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.

Funding Education in a Climate of Cutting

NCSL has been hosting a series of webinars based on the Top 12 legislative issues of 2012. Friday is the final webinar and will examine education funding. As state lawmakers wrestle with the fifth consecutive year of budget gaps, they will look to education – both K-12 and higher levels – for additional cuts. This webinar will also discuss key federal education actions in 2012 that will affect states. Reporters interested in attending this webinar must select "media" when registering. More

Sexting Still an Issue

State legislatures continue to grapple with the issue of sexting - the pratice of sending sexually explicit, nude or semi-nude photos of children by cell phone. In 2012, at least 10 states so far are considering bills or resolutions aimed at sexting. Since 2009, when NCSL began tracking sexting legislation, at least 16 states and Guam have enacted laws to address youth sexting. In addition, the California Assembly passed a resolution in 2010, and Indiana (in 2009) and Rhode Island (in 2010) created study commissions on sexting. More

Jobs Based on Credit Information

Before you go to a job interview, should you check your credit report? NCSL continues to track state legislation that has been introduced during the 2012 legislative session relating to the use of credit information in employment. As of February, 32 bills address restrictions on how this information can be used in employment decisions. The total number of states that limit employers' use of credit information in employment is now seven: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington. More

Motorcycle Season = Motorcycle Safety

With events like Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis quickly approaching, the federal government and states continue to refine and expand existing safety programs and laws to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from motorcycle crashes. A new report by two of NCSL's transportation policy analysts provides an overview of motorcycle safety, including federal regulations and guidelines, information about current and notable trends in state policy that address motorcycle safety, and the effectiveness of these efforts. More