NCSL in the News | September 2017

9/1/2017

Sept. 29

The Week in Public Finance: Trump's Tax Reform Proposal, the Foxconn Deal And More
Governing
The National Conference of State Legislatures called the deduction "vital" to middle-class taxpayers while the National Association of Counties said eliminating it was a “$1.3 trillion federal money grab." California Controller Betty Yee warned nixing the deduction “could lead to an economic downward spiral in California, including the loss of good-paying jobs and cuts to critical public safety and social services programs.”

State Groups Vow Fight for Tax Deduction Despite Trump, Big Six
BNA
Max Behlke, budget and tax director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said state and local lawmakers, as well as other city and state officials, will be pleased if the exemption goes unscathed.

Arizona leads in female legislators as more women look to run for office
The Hill
“There’s a surge of interest among women in running for office right now,” said Katie Ziegler, who runs the Women’s Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “People talk about making a really concerted effort to recruit women.”

Assessing Utah's occupational licensing policies and practices
Utah Policy
Occupational Licensing: Assessing State Policy and Practice is hosted by the Council of State Governments, National Conference of State Legislatures, and National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Congress Is Considering Autonomous Vehicle Bills That Would Cut Out Cities and States
Slate Magazine
Stakeholders at the state level, including the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association, say the legislation that passed the House appears to shift even the regulation of vehicle operations (i.e., speed limits and idling laws), not just design and safety standards, from states to Washington. (When operations are coded into the cars in the factory, where do you draw the line between design and actual behavior on the road?) It’s not clear whether the law would permit states to, for example, tax or outlaw the use of autonomous vehicles without passengers, which could clog up city streets.

American Sports Betting Coalition details benefits of legalized sports betting at Capitol Hill briefing
Augusta Free Press
In addition to Slane, the panel featured Gabe Horwitz, vice president of the Economic Program at Third Way; Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI; Dr. Russell Sanna, executive director, National Center for Responsible Gaming; Debbie Thundercloud, chief of staff, National Indian Gaming Association; and Ethan Wilson, policy director, Commerce & Financial Services, National Conference of State Legislatures.

State legislatures ‘dismayed’ by GOP tax plan
WIFR
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the deduction has existed in the federal tax code since its inception. The group says "tens of millions of middle-class taxpayers of every political affiliation" would experience a greater tax burden if the deduction were eliminated.

Trump tax plan ‘deliberately targets’ New Yorkers
New York PIX11
The National Conference of State Legislatures says “tens of millions of middle-class taxpayers of every political affiliation” would pay more taxes if the state and local deductions are eliminated.

Local Drone Law Struck Down By Federal Preemption
Lexology
At the same time, an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has found that over 40 states have created their own laws and regulations to govern local UAS operations.

Sept. 28

The Latest: State Legislatures ‘dismayed’ by GOP tax plan
Washington Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the deduction has existed in the federal tax code since its inception. The group says “tens of millions of middle-class taxpayers of every political affiliation” would experience a greater tax burden if the deduction were eliminated.

Trump makes case for sweeping tax overhaul
KWTX
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the deduction has existed in the federal tax code since its inception. The group says "tens of millions of middle-class taxpayers of every political affiliation" would experience a greater tax burden if the deduction were eliminated. The group says the deduction's elimination will also impede states in their efforts to invest in education and other public services.

ACA Already Allows Cross-Border Purchase of Insurance
Huff Post
As put forth in the link, the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates that this section…permits states to form health care choice inter-state compacts to allow insurers to sell policies in any state participating in the compact… at least eight states have enacted what has become known as “Interstate Health Compacts,” a/k/a “Freedom Health Compacts,” which propose and authorize broader health markets outside of the ACA or other federal law

American Sports Betting Coalition details benefits of legalized sports betting at Capitol Hill briefing
Augusta Free Press
In addition to Slane, the panel featured Gabe Horwitz, vice president of the Economic Program at Third Way; Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI; Dr. Russell Sanna, executive director, National Center for Responsible Gaming; Debbie Thundercloud, chief of staff, National Indian Gaming Association; and Ethan Wilson, policy director, Commerce & Financial Services, National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Product Shields Against Hospital & Home Acquired Infections Resulting From Use of Multi-Dose Medication Vials
Markets Insider 
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that between five to 10 percent of all patients contract at least one infection from the hospital setting. 

