tuesday from the National Conference of State Legislatures discussed the issue of legislative power over state board decisions in the context of the backlash against Common Core.

Senator Skindell Introduces Legislation To Create The Prescription Drug Assistance Program For Seniors, Disabled Ohioans And Veterans
The Lakewood Observer
According to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2016 more than a dozen states offered State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAPs) that "wrap-around" or add to the Part D benefits, including drugs bought by Medicare patients during the so-called "donut hole" spending category.

Jason Fischer, Jeff Brandes introduce self-driving cars bill
Florida Politics
The National Conference of State Legislatures has expressed concern about the SELF DRIVE Act, writing a letter to congressional leaders asking for clarification between the federal government and the states when it comes to regulating vehicle safety and operations standards.

Let’s Talk Month teaches healthy, responsible decisions
Paris Post Intelligencer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, roughly one in four girls will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20 and roughly one in five teen mothers will have a second child during her teen years.

Airbnb battle brews in Lansing
The Center for Michigan
Bills addressing regulation or taxation of short-term rentals have been introduced this year in 28 states and the District of Columbia, according to data compiled by Alexandria, Va.-based lobbying firm MultiState Associates and shared with the National Council of State Legislatures. 

New insights into marijuana’s effect on the developing brain
Medical News Today
As many as 29 states "now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It’s a Fact: Supreme Court Errors Aren’t Hard to Find
ProPublica
At the time Kennedy wrote the opinion, the National Conference of State Legislatures had a webpage tracking marriage between first cousins by state, which any internet search engine could have found.

Oct. 17

Efforts to pry loose Trump tax returns hit a wall
Politico
By March, lawmakers in 23 states had introduced measures to force presidential candidates to release their recent tax filings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Early voting disadvantages outweigh benefits
Washington Times
A review by the National Conference of State Legislators shows that the early voting period ranges from as much as 45 days before an election to as little as four days. The average length is just shy of three weeks: 19 days.

States Failing to Require Candidates to Release Taxes
Newsmax
According to Politico, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in 23 states had introduced measures to force presidential candidates to release their recent tax filings by March.

The health care shuffle
Charleston Post Courier
For another, six states (Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Oklahoma and Wyoming) already allow residents to purchase health insurance across state lines…according to an Oct. 2 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Massachusetts sues Trump over rollback of birth control mandate
Mt. Vernon Register-News
Twenty-eight states require insurers to provide low or no-cost coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Who should decide who serves on the state school board?
West Virginia MetroNews
Before West Virginia legislators this week mostly just be discussion led by a variety of speakers, including two from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Coalition pushes for paid leave in Mass. 
The Daily News of Newburyport
Five states and the District of Columbia have approved paid family leave programs but only three have implemented them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sen. Thompson again chosen for key national committee work on fiscal policy
Okemah News Leader
State Senator Roger Thompson has again been asked to share his expertise on creating sound, conservative fiscal policy with his appointment to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Budgets and Revenue Committee.

Elderly Americans Plagued By Fraud, Survey Finds
PR Newswire (Press Release)
Last year, 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico addressed financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults in their legislative sessions, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Oct. 16

States rethink occupational license rules
Washington Examiner
"The accelerating diffusion of licensing requirements around the country has created additional challenges for certain populations to enter the job market, including veterans and military families, immigrants with work authorization, individuals with a criminal history, and Americans who have been out of the labor market for an extended period of time," said Albert Downs, policy specialist in the National Conference of State Legislatures' employment, labor and retirement program.

Trump sees big advantage in attacking his ‘little’ foes
Chicago Tribune
The best I could do was a back-of-the-envelope estimate made with the help of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and it suggests that Cook County’s inability to collect sales taxes on online purchases is draining the treasury of more than $100 million a year.

Coalition makes ballot push for paid leave in Massachusetts
Gloucester Daily Times
Five states and the District of Columbia have approved paid family leave programs, but only three have implemented them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several are tied up in legal challenges from opponents.

Vinehout column: Hemp’s time has come
Richard Falls Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures as of July 2017, 33 states passed some legislation related to industrial hemp including all our Midwestern neighboring states except Iowa.

