In the News | June 2021

6/3/2021

June 30

Petition against Louise Lucas seeks to do the unprecedented — recall a Virginia lawmaker
Virginian-Pilot
Nineteen other states allow for recall elections of officials at the state level, through which voters collect a certain number of petition signatures to force an election. Recall elections are more common at the local rather than state level, with as many as three-fourths of them aimed at removing city council or school board members, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Pa. plans to spend $1 billion in American Rescue Plan money. A few similar-sized states plan to spend more.
WITF
But according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures, a few other big- population states, like Illinois and Florida, are spending a larger share of their money in those areas.
 
Pa. budget: Schools, nursing homes, college student-athletes big winners
TribDem.com
It also comes as states across the country have been racing to change their laws to allow student-athletes to be compensated, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. That group found that, through Thursday, 19 states had passed legislation allowing college student-athletes to get compensated.
 
Colorado bans Native American mascots
Yahoo News
Colorado is now one of seven states to weigh legislation ending the use of Native American mascots, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Mississippi lawmakers hear testimony on medical marijuana
WTVA
Karmen Hanson of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said 36 states, three territories and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana programs, and each place approaches the subject differently. The programs are also constantly evolving over time, she said.
“This is is not a ‘one and done’ situation,” she said. “You might enact something one year, and the next year you’re going to have dozens of bills to make tweaks.”
 

June 29

Arizona Bill to Strip Rapists of Parental Rights Passes State Legislature
Newsweek
Thirty-two other states in addition to Arizona have legislation allowing the termination of the parental rights of rapists who conceive a child as a result of an assault, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Mississippi lawmakers hear testimony on medical marijuana
US News and World Report
Karmen Hanson of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said 36 states, three territories and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana programs, and each place approaches the subject differently. The programs are also constantly evolving over time, she said. “This is is not a ‘one and done’ situation," she said. "You might enact something one year, and the next year you're going to have dozens of bills to make tweaks.”
 
Iowa State Patrol Still Doesn’t Wear Body Cams
Governing
Most of the laws came after May 2020, when protests flared across the country over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Department custody, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported.
 
Effort to restore felon voting rights continues in courts after legislative move falters
MPR News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, two states and the District of Columbia allow those convicted of a felony to vote, even while incarcerated.
 
New Oregon recycling plan awaits Gov. Brown's OK
Pamplin Media Group
Fifty years ago this month, when Oregon lawmakers passed the nation's first requirement for refundable deposits on beer and soda bottles and cans, Republicans figured prominently in that legislation. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 10 states have "bottle bills."

June 28

As Parents Forbid Covid Shots, Defiant Teenagers Seek Ways to Get Them
New York Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has been tracking Covid-related bills, some states, including Tennessee and Alabama, are working on legislation to prevent public schools from requiring Covid shots.
 
Vetoed Arizona sex education bill heading back to governor
ABC News
Arizona already has some of the most restrictive sex education laws in the country, with no requirement that schools teach the subject. It is one of just five states that require schools to get parents’ approval to take a sex ed class; most allow parents to opt out of instruction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Committee on state government discusses redistricting
The Paducah Sun
Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures, started the presentation. Underhill noted that census data is responsible for bringing in an estimated $15.8 billion to Kentucky every 10 years.
 
Without body cameras, Iowa State Patrol is an outlier among state's law enforcement agencies
desmoinesregister.com
Most of the laws came after May 2020, when protests flared across the country over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Department custody, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported.

June 25

NC medical marijuana legalization gets Senate hearing; Edwards 'might be convinced'
US News and World Report
Thirty-six states currently permit cannabis products for medical use, while 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation regulate adult use of cannabis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Come July 1 in Virginia, adult residents can legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for use.
 
Can Ranked-Choice Voting Cure American Politics?
The New York Times
Even in the United States, it has a long history. “Several cities adopted it throughout the 1920s and 1930s,” Amanda Zoch of the National Conference of State Legislatures noted last year. “The system fell out of favor in the 1950s” — in part because at the time ranked-choice counting had to be done by hand — “until a resurgence of use by cities in the last two decades.”
 
