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THE NCSL PODCAST

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COVID-19: Searching for a Vaccine | OAS Episode 99
This podcast is one in a series NCSL is producing about states and the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus Today’s topic could hardly be of greater interest: the hunt...

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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

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What Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Means for States

In a high profile 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the state of Montana cannot exclude religious schools from receiving tax credit-funded scholarships under its school choice program. What do legislators need to know, and what does this decision mean for states?

Pew Report Explores 50-State Pension Funding Gap in 2018, Management Practices Amid Downturn 

In 2018, the aggregate 50-state pension funding gap improved slightly to $1.24 trillion from $1.28 trillion in 2017, according to a June report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

State Legislatures Magazine: Legislative Leaders Pivot to Non-Virus Challenges

The traditions and customs of America’s legislatures have evolved and been nurtured for two centuries and are every bit as vital to their functioning as the deliberations over bills.

Kavanaugh Allows Illinois Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order With Religious Exemption to Stand

Without explanation, without referring the matter to the entire Supreme Court, and without calling for a response, Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied a request for an emergency injunction to strike down Illinois Governor Pritzker’s executive order limiting gatherings to 50 people while exempting religious gathering. 

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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
iowa black caucus police reform bill

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.

VIDEO | 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.