With Russian hackers apparently bent on wrongdoing, Pennsylvania must protect its voting systems
Lancaster Online
“Moving to paper is absolutely the happening trend,” Wendy Underhill, a program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, told that publication.

Local governments oppose elimination of state and local tax deduction
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.

Sept. 27

Federal Digital Tax Bills Frozen as High Court Case Heats Up
BNA
The coalition’s report used data from a National Conference of State Legislatures report indicating that an estimated $26 billion in sales and use taxes went uncollected in 201

Should registered voters in Ohio who haven’t voted in six straight elections be purged from the rolls? 
Cleveland.com
Organizations including the Buckeye Institute, and National Conference of State Legislatures, and 18 states including Georgia back Husted's position

Pheffer Amato Completes National Early Learning Fellowship
Western Queens Gazette
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), recently completed a 2017 National Early Learning Fellowship with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a national non-profit that helps legislators across all 50 states share best policies and practices, and advocates for state legislative issues on the national level. Pheffer Amato was chosen as one of about three dozen legislators considered issue experts or up-and-coming leaders from across the country, in a competitive application process.

Lobbying
Chicago City Wire
Finally, Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) is registered on Cook County’s lobbyist registration site in her role as director of community relations and social responsibility for the law firm of Chapman and Cutler. Thirty four states have enacted laws requiring elected officials to wait some period between leaving office and lobbying, according to figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Juvenile Prisons: It’s Time to Close ‘Factories of Failure’
Crime Report
This is an abridged and slightly edited version of remarks made by former Washington, D.C. juvenile corrections director and New York City probation commissioner Vincent Schiraldi on Monday to the National Council of State Legislators.

Voter Registration
NAACP
Data compiled from the National Conference on State Legislatures and the Brennan Center for Justice.

Sept. 26

ELECTION 2017: Election Day and you're on the job? Vote ahead

Land Line Magazine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nine states make available permanent absentee ballots for at least certain voters. States with permanent absentee ballots available for some voters:
Alaska
Connecticut
Delaware
Kansas
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Missouri
New York
West Virginia
 
Eight states offer permanent absentee ballots for any voter. Those states:
Arizona
California
Hawaii
Minnesota
Montana
Nevada
New Jersey
Utah

Sept. 25

The future of innovation waivers: What states can do
Bloomberg Government 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 18 states are currently in the waiver application process, with more expected to follow, whatever happens with health care reform this year.
 
Fifty shades of chaos -- experts say most states not equipped to take over healthcare
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania isn’t alone. Nine other states also started the new fiscal year without a budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Republican's plan would further suppress voting in Marion County, Democrats say
Indianapolis Star
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, vote centers present a host of positive and negative factors. On the positive side, citizens can vote near home, near work or school, anywhere there is a vote center, rather than having to go to a specific voting precinct. With fewer locations to staff, Election Day expenses are reduced and, because of convenience, turnout may increase. However, vote centers can cause confusion if the switch isn't well-publicized and explained to the public. The centers also change the traditional civic experience of voting with neighbors at a local school, church or other polling place.

Former Utah House speaker named chief lobbyist for Mormon church
Salt Lake Tribune
During his legislative career, Stephens also served as the House majority leader and chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee. He also had a term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It's true: Arizona has the most female legislators
AZCentral.com
The joint press release stated that, with Peten’s addition to the Legislature, female representation moved up to 40 percent. C. Murphy Hebert, Arizona House Democrats communications director, said the figure in the release was confirmed by the National Conference of State Legislators.

3 hires add to state's consultants tab
Arkansas Online
Before the Legislative Council approved the contract with PFM on Sept. 15, Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, suggested that the Bureau of Legislative Research's staff could do the work instead with the help of information from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The conference is a bipartisan national advisory organization and resource for legislatures and their staffs.

Sept. 22

Mass. Foster Parents Band Together for Bill of Rights, say DCF Must ‘Stop Playing God’
HuffPost
To date, 17 states have passed a version of the bill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State commission reports sharp uptick in complaints about worker misclassification
Asheboro Courier Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures defines employee misclassification as “the practice of labeling workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. The practice allows employers to avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on workers, and from covering them on workers compensation and unemployment insurance.”
 
