NCSL in the News | August 2016

8/1/2016

Aug. 31

New Jersey Governor Christie vetoes minimum wage hike to $15/hr
Reuters
State voters agreed to a previous wage hike in 2013, to $8.25 from $7.25. New Jersey's rate is tied to the consumer price index and is now at $8.38, according to a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Louisiana gasoline tax one of oldest in U.S.
The Advocate
Louisiana has the sixth oldest gasoline tax in the nation, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Texting, speeding, and cheap gas are killing more of us
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Speed also plays a large factor. Since 1995, 38 states have raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, including Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have boosted the maximum speed to 80 mph.
 
State lawmaker proposes cracking down on Pokemon Go sites
The State Journal-Register
The proposal is one of the first of its kind in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In New York, lawmakers are considering legislation to restrict sex offenders' use of augmented reality games.

State capitols are sometimes hotbeds of sexual harassment
Cherry Hill Courier Post
Nationally, women make up less than a quarter of all state lawmakers, according to theNational Conference of State Legislatures. That puts many female lobbyists, staffers and interns at the professional and political mercy of mainly male lawmakers.
 
Chicago lawmaker proposes cracking down on 'Pokemon Go' sites
The Southern
The proposal is one of the first of its kind in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In New York, lawmakers are considering legislation to restrict sex offenders' use of augmented reality games.

US pediatricians pushing back on vaccine 'hesitancy'
Richmond.com
Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia require that schoolchildren be immunized against a broad range of diseases, most states allow parents to opt out if they have a religious objection to vaccines, and 18 states allow for “philosophical exemptions” for those who object based on personal, moral or other grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Delaware education initiatives are consistent with international best practices
The News Journal
Earlier this month, the NCSL International Study Group released an urgent report, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. What we found were common elements in nearly every world-class education system: strong emphasis on early education, a re-imagined and professionalized teacher workforce, robust career and technical education programs, and a comprehensive, aligned system of education. And in virtually every case, the countries that have experienced the greatest gains are incorporating policy recommendations that were developed from U.S. higher education research.

Aug. 30

Pediatricians urge states to get tough on parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids
LA Times
Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia require that schoolchildren be immunized against a broad range of diseases, most states allow parents to opt out if they have a religious objection to vaccines and 18 allow for “philosophical exemptions” for those who object based on personal, moral or other grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Texting, speeding and cheap gas raise the crash toll
Post and Courier
Since then, 38 states have raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, including Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have boosted the maximum speed to 80 mph. The NCSL, citing a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says an additional 33,000 people have died because of those higher speed limits in the past 20 years.
 
State drug task force hears about NWI treatment programs
nwitimes.com
Gov. Mike Pence established the task force a year ago to find solutions for a scourge of opioid abuse that is plaguing the state and the nation as a whole. Indiana has the 17th highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while the Pew Charitable Trusts reported last year that the state has the fourth largest shortage of substance abuse specialists in the nation.

NCOIL looks at high cost of air ambulances
R Street
Health insurance premiums, and the underlying health care costs that drive them, were a major topic at last month’s National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ meetings in Portland, Oregon, where lawmakers discussed bracing for the cost of many individual-market policies to spike 30 to 70 percent next year.

New laws leave voters to navigate maze of requirements
InvestigateWest
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled – from nine to 20 – with majorities in state legislatures and the governor's party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Aug. 29

Democrats face uphill battle achieving equal pay
CBS News
In 2016, 25 states considered equal-pay related measures and only four of them enacted measures into law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seventeen of the 25 states rejected the proposed measures while others sat in legislative limbo. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed an equal pay law in May that would have prohibited an employer from paying one sex less than the other for “substantially similar” work. According to NJ.com, Christie said the bill oversimplified wage comparisons because it didn’t take differences in employees’ work and conditions into account.

Pediatricians urge states to get tough on parents who don't want to vaccinate their kids
Los Angeles Times
Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia require that schoolchildren be immunized against a broad range of diseases, most states allow parents to opt out if they have a religious objection to vaccines and 18 allow for “philosophical exemptions” for those who object based on personal, moral or other grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Four states to ask voters to raise minimum wage
Washington Examiner
"There's [been] a fair amount of activity on this front compared to previous election cycles," said Jackson Brainerd, policy associate for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislation. If all four initiatives pass, that would put the number of states with minimum wages at or set to go above $10 an hour at 11 counting the District of Columbia.

Texting, speeding and cheap gas are killing more of us — 9 percent more a year
Washington Post
Since then, 38 states have raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, including Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, have boosted the maximum speed to 80 mph. The NCSL, citing a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says an additional 33,000 people have died because of those higher speed limits in the past 20 years. That’s nearly as many Americans as were killed in the Korean War.
 
Why a compromise might be what's needed on voter ID laws
Christian Science Monitor
A 2013 US Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder opened the floodgates of voter-ID laws by eliminating requirements that certain states clear new electoral measures with the federal government before implementing them. Since then, 34 states have passed legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

Why These U.S. College Students Are Carrying Sex Toys On Campus
Refinery29
Senate Bill 11 made Texas the nation’s eighth state to allow campus carry for all legal gun owners (two additional states extend the right for faculty only). Eighteen states ban the practice altogether, according to the National Conference of State Legislature.

COLUMN: Carried away with campus carry laws
Indiana Daily Student
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states (including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin) currently have laws that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons on the campuses of all public colleges and universities.
 
Eye on Virginia: Restoring Ex-Felons' Voting Rights
Highbrow Magazine
The recent trend in most states has been toward expanding ex-felons’ voting rights, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
We must pay teachers more to improve schools
Las Cruces Sun-News
While New Mexico students started their school year, and our governor delays calling a budget crisis special session, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) last week released a bi-partisan report on US public education: “No Time To Lose.” Also this week, a report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows the “teacher pay gap” as a major factor in our educational decline. We can establish a world-class education system if we make the necessary investments.
 
Ken Plum: No time to lose
Augusta Free Press
Just two weeks ago at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) I heard a similar report from its Study Group on International Comparisons in Education: “The bad news is most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons and on our own National Assessment of Educational Progress, leaving the United States overwhelmingly underprepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.” (No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class System State by State, NCSL, August, 2016)
 
Amid Voter ID Battles, Here Are 7 Things the Government Requires ...
Daily Signal
The states of Massachusetts and Missouri require a photo ID on the electronic benefit cards used for purchases under food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families expenditures. The EBT cards in Kansas include a photo if a participant agrees, but isn’t required, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Measuring the toll hybrid cars take on Maine roads
Bangor Daily News
In 2015, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that four states — Idaho, Wyoming, Georgia and Michigan — adopted new fees for electric and hybrid vehicles.
 
Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in a Generation ...
Truthdig
“Partisanship might be the next frontier for redistricting cases,” said Wendy Underhill, director of the Elections and Redistricting Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 26

Here Are the Last Possible Dates You Can Register to Vote in Your State
TIME
Only 11 states and the District of Columbia, however, offer voters the option to register on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That number doesn’t include North Dakota, which is the only state that doesn’t require traditional voter registration.
  
Calls to reform gift policy for government officials often unanswered in Pennsylvania
Tribune-Review
Ethan Williams, an attorney for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said when a state has a scandal, “You have the momentum to carry the legislation through to the end.” That happened in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida, reformers say.
 
Net Metering: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Government Technology
It’s a popular solution too. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states and the District of Columbia have net energy metering policies in place.

Who owns roadkill? Alaska highway robbery deprives needy
Yahoo News
Alaska is not the only state to try and put its roadkill to good use. Wisconsin, New York, Florida, West Virginia, and Illinois have salvage laws similar to Alaska's, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and eight other states have some other variation of roadkill legislation.
 
