NCSL in the News | August 2020

7/15/2020

August 28

Time off to vote gaining steam in U.S.
LA Times
All states will mail an absentee ballot to voters who request one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Amico launches PAC to boost women running for office
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Nguyen, first elected in 2017, praised Amico for not abandoning politics after her defeats and pushing to include more women in the process. Roughly one-third of Georgia state lawmakers are women, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Democrats advance legislation to create absentee ballot drop boxes
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Eleven other states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington — have ballot drop boxes set up in some or all counties, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
More companies pledge to give workers time to vote
Scottsbluff Star-Herald
Companies that don't offer a full day should make sure to share mail-in voting information and deadlines, she said. All states will mail an absentee ballot to voters who request one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 27

How to Make Sure You Don't Miss Out on Voting in Any Upcoming Elections
Yahoo News
Confirm your state's current rules on your election board website; via the National Conference of State Legislatures' absentee ballot page; or with the Voting and COVID-19 resources at Vote.org.
 
Trump targets ballot drop boxes in effort to discredit vote-by-mail
CBS News
At least a dozen states provide drop boxes in some or all counties, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more are encouraging counties to install them, especially after the Postal Service warned 46 states last month that mail-in ballots may not be received in time to be counted.
 
Women Seek Legislative Office in Record Numbers in 2020
WTOP
Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that granted women the right to vote, but women are also making steady progress toward more equitable representation in state legislatures, says Martha Saenz, program manager for the Women’s Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Currently, 2,145 women serve in state legislatures, making up 29% of state legislators nationwide, Saenz says. Nevada‘s legislature continues to lead the nation in female representation. Its legislature is comprised of more than 52% women, making it only state legislature in the nation with a female majority. Colorado comes in second, with women comprising 47% of its state legislature.
 
Gov. DeSantis’ lack of urgency on unemployment: Jobless workers still don’t have $300 supplement
Florida Phoenix
Eight states and Puerto Rico have not signaled interest in the $300 benefit, but others have indicated their constituents’ needs outweigh concerns about potential legal and technical shortcomings of the program, said Michael Quillen, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The nonpartisan NCSL advocates for legislatures in every state.
 
“Temporarily, of course you want to see people get money to help them while they’re out of work … but we think there’s a huge legal challenge coming,” Quillen said.
 
Southeastern Colorado community colleges to receive $5 million grant for asbestos housing remediation, trade education
Colorado Politics
The program's funding comes from a 2012 multi-state settlement on "questionable mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure practices" in the aftermath of the Great Recession, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
  

August 26

States say FEMA may no longer pay for protective gear
The Hill
“This proposed change to PPE coverage continues a troubling pattern of shifting costs and responsibilities onto states and localities when they can least afford it,” the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures and other groups wrote in a letter Tuesday to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.
 
States Should Think Long-Term When Addressing Their Short-Term Fiscal Crises
Forbes
According to the state revenue projections compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), around 70% of the states are expecting outright revenue declines for fiscal year 2021. 
 
How to Vote By Mail in All 50 States
U.S. News & World Report
Operationally, the practices are essentially the same. Some states use the term "absentee ballot" and others use "mail ballot," or even other, similar terms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Women gaining ground in leadership positions, but more can be done
Powell Tribune
The only states with a lower percentage of female representation are West Virginia (14.2%) and Mississippi (13.8%), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Alabama is just barely ahead of Wyoming at 15.7%.
 

August 25

Colorado And Virginia Are Among The Few States To Take Steps Toward Police Reform
NPR
And to speak more widely, I guess, you know, this police reform movement across the country is taking place in dozens of states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have taken up or proposed some kind of police reform.
 
