The NCSL Blog

Entries for November 2020

30
State and Local Legal Center Argues 'Nominal Damages Only' Lawsuit is Moot

Two Georgia Gwinnett College students sued the college over its Freedom of Expression policy, which only allowed students to engage in expressive activities in two designated areas after getting a permit. They sought an injunction preventing the college from enforcing its policy and nominal damages of $1. The college then changed the policy. 

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30
Supreme Court Prevents New York from Imposing Certain Limits on Attending Religious Services

 In a 5-4 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, the Supreme Court has prevented New York Governor Mario Cuomo from enforcing certain restrictions on attendance at religious services due to COVID-19.

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23
Alaskans Approve Sweeping Election Changes

Election results might be old news in most states, but in Alaska, it’s still breaking news.

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19
COVID-19 Appears to Exacerbate Risky Driving Behaviors

A couple of months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., traffic safety experts expressed concern over what they were seeing on the country’s streets and highways. While many Americans were homebound by stay-at-home orders, road fatalities were not decreasing at the expected rate.

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19
States Leading the Way on Immigrant Integration

NCSL’s Task Force on Immigration and the States has been examining immigration challenges and proposing common sense reforms since it was formed in 2006. This week, task force cochairs Nevada State Senator Mo Denis and Nebraska State Senator John McCollister highlighted success stories in their states for the National Immigration Forum’s Leading the Way conference.

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Category: Immigration
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19
Celebrating State Innovations on National Rural Health Day 2020

Rural residents across the U.S. may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to the aging population, higher rates of underlying chronic disease, and higher likelihood of having a disability.

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18
Ballot Measures Change Legislative Operations

In addition to establishing or continuing COVID-19 protocols, a handful of states sought voter approval on alterations to legislative operations. These may not be the flashiest of ballot measures—they don’t get the same attention as marijuana or election measures, for example—but they directly affect NCSL’s members and how they members can do their jobs.

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18
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Significant Land Use Case

The Supreme Court has required governments to pay “just compensation” to property owners where the government “requires an owner to suffer a permanent physical invasion of her property—however minor.” 

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18
States Ramp Up Road User Charging Pilots and Studies

Statehouses have been at the forefront of considering road user charges (RUC) since Oregon enacted the first bill to study RUC as a potential replacement for the gas tax in 2001. This is perhaps fitting given Oregon created the nation’s first gas tax over a century ago in 1919.

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Category: Transportation
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17
Privacy Concerns Translate to Ballot Measures in 2020

Statewide ballot measures cover a broad range of topics, but privacy measures are not often among them, despite Americans’ growing concerns about the issue and an increasing number of consumer privacy bills introduced in state legislatures recently, many similar to and motivated by the California Consumer Privacy Act. This year, however, two significant privacy-protecting measures were on the ballot and approved by voters in California and Michigan.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.