Capitol Ideas

Capitol Ideas is a periodic listing of story ideas and background information from new NCSL research. For more information, contact NCSL's Press Team.

Aging in Place

Many reporters are starting to focus on the "graying of America" and this new NCSL report explores how states are addressing aging issues with innovative land use, transportation and housing policies. The report notes that as more and more baby boomers reach retirement, states are developing practical solutions to transportation and housing issues that help seniors remain in their homes as they age. More

Shortage of Doctors

State are trying to invest in primary care systems to serve residents, but have not been able to keep up with demand. Many states have cut funding to community health centers because of budget constraints, greatly reducing their capacity to serve the rising numbers of uninsured. Community health centers are often the place to go to receive care and with the increased load on state services and high unemployment rates over the past few years, their services have been in high demand. In nine states, at least one-third of the population lives in an area that is underserved by primary care physicians. A new interactive map gives reporters a snapshot of state actions to improve primary care, including state funding for community health centers, workforce development policies aimed at increasing primary care providers practicing in underserved areas and the development of health information technology systems. More

New Immigration Report

A new report by NCSL on the state immigration laws shows that in 2011, state legislators from across the country introduced 1,607 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. This is a significant increase from 2010, when 46 states considered more than 1,400 bills and resolutions pertaining to immigrants. Forty-two states and Puerto Rico enacted 197 new laws and 109 new resolutions, for a total of 306. Five states crafted omnibus laws following the example of Arizona’s 2010 bill, SB 1070. Court challenges based on preemption and civil rights have been filed against all five of these new state laws. More

Projected State Tax Growth in FY 2012 and Beyond Looking Up 

A new report from NCSL shows that fiscal year (FY) 2012 marks the second consecutive year state officials are forecasting growth in state tax revenue compared with the previous year. This is a welcome development following the revenue declines of FY 2009 and FY 2010, the height of The Great Recession. More.  NCSL also released its latest edition of the State Budget Update, which shows state fiscal conditions are improving, but at a slow pace.