Will I Have to Pay for Mail-in Voting? These States Will Cover Your Postage
Newsweek
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the following States have rules in place to ensure mail-in votes postage is covered during U.S. elections…
 
Receiving multiple ballot applications won’t let you vote more than once — here’s why
FOX 29 Philadelphia
States are tasked with overseeing elections and voter registration lists, not the federal government. So each state mandates its own method of verifying absentee ballots — but most use the signature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Gray area of mail-in voting law up to Pennsylvania court
Martinsville Bulletin
Pennsylvania is one of 16 states that require secrecy envelopes be provided to voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How could Iowa track racial profiling? It may start by asking driver's license applicants their race
The Hawk Eye
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least seven states ask for information on race or ethnicity.
 

August 24

Slate of proposed bills could change policing in California
NBC News
In California, lawmakers have until Aug. 31 to consider more than a dozen bills aimed at reducing, overseeing and disciplining the kind of police violence that led to Floyd’s death and those of thousands more like him, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures' bill-tracking database.
 
The Trump administration declared teachers 'essential workers.' Here's what that means.
Washington Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), sectors deemed “essential” by federal or state guidelines before the pandemic included energy; child care; water and wastewater; agriculture and food production; critical retail, such as grocery stores, hardware stores and mechanics; critical trades, such as construction workers, electricians and plumbers; transportation; and some social service organizations. While at least 28 states labeled child-care providers as essential workers, teachers were not, per the NCSL.
 
States Should Require a Coronavirus Vaccine For Kids to Attend School, Some Experts Say
Newsweek
All 50 states grant exceptions from the mandate for those that cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons and 45 allow exemptions for religious reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Public Pension Funding And Reform— Or Lack Thereof — When We're Not 'All In This Together'
Forbes
Connecticut, which predicted an 11% revenue drop on April 30, is likewise business-as-usual, except without embarrassing its residents by making an unseemly bailout request. And none of these states’ leaders have found it even worth discussing, to talk about pension reform. (See the National Conference of State Legislatures for revenue projections and state actions, as well as my July article on the topic.)
 
How to cast your ballot without using USPS ahead of the 2020 election
FOX 2 Detroit
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, eight states, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, already had laws in place allowing ballot drop boxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 
 
Veterans see mail-in ballots as 'most sacred of the sacred'
San Antonio Express-News
The rules differ among the 34 states that allow it for any reason. Federal law requires all states to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Many homeless teens in Jefferson County remain unidentified
NNY 360
The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Children and Families Program estimates 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year and that on any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness.
 

August 21

NY Lets Voters Get Absentee Ballots Due to Virus Concerns
The New York Times
Unlike New York, 34 states allow residents to vote absentee without citing a specific excuse, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Kamala Harris urged Americans to make a 'voting plan.' Here's how to get started.
ABC News
The National Conference of State Legislatures has detailed information on what states allow which methods of voting absentee and the National Vote at Home Institute can provide information to voters on deadlines in each state.
 
Republicans are suing to stop people from voting the way Trump did
CNN
Currently, 10 states allow a voter to send in a ballot through a family member, and 26 states allow others to return ballots, such as in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And it's an issue that's come up repeatedly in court fights across the country this summer, with Republicans often on the side of limiting ballot collecting.
 
Ballot drop boxes are latest battleground in US election fight
WTVB News
Security measures required for ballot drop boxes vary by state. In Montana, these receptacles must be staffed by at least two election officials, while in New Mexico they must be monitored by video, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
2020 Wyoming primary election unofficial results
Kemmerer Gazette
Wyoming has a partially-open primary election, which means it “permits voters to cross party lines, but they must either publicly declare their ballot choice or their ballot selection may be regarded as a form of registration with the corresponding party,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Texas could freeze property taxes in cities that defund police, governor warns
KESQ
Currently, only residents ages 65 and older or those who are disabled are eligible for property tax freezes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 20

One way to solve the shortage of poll workers: Let high school students do the job
The Washington Post
Here’s where high school students can play a role. Most states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, require poll workers to be registered voters — that is, a U.S. citizen at least 18 years old who meets the state’s residency requirements.
 
By Embroiling the Postal Service in Controversy and Shaking Americans’ Confidence in Mail Voting, Trump Wins
TIME
In 32 states, ballots must arrive by Election Day, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump will judge election fairness after vote, White House says
The Detroit News
According to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 24 states and Washington, D.C., have drop boxes that can be used in November – including the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – enough to tip a close election in the Electoral College.
 