‘Farm to Flask’ distillers lifting local spirits
The Bulletin 
So far this year, a dozen states have enacted laws designed to help craft distilleries, and most benefit farm distillers either directly or indirectly, said Heather Morton, who tracks such laws for the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Shapiro: Gillespie, Northam finally agree on something: secrecy
Richmond.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states have economic disclosure requirements for candidates and all but three mandate that elective officials make public their sources of outside income.

Ethics plan comes under in OKC
EnidNews.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states nationwide have a cooling-off period — with eight of them having two-year periods.

Idaho insurance regulator on Trump’s health care order: ‘I hope that this is a start’
Coeur d’Alene Press
As of this summer, “no state was known to actually offer or sell such policies,” according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Airbnb battle brews in Lansing
Crain’s Detroit Business
Bills addressing regulation or taxation of short-term rentals have been introduced this year in 28 states and the District of Columbia, according to data compiled by Alexandria, Va.-based lobbying firm MultiState Associates and shared with the National Council of State Legislatures. 

Here’s How Many Kids Skip Vital Vaccinations Each Year In The US
Romper
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 48 states and the District of Columbia that allow religious exemptions from vaccines and 20 states that allow philosophical exemptions.

Drug offenders allowed to seek reduced sentences in Maryland
Addiction Now
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in the past five years, nearly one-third of the states have amended their legal penalties for drug crimes.

Oct. 13

Trump to Sign Executive Order Loosening Health Insurance Regulations
U.S. News & World Report
Under the current law, states are already allowed to sell plans across state lines, and some states already have their own laws in place allowing policies approved in other states to be sold in theirs. However, no insurer has opted to make out-of-state policies available, according to a report by the National Conference of State legislators, citing the difficulty of setting up provider networks.
 
Trump's Association Health Plans Are An Old Idea That Hasn't Worked
Forbes
Health insurance companies in some states can already sell health coverage across state lines, but it hasn’t worked in large part because plans haven’t wanted to spend the money contracting with more doctors and hospitals in areas they have no enrollees. Six states have enacted laws allowing health plan sales across state lines and “no state was known to actually offer or sell such policies,” National Conference of State Legislatures said in a new report last week.
 
More police departments and other first-responders are using drones
The Economist
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research group, 18 states require such agencies to seek search warrants before using drones for surveillance purposes.

Is 2017 the year of the 1332 waiver? 
New Hampshire Business Review
This year, over 20 states have considered legislation on how to implement 1332 waiver application process. New Hampshire is included in this discussion, as the state this year enacted HB 469. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the bill has several components.
 
‘Farm to Flask’ distillers lifting local spirits
AG Week
So far this year, a dozen states have enacted laws designed to help craft distilleries, and most benefit farm distillers either directly or indirectly, said Heather Morton, who tracks such laws for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

Teaming up to revitalize an agricultural industry
HNG News
With the backing of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the National Conference of State Legislatures, we believe we are at a tipping point as Washington, D.C. and statehouses across the country are openly accepting industrial hemp as a sustainable, eco-friendly and profitable crop.

Crowded slate for two Aurora at-large city council seats
Aurora Sentinel
Hiltz, the only woman in the at-large race, describes herself as a bit of a policy wonk. She works for the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan non-governmental organization that serves state legislatures. 

NH lawmakers consider driverless car testing by 2019
Concord Monitor
Since 2012, 41 states have considered or are considering legislation related to fully automated cars; 26 states already have laws or executive orders on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

New push coming for automatic voter registration
The Columbian
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of automatic voter registration.

Massachusetts sues Trump over rollback of birth control
Weatherford Democrat
Twenty-eight states require insurers to provide low or no-cost coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, a drastic drop in allocations in the previous fiscal year means that many states will actually be increasing higher ed spending less than they did only two years prior, according to presenters during a webinar co-hosted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Education Commission of the States, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Q&A: Kismet Consumer zeroes in on cannabis wellness opportunity
Drug Store News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs. 

California Governor Signs Drug Price Reporting Bill
Lexology
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California is one of twelve states to pass legislation regarding pharmaceutical pricing and payment this year.

