Table of Contents | State Legislatures | January 2016

1/7/2016

VOLUME 42, No. 1

PDF | Download the Full Magazine

Features

January 2016 State Legislatures coverLEGISLATURES: START YOUR ENGINES
By Wendy Underhill and Daniel Diorio
Voters said “stay the course” in legislative elections last fall and “yes” to most of the ballot measures. Now it’s time to get to work.

SETTING THE SCENE FOR 2016
By Julie Lays
From opioid addiction to fantasy sports, state lawmakers will have plenty on their plates this year—no matter who occupies the White House.

THE ACCIDENTAL LIBRARIAN
By Michael Gioia
How a quirky former football coach upended the staid world of libraries and changed the role of legislative research forever.

EXPERIENCE PREFERRED
By Louis Jacobson
Legislative experience can be a plus for governors—but it hardly guarantees success.

ON RECORD
Q&A with economist Christopher Thornberg
“We need to start paying attention to the unfunded stuff
and stop worrying about the funded stuff.”

THE FINAL WORD
Meet Ellen Roberts, Colorado Senate President Pro Tempore.

DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE DIRECTOR: NCSL'S BILL POUND WELCOMES LEGISLATORS, STAFF

"As you convene in capitols across the country and begin the difficult work of solving some of the nation’s biggest challenges, I’d like to remind you that NCSL is here to help."

NEWSMAKERS: WHAT LAWMAKERS ARE DOING AND SAYING

Republican majorities are stronger in several states ★ U.S. Chamber tips hat to two West Virginians ★ Ohio term limits end the Senate careers of the top two leaders in the upper chamber ★ New Jersey Speaker Vince Prieto wields the gavel for a second term ★ And Tim Rice, exeutive director of the Illinois Legislative Information System, retires after 36-year career.

SHORT TAKES ON NCSL NEWS

NCSL expertise and a recap of staff section professional development seminars.

STATELINE: LEGISLATIVE NEWS IN BRIEF

Overdoses of prescription opioids—which include heroin and some prescription painkillers like morphine, methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone—now kill more Americans than all other drugs combined. We also look at the cost of political campaigns, how law enforcement officials are seeking less lethal ways to subdue suspects and how some Western states are cooperating with the federal government when it comes to public lands.

STATESTATS

An analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that much of the national job recovery since the Great Recession has missed the public sector. 

TRENDS IN THE NEWS

U.S. Supreme Court: The justices are set to hear several controversial cases. Here’s what the states need to know.

Credit Scores: Many drivers don’t know that these reports can affect their auto insurance rates.

Ballot Selfies: A federal court OKs taking pictures while in the voting booth.