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.

New Jersey Says No to Discriminating Against the Unemployed

New Jersey is the first state to pass a law prohibiting discrimination against the unemployed. The law addresses a growing trend where companies advertise job openings but say only those currently employed may apply.  Illinois, Michigan and New York have also introduced similar bills. More

Lawmakers Continue to Battle Sexting

Back to school can mean new backpacks, clothes and smartphones. In 2011, at least 21 states and Guam introduced bills or resolutions aimed at "sexting"—the practice of sending sexually explicit or nude or semi-nude photos of children by cell phone. Bills have been enacted in Florida, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas  and Guam so far this year. More

What Do Taxpayer Transparency Acts Mean to You?

At least 34 states have passed legislation—often called Taxpayer Transparency Acts—requiring a centralized, searchable website that provides information to the public about state expenditures or state contracts. This chart provides links to the legislation and websites, including some sites that were created through executive order or actions of state agencies/officers. More 

NCSL 50-State Databases Assist Reporters

Find the most comprehensive and complete 50-state information in NCSL's searchable bill tracking databases for more than two dozen policy areas. The status of bills listed in most of NCSL's databases is updated every two weeks. Search by subtopics, year, status (e.g., pending, enacted, to governor, etc.) or enter keywords to identify bills. More