Columnist Susan Wozniak questions whether schools are serving next generation
GazetteNET
The failure of remedial classes has come to the attention of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). It suggests changes to be conducted at the college level. It also asks for more data which will be applied to developing those programs. Reading the NCSL proposal, I remembered “old saws” about “closing the barn door after the horse is out.” Those kids were given diplomas. Solving the problem once they’re launched does little to help them.

Wary of employee microchips, state senator proposes regulation 
Albany Times Union
Five states adopted outright bans on mandatory implantation of radio frequency identification microchips as of March of this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Is the CON law in Mississippi now obsolete? 
Northside Sun
The bipartisan but less conservative National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a more mixed approach to the CON laws.

‘Smart Car’ Technology May Make Roads Safer, but Some Fear Data Hacks
Transport Topics Online
Since 2012, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have considered autonomous vehicle legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States Are Offering Tax Amnesty to Ecommerce Business Before They Drop the Hammer
Entrepreneur
Since the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated as much as $26 billion in online sales tax monies went uncollected in 2015, all state tax agency have been committed to efforts to capture that cash.

Voting machines to be replaced due to security worries
Progress Index
In general, according to a 2015 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, optical scanner machines like the DS-200 can cost up to $5,000 each, but one machine is enough to serve each polling location.

After Equifax, Can Our Data Ever Be Safe?
ValueWalk
And all states have installed cybersecurity measures to protect data and systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 21

Editorials From Around Oregon
U.S. News & World Report
Nor is the practice particularly rare. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of the states have the same restrictions that Oregon does: While lawmakers may hire relatives to work for them, there are general ethical guidelines that must be followed when doing so.
 
Governor’s Group Joining Coalition to Fight for Tax Deduction
BNA
In an April letter to Congress, seven organizations—including the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures—said that eliminating or capping “federal deductibility for state and local property, sales and income taxes would represent double taxation, as these taxes are mandatory payments for all taxpayers.”
 
Mass. Foster Parents Band Together for Bill of Rights, Say DCF Must 'Stop Playing God'
HuffPost
To date, 17 states have passed a version of the bill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Massachusetts effort comes at a time that stories about foster-care system failings surface in the media on a near daily basis.

State lawmakers shouldn’t lose ability to hire relatives
Bend Bulletin
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of the states have the same restrictions that Oregon does: While lawmakers may hire relatives to work for them, there are general ethical guidelines that must be followed when doing so.

More Data Leaked in First Half of 2017 Than All of 2016
PC Mag
Every US state except Alabama and South Dakota—plus Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands—requires companies to notify customers of breaches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 20

How Party Bosses, Not Voters, Pick Candidates in New York
New York Times
In 25 states, replacement legislators are simply chosen by appointment, either by the governor (11 states) or some combination of party and local officials (14 states), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

WV officials unsure PEIA would benefit from privatization
Charleston Gazette-Mail
According to a report on state employee health benefits published by the National Conference of State Legislatures on April 2, only two states exclusively use private insurers to provide health insurance to public employees, Idaho and North Dakota. According to the NCSL, 29 states, including West Virginia, have fully self-funded health insurance plans, while the remaining 19 states provide employees with coverage options, including self-funded plans.

After Equifax, Can Our Data Ever Be Safe?
Knowledge @ Wharton
And all states have installed cybersecurity measures to protect data and systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 19

How Party Bosses, Not Voters, Pick Candidates in New York
New York Times
Vacancies are filled differently across the country. In 25 states, replacement legislators are simply chosen by appointment, either by the governor (11 states) or some combination of party and local officials (14 states), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Varying rules govern the 25 states that hold special elections, but few bestow more influence on local power brokers than New York does.

 

Tattoo Today, Regret Tomorrow: Tips to Parents From Pediatricians
U.S. News & World Report
Nearly all U.S. states have laws regarding tattoos or body piercing for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Wanted: women candidates in Md.’s 41st District
Baltimore Sun
Although the Maryland legislature is No.11 in the nation for the highest proportion of women among elected state officials, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, women still represent only 31.4 percent of our state legislature. 

Ward elected chair of national energy research group
Shelby County Reporter
Ward previously served as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, Joint Oversight Committee on Energy Policy and was previously chairman of the Energy and Transportation Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hemp one step closer to legalization
Staunton News Leader
Here’s the breakdown, according to the National Conference of State Legislators: …At least 30 states passed legislation related to industrial hemp. 
 