No workers’ comp for immigrants here illegally, GOP bill in Ohio says

WKYC – TV
Some states allow immigrants working in the United States illegally to claim workers' compensation while others do not. The National Conference of State Legislatures did not have a comprehensive list.

Oct. 12

Expectations of tax shakeup low as first vote nears
Minnesota Public Radio News
"I'm going to be the Negative Nancy up here. I didn't think that tax reform was going to happen this year at the beginning of the year and I still don't think it's going to happen now," said Max Behlke, director of budget and tax initiatives in the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A key advantage Amazon has over Walmart is doomed
Business Insider
Still, even in 2016, online retailers dodged paying $17.2 billion in sales taxes on out-of-state sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New rule on political spending takes effect
Albuquerque Journal
Before the new rule was adopted, New Mexico had been one of just three states – Indiana and South Carolina are the others – that did not require persons or groups to disclose independent expenditures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Massachusetts sues Trump over rollback of birth control mandate
Huntsville Item
Twenty-eight states require insurers to provide low or no-cost coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Floral Park expresses opposition to eliminating deductions of local taxes from federal taxes
The Island Now
Organizations like the National Governors Association, the United States Conference of Mayors and National Conference of State Legislatures have also opposed eliminating the deduction.

Oct. 11

Hackers will work with government to make future elections secure
CNN
The Center for Internet Security, National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Atlantic Council are among the groups involved with the new coalition.

Fla. school district picks abstinence-only center for sex education. Lesson 8: ‘Steps of intimacy and how to stop them’
Washington Post
As of March 1 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 states and the District of Columbia require public schools teach sex education (21 of which mandate sex education and HIV education).

New rule on political spending takes effect
Albuquerque Journal
Before the new rule was adopted, New Mexico had been one of just three states – Indiana and South Carolina are the others – that did not require persons or groups to disclose independent expenditures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin Republicans tout bill that would legalize hemp
San Francisco Chronicle
At least 30 states, including neighboring Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois, have since passed legislation allowing hemp cultivation in light of the federal act, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Healey sues Trump over rollback of birth control mandate
Gloucester Daily Times
Twenty-eight states — including California, Maryland and Vermont — require insurers to provide low- or no-cost coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Contractors Board Executive Office Appointed To Nevada’s Core Team For Upcoming National Licensing Consortium
Nevada Business Magazine
The Consortium is supported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, and the Council of State Governments, and will afford states the opportunity to engage directly with experts in the identified areas.

Four months, no Pa. budget: Is there a better way?
PennLive.com
In 22 states, a missed budget deadline means that a wide array of government services stop, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Republican State Rep. wants to debate use of state taxpayer money on NFL teams
Missourinet.com
Walker also says he’ll call on national organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Council to share information and develop strategies for legislators in every state with publicly financed NFL stadiums.

Oct. 10

California governor signs drug pricing transparency law
Reuters
But states, struggling to cover rising healthcare costs, have been addressing the issue rather than wait for federal help. At least 176 bills on pharmaceutical pricing and payment have been introduced this year in 36 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How Narrow Networks Doom Trump’s Plan For Insurance Sales Across Lines 
Forbes
Six states have enacted laws allowing health plan sales across state lines and “no state was known to actually offer or sell such policies,” National Conference of State Legislatures said in a new report last week.
 
Oklahoma Commission Mulls Rule Change for Lobbyists
U.S. News & World Report
More than 30 states nationwide have a cooling-off period. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight of those states have implemented two-year periods.
 
Where are bump-fire stockcs illegal? Feds, states weigh bans after Las Vegas shooting
CBS News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states and the District of Columbia have assault weapons bans that could mean bump-fire stocks are likely prohibited, depending on how the law is interpreted: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Walker calls for review of NFL stadium funding, says protesting players 'ought to get out' of football
Kirksville Daily Express and Daily News
Walker said fans avoiding going to games, organizing protests and not watching games on television due to the protests aren’t good for the NFL’s business or the state of Missouri. He’s asking the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Council to coordinate in an effort to “challenge the NFL to protect taxpayers’ interest.”