Efforts to restore felons' voting rights cause deep divide
Philly.com
News21's analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislators found 316 bills nationwide that would have allowed more access to voting for felons. Republican-controlled legislatures blocked 137, 101 failed to pass in states with divided control, and 65 were unsuccessful in Democratic-controlled legislatures. Maryland's Republican governor successfully vetoed one bill.

With the Voter Protection Act gutted, civil rights groups are battling ...
Mic
A map displaying which states have voter ID laws in play for the November election.Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Listeria breakout in Ohio ice cream plant, Hemp approved
Talk Media News
“Since 2014, the federal government has allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes and 30 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the Drug Enforcement Administration still includes industrial hemp in its schedule of controlled substances along with marijuana, presenting legal risks to those who grow and sell it unless they are licensed by their states.”
 
Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation’ Moves Forward
eNews Park Forest
“Partisanship might be the next frontier for redistricting cases,” said Wendy Underhill, director of the Elections and Redistricting Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Del. Ken Plum: No Time to Lose for Education
Reston Now
At a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) two weeks ago, I heard a similar report from its Study Group on International Comparisons in Education: “The bad news is most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons and on our own National Assessment of Educational Progress, leaving the United States overwhelmingly underprepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.” (No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class System State by State, NCSL, August, 2016)
 
NM needs to raise teacher pay, not cut education funding
NMPolitics.net
While New Mexico students started their school year, and our governor delays calling a budget crisis special session, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) last week released a bipartisan report on U.S. public education: “No Time To Lose.”

Awaiting a Second 'Dear Hillary' Letter
Somewhat Reasonable - Heartland Institute
All groundwork-laying reports have sounded a note of urgency, as does the very latest: a “No Time to Lose” 28-pager released August 9 by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Aug. 25

Three Texas professors want to ban guns in their classrooms. A judge says they can’t.
Washington Post
The new law went into effect Aug. 1, the 50th anniversary of a famous sniper attack from the top of the campus clock tower that left 17 people dead. It made Texas one of eight states whose legislatures have passed laws allowing weapons to be carried on college campuses by people with concealed carry licenses who are at least 21 years old. Officials at campuses in 23 other states are permitted to decide on gun-carrying rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Regulators Approve Hemp Derivatives Exchange
Wall Street Journal
Since 2014, the federal government has allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes and 30 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Conservative group sues state over Wisconsin's minimum markup law
Madison.com
Passed in 1939 on the heels of the Great Depression, the law was designed to protect small businesses from encroaching large retailers. Wisconsin is one of 16 states with minimum markup laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Voters Will Face Maze of New Requirements in November
Prescott eNews
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled – from nine to 20 – with majorities in state legislatures and the governor’s party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.
 
Pittman elected National Vice-Chair of Native American legislative ...
Daily Ardmoreite
Pittman was elected Vice-Chair on Friday, August 12 in Chicago, Illinois, during the annual NCNASL meeting, which was held in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislators that met earlier in the week. She brings to NCNASL a strong background in education and the ability to create policy and curricula with a focus on diversity and inclusion on state and national levels.
 
Summer filled with trips to see area needs
Montrose Daily Press
My summer was filled with lots of travel for legislative interim committee tours, attending a senior executive program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in July and participating in the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual summit in Chicago.
 
Judge rejects classroom gun ban call
BDlive
Eight states have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public post secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.
 
Groups join to protest oil pipeline at Norman's city hall
Norman Transcript
Pittman was elected Vice-Chair on Friday, August 12 in Chicago, Illinois, during the annual NCNASL meeting, which was held in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislators that met earlier in the week. She brings to NCNASL a strong background in education and the ability to create policy and curricula with a focus on diversity and inclusion on state and national levels.

Aug. 24

Why the campaigns are coming to get you now
McClatchy Washington Bureau
(NCSL Info. Cited) Thirty-seven states, including the swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, now have some sort of pre-election day voting, and that means no hot-weather letup in the push for votes.
 
Plaintiffs lawyers say Feds 'asleep at the wheel' on driverless cars
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nine states and the District of Columbia have some form of legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pennsylvania established the Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force in June to make recommendations to the state Department of Transportation for drafting regulations. The state has not yet passed any legislation, although there are bills pending in committees of the state Senate and House of Representatives.
 
DIVIDED AMERICA: Women a minority of US elected officials, and in South Dakota
Rapid City Journal
Nationally, there has been progress; as recently as 1978, there were no women U.S. senators, and now there are 20. Still, there has been little headway since a surge of women won office in the 1980s and early 1990s. Sixteen states have fewer women serving in legislatures than in 2005, and five others have shown no improvement, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

OK Senator To Serve As National Vice-Chair Of Native American Legislative Caucus
news9.com KWTV
Pittman was elected Vice-Chair on Friday, August 12 in Chicago, Illinois, during the annual NCNASL meeting, which was held in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislators that met earlier in the week.  She brings to NCNASL a strong background in education and the ability to create policy and curricula with a focus on diversity and inclusion on state and national levels. 
 
Michigan Grocers Association opposes Washtenaw County's grocery bag tax
The Peninsula
At least 77 bills were proposed between 2015 and 2016 by 23 states regarding the regulation of plastic bags in retail settings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Editorial: Driving while high hard to define
GazetteNE
As of this spring, 17 states had set laws limiting how much THC a driver can have in his or her bloodstream, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Nationally, new laws force voters to navigate maze of requirements ...
TucsonSentinel.com
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled – from nine to 20 – with majorities in state legislatures and the governor's party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Aug. 23

Foes: South Dakota Ballot Measure Circumvents Right-to-Work
ABC News
Twenty-five states have right-to-work laws that say workers cannot be compelled to become members of unions as a condition of employment. Among South Dakota's neighbors, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa are right-to-work states while Montana and Minnesota are not, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Elections expert: 2016 is 'year of weed'
Houston Chronicle
Tim Storey has dubbed the upcoming election cycle the Year of Weed. Storey is the well-known and well-versed elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. At one of the final sessions at last week's NCSL Summit in Chicago, Storey and analyst Wendy Underhill presented an overview of initiatives and candidates in the upcoming election cycle, excluding a prediction on the presidential race.

Part D pricing trends
Politico
For a good overview of action on prescription drug laws in the states check out this new presentation from the National Conference of State Legislatures 
 
QuickTake Q&A: Trump's Warnings About a 'Rigged' Election
Yahoo Finance
A state-by-state rundown of voter ID laws by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Two synthetic drugs pose an enormous threat to public health. What are they?
Atlanta Journal Constitution
NCSL Cited as source.

HRC Recognizes Missouri Senate Democrats
Human Rights Campaign
From August 8-11, HRC staff was in Chicago to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit. An annual conference open to state legislators of all political parties, the NCSL Legislative Summit provides an opportunity for legislators to network, share best practices, and learn about current issues impacting states. 

Op-ed: Why privatizing education must be stopped
Journal and Courier
The final report is one completed by the National Conference of State Legislatures addressing educational reform. The report acknowledges there are no silver bullets and the present efforts at reform have failed. The report recognizes the importance of having all stakeholders be a part of the process of improving our schools. 
 
A Beginner's Guide to Registering to Vote
Uloop News
No, you do not have to choose a political party. However, you may want to consider doing so if you plan on voting in the primaries in future elections. Some states will allow you to vote in whichever primary you prefer regardless of what party you are (or aren’t) registered with, but others will bar you entirely. The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a helpful state-by-state guide here.

No Salary For New Mexico Lawmakers May Be Blocking Younger Candidates from Seeking Office
KRWG
The state of New Mexico has the 3rd oldest state legislature in the entire country with the average age being 62. That’s according to December 2015 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures

Tennessee case shows how power opens door to abuse
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Nationally, women make up less than a quarter of all state lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That puts many female lobbyists, staffers and interns at the professional and political mercy of mainly male lawmakers.