OPINION: 'Come back' clause added to term-limits by Issue No. 2
Westside Eagle Observer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the national average of term limits for states that have term limits is 16 years per office.
 

August 19

Teen Pot Use Makes a Comeback After Legalization
U.S. News & World Report
Recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and Washington, D.C., and 33 states and the District of Columbia allow it for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
What’s the difference between absentee and mail-in voting?
The Washington Post
As the use of absentee voting evolved, election officials began referring to the practice with other terms such as “advanced ballots,” “mailed ballots,” “vote-by-mail ballots” and “mail ballots,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
See the deadlines to register to vote for the November election in your state
MSN Money
Twenty states currently allow voters to register to vote on election day if they miss the deadline to register by mail or online, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Worried about whether your vote will count? Here’s how to submit a ballot without using the mail
WPLG Local 10
There are 11 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Washington) and the District of Columbia that allow voters to drop off ballots at any in-person voting location in a county, according to the NCSL.
 
Some lawmakers fret about leveraging long-awaited appraisal of Utah's public lands
Salt Lake Tribune
The software company that created Utah’s appraisal program has been marketing its services to other Western states, and Utah leaders have suggested sharing the tool and Utah’s findings with other state policymakers through the National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of State Governments West and American Legislative Exchange Council.
 
'Absentee' vs 'mail-in': Experts say terms vary by state, but all ballots receive same level of scrutiny
KTVU San Francisco
Historically, the term “absentee ballot” has referred to a ballot that has been sent to a voter outside of a polling place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). It comes from the concept that voters would use the option only when they were “absent” from their local polling station on Election Day.
 

August 18

'Coronavirus is a local issue.' Democrats look to ride anti-Trump wave to capture state legislatures in 2020
USA Today
The 2010 election, said Wendy Underhill, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Elections & Redistricting program, marked the abrupt end of the transition from when legislatures were dominated by Democrats. “2010 was the year when it really tipped over into Republican control,” Underhill said. “Republicans paid close attention to the significance of the legislative races and just simply played a better game than Democrats did that year.”
 
How to make sure your vote counts in November
Washington Post
Make sure you are registered to vote. This is something you would have to do even if there weren’t a pandemic. Forty states and the District allow you to register to vote online, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures (NCSL). If you know which party you want to vote for, your local Republican or Democratic or third party will help you register.
 
Could FedEx ease the US Postal Service's mail voting challenge? Shipping costs a hurdle
The Commercial Appeal
Although both FedEx and rival UPS shot down calls to help the Postal Service deliver ballots, according to Reuters, any voter could individually return their ballot via those companies, said Wendy Underhill, elections and redistricting director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “What I can offer is that any voter could put their completed ballot into the official return envelope, sign it or do whatever is required by state law, and then put the whole thing in a FedEx or UPS envelope or package and send it in,” she said. “That would mean that the election official would have the extra step of removing the ballot from the outer packaging.”
 
Maine To Expand Voting Access For Visually Impaired People After Lawsuit
Maine Public
At least seven states allow users to request and return ballots electronically, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Virginia to consider reducing penalty for assaulting police
Martinsville Bulletin
Some states allow the charge to be brought as both a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances, while other states don’t have a separate law, but allow for enhanced penalties for assaults on police, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 17

Postal Service warns states: Some absentee, mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted
USA TODAY
Arizona’s formal deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 23. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Early in-person voting seen as strong option for concerned voters
ABC News Radio
Wendy Underhill, the director of elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which as part of its mandate provides information on early in-person options, told ABC News that the early-voting system has previously been instrumental in decreasing lines of voters on Election Day. "I think any election official would be glad to see them come through earlier, especially during COVID," she told ABC News. Underhill and other experts say they're concerned that some election officials aren't doing enough to promote early in-person voting or expand it to more locations. But they say there's still time for election officials and state leaders to let voters know the option is available.
 
