Contents | State Legislatures Magazine | January-February 2020


Volume 46, No. 1 | Download the Magazine


Federalism | Filling In for the Feds
Congress' inability to get things done
leaves states carrying a heavy load.

Taxation | Services Targeted for Taxes
Lawmakers consider taxing services as
consumers spend less on retail goods.

Criminal Justice | Debating the Death Penalty
Capital punishment divides legislators,
but not along party lines.


From the Editors
Congressional gridlock means states get limited funding and policy direction on several important issues. It also means they have opportunities to experiment with policies of their own.

Changes to college admissions rules after Varsity Blues scandal; public banks; bicycle helmet laws; census worker shortage; women in legislative leadership; Steven D. Gold Award

The brighter side of legislative news: female peony farmers in Alaska; Vermont tops “healthiest state” ranking; military service dogs honored; toward plain-language legislation; feral pigs expanding range

On the Same Page
The "America in One Room" project aims to find out if the nation’s political divisions and polarization are as entrenched as some people claim they are.

Most workplaces are built by and for extroverts, but with a few tips — and some support from savvy managers — introverts can learn to thrive.

Innovations | What Can Congress Learn From the States?
When a U.S. House committee was charged with finding ways to modernize Congress, it turned to the states — and NCSL — for help.

Proponents on both sides of the gun dispute can cite studies supporting their views, meaning debates over restrictions will surely continue in legislative chambers this year.

What’s happening under the domes

Yes, No, Maybe So | What's (Un)Ethical About Lobbying?
Like politicians and journalists, lobbyists get a bad rap. But all states define ethical boundaries be­tween lobbyists and public officials, protecting public trust and government integrity.

The Final Word
Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro presides over half of the nation’s first female-majority legislature.