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.

Top 12 Legislative Issues of 2012

Each year, NCSL develops an annual list that examines some of the most pressing and important topics on state legislative agendas. The Top 12 of 2012 is not meant to cover every topic or issue states will tackle during the upcoming legislative session, but rather to highlight some of the program areas and issues that will command the attention of policymakers. The top 12 Issues of 2012 are listed in no particular order. More

New Laws Ring in 2012

A host of new laws--from making it a crime to sell a live animal on any street or in any parking lot, to honoring law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty with a special medal--become effective Jan. 1, 2012. NCSL found an assortment of laws in at least 21 states that will become effective on New Year's Day. The following list is a sampling of some of the new state laws (organized alphabetically by topic) ringing in the new year. More

Elections Experts Make Prediction for 2012

The January edition of the monthly election newsletter, The Canvass, issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts, asked elections experts from across the nation how states should prepare to run elections in 2012, and what legislatures can do to make sure elections are run efficiently and accurately, and are open to everyone. Registration, resources, and reaching voters all made the top of the list. More

Who Meets in 2012?

With the new year comes the start of legislative sessions for 46 states and territories. Thirty-eight of those begin in January. While only eight legislatures, plus the District of Columbia, meet throughout the year, several others will finish in a few months. In 2012,  forty-six state legislatures will meet. More