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THE NCSL PODCAST

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Podcast Hits the Century Mark | OAS Episode 100
Today’s podcast is the 100th episode of “Our American States,” a milestone we marked by  bringing back the original host of the podcast, Gene Rose, and recalling some of our favorite moments from the last 3 ½ years. Thos...

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NCSL TODAY

Read today's national headlines on issues that matter to state legislatures. 

NCSL LATEST RESOURCES

2020 Consumer Data Privacy Legislation
Privacy bills increased in 2020 over 2019, with bills considered in at least 30 states and Puerto Rico. 

COVID-19: State Health Actions
Find key health policy information relating to the pandemic, including legislative trends and state actions, federal action and resources.

Adverse Childhood Experiences
Read about research, resources and strategies to prevent and reduce the occurrence and negative consequences of ACEs.

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THE NCSL BLOG

DnnForge - LatestArticles

IDEA at 45: How the Pandemic Affects Students With Disabilities

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), a landmark civil rights law that ensures states and school districts provide a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities.

The Role Summer Programs Play in Keeping Kids Learning and Engaged

In recent years, educators and policymakers have shifted from using summer as a time for rigid, remedial summer programs to supporting summer learning programs that incorporate a mix of academics and enrichment activities.

Supreme Court to Decide if Government Policy Changes May Moot a Lawsuit

The question the Supreme Court will decided in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski is whether the government changing a policy after a lawsuit has been filed renders the case moot if the plaintiff has only asked for nominal damages. 

SCOTUS Holds a Sitting President May Be Issued a State Criminal Subpoena

President Donald Trump's tax returns are unlikely to be available to the public soon as a result of two Supreme Court cases.

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STATESTATS
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Revenue Declines Put State Budgets in Turmoil

Decreased consumer spending and shuttered businesses have lowered sales tax revenues. Travel restrictions are cutting into lodging, car rental and other tourism-related taxes. Job losses and weak economic activity will reduce personal and corporate income tax collections.

SPOTLIGHT
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Legislative Leaders Pivot to Non-COVID-19 Challenges

Every legislature’s—indeed, each legislator’s—experience during the coronavirus pandemic has been different. Yet chamber leaders across the country tell similar stories. They are trying to coordinate with their governors while coping with budgets that suddenly went from sound to sapped.

FEATURED ARTICLE
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Mississippi Removes Confederate Battle Emblem From Flag

Lawmakers have introduced bills in the Mississippi Legislature for at least 40 years to replace the flag that prominently displays the Confederate battle emblem. The bills have always suffered a quiet death on deadline day, however, so no one had reason to think this year would be different. They were in for a big surprise.

NCSL PODCAST
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NCSL Celebrates 100th ‘Our American States’ Podcast

NCSL jumped on the podcast bandwagon at the end of 2016, and posts its 100th podcast today. “Our American States” has hosted a number of remarkable people and has focused on topics of interest to legislators and staff: election security, marijuana legalization, cybersecurity, the opioid crisis, and many more. What will the next 100 cover?

NEWSMAKERS
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Legislative Leaders in the News | July

Pennsylvania Representative Bryan Cutler (R), was elected the chamber's 141st speaker (watch his speech), Senate Republicans name a new minority leader in New York, Delaware's longest-serving lawmaker retires and more.

LEGISLATOR PROFILE
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Meet Alaska Representative Tiffany Zulkosky

The only Alaska Native woman serving in the House, Zulkosky is something of a rising star, with a professional background that has prepared her well for membership on the Energy, Education and Environmental Conservation committees and for her role as chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee. 

FROM THE EDITOR

We’ve Gone Digital!

It wasn’t an easy decision, but after 45 years of producing State Legislatures, NCSL’s magazine that covers state policy and politics, we’ve decided to take the publication digital, offering a new online version to better keep you updated on the people and news surrounding state legislatures. Love it in print? Watch out for two keepsake editions each year for in-depth looks at the issues our members care most about.

ON THE SAME PAGE
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Iowa Passes Bipartisan Police Reform Bill

In Washington, D.C., lawmakers face a large gap to bridge as Democrats and Republicans are split on banning chokeholds and qualified immunity, among other partisan policy differences. Iowa’s legislation, meanwhile, achieved unanimous support in both chambers after two days of deliberation. Including the drafting of the bill, the whole process took a total of 10 days.