New voting laws revive fights over 'ballot harvesting'
AP National
North Carolina is among 10 states that generally only allow a family member or caregiver to drop off someone’s ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How to safely return your absentee ballot without USPS
MSN Money
Forty states and the District of Columbia have some form of early voting in place, allowing voters to cast their ballot in person while avoiding crowds. Some states have even extended early voting due to the pandemic. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website has information on early voting by state.
 
As Military Cyber Policies Change, Should Others Do the Same?
Government Technology
The hack-and-leak examples listed above impacted domestic politics in the United Kingdom, and similar issues are face in the U.S. now. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) issued this brief report on federal and state cybersecurity enhancement efforts last year.
 
The prospects for mail-in voting in this fall's election
CBS News
NCSL Info. Cited
 
Maine To Expand Voting Access For Visually Impaired People After Lawsuit
Maine Public
At least seven states allow users to request and return ballots electronically, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Obama says Trump is trying to ‘kneecap’ the Postal Service
The Detroit News
By that standard, more than 20 other states that allow mail-in ballot requests in the days just before the election would not leave enough time for even a one-way mailing, according to state laws compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 14

Vote like Miss Sylvia: Hand-deliver your mail-in or absentee ballot
Washington Post
Rules vary from state to state on mail-in voting, early voting and absentee voting. The National Conference of State Legislatures is a great resource for information on applying for an absentee ballot and early voting. So, click through to learn about your state’s requirements and deadlines for applications.
 
Does new school year mean measles or flu outbreaks? Doctors worry as kids miss scheduled ...
MSN Money
All 50 states have legislation requiring specific vaccines for students, but 45 states and Washington, D.C., grant religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of States Legislatures. Fifteen states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.
 
States Target Missed Tax Collections From Intercompany Transfers
Bloomberg Tax
An analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures revealed corporate income tax was 9.4% of total state tax collections in 1981, but only 4.8% by 2018. Much of the problem is attributed to savvy companies concentrating high-value assets in subsidiaries.
 
Editorial: Should Virginia limit the governor's emergency powers?
Roanoke Times
At least 25 states give the legislature the power to cancel a gubernatorial declaration of emergency at any time. Other states don’t appear to impose any significant limits on gubernatorial declarations of emergency, according to a list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
VERIFY: Seizure of fake licenses falsely linked to voter fraud
WUSA9.com
The National Conference of State Legislators explains that in every state other than North Dakota, you have to register before you can actually vote. Registration requires a valid driver’s license and typically the last four digits of a real social security number. While fake licenses may be good enough to fool a bouncer or even simple electronic systems, they aren’t real and don’t have real voter information on them.
 
Attack ad right about Cunningham's 2001 budget vote
PolitiFact
At the time, North Carolina was the only state to raise personal income tax rates, a budget analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures told the News & Observer for a Sept. 22, 2001 article.
 

August 13

Since 2016, 11 states and DC have expanded voting rights for the currently and formerly incarcerated
Washington Post
(Data Sourced)
 
N.J. Wins Ruling to Issue Up to $9.9 Billion Debt for Crisis
Yahoo Finance
The National Conference of State Legislators was tracking revenue declines due to the virus in at least 34 states as of last month, with some projections exceeding 20%.
 
NC women still struggle for representation
Smoky Mountain News
Across the country, 2,145 women currently serve as state legislators, making up 29 percent of all legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only one state, Nevada, has a female-majority legislature.
 
Asian American, African Immigrant, Black Conservative: Diverse Candidates Win Wisconsin Primaries
Wisconsin Public Radio News
According to a 2015 study from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Pew Charitable Trusts, at the time 83 percent of Wisconsin state lawmakers were white, 5 percent were Black and 2 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
 
Trump's $400 a week jobless aid could be just $300 — depending where you live
TucsonSentinel.com
"It is still too early to tell what the impact of the president's executive action will have on state unemployment," said Zach Herman, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "States are still waiting on further guidance from the White House and the Department of Labor. …. Without further clarification from the Department of Labor and White House the impact is unclear."
 