Aug. 22

While Other States Repeal Death Penalty, New Mexico Wants to Bring It Back
Governing
Nationally, there's been a movement away from the death penalty in recent years. Nineteen states, including New Mexico, currently do not have death penalty laws on their books, and four states -- Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and Nebraska -- have abolished capitol punishment in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hillary Clinton and Soviet-style education
Washington Times
One individual has been a constant presence: Marc Tucker, now 76, the one-time University of Rochester professor of education. As president of the nonprofit National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), Mr. Tucker has worked relentlessly to yoke all schooling to workforce preparation. Mr. Tucker and his staff are partners in the NCSL No Time to Lose initiative, as is The Business Roundtable, which also has been present from the start.

Power opens door to sexual harassment
The Tennessean
Nationally, women make up less than a quarter of all state lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That puts many female lobbyists, staffers and interns at the professional and political mercy of mainly male lawmakers.

Sexual harassment? 'Welcome to the Capitol'
Greenville News
Nationally, women make up less than a quarter of all state lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That puts many female lobbyists, staffers and interns at the professional and political mercy of mainly male lawmakers.
 
Editorial: $500 million Mercy project should undergo state oversight
DesMoinesRegister.com
As of January 2016, 35 states maintained some type of CON program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Three additional states have limited oversight of facility expansion. However, exemptions in Iowa law allow many facilities to escape public scrutiny and have created troubling inconsistencies in what is reviewed by the state council.

In State College, a move toward decriminalizing marijuana
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, meaning in general that offenses are considered lesser civil infractions rather than violations of state law, or are misdemeanors for which there is no jail time.
 
Statehouse Beat: Top secret — Board of Medicine uses firm for HR services
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Along those lines, kudos are again in order for the House and Senate leadership for sticking with a policy not to reimburse legislators or staffers for expenses to attend out-of-state conferences, this time for last week’s National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual Legislative Summit in Chicago.

Senate reviewing Guthrie's $20000-plus in expenses received since 2013
Idaho State Journal
On June 21, 2015, Guthrie traveled to Chicago for the National Conference of State Legislatures Tax Academy, according to his expense report. Guthrie was reimbursed $720.78 for the trip. That included the expense of lodging.

Judge Dismisses Challenge to State's Voter ID Law
Norman Transcript
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Supporters of the measures say they are needed to prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections. The remaining states use other methods to verify voter identity, such as signing an affidavit or providing personal information.
 
Ken de la Bastide column: Changes will affect local at-large races
The Herald Bulletin
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana is only one of nine states that allow party voting.

Local politician tied to ALEC controversy
Kokomo Perspective
Vaughn contends that different educational groups exist for legislators, such as the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). She said the NCSL has a much more open-door policy and excludes business leaders from meetings.
 
Across Nation, New Laws Mean Voters Must Navigate Maze of ...
Oklahoma Watch
The ongoing political and legal wars over voting rights date to the mid-2000s, when the first new state voting requirements were enacted. Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled – from nine to 20 – with majorities in state legislatures and the governor's party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Thistle: Is the DEA under the influence over marijuana law?
DesMoinesRegister.com
A rose to Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal for being named the next president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. And a rose to NCSL for the work it does. Though the bipartisan organization may not be a household name in Iowa, it probably should be. It represents more than 27,000 state lawmakers and their staffers across the country, and provides them resources to understand and craft policy that directly affects constituents.
 
Rep. Harris speaks at national Rural Jobs Coalition
Williamson Daily News
State Rep. Chris Harris cited Eastern Kentucky’s “ready-made workforce” and a large pool of potential employees with a “strong, personal work ethic” as positive attributes for companies looking to invest in rural communities as he participated in a panel discussion held during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) recent Legislative Summit in Chicago.
 
No surprise that early childhood education and skilled teachers important
Springfield News-Leader
This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a study, No Time to Lose:  How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State.  It was a compilation of eighteen months of study by a group looking at what the United States could do, if we chose to overhaul our education system.  They examined several other countries to determine what components we could hone to sharpen our educational system.
 
Idaho lawmakers' affair: House inquiry results possible next week
Idaho Statesman
The state paid for a trip Guthrie took to Moscow for a Catastrophic Health Care board meeting and a trip to Chicago in June 2015 for a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting.

Why we're still arguing over whether QE worked
Fresno Bee
Consider the following public policy experiments now taking place in the labs of democracy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: “Fourteen states begin the new year with higher minimum wages. Of those, 12 states increased their rates through legislation passed in the 2014 or 2015 sessions, while two states automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living.”

Aug. 19

Early Voting Begins in Oklahoma After Voter ID Law Upheld
ABC News
Supporters have said the measure will reduce voter fraud. More than 30 states have some kind of voter ID requirement at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And voters have challenged some of those states' voter ID laws.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez pushing to reinstate death ...
Fox News Latino
Nineteen states, including New Mexico, currently do not have death penalty laws on the books, and, according to the national Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and Nebraska have abolished it all together.

Hickenlooper responds to national advocacy group's request on rape kit testing, tracking
The Denver Post
The campaign, launched this summer at the National Conference of State Legislatures, is an attempt to raise awareness about the backlog of untested rape kits across the country. Colorado in 2013 became the third state in the country to enact legislation to eliminate the backlog of rape kits held in criminal evidence storage. Law enforcement agencies must submit rape kits to a lab within 21 days, under the law. Labs must upload results to a national DNA database within six months of receiving a kit.

Arguing whether QE worked
Livemint
Consider the following public policy experiments now taking place in the labs of democracy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: “Fourteen states begin the new year with higher minimum wages. Of those, 12 states increased their rates through legislation passed in the 2014 or 2015 sessions, while two states automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living.

Prism offers mental health care for LGBT community
St. Cloud Times
As of May, 18 states have considered legislation that would restrict access to bathrooms and other facilitates, based on the definition of sex or gender, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

50 Ways to Pave Your Highway
93.1 WIBC Indianapolis
The National Conference of State Legislatures says it's identified 54 different ways states raise money for roads, from taxes to tolls to selling advertising. One of the most common sources is the gas tax -- but even there, some states, including Indiana, use a fixed rate, while Kentucky's tax rises and falls with wholesale prices, and other states index the rate to inflation or population.

Judge dismisses challenge to Oklahoma's voter ID law
Tahlequah Daily Press
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Supporters of the measures say they are needed to prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections. 

Judge rejects challenge to voter ID law
The Lawton Constitution
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Supporters of the measures say they are needed to prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections. The remaining states use other methods to verify voter identity, such as signing an affidavit or providing personal information.

Aug. 18

Why We're Still Arguing Whether QE Worked
Bloomberg
Consider the following public policy experiments now taking place in the labs of democracy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: fourteen states begin the new year with higher minimum wages. Of those, 12 states increased their rates through legislation passed in the 2014 or 2015 sessions, while two states automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living.

Gov. Martinez will push to reinstate NM death penalty
Albuquerque Journal
Nationally, there’s been a movement away from the death penalty in recent years. Nineteen states, including New Mexico, currently do not have death penalty laws on their books, and four states – Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and Nebraska – have abolished capitol punishment in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
WIM Fox Valley to kick off new year of speakers Sept. 8
Chicago Daily Herald
McConnaughay also sits on the Education Funding Advisory Committee, the committee charged with proposing a state education funding system that provides adequate, equitable, transparent, and accountable distribution of funds to school districts. She also currently serves on the National Conference of State Legislatures executive committee.

How These States Ensure Welfare Dollars Aren't Used for Alcohol ...
Daily Signal
At least 25 states, including Maine, prohibit welfare recipients from using their EBT cards to pay for alcohol, tobacco, gambling, lottery tickets, guns, or adult venues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
47 percent raises possible for state lawmakers
Plattsburgh Press Republican
New York lawmakers' pay now ranks third in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It trails only California's $100,113 per year and Pennsylvania's $85,339.

