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.

Record Number of Immigration-Related Bills and Resolutions 

According to a new immigration report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the 50 states and Puerto Rico have introduced a record 1,538 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees in the first quarter of 2011. This number surpasses the first quarter of 2010 by 358. Although employment, identification/driver’s licenses and law enforcement continue to be top areas of focus, with the passage of federal health care reform, health has also emerged as a top contender. In the area of health, 68 bills were introduced in 38 state legislatures. Most of these bills address eligibility criteria for health benefits for immigrants and their children. 

Legislative Social Media Sites

Blogs and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube are becoming increasingly popular with legislators and legislative caucuses.  This web page tracks legislative caucuses' use of these tools. More

NCSL Legislative Summit

NCSL’s Legislative Summit is the largest and only venue of its kind where legislators and staff can come together to promote and encourage bipartisan dialogue on some of the most pressing issues facing states. By learning from peers, and exchanging information with experts, legislators and staff bring home ideas that often result in significant budget savings or new policy options that help state residents.

Anyone who pays a registration fee may attend our meetings, which includes the public and private sector. The exhibition space is available to anyone wishing to share information with legislators. This often includes organizations representing different sides of the same issue. The media is allowed to attend all NCSL meetings, including Legislative Summit, at no cost. Reporters will have several opportunities to interview an array of NCSL policy experts and state lawmakers along with nationally renowned speakers at scheduled press events and during one-on-one interview opportunities.

NCSL believes the process of good government takes into account all points of view. However, the private sector does not hold positions on NCSL’s executive committee and is prohibited from controlling the content of sessions and programming at its meetings. NCSL does not create model legislation, but legislators will vote on policy at our summit on federal issues affecting the states. In turn, the Washington, D.C., staff advocates these positions with Congress and the administration.  These policies are brought forth by our 12 standing committees that serve as forums to exchange ideas and information among state legislators and staff.  

Credentialed members of the media may register online for NCSL's Legislative Summit. Please be sure to mark that you are a member of the media on the registration form. Journalists may also register via fax.