Murphy commits to free community college: the math is fuzzy
northjersey.com
Three states have free community college tuition in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and several others have moved legislation toward that goal. 

Kentucky LRC ‘Not the Agency it Was Two Years Ago’
WKU Public Radio
The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a satisfaction survey among employees at the Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort. 

Sept. 18

US Push for Self-Driving Law Exposes Regulatory Divide
U.S. News & World Report
In a Sept. 5 letter to U.S. congressional leaders, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators and other groups said the federal rules encroached on state authority and urged federal lawmakers to change the bill's language.

California Internet privacy bill could have nationwide sway — if it passes
Los Angeles Times
More than 20 states have considered passing their own Internet privacy bills in recent months, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Forget Trump. The U.S. Storms Ahead on Climate Change Like Never Before
NBC News
At least 50 of the measures have been enacted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and 200 are still pending.

Why Google and Verizon allies on this California privacy bill
The Washington Post
More than 20 states in all have considered passing their own Internet privacy bills in recent months, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Drug industry on tenterhooks as Maryland price-gouging law nears
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.

Kentucky EMS conference at Lexington Center this week
Lexington Herald Leader
National Conference of State Legislatures, Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff 2017 Meeting: Sept. 24-28, Hilton Lexington/Downtown, 150.

Local officials not in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana
Herald-Whig
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including Illinois, which approved medical cannabis in 2014.

State has no data breach notification law
Times Daily
Alabama and South Dakota are the only two states without data breach notification laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ballot initiative seeks money for early childhood care
The Daily Planet
Merritt cited a statistic from a National Conference of State Legislatures report that states that for every dollar invested in early childhood education there is a return of $8 to the community and society at large.

Nepotism runs rampant in the Oregon Legislature
OregonLive.com 
Most states and Congress bar the practice outright, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Election 2017: Online voter registration available in 34 states
Land Line Magazine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states offer online paperless registration Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The number of states offering the registration option is up from 12 only four years ago.

Sept. 15

Teen Who Took X-Rated Selfie And Texted Photo, Guilty Of Child Porn In Washington
Northwest Public Radio
Washington state lawmakers have considered, but not passed a teen sexting law that would create an alternative to child pornography charges. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nearly half the states have passed laws addressing sexting by minors. Studies estimate that as many as a quarter to a third of teenagers engage in sexting.

Higher education resources
Illinois State University
This webinar, co-hosted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Education Commission of the States (ECS), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), will discuss the policy trends for higher education in the 2017 state legislative sessions and look ahead to the challenges facing states in 2018.

How skittish Minnesota lawmakers came to embrace marijuana
City Pages
It wasn't until a couple years ago, when she attended some seminars at the National Conferences of State Legislatures, that she began to see how Minnesota could follow Colorado's lead by regulating marijuana like alcohol.
 
College Park, Maryland, narrowly approves noncitizen voting in city elections
GOPUSA
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 10 other towns in heavily Democratic Maryland also allow noncitizens to vote. 

Sept. 14

Maryland city approves letting non-citizens vote in local elections
Reuters
Chicago also allows non-citizens to vote in local school council elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Morrell Effort to Strengthen Legislative Accountability Heads to Governor’s Desk
Highland News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 34 states have cooling-off periods, during which former legislators are prohibited from working at the legislatures as lobbyists. Eight states ban former legislators from lobbying the legislature for two years.

Wyoming can’t block free speech at private property lines
Food Safety News
State government expert Doug Farquhar, with the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, says while there are similarities to “Ag-Gag” statutes, the Wyoming laws are “broad in scope” with the intent of limiting the collection and use of data that might interfere with the exploitation of natural resources.

Five groups concerned about federal bill regulating autonomous vehicles
Transportation Today
The other groups expressing concern are American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association.

Sept. 13

After 2016 Election Hacks, Some States Return to Paper Ballots
Governing
"Moving to paper is absolutely the happening trend," says Wendy Underhill, a program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Scholarship”, “voucher”, “tax shelter for the wealthy”: What’s really in IL school funding bill?
Politifact
"A traditional voucher program uses state funds and so it needs a state appropriation," said Josh Cunningham, who follows school choice programs nationwide for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those programs are different than scholarship plans like the one enacted in Illinois, which Cunningham said "rely on private donations to private organizations. And in exchange for those donations the donors receive a tax credit and that's kind of the incentive to fund the program."