No state budget deal in sight
CT Post
Kathleen Quinn, a research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that 10 states had late budgets this year. Massachusetts, Illinois, Delaware and Pennsylvania faced growing deficits similar to Connecticut. Others, such as Rhode Island, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Maine, had small pieces of their budgets — political and procedural issues — rather than shortfalls that held them up.

Baltimore County officials seek state privacy protections for police body camera footage
Baltimore Sun
Some states have enacted laws that exclude footage from open records laws in specific situations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Republican-friendly judicial districts advance in House
Asheville Citizen-Times
Ten states require the leading candidate in a primary election to receive a certain percentage of the vote or face a runoff, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Minnesota GOP governor hopefuls all back voter ID
Minnesota Public Radio News
A tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows 34 states will request or require voters to show some form of identification next year. Seven states, including Wisconsin, enforce a strict photo ID requirement.

Industrial hemp legalization: Wisconsin jobs, economy would benefit
Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter
With the backing of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the National Conference of State Legislatures, we believe we are at a tipping point as Washington, D.C., and statehouses across the country are openly accepting industrial hemp as a sustainable, eco-friendly and profitable crop. 

Indiana a national model 
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Currently, 27 states have private school choice programs, with 14 states and the District of Columbia enacting traditional voucher programs, per the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Vote-by-mail could expand access in Indiana
Terre Haute Tribune Star
The system has several pros and some cons, and its overall effect on voter turnout isn't yet clear, said Wendy Underhill, director of elections for the nonpartisan National Conference on State Legislatures.

Road Warrior: Still no easy driver-less answers
NorthJersey.com 
Eleven states already has drafted some laws, according go the National Conference of State Legislatures, but they're not all consistent with one another.

Sales report reflects change in Springfield’s shopping habits
The State Journal-Register
Springfield is not alone when it comes to loss of revenue to online sales. In a report earlier this year, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated uncollected taxes from online sales costs states $26 billion in 2015. The figure was up from $23.2 billion in 2012.

New payday loan rules: What you need to know
KPRC Houston
Some states have banned them entirely, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 6

Wisconsin Police Support Limiting Access to Bodycam Video

U.S. News & World Report
Of those, 18 address how data captured on the cameras are addressed under open records laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

N Carolina elections, budget cleanup bills heading to Cooper
The Sun Herald
Ten states require the leading candidate in a primary election to receive a certain percentage of the vote or face a runoff, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Carolina's threshold was reduced from a majority to 40 percent in 1989.

PolitiFact
Berger says NC has the “strictest anti-gerrymanding” standards in America
There’s no perfect system for preventing gerrymandering, said Wendy Underhill, director for elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

N Carolina elections, budget cleanup bills heading to Cooper
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Ten states require the leading candidate in a primary election to receive a certain percentage of the vote or face a runoff, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proposed law would keep public from viewing most police body camera footage
Madison.com
Of those, 18 address how data captured on the cameras are addressed under open records laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Teaming up to revitalize an agricultural industry
Wisconsin State Farmer
With the backing of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the National Conference of State Legislatures, we believe we are at a tipping point as Washington, D.C. and statehouses across the country are openly accepting industrial hemp as a sustainable, eco-friendly and profitable crop.

Student arrested for carrying gun on DMACC campus
DesMoinesRegister.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Iowa is one of 23 states in the U.S. that allows each college or university to make the decision whether to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campus.

Some State Leaders Urge Betsy DeVos to Reject Their Own States’ ESSA Plans
Education Week
The National Conference of State Legislatures also pointed out to me that local districts will be able to sue state departments if state officials ask local districts to violate state law.

Senator Skindell Introduces Bill For Prescription Drug Assistance To Benefit Seniors, Disabled Ohioans and Veterans
Patch.com
According to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2016 more than a dozen states offered State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAPs) that "wrap-around" or add to the Part D benefits, including drugs bought by Medicare patients during the so-called "donut hole" spending category.