'Game-changer in police-community relations': Body cameras bill heads to Gov. Carney
WDEL 1150AM
Just seven states currently mandate the statewide use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers. Six of those states have enacted their policies since May 2020, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
California Legislature passes bill to remove 'he' from state laws
KTLA
The bill is part of a long process of updating state laws and documents with gender neutral terms. Across the country, many states have required all new legislation to be written this way. Minnesota did a complete statutory revision in 1986 to remove gender specific language, according to Mick Bullock, public affairs director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 24

Louisiana Won't Ban Transgender Athletes On Girls' Teams
NPR
The legislation was similar to bans passed by Republican-led legislatures in several states. Idaho was the first state to approve such a bill, and it's been followed by others including Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
NC Medical Marijuana Legalization Gets Hearing in Senate
US News & World Report
Thirty-six states currently permit cannabis products for medical use, while 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation regulate adult use of cannabis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Rhode Island Senate approves legalizing cannabis for adults
Mass Live
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for adults over the age of 21, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Our View: Reopen the Statehouse
Eagle Tribune
At the start of the year, the legislatures in 28 states were allowing lawmakers to “call” into sessions remotely, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. An even greater number were making arrangements to hold committee meetings remotely.

June 23

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bills Restricting Food Labeling
U.S. News & World Report
Seventeen other states have enacted some type of meat labeling law in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Louisiana governor vetoes transgender sports ban proposal
PBS NewsHour
The legislation was similar to bans passed by legislatures in several states. Idaho was the first state to approve such a bill, and it’s been followed by others including Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Rhode Island Senate approves legalizing marijuana for adults
Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Fact check: A look at four false claims about Democrats' big elections bill
WRAL
And as the National Conference of State Legislatures notes on its website, state voter ID requirements generally don't apply to mail-in or absentee ballots anyway.
 
Should Ohio candidates be able to use campaign funds on child care costs?
Ohio Capital Journal
This change is seen as one way to close the gender gap in elected politics. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, women make up just over 30% of all state legislators across the country.
 
Retailers oppose online Lottery sales
The Daily News of Newburyport
At least six states, including New Hampshire, have authorized the online sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How one Pennsylvania lawmaker billed taxpayers $1.8 million in expenses
WHYY
Per-diem rates vary depending on the time of year and whether lawmakers are traveling for a voting or nonvoting session. Pennsylvania rates are among the more generous in the country, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 22

Ranked-Choice Voting Gets Its New York City Audition
The Washington Post
Several cities adopted it in the 1920s and 1930s. Plurality systems -- known as first-past-the-post in the U.K. and elsewhere -- gained favor in the 1950s, because they could be done with machines, while ranked-choice then had to be counted by hand, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
A missed chance for rationality about federal fuel taxes
The Washington Post
NCSL Info Cited
 
Retailers oppose online Lottery sales
Eagle-Tribune
At least six states including New Hampshire have authorized online lottery sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Wisconsin Bills Target Milk, Meat and Dairy Labeling
U.S. News & World Report
Seventeen other states have enacted some type of meat labeling law in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States balance capitol security, openness
East Oregonian
Overall, gun policies in state capitols, even after the January riot in Washington, remain split. About 30 state capitols employ metal detectors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Hospitals Start Requiring Workers to Get COVID Shots
PEW States
In all but Tennessee, the new laws prohibit employers from requiring workers to get a vaccine but carve out an exception for health care and public health workers, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Sununu opposes New Hampshire primary date changes
Laconia Daily Sun
At least 31 other states – including Connecticut, Vermont and Florida – hold their state primaries in June, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 21

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoes part of budget that funds Legislature after Democrat walkout
USA Today
Two states, Hawaii and Michigan, have constitutional statutes that bar governors from vetoing or reducing legislative or judicial appropriations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas does not.
 
America debates how much power state governors should have
Economist
So far this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in 45 states have introduced more than 300 bills and resolutions concerning legislative oversight of governors’ emergency powers, with 14 states enacting such measures.
 
Amid reform movement, some GOP states give police more power
AP
Since May 2020, at least 67 police reforms have been signed into law in 25 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those laws addressed neck restraints and chokeholds, body cameras, disciplinary and personnel records, and independent investigations, among other reforms.
 
