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.

Projected Revenue Growth in FY 2011 and Beyond

This new report by NCSL's fiscal policy analysts shows that after several years of steep declines, state revenues are starting to pick up. State officials have anxiously awaited this turnaround for months or, in some cases, years. In some states the rate of decline has slowed, but in others, positive revenue performance is occurring in one or more tax categories. Lawmakers expect to have closed multi-year budget gaps exceeding $530 billion by the time the effects of the recession dissipate. And despite recent revenue improvements, more gaps loom as states confront the phase out of federal stimulus funds, expiring tax increases and growing spending pressures. More

Privacy Legislation Related to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be thought of as a next-generation bar code. A simple RFID tag consists of a microchip and antenna, which when stimulated by a remote "reader," sends back information via radio waves.  The use of RFID has raised privacy concerns in some states, particularly with regard to linking personal information with RFID tags that can be found in credit cards and driver's licenses. Legislation on this issue has been introduced in at least 11 states to protect consumers. Find out if your state is one of them. More  

Credit Counseling, Debt Management and Debt Settlement Legislation in 2010  

Credit counselors, debt managers and debt settlement services all provide resources to help consumers get out of debt. State legislators and other policymakers have been raising questions regarding how these services work and whether they help or hurt consumers. During the 2010 legislative session, 23 states have introduced legislation regarding credit counseling, debt management and/or debt settlement. More

Internet Campaigning

How many political ads have you seen on Facebook and Google this campaign season? The Internet is surpassing traditional methods of campaigning, such as the television, radio and newspaper. Regulation of Internet campaigning, however, lags far behind campaigns' use of the Internet and new media in most states. Find out which states are issuing recommendations before the November election. More

Shaken Baby Syndrome 

Shaken baby syndrome covers a variety of symptoms associated with the violent shaking of an infant or young child.  Prevention efforts typically include educating new parents on the dangers of shaking their baby and how to cope better with their anger or frustration. NCSL is tracking state laws and regulations that relate to shaken baby syndrome in hospitals, with child care providers, in public awareness campaigns and through school awareness programs. More