Oct. 5

Justice Roberts said political science is ‘sociological gobbledygook.’ Here’s why he said it, and why he’s mistaken
Washington Post
A handout for a 2011 National Conference of State Legislatures seminar refers to the idea of partisan manipulation of legislative districts as a “fact of life.”

Absent federal action, states take the lead on curbing drug costs
The Morning Sun
“There is a noticeable uptick among state legislatures and state governments in terms of what kind of role states can play in addressing the cost of prescription drugs and access,” said Richard Cauchi, health program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Russian hacking fuels return to paper ballots
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“States and counties were already moving toward paper ballots before 2016,” said Katy Owens Hubler, a consultant to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). “But the Russian hacking incident has brought the spotlight to this issue.”

Wednesday round-up
SCOTUS blog
Commentary on the argument comes from Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog, Lisa Soronen at the National Conference of State Legislatures… litigants who seem to agree on a key principle and Justices who seem to be revisiting the important parallels between racial and political gerrymandering case law.”

Seat belt law could strain East Texas school districts
Longview News-Journal
Texas is one of six states to have a bus seat belt law on its books, according to a 2017 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women’s groups seek guaranteed birth control coverage
The Salem News
Twenty-eight states -- including California, Illinois, Maryland and Vermont -- require contraceptive coverage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The Berkshire Eagle
State Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will represent the Massachusetts Senate at the 2017 Broadband & Cable Policy Summit, hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators, Oct. 15-17 in Denver.

Raising Pennsylvania’s hotel tax would be ‘devastating for Pittsburg economy, officials say
TRIB LIVE
’Raising the state's hotel tax from 6 percent to 11 percent would put Pennsylvania in the top 10 states in hotel taxes, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Erie officials relieved as hotel tax hike falters
GoErie.com
Increasing the state’s hotel tax from 6 percent to 11 percent would put Pennsylvania in the top 10 states in hotel taxes, The Associated Press reported, citing figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mich. lawmakers target ‘gypsy’ cops accused of misconduct
Police News
The National Conference of State Legislatures' website says Connecticut prohibits police departments from hiring any officer who was dismissed for misconduct or who resigned or retired while under investigation for misconduct. 

Pennsylvania lawmakers look at higher hotel tax in budget fight
Reading Eagle
Raising the state's hotel tax from 6 percent to 11 percent would put Pennsylvania in the top 10 states in hotel taxes, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 4

Michigan lawmakers target 'gypsy' cops accused of misconduct
Washington Post
It appears few states have laws addressing the movement of problem officers to other agencies. The National Conference of State Legislatures’ website says Connecticut prohibits police departments from hiring any officer who was dismissed for misconduct or who resigned or retired while under investigation for misconduct. Colorado police departments are required to share information about the misconduct or misrepresentations made by officers seeking employment with another agency within the state.

Legislature working to pave way for driverless cars
Deseret News
Amanda Essex, transportation policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures presented to a committee of Utah lawmakers last month on autonomous vehicle issues. Essex noted that California ran into trouble when conflicting regulations, some passed by the state Legislature and others approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles "created roadblocks to innovation."

Pennsylvania lawmakers eye higher hotel tax in budget fight
Sacramento Bee
Raising the state's hotel tax from 6 percent to 11 percent would put Pennsylvania in the top 10 states in hotel taxes, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women’s groups seek guaranteed birth control coverage
Eagle-Tribune
Twenty-eight states -- including California, Illinois, Maryland and Vermont -- have require contraceptive coverage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The ABC’s Of AEDs
Lexology
And although the National Conference of State Legislators pushes various types of AED-related legislation and numerous states are considering bills, there has been little formalized to date.

Kids’ federal health insurance funds expire
Huntington Herald Dispatch
CHIP allotted $25.5 billion in coverage nationwide from 2015 to 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, insuring children who do not qualify for Medicaid but in families that cannot afford private insurance.

Russian Hacking Fuels Return to Paper Ballots
Government Technology
“States and counties were already moving toward paper ballots before 2016,” said Katy Owens Hubler, a consultant to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). “But the Russian hacking incident has brought the spotlight to this issue.”

