VOLUME 42, No. 8
A WORLD APART
By Julie Bell
How are other countries able to close the achievement gap and produce such high-achieving students?
RULINGS IN REVIEW
By Lisa Soronen
Supreme Court decisions on some important cases this year will be felt in the states for quite some time.
GMO LABELING IN THE LIMELIGHT
By Doug Farquhar
Congress passes GMO labeling law, following Vermont’s lead.
HOW WE VOTE
By Wendy Underhill and Dan Diorio
Do recent changes in voting law make it easier or harder to cast a ballot?
CHILDREN: NOT FOR SALE
By Jane Hoback
Lawmakers are attacking sex trafficking on several fronts.
SHORT TAKES ON NCSL NEWS
NCSL brings its expertise to meetings on energy, infrastructure, veterans’ employment and public health ★ The Harrington Award for Excellence in Democracy Education and other acknowledgments made during Legislative Summit ★ Staff analysts and researchers quoted in the news
Abortion action abounds: The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt has implications beyond Texas, where the case originated.
NEWSMAKERS | WHAT LAWMAKERS ARE DOING AND SAYING
The Dalai Lama visits the California Legislature ★ Inspired by “Hamilton,” four Utah legislators become carpool karaoke stars ★ State lawmakers take the stages at the Republican and Democratic national conventions
TRENDS IN STATE POLICY NEWS
Similar, Not Identical: Nearly half the legislatures have amended their laws to address biologic and biosimilar medicines.
The Crowd Effect: Lawmakers look to state and federal guidelines as entrepreneurs increasingly use crowdfunding to tap the money-raising power of the internet.
Hemp’s Hot: Rugged and useful, industrial hemp, a non-psychoactive relative of marijuana, is becoming a popular topic in statehouses nationwide.
STATELINE | LEGISLATIVE NEWS IN BRIEF
Colorado moves customers into the fast lane at DMV offices ★ Vermont is the first state to require free publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs ★ Nearly half the states prevent employers from asking about criminal history on public job applications ★ Police and emergency personnel are now a protected class under Louisiana’s hate-crime laws
YES, NO, MAYBE SO | ETHICS IN THE WORLD OF STATE GOVERNMENT
What’s wrong with becoming a lobbyist after leaving the legislature?
THE FINAL WORD
Meet Mike Gronstal, Iowa Senate Majority Leader and NCSL President
“Good leaders remind people what brought them to the dance in the first place.”