Table of Contents | State Legislatures | February 2016

2/1/2016

VOLUME 42, No. 2

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Features

February 2016 State Legislatures coverPOWER SHIFT
By Glen Andersen
States will have to work together to reach the new lower CO2 emission standards for power plants in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

CALMING THE CHAOS
By Tahra Johnson
The increasing use of medication to treat hyperactivity has called some lawmakers’ attention to possible disparities in use and gaps in treatments.

PRISON BREAK
By Alison Lawrence
Many states have found ways to reserve prison space for the most serious offenders without jeopardizing public safety.

ON RECORD
Q&A with Piper Kerman, author of “Orange Is the New Black”
“Women come out of prison in worse shape than when they went in.”

THE FINAL WORD
Meet Dan Patrick—From Talk Radio to Texas Lieutenant Governor
“The more people know about government, the better government we have.”

 

DEPARTMENTS

 

SHORT TAKES ON NCSL NEWS

Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. • NCSL leaders meet with U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. • And young legislative professionals compare notes.

STATESTATS

A look at the federal refugee resettlement budget and the number of refugees accepted through state partnerships in 2014.

NEWSMAKERS: WHAT LAWMAKERS ARE DOING AND SAYING

California's assembly speaker steps down. • The nation’s largest legislature has new leadership. • A Delaware senator maintains his perfect attendance record. • And New Jersey continues work on pensions.

TRENDS IN STATE POLICY NEWS

Campaign Finance: As the cost of political campaigns continues to rise, state lawmakers are seeking ways to keep an eye on the amount of money being pumped into candidates’ coffers.  

Light Pollution: Excessive outdoor lighting not only makes it hard to see the stars, but also has serious consequences for human health, the military and the environment.

Automated Driving: Driverless cars are no long the stuff of science fiction, and lawmakers are working fast to come up with new rules of the road.

Cost of Injuries: Accidents and violence set the U.S. back a total of $671 billion in medical costs and estimated lost wages in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

STATELINE: LEGISLATIVE NEWS IN BRIEF

Following a national trend, Utah started letting voters submit their ballots by mail last year. The results? Turnout nearly doubled. • Bicycle tourists are generally older and wealthier than other tourists. Several states are luring them with new bike paths and other travel perks. • Hawaii tops a new list of the “healthiest” states. • Prescription drug take-back programs work well, but they aren’t cheap. • Millennials are more likely than older generations to say the government should be able to prohibit public statements that are offensive to minorities.