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.

Combating distracted drivers

More than 220 million people in the United States subscribe to wireless services, and it is estimated that as many as 80 percent of those subscribers use their phones while driving. Eight states and the District of Columbia have banned hand-held phone use by drivers, while other states have passed less restrictive legislation. NCSL has full, up-to-date coverage on how states are handling this issue.

Annual vs. biennial budgeting

In 1940, 44 states enacted biennial budgets, today only 19 do. NCSL takes an in-depth look at what changes have spurred the trend in annual budgeting and the pros and cons of both budget processes.

States’ voter ID requirements

The federal Help America Vote Act mandates that all states require identification from first-time voters who register to vote by mail without ID verification. Twenty-nine states go beyond the federal legislation and require all voters to show ID before voting. NCSL closely tracks legislation on this issue and has up-to-date information on every state’s voting requirements.

The Obama plan vs. the Ryan plan from the states’ perspective

NCSL offers a detailed comparison of how these two deficit reduction plans will affect states. More