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.

State Demographics

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has updated its interactive map of demographic information with new data from the U.S. Census Bureau for all 50 states. NCSL's interactive map illustrates the population growth by state over the past 10 years and shows which states are set to gain or lose a seat in Congress.  


Guide to Leaders and State Legislatures

NCSL's Guide to Leaders and Legislatures, 2011  is a directory of those who lead the leaders: the speakers of the House, Senate presidents, majority and minority leaders who guide their chambers toward producing innovative policies that serve the interests of the American people. The Guide to Leaders is broken down by state and includes information on the capitol address, legislative website address, general phone numbers and length of session. It also provides a look at the work of NCSL, the organization that brings all of the laboratories of democracy together. This includes partisan composition and control of state legislatures, term limits, full- and part-time legislatures, and an overview of the organization. Members of the media may receive a free PDF copy of NCSL's Guide to Leaders and Legislatures 2010. For a free copy, please contact our press room.


Sexting Legislation

In 2011, at least 20 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. Since 2009, when NCSL began tracking this legislation, at least 10 states have enacted bills to address youth sexting. In addition, the California Assembly passed a resolution in 2010, and Indiana (2009) and Rhode Island (2010) have created study commissions on the topic.  


Transportation Funding, 2010

State lawmakers faced critical decisions in 2010 as they worked to maintain existing infrastructure and meet the growing need for new transportation projects in the midst of budget shortfalls and declining transportation revenues.  Read about these funding hurdles and other trends in 2010 legislation.