Myriad options with fed relief
Beckley Register-Herald
In numerous other states, the governor didn’t have sole authority over the CARES Act spending, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. For example, Pennsylvania’s legislature passed a bill allocating more than $2.6 billion of CARES Act funds.
 
Montana needs clear, objective rules to prevent gerrymandering
Daily Inter Lake
The Republicans proposed that political subdivision lines should be followed “to the greatest extent possible” after reviewing data generated by the National Council of State Legislatures at Redistricting Criteria (ncsl.org).

June 18

America debates how much power state governors should have
Economist
But many saw lockdowns, mask mandates and other emergency powers assumed by governors as infringements on their civil liberties. Early this year, lawmakers entered new legislative sessions in a power-restricting mood. So far this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in 45 states have introduced more than 300 bills and resolutions concerning legislative oversight of governors’ emergency powers, with 14 states enacting such measures.
 
Stacey Abrams backs Sen. Manchin's compromise on voting legislation
NBC News
In 2020, 35 states requested some form of voter identification at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while other states check other identifying information like signatures at the polls.
 
Will schools and day cares require masks or COVID-19 vaccines in fall 2021?
NY Times Post
For public schools, vaccine requirements are largely left up to states, but none have yet required children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to reenter school, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
More States Rein in Governors' Emergency Powers
Stateline
State lawmakers proposed a flood of bills this year that would limit governors’ power to declare and respond to an emergency, with more than 300 bills filed across 47 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL), an organization that advises state legislators.
 
Such laws have been enacted in 12 states, according to NCSL. Some of the new laws give legislators more control over the duration of an official emergency declaration. Others give them oversight of federal emergency aid spending or allow them to call the legislature into session in an emergency.
 
Connecticut governor to sign bill legalizing recreational marijuana
Washington Examiner
Gov. Ned Lamont has committed to signing the bill, which passed the Senate with a 16-11 vote. Once signed, Connecticut will join 17 other states, including New York and New Jersey, that have already legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State House EXIT SIGNS — Pandemic policies EXTENDED — Growing calls for INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION into Mikayla Miller’s death
Politico – Mass. Playbook
CONGRATS – to state Rep. Andy Vargas on his appointments to the Council of State Governments Healthy States National Task Force and the National Conference of State Legislatures Early Childhood Fellows program.
 
State recovers from large forecasts and achieves record high budget – NBC4 Washington
Florida News Times
Today, many of these same states are abundant in cash, and lawmakers are passing budgets with record spending. Money is flowing into schools, social programs and infrastructure. At the same time, many states are running out of billions of dollars in savings. “The financial situation in each state is much better than expected,” said Erica McKeller, a financial analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. In states that span Florida, Maryland, Colorado, Utah, and Washington, spending plans for the budget year starting July 1 have increased by more than 10%.
 
Westminster's plastic bag reduction law goes into effect July 1
Baltimore Sun
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported in February that California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont have banned single-use plastic bags. And a Maryland Matters article reported in 2020 that Takoma Park, Chestertown, Westminster, Montgomery County, Howard County and Baltimore City have passed legislation that either prohibits the sale of plastic bags or charges a fee for them.
 
Report Outlines How The Southeast Can Reach 100% Clean Electricity By 2035
Nashville Public Radio
In the U.S., 37 states already have required or voluntary clean power requirements, or renewable portfolio standards. Nine states in the Southeast do not have standards, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

June 17

Colorado governor signs priority bills to cut health insurance costs, limit prescription drug prices
Colorado Sun
A number of other states have passed laws in recent years to regulate prescription drug costs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The state of Maryland created a Prescription Drug Affordability Board with the goal of capping drug prices in 2019 and passed legislation earlier this year to fund the board.
 
Post-Insurrection, States Balance Capitol Security, Openness
PEW 
Overall, gun policies in state capitols, even after the January riot in Washington, remain split. About 30 state capitols employ metal detectors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Conversely, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, a pro-gun research group, about 23 capitols officially allow carrying legal firearms inside.
 