Survey by NCSL shows improvements in staff morale at Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
North Kentucky Tribune
The Legislative Research Commission (LRC) is enjoying across-the-board improvements in staff satisfaction and morale, according to a survey conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Legislators consider limits on new health care facilities
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Ashley Noble, policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, testified that Mississippi has one of the nation’s more restrictive CON laws.

Iowa AG halts part of medical marijuana program
The Daily Nonpareil
At least 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Income inequality in Wisconsin at highest level since Great Depression
Superior Telegram
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists 29 states with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, including Minnesota and Michigan.

New school buses to have seat belts under Texas law
San Angelo LIVE!
Six states, including Texas, now have some variation of a school bus seat belt law, according to a 2017 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Sept. 12

Missouri looking at changes to what people pay for license plates
STLtoday.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures said Oregon earlier this year became the first state to link vehicle registration fees to fuel economy.

Worth Another Look: The Future of Healthcare Reform
JD Supra
In January of 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year.

New school buses to have seat belts under Texas law
Texas Tribune
Six states, including Texas, now have some variation of a school bus seat belt law, according to a 2017 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Massachusetts is Progressive, But Not on Immigrant Rights
Valley Advocate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states allow in-state tuition for undocumented students — including blue states like California, New York, and Washington, but also several red states like Texas, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas. There are 12 states that allow undocumented individuals to have driver’s licenses.

Elect them, then lobby them: Two firms blur the worlds of policy and politics in Harrisburg
The Inquirer
A decade-old law strengthened registration and reporting requirements for lobbyists and their clients, but the state still lags behind others in transparency and accountability, according to an analysis of lobbying laws compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Survey finds satisfaction rising at Legislative Research Commission
Lane Report
The Legislative Research Commission (LRC) is enjoying across-the-board improvements in staff satisfaction and morale, according to a survey conducted by the National Conference of State 
Legislatures (NCSL).

Iowa AG Tells Agency to Halt Portion of Medical Marijuana Law
Leafly
At least 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How Immigrants Are Transforming the American Dream – and Real Estate Along With it
Realtor.com News
There are now about 42 million immigrants from just about every country in the world living in the U.S., making up about 13% of the overall population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

 

Sept. 11

Donald Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Collides With 60th Anniversary Of Civil Rights Act of 1957
Newsweek
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states in the U.S. have laws asking voters to show ID to vote, and more are on the way.

‘Dreamers’ Left Confused About Fine Points of Immigration Program’s End
U.S. News & World Report
Three states - Arizona, Georgia and Indiana - specifically prohibit in-state tuition rates for students without legal status, and two states - Alabama and South Carolina - do not let them enroll in any public postsecondary institution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Another way for anti-vaxxers to skip shots for school kids: A doctor’s note
USA Today
Eighteen states have personal belief exemptions and 47 allow parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children based on religious beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Why it can take so long for companies to reveal their data breaches
The Washington Post
There are different notification laws in 38 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New school buses to have seat belts under Texas law
Texas Tribune
Six states, including Texas, now have some variation of a school bus seat belt law, according to a 2017 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Three ways 9/11 has changed South Carolina
Anderson Independent Mail
South Carolina has more defense industry and military jobs and investment today than it did before 9/11, attracting over $34 billion in defense contractor spending since 2000. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that spending has spurred $15.7 billion in economic activity and supported over 138,000 jobs.

How firms help elect, then lobby legislators in Harrisburg

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A de­cade-old law strength­ened reg­is­tra­tion and re­port­ing re­quire­ments for lob­by­ists and their cli­ents, but the state still lags be­hind oth­ers in trans­par­ency and ac­count­abil­ity, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis of lob­by­ing laws com­piled by the Na­tional Con­fer­ence of State Leg­is­la­tures.

Could getting better gas mileage result in paying more for license plates? 
STLtoday
The National Conference of State Legislatures said Oregon earlier this year became the first state to link vehicle registration fees to fuel economy.