New Study by U.S. Lawmakers Reveals Key Factors in Top ...
Digital Journal
The government study, presented at the National Conference of State Legislatures, reinforces the lack of tools teachers at many public schools encounter in order to maximize their productivity with their students.

Voter ID law upheld
Journal Record
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Supporters of the measures say they are needed to prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections.
 
Hershman elected to serve on NCSL executive committee
Carroll County Comet
At the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 2016 Legislative Summit in Chicago, lawmakers from around the country elected Indiana Senator Brandt Hershman to serve on the 2016-2017 NCSL Executive Committee.

Aug. 17

Down Ticket #3: Republicans want to keep Congress by sacrificing Trump. Good luck with that.
Yahoo News
The second difference between 1996 and 2016 is absentee voting, which has become a lot more widespread over the last decade or so. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now allow voters to cast their ballots before Election Day; some mail their no-excuse absentee ballots to voters as early as next month. This puts the RNC in an even tougher position. Shift resources away from Trump sooner rather than later and, again, the base will revolt; wait until the last minute, however, and many voters will have already cast their ballots.

More Texas Parents Said 'No' to School Vaccines Last Year
Breitbart News
Texas remains one of now 18 states that allow for exemptions based on reasons of conscience, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Top Indiana lawmaker suggests big education changes should start with small steps
Chalkbeat Indiana
The report he contributed to, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, recommends making sure kids come to school ready to learn, attracting and supporting high quality teachers and building out challenging options for kids who seek to go to college or enter the workforce.
 
Bills Filed In Dozens Of States To Hike Drug Cost Transparency
Inside Health Policy
Legislators in at least 25 states filed bills during the 2015-2016 legislative sessions that aim to increase transparency around prescription drug costs by imposing new requirements on drug manufacturers, health insurers and pharmaceutical benefit managers, according to a brief from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Federal appeals court upholds Hawaii's open primary
Maui News
Only nine states have closed primaries where voters have to register with a party in advance to cast a primary vote, the National Conference on State Legislatures says. Those closed primaries are designed to keep voters from "crossing over" and casting ballots in their opponent's primary election.

Senate website wins accolades at national conference, may serve ...
Legislative Gazette
The New York state Senate was recognized for having the best legislative website in the country by the National Conference of State Legislatures and received the 2016 Online Democracy Award.

Cary Brunswick: Society failing young and old in America
Oneonta Daily Star
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has been deemed a failure in a report released last week by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The report said the approaches of increased funding, reduced class size, enhanced school choice, improved school technology and teacher quality, more testing and tougher test-based accountability have generally been a failure.
 
Laws to shed light on drug pricing strategies probably won't work
STAT
Besides Vermont, 13 states have introduced bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All of this activity is keeping the pharmaceutical industry trade group busy playing whack-a-mole as it tries to oppose the various efforts around the country.

Full-time Drivers Wanted
TAPinto.net
In order to impart a greater understanding of the legislative process and civics among the school children, State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. will be participating in the “Back to School Program” sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures during the months of September and October.

Aug. 16

Laws to shed light on drug pricing strategies might not work
The Boston Globe
Besides Vermont, bills have been introduced in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All this activity is keeping the pharmaceutical industry trade group busy playing whack-a-mole as it tries to oppose the various efforts around the country.

Pollsters: Trump approaching zero hour
Politico
There’s another complication for Trump that candidates trailing historically didn’t face: the proliferation of early and no-excuse absentee voting over the past decade or so. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states allow voters to cast their ballots before Election Day if they wish. And, in some states, the no-excuse absentee ballots are mailed to voters as early as next month.
 
Poll: Raise the bar for Colorado initiatives?
The Denver Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado has one of the easiest processes for placing initiatives on the ballot.
 
Cities, states plod toward 'next generation 911'
EMS1.com
This year, nine states enacted bills relating to the shift to Next Generation 911, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of the new laws had to do with funding and overseeing the new systems. Illinois lawmakers, for example, voted to create a single, statewide 911 system; Virginia laid the groundwork for building a state IP network to support emergency calls.

NY Senate's website receives national award for promoting ...
Auburn Citizen
The state Senate's website, nysenate.gov, won the LINCS/NALIT Online Democracy Award at the National Conference of State Legislatures' legislative summit. 

Diegnan to Participate in the Back to School Program to Educate ...
TAPinto.net
In order to impart a greater understanding of the legislative process and civics among the school children, State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. will be participating in the “Back to School Program” sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures during the months of September and October.
 
End of straight-ticket vote could mean more incomplete ballots
Charlotte Observer
Straight-ticket voting, a widespread practice across the country before the 1960s, has been in decline for decades. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states allowed it in the 1990s. Now it is just nine: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
 
Raising Enough Money to Win Seats in State Legislatures
Indian Country Today Media Network
Arizona and Minnesota both have public financing options. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, “acandidate for state office in Arizona must raise $5 contributions from at least 200 people in order to qualify for the program.
 
Biosimilar names may affect pharmacist dispensing habits
STAT
This is potentially significant. Despite the lack of an interchangeable biosimilar in the United States, nearly 20 states have so far passed laws that allow pharmacists to substitute an interchangeable biosimilar for a brand-name biologic without the prescribing physician intervening, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Senate scores national recognition for revamped website
Albany Times Union
The state Senate has received plaudits from the National Conference of State Legislatures for its redesigned website, which debuted last October. The Senate last week won the 2016 Online Democracy Award, which is given out each year to a Legislature, legislative chamber or caucus whose website helps make democracy user-friendly, according to the Senate.

Maryland to Consider Wide Spectrum of Ailments and Health ...
AllGov
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have legalized a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Maryland, regulators are scheduled to announce on Monday which companies have received preliminary approval for licenses to grow or process marijuana.
 
State lawmakers in line for 47 percent bump in pay
Niagara Gazette
New York lawmakers’ pay now ranks third in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It trails only California’s $100,113 per year and Pennsylvania’s $85,339.

Panel mulls 47 percent raises for NY pols
Oneonta Daily Star
New York lawmakers' pay currently ranks third-highest in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It trails only California's $100,113 per year and Pennsylvania's $85,339.

Aug. 15

How to register to vote in every US state and territory
CNN
(NCSL Cited) According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, an ID is requested, but an election official can waive the requirement if he or she knows you.

Donald Trump claims the election might be 'rigged.' Here's how ...
Los Angeles Times
Voter fraud is an issue that tends to fall along party lines. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show a form of ID before they vote. Some states with strict photo ID laws, including Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Texas, have Republican governors or Republican majorities in their statehouses, or both.

With Push From Adoptees, States Open Access to Birth Records
Government Technology
Today about half of all states allow adult adoptees some form of access to their original birth certificate outside of going to court. In at least nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island (for those 25 and older) and Oregon — adult adoptees have unfettered access to those records, according to Nina Williams-Mbengue, who works on the issue at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

$15 minimum wage movement to vote on organizing mass fast-food worker strike
Politico
And lawmakers in several states have moved toward its recommendations. As of the start of this year, 29 states have passed laws to increase hourly wages above the federal minimum of $7.29. And cities including New York and Washington D.C. plan to incrementally raise minimum wages to $15 over the next few years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New Jersey may expand infertility coverage to lesbians
Washington Examiner
Fifteen states have laws requiring insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment and diagnosis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, Maryland and California are the only two states that have changed their laws to require insurance coverage for same-sex couples.

What a Hillary Clinton presidency could mean
Kankakee Daily Journal
And while we've seen progress since 1978, when there were no women U.S. senators, there has been a slow growth since then. (The number of female legislators has only grown by five percentage points since 1993.) Sixteen states have sent fewer women to Congress than in 2005 and five others have stayed steady, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Climate action a core 'pillar' of Clinton's economic message
Environment & Energy Publishing
Climate change is also one of several issues essential to gaining the support of millennials, as well as Democrats who supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, she noted after speaking during a breakfast at a summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Access is central to Maryland medical marijuana program
WSBT-TV
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have legalized a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Maryland, regulators are scheduled to announce on Monday which companies have received preliminary approval for licenses to grow or process marijuana.