Wyoming advocates hopeful about pot initiatives despite odds
East Idaho News
Thirty-six states now allow medical marijuana, and 17 have approved recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Wyoming advocates hopeful about pot initiatives despite odds
Billings Gazette
The Legislature legalized hemp and hemp oil in 2019, but Wyoming is among a dwindling number of states that haven't approved marijuana in some form. Thirty-six states now allow medical marijuana, and 17 have approved recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Will schools and day cares require masks or COVID-19 vaccines in fall 2021?
Detroit Free Press
For public schools, vaccine requirements are largely left up to states, but none have yet required children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to reenter school, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 16

Anti-Vax Groups COVID Victories 
Politico
Hundreds of vaccine-related bills are usually introduced in state houses each legislative session, said Tahra Johnson, program director for public health and maternal and child health at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many focus on creating or expanding exemptions to school inoculation requirements or eliminating such exemptions. This year there are even more bills “due to the additional Covid-19 vaccine bills and a focus on adults,” she said.
 
Interim Joint State Government Committee hears about Census, redistricting, elections
WTVQ – Kentucky
Wendy Underhill, NCSL Director of Elections and Redistricting discussed the actions following redistricting. “A lot of action is depending on the timeline of redistricting,” said Underhill.
 
Gov. Carney to lift emergency order July 13
Delaware Business
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least half of all states have proposed limiting a governor’s emergency powers in some way. Notably, Pennsylvania voters approved a referendum last month to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s state of emergency and give the legislature greater veto power in future fights.
 
Lawmakers begin moving election bills, setting up showdown with Wolf
TribDem.com
Wolf has repeatedly said he won’t support any legislation that makes it harder to vote and won’t support legislation that includes a voter ID provision. Thirty-six states have voter ID laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Pennsylvania found 'forever chemicals' in Berks drinking water. Here's what you need to know
Reading Eagle
In March, the National Conference of State Legislatures noted studies have linked the chemicals to causing adverse health effects such as low infant birth weights, asthma, cancer and thyroid hormone disruptions and endocrine disruptors and fertility issues in men.
 
Wyoming advocates hopeful about pot initiatives despite odds
Seattle Times
The Legislature legalized hemp and hemp oil in 2019, but Wyoming is among a dwindling number of states that haven’t approved marijuana in some form. Thirty-six states now allow medical marijuana, and 17 have approved recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Gov. Carney to lift emergency order July 13
Delaware Business Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least half of all states have proposed limiting a governor’s emergency powers in some way. Notably, Pennsylvania voters approved a referendum last month to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s state of emergency and give the legislature greater veto power in future fights.

June 15

Maine legislature expands ballot box access
The Hill
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 40 other states and Washington, D.C., currently allow online voter registration.
 
Who runs America's elections?

Reuters
Twenty-four states – from Georgia to California – have an elected secretary of state as the chief election official, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In some states, the elected lieutenant governor is the chief election official. In others, the chief election official is appointed by the legislature or governor.
 
Anti-vax groups rack up victories against Covid-19 push
Politico
At least six states — Arkansas, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah — have enacted legislation to limit Covid shot mandates, giving vaccine opponents some of their most prominent victories in recent memory. At least 11 states have banned the use of vaccine passports, according to the National Council of State Legislatures, and another 31 states at minimum are considering similar legislation.
 
Can Schools Mandate Covid-19 Vaccines for Children? What We Know
Wall Street Journal
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia grant religious exemptions, and 15 states allow philosophical exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Susan Collins Pushes Electric-Vehicle Fees for Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
Newsweek
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website details fees already imposed by 28 states for electric vehicle users to make up for a lack of revenue in gas tax. The special registration fees are typically in addition to traditional registration fees, and 14 states have imposed a fee for plug-in hybrid vehicles that operate on both gas and electricity.
 
Voting bill a nonsolution to a noncrisis
Boston Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 20 states and Washington, D.C., currently have same-day registration and yet we’ve still had free and fair elections, including in those states — among them, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Oregon — without it.