Oct. 3

Change in air for 4 Arkansas police agencies set to add drones
Arkansas Online 
Arkansas is among roughly 40 states that have laws governing drone use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

What will tax reform look like?
Kingsport Times News
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is taking issue with the framework’s assertion that it will help the middle class.

Battle emerges to preserve state and local tax deduction
Reading Eagle
A bunch of organizations including the National Governors Association, the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties all have denounced the proposal.

Who benefits when sales taxes are cut?
Journalist’s Resource – Harvard Kennedy School
For more on state tax policy, see this overview by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill would allow Wisconsin felons to possess antique guns
Fox 11
The National Conference of State Legislatures doesn't track such data and a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, which has registered in support of the Wisconsin bill, didn't return a message. 

Absent federal action, states take the lead on curbing drug costs
American Pharmacists Association
"There is a noticeable uptick among state legislatures and state governments in terms of what kind of role states can play in addressing the cost of prescription drugs and access," says Richard Cauchi, health program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Electric Vehicles Going Mainstream
Clean Technica
The following map, based on data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, summarizes these policies.

Workforce development, free speech and sanctuary campuses: Higher ed groups unpack top state concerns
Education Dive
However, a drastic drop in allocations in the previous fiscal year means that many states will actually be increasing higher ed spending less than they did only two years prior, according to presenters during a webinar co-hosted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Education Commission of the States, and the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Oct. 2

Absent federal action, states take the lead on curbing drug costs
Washington Post
“There is a noticeable uptick among state legislatures and state governments in terms of what kind of role states can play in addressing the cost of prescription drugs and access,” said Richard Cauchi, health program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

US judge clears way for Maryland drug price-gouging law
Reuters
At least 176 bills on pharmaceutical pricing and payment have been introduced this year in 36 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Bill would allow Wisconsin felons to possess antique guns
Chicago Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures doesn't track such data and a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, which has registered in support of the Wisconsin bill, didn't return a message.

Change in air for 4 police agencies set to add drones
Arkansas Online
Arkansas is among roughly 40 states that have laws governing drone use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Act 1019, enacted in 2015, bans anyone from using a drone for surveillance of "critical infrastructure," such as power plants and oil refineries. Act 293, enacted the same year, prohibits the use of drones for video voyeurism.
 
US judge clears way for Maryland drug price-gouging law
Business Insider
At least 176 bills on pharmaceutical pricing and payment have been introduced this year in 36 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Marcella unveils new mascot design
The Register-Guard
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe originated in New York, according to a list of federally recognized tribes compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As I See It: Getting a better grip on the women’s leadership gap
Worcester Telegram
For instance, as of this past February, according to the National Conference of State Legislators, Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of female lawmakers (26 percent) in New England.

Trussville mayor reports sales tax revenues up $1.2 million from previous year, despite growth in online shopping trend
Trussville Tribune
This tax loophole resulted in states not receiving $17.2 billion in lost sales taxes last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa needs to beef up anti-texting law, police say
The Gazette
It is illegal in 47 states, and any handheld use of mobile phones is illegal in 14 states, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports.

The Impact Of The Armed Forces In The Silver State
Nevada Business
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spent $2.3 billion, or 1.6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, in Nevada in 2015, according to a 2017 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, an organization that provides tools, information, and resources to state legislative bodies.

Wildlife, SC poor need more help 
Island Packet
The National Conference of State Legislatures web site states that in addition to the federal government, 26 states and the District of Columbia offer Earned Income Tax Credits “designed to help low- to moderate-income, working people.”

New Maryland law lets some prisoners seek reduced sentences for drug crimes
Cecil Whig
More than a third of the states have changed penalties for drug crimes in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Absent Federal Action, States Take The Lead On Curbing Drugs Costs 
Kaiser Health News
“There is a noticeable uptick among state legislatures and state governments in terms of what kind of role states can play in addressing the cost of prescription drugs and access,” said Richard Cauchi, health program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Medical Malpractice Reform: A Fix for Problem Long out of Fashion
Managed Care magazine
In 2012, when the House considered attaching federal malpractice legislation to another bill, the National Conference of State Legislatures opposed it.