Iowa hospitals use state law to stifle competition, critics say
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa
Thirty-five states have CON laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Three additional states, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Arizona, have limited oversight of facility expansion.

Citizens in the US don't actually elect the president - it's more ...
thejournal.ie
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Maine and Nebraska use a district system.

Lawmakers consider regulating fantasy sports gambling in Maine
Bangor Daily News
At this week’s meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, some Maine lawmakers met with representatives of companies running the websites. Republican state Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta said it’s a growing business with more than 57 million players nationally, and may deserve a closer look.
 
State lawmakers in line for 47 percent raise
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
New York lawmakers’ pay now ranks third in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It trails only California’s $100,113 per year and Pennsylvania’s $85,339.

Gov. Kasich must call a halt to misguided denial of Head Start-related child-care support
cleveland.com
Lehner, who just returned from a National Conference of State Legislatures conference in Chicago, said her colleagues at the conference were shocked by Ohio's decision: "Those states all layer (use dual payments) and they couldn't believe anyone would do anything differently," she said.

PD Editorial: American schools should study abroad to succeed
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
A bipartisan committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures did just that. In a recently released report, 22 legislators and a dozen staff and education experts took a hard look at how well America’s students perform compared to the rest of the world.

Gronstal named national legislative group leader
The Daily Nonpareil
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has been named president of the National Conference of State Legislatures at the group’s annual legislative summit in Chicago.

Opinion: Stronger laws needed to govern amusement and water parks
Wyandotte Daily
Sen. Haley said he has requested the National Conference of State Legislatures to research the best practices from different states on amusement park ride laws to see what seems to be working well in other places.

Williamsburg startup bringing fantasy sports to the frontline
Virginia Gazette
Six other states have followed suit with measures to regulate daily fantasy sports and bills have been introduced in more than 25 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which described fantasy sports as a "multibillion dollar" industry.

Medical marijuana options on the table in Sheffield Village
The Morning Journal
Kasich’s signature makes Ohio the 25th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to a count by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Test 400K launches 'Just Test It' at NCSL with help from Kentucky ...
cn|2
Test 400K, a national rape kit reform advocacy group, launched their “Track It” campaign from Chicago at the National Conference of State Legislatures this week. 

Aug. 12

Hillary Clinton's campaign says it's not pulling out of Colorado
The Denver Post
Renteria spoke on the sidelines of the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in Chicago, after addressing Democratic lawmakers at a Thursday breakfast event. The four-day event is largely focused on policy, but it is not immune to the political season.

US public pension plans take more risks to keep contributions low -study
Reuters
The study, presented earlier this week at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, showed state and local government contributions to pension funds have increased $0.59 for every $1.00 increase in tax revenue from 2007 to 2015. "Not much left for other priorities," the study said, while also noting the public pension plans remain underfunded.

Will Colorado's 2016 Ballot, Likely Full Of Initiatives, Be The Last Of Its Kind?
Colorado Public Radio
“More measures means more no votes,” said Wendy Underhill, director of the National Conference of State Legislature's elections and redistricting team. “People do skip over those that either they’re not interested in, they don’t understand, or they’re just tired and ready to get out the door. And if they’re still going to go ahead and vote, it’s no, no, no.”
 
Iowa senator to lead national legislative group
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, was elected president of the National Conference of State Legislatures during the group’s annual meeting in Chicago this week.

Iowa state senator named national legislative group leader
KCCI Des Moines
Iowa Senate Democratic leader Mike Gronstal has been named president of the National Conference of State Legislatures at the group's annual legislative summit in Chicago. Gronstal will provide leadership for the next year for the bipartisan organization that serves more than 7,000 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff throughout the country. The group alternates its leadership annually between Democrats and Republicans. Gronstal succeeds Utah Republican Sen. Curtis Bramble.

Truesdell named to NCSL chair
Ledger Independent
A former Tollesboro resident and Ledger Independent reporter has been named to a position with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chuck Truesdell was elected to the position of staff vice chair of the NCSL at the 2016 Legislative Summit in Chicago. Truesdell, a fiscal analyst for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, will succeed to staff chair in 2016-2017. NCSL, a bipartisan organization, serves the nation’s 7,383 legislators and more than 20,000 legislative staff.

Will Donald Trump Hand State Capitols to Democrats?
The Atlantic
The elections this year won’t be determinative. Even if Clinton wins decisively and Democrats make strong gains, they could still face a tough midterm election in 2018, when Republicans are traditionally stronger and the party in the White House often loses seats. But as Post noted, “incumbency matters.” To have any chance at setting themselves up for 2020, Democrats need Clinton’s coattails to extend far down the ballot this year. “All signs point to the pendulum swinging back in their direction,” said Tim Storey, an elections analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s difficult to know if it will be substantial enough—a tidal wave or a landslide or any of that business. That is still too early to know.”
 
Connecting Asian-American constituents to state government
The Boston Globe
Nationwide, just 1 percent of all state legislators are Asian, even though Asians make up 5 percent of the national population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voters' Agenda is the Only one that Counts in Redistricting Reform
Illinois Mirror
Meanwhile, during this week’s annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, a panel spoke about redistricting in the states. Among the participants was House Speaker Mike Madigan’s aide, Tim Mapes. Mapes dismissed the group supporting the redistricting amendment, saying they “sort of claim to be nonpartisan,” and adding, “But in my experience (being) around this business for a while, almost everybody’s got an agenda at some point. It may not be your agenda, but it will be an agenda.”
 
DEA won't alter marijuana classification for medical use
Toledo Blade
The decision keeps the federal government at odds with Ohio, 24 other states, and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree. Members of Congress had called for marijuana’s reclassification, and on Wednesday the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I designation.

Obama's New Medical Marijuana Policy Could Lead to Federal ...
Slate Magazine
Of course, Congress could also curtail this process by stepping in and reclassifying marijuana itself, as the National Conference of State Legislatures is demanding. But the politics of the issue are tricky on both sides: Many but certainly not all congressional Democratsfavor broad legalization, while Republicans remain deeply divided on medical marijuana. For now, rescheduling is the absolute best reform advocates can hope for—and it seems all but inevitable after Thursday’s announcement.
 
Online voter registration available in 31 states
Land Line Magazine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia – offer online paperless registration. Seven more states – Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process.
 
DEA won't alter marijuana classification for medical use
Toledo Blade
The decision keeps the federal government at odds with Ohio, 24 other states, and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree. Members of Congress had called for marijuana’s reclassification, and on Wednesday the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I designation.

Editorial: Traits of successful systems could aid US education
Huntington Herald Dispatch
With that in mind, a group of lawmakers who are members of the National Conference of State Legislatures spent nearly two years studying the educational practices of several other countries with better educational results than the United States. The study group, which included West Virginia Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, produced some takeaways from their observations that could prove beneficial to K-12 education in the United States, including in the Mountain State.
 
U.S. will affirm its prohibition on medical marijuana, officials say
Columbia Daily Herald
The decision keeps the federal government at odds with 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree. Members of Congress have called for its reclassification and on Wednesday, the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

Aug. 11

US will affirm its prohibition on medical marijuana
Washington Post
The decision will keep the federal government at odds with 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree. Members of  Congress have called for its reclassification and on Wednesday, the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

Lawmakers call on Congress to reform marijuana banking
Statesman Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday passed a resolution urging Congress to enact laws that give legal marijuana businesses access to financial services. The resolution, passed at the organization's annual conference, was spearheaded by a bipartisan group of Oregon legislators: Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, and Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego.
 