June 11

Maine Senate approves online voter registration
AP 
Forty other states and the District of Columbia allow online voter registration, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
The push to remake policing takes decades, only to begin again
Washington Post
Since then, more than 2,000 policing-related bills have been introduced nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
LGBTQ Iowans won legislative battles in 2021, but threat of state-sponsored discrimination still looms
Sioux City Journal
Lawmakers have taken particular interest in transgender athletes. More than 30 states have introduced bills to exclude them from competition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least seven of those bills have passed so far this year.
 
As lawsuit against Inslee gets Supreme Court hearing, lawmakers, activists express concerns for future compromises
The Spokesman-Review
Line-item vetoes are a subject of controversy in many states, but only six states don’t allow them. Every state allows the governor to veto entire bills, but not as many allow partial veto methods, such as line-item, amendatory or reduction vetoes. Forty-four states allow line-item budget vetoes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Protesters in Pa. Capitol urge lawmakers to ‘stop taking bribes’
Penn Live
Most other states have laws limiting the extent of gifts that lawmakers may accept, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

June 10

Dozens of states leave athlete compensation on back burner
ABC News
Nineteen states have approved legislation that would allow college athlete to make money through use of their name, image or likeness (NIL), according to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois and Texas also have passed bills that await the signatures of their respective governors.
 
HR 1 Is a Non-Solution to a Non-Crisis
POLITICO Magazine
Even if you believe that, for instance, same-day registration is the preferable policy, it is not remotely plausible that is the difference between democracy and authoritarianism in America. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 20 states and Washington, D.C., currently have same-day registration and yet we’ve still had free and fair elections, including in those states—among them, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Oregon—without it.
 
Maine Senate overwhelmingly backs bill to open primaries to unenrolled voters
Yahoo News
It initially passed with a 27-7 vote and faces further votes. If it succeeds, it would put Maine among 21 states to have at least semi-open primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'Stop Taking Bribes,' Protesters Urge Pennsylvania Lawmakers
WESA 90.5
Most other states have laws limiting the extent of gifts that lawmakers may accept, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
As Lawsuit Against Inslee Gets Supreme Court Hearing, Lawmakers, Activists Express Concerns for Future Compromises
The Chronicle
Every state allows the governor to veto entire bills, but not as many allow partial veto methods, such as line-item, amendatory or reduction vetoes. Forty-four states allow line-item budget vetoes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Nevada's push to have the first-in-the-nation presidential primary faces hurdles
Deseret News
Regardless of when Nevada votes in 2024, the switch from caucus to primary could change the makeup of the electorate, since primaries make it easier for residents to make their voices heard. It’s not just Nevada either; increasingly, states are dropping caucuses for primaries. Between 2016 to 2020, the number of states that used caucuses dropped from 14 for Democrats and 13 for Republicans down to three for Democrats and five for Republicans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 9

Dozens of states leave athlete compensation on back burner
ABC News
Nineteen states have approved legislation that would allow college athlete to make money through use of their name, image or likeness (NIL), according to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois and Texas also have passed bills that await the signatures of their respective governors.
 
44 years in, Sen. Ray Holmberg is tied for longest serving state senator in the nation
Grand Forks Herald
Holmberg was informed of his status by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a group dedicated to advancing the effectiveness of those governing bodies and inter-state cooperation, after the retirement of the longest-serving state politician, a Wisconsin Democratic Assembly member.
 
Maine Senate overwhelmingly backs bill to open primaries to unenrolled voters
Bangor Daily News
It initially passed with a 27-7 vote and faces further votes. If it succeeds, it would put Maine among 21 states to have at least semi-open primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Business Groups Push Back On Bill That Would Shift Costs Of Disposing Packaging Materials
Maine Public
Connors is right that Maine could be the first state to establish an EPR program, although at least nine others are considering similar bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

June 8

Louisiana lawmakers pass bill to decriminalize marijuana
The Hill
So far, almost 30 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted similar legislation decriminalizing small amounts of weed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Dozens of states leave athlete compensation on back burner
Washington Post
Nineteen states have approved legislation that would allow college athlete to make money through use of their name, image or likeness (NIL), according to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois and Texas also have passed bills that await the signatures of their respective governors.
 