STATE LEGISLATURES SPOTLIGHT

A Closer Look at Our Cover Story

Tune into State Legislatures Spotlight, a new video series that takes an in-depth look at our feature stories. In this episode, we chat with Alan Greenblatt, author of “Legislative Leaders Pivot to Non-Virus Challenges in a Spirit of Cooperation,” about how leaders are dealing with the pandemic, working virtually and an increased spirit of cooperation.

POLICY TREND | EMPLOYMENT
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The Americans With Disabilities Act Turns 30

The legislation was the culmination of decades of political activism by and for the 50 million Americans living with a disability who were seeking equal rights after centuries of discrimination, isolation and dehumanization. It's also one of the rare pieces of legislation that has touched the lives of every American. 

POLICY TREND | ELECTIONS

Pandemic Has Lawmakers Eying Remote Elections

Since COVID-19 hit, interest in casting absentee ballots—aka voting by mail and voting at home—has increased due to concerns about maintaining social distancing at polling places. Here’s how some states fared during primaries with increased voting by mail strategies in place.

TOOLBOX 

9 Tips for Success When Working Remotely

Is “working from home” beginning to feel more like “living at work?” Check out this expert advice on how to maintain a work-life balance—along with tips on decreasing distractions and feelings of isolation—when your office is simply a few steps down the hall.

CAPITOL STORIES

State Capitols Take Steps to Avoid Fire Destruction

Fire has always been an enemy of old buildings. State capitols are no exception: Fire destroyed at least 25 of our early state capitols in the 19th and 20th centuries, and at least five of Virginia’s pre-independence capitols burned down. Here’s how capitol restoration teams are adding safety measures and suppression systems to prevent losing more of these treasures.

POLICY BRIEF | ENERGY

Could Hydrogen Be the Next Energy Star?

Hydrogen, regarded as a potential clean energy solution for decades, may finally be ready for the spotlight. The gas burns cleanly, can be used in power plants like natural gas, or in fuel cells to power vehicles or buildings. And it’s declining production costs and ability to produce power free of carbon emissions are driving interest in a “hydrogen economy” in which the gas could take the place of traditional fuels.

NCSL ON THE HILL
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D.C. Fly-In Goes Virtual With COVID-19, Fiscal Briefing

NCSL hosted its first virtual Capitol Hill briefing recently to educate select staff on the dire fiscal conditions states are facing due to the pandemic. Watch the briefing and read more on the latest news from D.C.

POLICY BRIEF | TRANSPORTATION

The Challenge of Recycling Electric Vehicle Batteries

With more than 1.2 million electric vehicles in the United States—a number predicted to soar to 18 million by 2030—concerns of the recovery, safe handling and recycling of the lithium-ion batteries used to charge them is emerging. Learn what states, as well as the federal government, are doing to address the issue.

NCSL NEWS | HUMAN SERVICES
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NCSL, U of Texas Join Prenatal-to-3 Partnership

To deepen its support for policymakers with an interest in prenatal-to-3 policies, NCSL’s Children and Families Program is partnering with the new Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

POLICY BRIEF | TRANSPORTATION
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3 More States Say Yes to Hands-Free Driver Laws

Starting July 1, Idaho, Indiana and South Dakota began banning drivers from using cellphones behind the wheel, unless they’re hands-free. They join 22 states and the District of Columbia, which already have hands-free laws for all drivers.

LEADERSHIP | COVID-19
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Coronavirus: How It's Changing State Legislatures

COVID-19 moved quickly through the states, and legislatures sprung to action just as swiftly. It didn’t take long for lawmakers to realize the disease was going to be more devastating than first believed.

POLICY TREND | LABOR
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Workers Fit for the Future

The way we work is evolving. Technological advances demand highly skilled workers, and gig jobs require people who can be paid by the task or project, not by the position they hold in a company. The transformation of today’s workplace has left businesses, educators and policymakers playing catch-up. COVID-19 has only accelerated the pace of change.

STATE STATS | FISCAL
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States Got More Than a Rainy Day With COVID-19

To prepare for a possible recession, state lawmakers have been building up their budget stabilization—or rainy day—funds for nine years straight, reaching a record combined total of $74.9 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.