State governments eye cash from fantasy sports
The Hill
In the last year, Kansas, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Colorado and Missouri have legalized daily fantasy sports. Bills have been introduced in another 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which holds its annual conference this week in Chicago. “This has been a growing issue in the states this last year,” said Jake Lestock, an NCSL analyst. “We can only imagine that in the next session, more and more states will take this up.”
 
Preschools getting more attention in Missouri
The Missouri Times
Another key element in the early childhood landscape is bringing business on board. Swan spoke by phone from the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago. She said she heard about early learning in multiple panels without ever attending an early childhood education panel.

FEMA weighing change to disaster aid for states
WJXT Jacksonville
But speaking on a panel on emergency preparedness at the National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday in Chicago, Koon said he worries Congress is going to shift the burden anyway. "I don't think keeping the status quo is something that is going to happen," Koon said. If the states reject the FEMA idea for a deductible method for paying for disasters, "we will leave ourselves at the whims of Congress, and I don't think that's going to come out in a way that will be beneficial for the states."
 
Study shows two-thirds of US military lacks confidence in election ...
AMI NewsWire
Asked if they were confident their ballot would be counted in November 2014, only 33 percent of military members agreed, according to the survey by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). The report was distributed Monday by the National Conference of State Legislatures  at an annual legislative summit in Chicago.

Public DB plans adding risk to combat funding crisis as contributions ...
Pensions & Investments
U.S. public defined benefit plans are taking on more investment risk than they have in the past, raising the prospect of a funding crisis and increased pension contributions if returns are low, said officials at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in a presentation prepared for the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit in Chicago.

Educational Report is released Monday
Silver City Sun-News
SILVER CITY — The National Conference of State Legislatures released its bi-partisan educational report Monday and it was filled with some bad news … that most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons.

Nodaway County Prosecutor stands with law enforcement
KMAland
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports at least nine other states have assessed similar legislation.

Bipartisan Panel of State Lawmakers Agree: NCLB Has Failed US Kids
Common Dreams
The report released Tuesday from the National Conference of State Legislatures, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State (pdf), charges that "[s]tates have found little success" in developing an effective education system. Indeed, theexecutive summary reads, "Recent reforms have underperformed because of silver bullet strategies and piecemeal approaches."

Four lesbians sue US state for insisting sex with a man proves ...
Firstpost
New Jersey is one of 15 U.S. states to have passed laws that require insurance companies to cover infertility diagnosis and treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.

State Lawmakers Tell Feds to Reschedule Marijuana
Marijuana.com
The Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove cannabis from Schedule I thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses,” reads a resolution adopted Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

How to get the most out of your health insurance
KSL.com
Having health coverage is expensive and getting more so. In a May article, the National Conference of State Legislatures noted, “annual premiums edged beyond $17,500 for an average family.” So with health insurance a federal mandate, how can you make the most of those hard-earned dollars spent on coverage? The following are a few ways to make sure your health plan is working for you.

The Best Schools In The World Do This. Why Don't We?
Flatland
Today the group, part of the National Conference of States Legislatures, released its findings, titled No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. 

State legislators urge colleagues to use other countries' best ed ...
Education Dive
The National Conference of State Legislatures released a new report this week based on two years of research into the education policies of the world’s top-performing countries, including Canada, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Poland, China, and Singapore.

States' Faith in 'Silver Bullet' Solutions Has Failed Schools, Report ...
Education Week
That's a primary conclusion of "No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State," a report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Tuesday. The report says that this failure on the part of states to create cohesive and strong schools has hamstrung the U.S., even as other countries produce better-educated students and workforces.
  
THE CONSENT OF MARIJUANA IN OHIO
Stоck Nеws USА
It has made Ohio the 25th state to the United States of America who legalizes a comprehensive medical marijuana program, in accordance with the count by the National Conference of State Legislatures that will accept the legalization used of marijuana in their respective states but there are a lot of things we needed to look at.

Aug. 10

The Best Schools In The World Do This. Why Don't We?
NPR
Today the group, part of the National Conference of State Legislatures, released its findings, titled No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. The report is full of takeaways. Here are three of the biggest:

Bipartisan group of state lawmakers calls for big changes to improve US public schools 
Washington Post
That’s the question that a bipartisan group of state lawmakers from around the country set out to answer two years ago, when they embarked on a study of the world’s highest-performing school systems. They compiled their answers in a report released Tuesday at the annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State Lawmakers Should Look Abroad for Best Education Practices 
U.S. News & World Report
As outlined in a new report released Tuesday during the National Conference of State Legislators’ annual conference, the group of 28 state lawmakers spent the last two years visiting and studying the education policies of some of the best education systems in the world, including Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan.
 
A Stunning Report From the National Conference of State Legislatures 
Education Week
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State, wastes no time in getting to the point.  "The bad news," it says in the very first sentence, "is most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons and on our own National Assessment of Educational Progress, leaving the United States overwhelmingly underprepared to succeed in the 21st century economy. The U.S. workforce, widely acknowledged to be the best educated in the world half a century ago, is now among the least educated in the world...Pockets of improvement in a few districts or states is not enough to retain our country's global competitiveness."
 
No Child Left Behind has been unsuccessful, says bipartisan report 
The Guardian 
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of legislators from the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) declared in a new report that the reform efforts of states in the wake of NCLB had been unsuccessful.
 
State lawmakers call for big changes
Politico
A bipartisan group of state lawmakers are warning that “most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world,” leaving the United States “overwhelmingly underprepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
 
Public Company 'Financial Reporting Effect' a Ploy for Favors
Bloomberg BNA
However, speaking during a National Conference of State Legislatures program in Chicago, Mazerov said there is no reliable evidence of the so-called financial reporting effect. “I am not aware of any evidence that such major tax changes have in fact had this negative impact in the markets,” Mazerov told members of the NCSL's Task Force on State and Local Taxation. “Yet the argument is made that the states should forgo revenue in order to ameliorate an effect in the stock market that may occur.” 

More States Are Allowing Drug Felons To Access Welfare Programs
Huffington Post
At least four states — Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — have recently modified the cash assistance ban to require those with a drug record to undergo drug testing in order to receive cash assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States urged to use world's top education practices
Huntington Herald Dispatch
A report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Tuesday showed that while the United States had fallen behind the top performing countries in terms of K-12 education, there were "specific actionable steps" that states could take to ensure their students, and the U.S. as a whole, are able to perform on the same level as their international peers.
 
Proposed Tennessee sales tax rule has internet retailers and brick-and-mortar stores fighting
Columbia Daily Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates states collectively lost out on $23.3 billion in 2012.
 
No quick ruling in North Carolina same-sex marriage lawsuit
LGBTQ Nation
A court decision to reject Mississippi‘s religious-objection law means North Carolina and Utah are the only states that let government officials recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages for religious reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Viral post claiming voter fraud in 2012 election errs on photo ID ...
PolitiFact
We checked with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the nonpartisan Washington-based organization that keeps track of which states have voter identification laws and rates the rigidity of those laws. The group made a tally of the mandatory photo ID laws in effect for the 2012 election.

Aug. 9

Morning Spin: Madigan aide: Everyone's got an agenda on redistricting
Chicago Tribune
As the National Conference of State Legislatures opened its annual summit in Chicago, a panel featuring Iowa’s Democratic Senate president and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff showed how far apart the two neighboring states are when it comes to redrawing legislative district boundaries. Iowa Senate President Pam Jochum extolled the virtues of that state’s every-decade redrawing of district lines, which is handled by a commission with no involvement by rank-and-file lawmakers.