Oregon legislative employees' historic union vote could pave way for nation
ABC News
Labor laws differ from state to state when it comes to the employment structure of state legislative staff and labor organizing, according to Josh Cunningham, the program manager for employment, labor and retirement for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States rebound from bleak forecasts to pass record budgets
CNBC
“It’s definitely safe to say that states are in a much better fiscal situation than they anticipated,” said Erica MacKellar, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging North Carolina's certificate-of-need law
The Denver Gazette
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, price inflation can occur when a hospital cannot fill its beds and fixed costs must be met through higher charges for the beds that are used.

June 7

States rebound from bleak forecasts to pass record budgets
AP
“It’s definitely safe to say that states are in a much better fiscal situation than they anticipated,” said Erica MacKellar, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Spending plans for the budget year that begins July 1 are up 10% or more in states spanning from Florida and Maryland to Colorado, Utah and Washington.
 
Growing number of GOP-led states seek to limit officials' power to respond to next pandemic
NBC News
The National Conference of State Legislatures has tracked more than 300 bills in 47 states and U.S. territories related to legislative oversight of executive authority on Covid-19.
 
Parties battle over proposed elections changes in Ohio
News 5 Cleveland
Across the country, the average early voting period for states is 19 days, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging North Carolina's certificate-of-need law
KPVI News 6
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, price inflation can occur when a hospital cannot fill its beds and fixed costs must be met through higher charges for the beds that are used.
 
Bill to make kindergarten mandatory for Louisiana students nears final passage
The Daily Advertiser
Nineteen states currently make kindergarten mandatory, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

June 4

Police oversight boards are proliferating, but do they actually work?
ABC News
Since Floyd's death in May 2020, at least 24 states and the District of Columbia have passed significant enactments to expand law enforcement oversight, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
NJ passes 'ban the box' bill to help former inmates find housing
North Jersey
Colorado offers similar protections for ex-offenders, saying landlords can't consider convictions that occurred more than five years ago, with some exceptions, such as sexual offenses, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Mandatory kindergarten nears final approval, 'It just makes sense'
The Advocate
A total of 19 states require students to attend kindergarten, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How — and When — Will Massachusetts Spend Its $5.3B in COVID Relief Funds?
NBC 10 Boston
The National Conference of State Legislatures said disagreements over who gets to hold onto the ARPA purse strings have also unfolded in New Mexico and Wisconsin.
 
Spat Over Control Of Pandemic Aid Funds Leaves 4 Cities Waiting
WBUR
The National Conference of State Legislatures said disagreements over who gets to hold onto the ARPA purse strings have also unfolded in New Mexico and Wisconsin.
 

June 3

Texas lawmakers responded to the pandemic by limiting what the government can do in response to a pandemic
Texas Tribune
More than 150 bills and resolutions pertaining to the pandemic were filed by lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. About 20 of them passed.
 
Spat Over Control Of Pandemic Aid Funds Leaves 4 Cities Waiting
WBUR - Boston
In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill that requires his executive branch to submit proposals for federal funds allocation to House and Senate leaders, NCSL said, and West Virginia lawmakers gave their governor the power to spend up to $150 million of the funds. "In the end, authority is largely determined by the way states interpret their individual laws," NCSL policy associate Emily Maher wrote earlier this month.
 
Florida Democrat is launching three constitutional amendments to make voting easier
Miami Herald
Rhode Island and California are among the states that automatically register voters during a department of motor vehicles transaction. Some 22 states offer some form of same-day voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
NJ Hits Police Body Camera Deadline, but Implementation Lags
NBC 10 Philadelphia
Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico and South Carolina require police body cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Spat Over Control Of Pandemic Aid Funds Leaves 4 Cities Waiting
WBUR
The National Conference of State Legislatures said disagreements over who gets to hold onto the ARPA purse strings have also unfolded in New Mexico and Wisconsin.
 
NJ got $6 billion in pandemic relief. But there are strings attached
NJ Spotlight News
These include funding public-worker pension payments and offsetting revenue losses caused by any tax cuts enacted after March 3, 2021, according to a summary drafted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.