Paying Attention: Statewide ban on texting while driving begins
Waco Tribune-Herald
Texas is joining 46 states in banning texting while driving. Arizona, Missouri and Montana are the last three states without a statewide ban, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Musings from indiana’s education chief
Batesville Herald Tribune
"Look at the summary of 'No Time to Lose,'" a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures on how to build a world-class education system state by state.

AG tells agency to halt part of Iowa’s medical marijuana law
Bristol Herald Courier
At least 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A time for leadership
The Frederick News-Post
I recently returned from the National Conference of State Legislators Summit. One of the highlights was a presentation by the well-known historian Doris Kearns Goodwin entitled “Some Lessons on Presidential Leadership.”

Sept. 8

Legislature Hears Pros, Cons on Marijuana Legalization
U.S. News & World Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including Illinois, which approved medical cannabis in 2014. 

NFL Superstars Sacked by Jock Taxes on Away Games
BNA
“The non-resident income tax can be difficult to administer and is frequently ignored, but since professional athletes’ salaries and travel schedules are publicly available, they are ripe targets for state tax authorities,” Jackson Brainerd, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told Bloomberg BNA in an email.

New York top court rejects right to doctor-assisted suicide
Reuters
Laws in five states - California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - allow doctor-assisted suicide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House to Vote on Federal, State Roles Over Self-Driving Cars
CQ Rollcall
Ben Husch, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ committee on infrastructure, said the federal government has traditionally regulated vehicle design, and should continue to do so with self-driving cars.

Why a Record Number of States Passed Budgets Late This Year (If at All)
Governing
Over the past five legislative sessions, the number of stalled or late state budgets has steadily increased, according to a Governing analysis of National Conference of State Legislatures data.

Haslam, other governors urge Congress to take steps to 'prevent collapse' of insurance market
Chattanooga Times Free Press
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the waiver allows a state to seek to restructure provisions of the health law to fashion a coverage system that better meets local needs and preferences while still fulfilling the aims of the ACA.

The Affordable Health Care Act, Medicaid & the Impact on K-12
Pasedena Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals, children, their parents, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Tech students discuss failed Bathroom Bill
The Daily Toreador
The proposed bill would have required public schools, open-enrollment charter schools, and local governments to designate all multiuser restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, and changing rooms for either males only or females only, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
 

Sept. 7

Courts could raise cost of online shopping
FOX News
States missed out on $26 billion in sales tax revenue in 2015, according to a March joint study by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the International Council of Shopping Centers, both of which support forcing online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes.

The US is speeding toward its first national law for self-driving cars
The Verge
The National Conference of State Legislatures released a letter overnight asking lawmakers to clarify the language of the act so states can be sure of their role going forward. “Unfortunately, the bill currently being considered by the House seeks to significantly expand federal pre-emption of states by moving beyond the traditional definition of motor vehicle safety to encroach on vehicle operations, currently under the states’ purview,” NCSL writes.

At 14, Ohio woman married 48-year-old man
Dayton Daily News
Marriage before age 18 is still legal in all 50 states, though Connecticut, New York and Texas each recently adopted laws to increase the minimum marriage age and several other states are considering legislation to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Unchained At Last advocacy group.

Legislature hears pros, cons on marijuana legalization
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including Illinois, which approved medical cannabis in 2014.

Learn before you leap into online lottery
Gloucester Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Hampshire became the fifth state to authorize online lottery sales.

Legislature hears pros, cons marijuana legalization
Modesto Bee
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including Illinois, which approved medical cannabis in 2014.

Supreme Court Sports Betting Case Receives AGA Brief in Support of New Jersey
Casino.org
The National District Attorneys Association, Fraternal Order of Police, National Conference of State Legislatures, and US Conference of Mayors had previously lent their endorsements to the PASPA repeal cause, but the AGA says so have 19 states.

A 60 cent postage stamp?
KWQC 
Wendy Underhill, director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said additional costs in mailing ballots would be a problem even though many states and counties also allow voters to drop off ballots at polling sites.

State of Alaska weighing options for conducting elections
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Colorado is one of three states that holds elections entirely by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As a general rule, body cam footage US is not a public record
ARS Technica
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a monster interactive graphic, as does the Urban Institute, about the ins and outs of state laws dealing with body cams.

Sept. 6

America is Not Ready for Another Attack on Elections
Newsweek
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates each state would need anywhere from $7 million to $82 million in funding in order to purchase new machines.