SolarCity And ComEd Discover Shared Vision For Utilities' Future
Forbes
Their respective CEOs, Anne Pramaggiore for ComEd and Lyndon Rive for SolarCity, urged legislators from all 50 states Monday to write laws that would help utilities shift from energy-delivery pipelines to energy-sharing platforms. “We’re initiating our delivery system’s shift from today’s pipeline architecture—moving central-station power across wires to customers at the other end—to a platform architecture, which is the business architecture of the 21st Century,” Pramaggiore said at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Summit in Chicago.
 
Rape-kit reformers call on Illinois to help victims track cases
Chicago Sun-Times
Test400K, an organization pushing for the elimination of a national backlog of an estimated 400,000 untested sexual-assault kits, launched its “Just Track It” campaign at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit at McCormick Place in Chicago.

AR Democrats, Republicans Clash Over Pre-K
KARK
On Tuesday, the National Conference of State Legislatures is set to release a study highlighting best practices in education state-by-state. One of the focuses is the benefits of pre-k.
 
Here's what you need to know about how the Electoral College works
Omaha World-Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Maine and Nebraska use a district system. The presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in each congressional district receives one electoral vote, and the remaining two votes are awarded to the candidate with the most votes statewide.

Madeleine Doubek: Rauner using term limit issue to get votes
Chicago Sun-Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have adopted term limits since 1990, but court cases and repeals mean only 15 currently have limits for their state lawmakers. Among them are high-population states like California and Florida and even one with a reputation for corruption like ours, Louisiana.

Tougher penalties for attacking police under Iowa bill
KCRG
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least nine other states have introduced similar legislation in the past two years.

Counting the votes: How electors pick the president
KSL.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Maine and Nebraska use a district system. The presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in each congressional district receives one electoral vote, and the remaining two votes are awarded to the candidate with the most votes statewide.
 
Analysis: Fitch seeks budget amendment, but details unclear
Meridian Star
One group that has studied balanced budget rules says political culture, and not the precise language in any law, may be more important in maintaining state balanced-budget rules. The National Conference of State Legislatures says as many as 49 states have balanced budget requirements, excluding only Vermont. "For the majority of states, however, the most important factor contributing to balanced budgets is not an enforcement mechanism or a provision specifying how a shortfall will be resolved," NCSL wrote in 20102. "Rather, it is the tradition of balancing the budget that has created a forceful political rule to do so.”

Aug. 8

Report: Drowsy driving is a sleeper threat in crashes
USA TODAY
Several states have adopted educational measures, and others are debating criminal penalties, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Massachusetts and Tennessee have programs for highway message boards to discourage drowsy driving. Florida's transportation department web site maps out rest areas for drivers.
 
Fight for higher wages lands in Richmond
Washington Post
Twenty-nine states have passed laws increasing wages above the federal minimum of $7.25, and California, New York and the District are at the leading edge by phasing in a hike to $15 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Morning Spin: Rauner imitates Quinn in term-limits petition push
Chicago Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures is in town for its annual meeting. Tim Mapes, longtime righthand man to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, is scheduled to speak on a panel about redistricting.

Analysis: State treasurer seeks budget change
Jackson Clarion Ledger
One group that has studied balanced budget rules says political culture, and not the precise language in any law, may be more important in maintaining state balanced-budget rules. The National Conference of State Legislatures says 49 states have balanced-budget requirements; only Vermont does not. “For the majority of states, however, the most important factor contributing to balanced budgets is not an enforcement mechanism or a provision specifying how a shortfall will be resolved,” the NCSL wrote in 20102. “Rather, it is the tradition of balancing the budget that has created a forceful political rule to do so.”
 
Low-wage workers bringing fight for $15 to Richmond
The Guam Daily Post 
Twenty-nine states have passed laws increasing wages above the federal minimum of $7.25, and California, New York and the District of Columbia are at the leading edge by phasing in a hike to $15 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Drug testing welfare recipients a bad idea
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Drug testing welfare recipients is an idea that doesn’t go away. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states have passed this type of legislation and another 17 — including Iowa — have proposed it.
 
Should lawmakers set their own pay?
Detroit Lakes Online
You can see pay for all 50 states on the National Conference of State Legislators website.
 
Texas Law Allowing Concealed Weapons on College Campuses ...
Afro American
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, Texas is the eighth state in the country to allow concealed weapons on college campuses.Eighteen states outright ban concealed weapons on college campuses and another 23 states allow each college or university to set their own rules regarding the carry of concealed weapons on the premises. Two states, Arkansas and Tennessee allow approved faculty members to carry concealed weapons, but the law does not include members of the student body or general public.

Chris Harris invited to national conference
Williamson Daily News
State Rep. Chris Harris has been invited to discuss the importance of strengthening small business opportunities in rural communities during a panel discussion to be held Tuesday, August 9th, as a part of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Common Cause sues over NC congressional districts
News & Observer
“Partisanship might be the next frontier for redistricting cases,” said Wendy Underhill, director of the Elections and Redistricting Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures. A statement from Lewis and Rucho, the redistricting chairmen for their chambers, said the lawsuit is a partisan attack.

Attempt to call special session fails
Nashville Post
Although a significant number of legislators will all be in Chicago next week for the National Conference of State Legislators, there was no move made to extend the deadline on either petition to make it available in a locale where it would accessible to possibly get the numbers needed. McCormick said this was because he personally is not attending NCSL.
 
Worth Another Look: Regulating Fantasy Sports
JD Supra
In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top ten issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. Since Pennsylvania will close out the 2015-2016 session this fall, it’s worth a look to see what our own elected officials are doing to address each of the issues. The third topic up for consideration: Regulating Fantasy Sports.

Aug. 5

Group sues Illinois over polling-place voter registration law
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thirteen states, including Illinois, allow qualified residents to go to the polls or an election official's office to register before or on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Texas professors ask US court to ban guns in their classrooms
Reuters
Eight states have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.

What's Going On With All These Voter ID Laws?
MTV.com
You are correct. There are six other states that have "strict" voter ID requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and 15 states are trying out new restrictions for the first time in 2016.

In Hennepin County, voter check-in goes digital
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The technology isn’t new to the election circuit, with counties in 32 states already using e-poll books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
LRC adopts personnel reforms
The Courier-Journal
The problem of low staff morale was the focus of a 2014 audit of the Legislative Research Commission staff that legislative leaders requested be done by the National Conference of State Legislators following complaints by some female staff members that they had been sexually harassed by then-State Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, and that staff administrators took insufficient steps to respond to their complaints.
 
Texas professors sue over guns on campus before class begins
WNCN
The new law makes Texas one of eight states with laws that allow weapons on campus and inside buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 23 let their campuses or governing boards decide.

Aug. 4

A likely GOP Electoral College member threatens to withhold his vote from Trump
Vox
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 30 of the 50 states have passed laws "binding" the electors to vote in accordance with the presidential popular vote in their state. But that still leaves 20 or so states, including Georgia, that have not done so — in those states, electors are technically free to vote as they choose.

Senator Dick Saslaw's Richmond Report
Falls Church News Press
July has been a very busy month. In a few days I will be attending the National Conference of State Legislatures annual summit. This is an event that is worth attending for many 

Texas professors sue over guns on campus before class begins
WITN
The new law makes Texas one of eight states with laws that allow weapons on campus and inside buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 23 let their campuses or governing boards decide.

Voter ID laws protect elections, reputations: View
The Journal News
After all, it’s not such an unimaginable or preposterous idea.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 33 states already require voters to show some form of 

Change Tennessee voter ID law before court orders it
The Tennessean
Tennessee is one of nine states deemed by the National Conference of State Legislatures to have strict voter ID laws.

Aug. 3

Texas professors sue over guns on campus before class begins
Washington Times
The new law makes Texas one of eight states with laws that allow weapons on campus and inside buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 23 let their campuses or governing boards decide.

UT Tower shooting survivor speaks out against new campus carry ...
The Guardian
Eight states allow the carrying of concealed weapons on higher education campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. In 23 states, institutions have the right to choose.

Texas professors sue over guns on campus before class begins
Youngstown Vindicator
The new law makes Texas one of eight states with laws that allow wearpons on campus and inside buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 23 let their campuses or governing boards decide.

State Dems criticize voter ID law
Nashville Post
Tennessee is one of nine states characterized by the National Conference of State Legislators (which meets next week) as having the strictest type of voter ID law. Two of the other states? Texas and Wisconsin, whose laws were struck down.

Democrats call for changes to Tennessee voter ID law
The Tennessean
North Carolina’s law, however, was not viewed as one of the strictest laws in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tennessee is one of nine states – including Texas and Wisconsin, which also had their voter ID laws struck down in court – that NCSL categorizes as having a strict photo ID law.

Texas Students Now Can Bring Guns to College Classrooms
Voice of America
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is among eight states permitting concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses. The others are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.  

Minnesota raises minimum wage for third time in 2 years
Grand Forks Herald
North Dakota's minimum wage is consistent with the federal level of $7.25 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Call for special session lacking signatures
Nashville Post 
Casada set an Aug. 5 deadline for the signatures, but given that the primary falls the day before, not many members have paused campaigning to make the drive into Nashville to sign. Casada has mentioned the possibility of extending the deadline past Friday; however, most members will be in Chicago next week for the National Conference of State Legislators annual summit, which runs Aug. 8 through Aug. 11.

One Tweet Sums up the Absurdity of This New Texas Gun Law
ATTN
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all 50 states currently permit citizens, under certain regulations, to carry some form of a concealed weapon. However, 18 states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wyoming — have outright banned concealed weapons on college campuses.

Proposed legislation would crack down on Pennsylvania Turnpike ...
Tribune-Review
Maryland, Texas and New York have moved to punish scofflaws, according to the Turnpike Commission and news accounts. An exact count of states taking such steps wasn't available from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Arkansas embarks on school voucher program
Northwest Arkansas News
Arkansas is joining 12 other states, plus the District of Columbia, that provide state-funded school vouchers to qualifying students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 2

Texas allows guns in college classrooms under new law
Reuters
Eighteen states ban concealed carry weapons on college campuses, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures, while 23 allow each school to determine its own policies. Texas now joins seven other states allowing concealed weapons on public campuses.  

Uber, Lyft Transporting States to New Tax Challenges
Bloomberg BNA
The potential revenue available from short-term lodging arrangements has drawn a lot of attention by state lawmakers, according to Max Behlke, manager of state-federal relations for the National Conference of State Legislatures. In contrast, there has been less focus on tracking and taxing income from other online sharing services such as TNCs, he told Bloomberg BNA July 26. The prime focus among state lawmakers who have inquired about Uber and Lyft has been labor issues, such as ensuring that these workers are eligible for benefits.
 
Schumer calls for FDA recall reform
Politico
In the following weeks, Ostroff packed in meetings with House Energy and Commerce Committee staff and National Conference for State Legislatures officials to talk about food recalls, and sat down with National Fisheries Institute President John Connelly in Anchorage, Alaska, to discuss the Food Safety Modernization Act and seafood. He also swung by Pittsburgh for a meeting with Tom Stenzel, CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association, and Minneapolis, to meet with leaders from the Association of Food and Drug Officials.

50 years after UT Austin clock tower shooting, new campus carry gun law goes into effect
PBS NewsHour
Texas is now the eighth state to permit those with concealed carry licenses to bring their handguns on university grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Proposed legislation would crack down on Pennsylvania Turnpike toll cheats
Tribune-Review
Maryland, Texas and New York have moved to punish scofflaws, according to the Turnpike Commission and news accounts. An exact count of states taking such steps wasn't available from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Advocates call for repeal of Florida's ban on automatic restoration of ...
Florida Politics
Florida is one of only three states in the nation where felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. So on the last day to register to vote in the Aug. 30 primary election, advocates throughout the Sunshine State called for a repeal of that law Monday.

Worth Another Look: The Clean Power Plan
JD Supra
In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. With little expected on the legislative front until September, and since Pennsylvania will close out the 2015-2016 session this fall, it’s worth a look to see what our own elected officials are doing to address each of the issues. The second topic up for consideration: the Clean Power Plan.

Virginia Is for Felons
Reason
Only two states, Vermont and Maine, permit felons to vote even when they are in prison, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Iowa, felons permanently lose their right to vote, while Kentucky and Florida, like Virginia, offer restoration of voting rights by executive order.

31 Facts You Didn't Know About Breastfeeding To Honor ...
Romper
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 49 of the 50 states have legislation in place protecting (or at least allowing) breastfeeding mother's right to nurse their child where ever they please.
 
Data, drones and apps: States debate privacy protections as ...
NewBostonPost
At least 25 states considered bills or resolutions related to security breaches this year, focusing on expanding the definition of personal information or increasing requirements for notification or security, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Women in Nevada scale the pinnacles of politics — or at least most of them
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Today, 33 percent of Nevada legislators are women, ranking Nevada fifth among states for women representation in state legislatures, according to a recent analysis by The Associated Press of figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The proportion compares with a statewide 50-50 gender split in the overall population.

Aug. 1

Guns and memory of mass shooting collide at Texas campus
Reuters
Texas follows eight other states that allow people to carry concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Virginia still has laws banning gay marriage. Should that matter?
Washington Post
Legislators in at least eight other states have tried to remove these types of “dead-letter” laws since the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling, said Rochelle Finzel, who tracks such legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Rauner OKs decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot
Chicago Sun-Times
Illinois is now the 21st state to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small amounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cities, States Plod Toward 'Next-Generation 911'
Government Technology
This year, nine states enacted bills relating to the shift to next-generation 911, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of the new laws had to do with funding and overseeing the new systems. Illinois lawmakers, for example, voted to create a single, statewide 911 system; Virginia laid the groundwork for building a state IP network to support emergency calls.

Illinois Is the Latest State to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana
Fortune
In addition to Illinois, 20 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and similar legislation is pending in other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women in Nevada scale the pinnacles of politics — or at least most of them
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Today, 33 percent of Nevada legislators are women, ranking Nevada fifth among states for women representation in state legislatures, according to a recent analysis by The Associated Press of figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The proportion compares with a statewide 50-50 gender split in the overall population.

Here's What the Next Generation of the 911 Emergency System Will ...
The Fiscal Times
This year, nine states enacted bills relating to the shift to Next Generation 911, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of the new laws had to do with funding and overseeing the new systems. Illinois lawmakers, for example, voted to create a single, statewide 911 system; Virginia laid the groundwork for building a state IP network to support emergency calls.
 
The New Texas Campus Carry Law Takes Effect On A Profoundly Somber Day
Bustle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas will join seven other states in a small club of those that allow concealed carry on college campuses.
 
Commentary: Illinois deep in unfunded obligations
Jacksonville Journal Courier
The pension problem was brought about by the politicians who considered their next election more important than the next generation of taxpayers. Besides, no state other than Illinois has gone without a budget for a full year since the 1930s, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
 
Campus carry goes into effect Monday
El Paso Times
Texas is one of eight states which now have provisions allowing concealed weapons on “public postsecondary campuses,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The others are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.
  
Charleston, Folly Beach consider curbing plastic bag use; could bring national fight to SC
Charleston Post Courier
At least 20 states introduced bills in 2015 and this year in an effort to decrease the use of plastic bags by imposing a ban or fee or by improving recycling efforts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None of the bills have passed. California banned plastic bags in 2014, but a referendum on the November ballot will ask voters whether to repeal it.

Shootings of police prompt efforts to beef up law
The Salem News
Similar legislation is pending in several states. A “Blue Lives Matter” law goes into effect in Louisiana next month, making police killings a hate crime. Lawmakers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida have introduced similar bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.