Gaming group to Supreme Court: End ban on sports betting
The Hill
The National District Attorneys Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are among those who signed on.

Another Way for Anti-Vaxxers To Skip Shots For Schoolkids: A Doctor’s Note
Couer d’Alene Press
Such a stringent policy is fairly unusual. Eighteen states have personal belief exemptions and 47 allow parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children based on religious beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 5

Cash-strapped states brace for Russian hacking fight
Politico
Eight states have approved a funding plan to purchase new machines, with estimated costs running anywhere from $7 million to $82 million, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Blue-State Republicans Seek to Soften State Tax Deduction Cut
BNA
In an April letter to Congress, seven organizations—including the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures—said that eliminating or capping “federal deductibility for state and local property, sales and income taxes would represent double taxation, as these taxes are mandatory payments for all taxpayers.”

Medical marijuana business in Arkansas worries banks
Arkansas Online
A total of 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Private school tax credit surprises, riles some in Illinois
The Lincoln Courier
Illinois’ model will be tested out in a five-year pilot program and appears to have been crafted with those concerns, including provisions on transparency and accountability, said Josh Cunningham of the National Conference of State Legislatures, which studies the programs. He said Illinois “regulates the scholarship granting organizations at a level that no other state does.”

State Looks to New Economy Firms For Tax Dollars
Hartford Courant
"How do you create a fair tax system?" asked Rep. Chris Perone, a Norwalk Democrat who serves as co-chairman of a task force on state and local taxation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "How do you balance the fact that e-commerce businesses are not paying their fair share while the brick-and-mortar guys are? Every state is grappling with this."

Conventions in Lexington in September
Lexington Herald Leader
National Conference of State Legislatures, Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff 2017 Meeting: Sept. 24-28, Hilton Lexington/Downtown, 150.

15 Everyday Discounts for Retirees
Madison.com
To learn the rules in your state, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures' full list of vehicle-registration fees and senior discounts.

State lawmakers have a list of bills awaiting action
Peoria Journal Star
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 29 states that have a higher minimum wage than the federal rate. Of those, 24 are the same or higher than Illinois’ current rate.

Campaign finance becoming state, local issues
Ravalli Republic
At the time of the ruling, 24 states had bans or restrictions on corporate spending in elections that had to be overturned or rewritten, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Lobbyist pays near $5M during budget, solar debates
SF Gate
Maine is one of at least 34 states the National Conference of State Legislatures found has a “cooling-off period” before former lawmakers can lobby.

KU professor bullet proof vest as students now allowed to carry guns on campus
WSLS
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of ten states that have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on postsecondary campuses.

Sept. 1

Why this KU student now carries a gun to class: ‘I have a way to defend myself’
Kansas City Star
Missouri is one of 16 states to ban concealed weapons on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Milwaukee, Dane counties most affected by proposed fee for hybrid electric vehicles
Madison.com
If lawmakers pass a new state budget with the new fee, Wisconsin would become the 19th state to impose a hybrid-electric vehicle fee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures as of July.

Statewide ban on texting while driving starts Friday
WaCo Tribune-Herald
Texas is joining 46 states in banning texting while driving. Arizona, Missouri and Montana are the last three states without a statewide ban, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Income inequality in Wisconsin at highest level since Great Depression
La Crosse Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists 29 states with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, including Minnesota and Michigan.

Derrick mom: ‘There’s no safe school, no age’
LIHerald.com
Enacted in 40 states and the District of Columbia, the laws protect people from legal action if they offer help in the case of a drug overdose, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

After Fierce Fight, Illinois Enacts Tax-Credit Scholarship Program
Education Week
“This has been as much of a bipartisan approach to this type of program as you’re going to get,” said Josh Cunningham, an education program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Worth Another Look: Police-Community Relations
JD Supra
In January of 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year.

‘No correlation’ between early voting and voter turnout, secretary of state says
WTHR 13
However, a representative from the National Conference of State Legislators, Wendy Underhill, defended Lawson’s statement. “What we see is that people who would have voted on Election Day spread their votes out during the election season primarily,” Underhill said.

State Sen. Darlin Leach reintroduces bill to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour
FOX43
Twenty nine states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted minimum hourly wages greater than $7.25, including all of the states that border Pennsylvania: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.