Will we have results on election night? FEC commissioner says prepare to wait
Fox 10 Phoenix
A total of 34 states and the District of Columbia allow voters in the weeks before an election to request absentee ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization established in 1975 to serve the members and staff of U.S. state legislatures.
 
Should body camera video from police be public record?
KMTV - 3 News Now
Nebraska isn't unique. Twenty-three states have passed laws defining if and how body camera records should be treated as public record, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nebraska isn't one of them.
 

August 12

Fact check: US Postal Service will deliver mail ballots even with insufficient postage
Reuters
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) lists here 17 states that cover the cost of postage. Other states that have also announced prepaid postage for the election include Pennsylvania ( here ), Massachusetts ( here ) and South Carolina ( here ).
 
California's Attorney General Condemns Murder Charges Over a Stillbirth
The New York Times
California is among 38 states that have fetal homicide laws recognizing the fetus as a victim in cases of violence against a pregnant woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In recent years, charges of feticide, manslaughter or murder have been brought against women in states including Indiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Last year in Alabama, a woman was charged with manslaughter after another woman shot her in the stomach and her 5-month-old fetus did not survive. The case stirred national outrage, and that charge was dropped a week later.
 
States race to pass policing reforms after Floyd’s death
CNBC
“This kind of rapid response from legislators, on this type of issue particularly, is not something I’ve ever seen previously,” Amber Widgery, a program principal on criminal justice issues at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since Floyd’s death in late May, there have been about 450 pieces of policing reform proposals introduced in 31 states, according to a count by the NCSL. Many states had finished their normal legislative session at the time of Floyd’s death and are planning to address police accountability next year. But some states are having special sessions this year and others moved quickly to pass bills during the normal legislative calendar.
 
DC police union moves to block mandatory release of body cam footage
New York Post
Floyd’s death, as well as other high-profile incidents of police brutality, led three dozen states to introduce initiatives to change or study policing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New York becomes 30th state to require seat belts for all car occupants
New York Post
Despite enacting the country’s first-ever seat belt law in 1984, New York until now was one of just 20 states that did not require all passengers to strap in, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire is the only state in the country without any seat belt requirement whatsoever.
 
Requests for absentee ballots by mail on rise in Virginia amid COVID-19
Lynchburg News and Advance
Five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah — conduct elections entirely by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It says that in two-thirds of the states, any qualified voter can cast an absentee ballot without providing an excuse.
 
MS voters shouldn't have to pick between staying healthy or voting, lawsuit says
Biloxi Sun Herald
At least two-thirds of states allow absentee voting without an excuse, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. Mississippi is not one of them.
 

August 11

Trump dumps unemployment bills on states facing calamity
The Detroit News
But that figure has been disputed by the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and five other bipartisan state and local government groups. They said it fails to recognize that the funds have already been earmarked for other expenses in their annual budgets, even if it hasn’t yet been spent.
 
Are States Ready for Elections During a Pandemic?
U.S. News & World Report
For more on COVID-19 and elections, head to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Simon Cowell Broke Back Falling From Motorbike, Not Electric Bike
Forbes
States with a three-tiered classification system typically exempt an e-bike from registration, licensure and insurance requirements to differentiate between e-bikes and other motorized vehicles such as mopeds and scooters, says the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
No Penn State football this fall
Times Leader
Attempts in other states to govern the use of Native American mascots have failed in recent years. At least three — Illinois, Massachusetts and Minnesota — are considering legislation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Washington, D.C., police union moves to block release of body cam footage
WHTC
Floyd's death, as well as other high-profile incidents of police brutality, led three dozen states to introduce initiatives to change or study policing, according https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/legislative-responses-for-policing.aspx to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 10

'It's Ridiculous': States Struggle To Accommodate COVID-19 Positive Voters
NPR
"All 50 states have done something to address elections in the time of COVID," said Wendy Underhill, director of the elections and redistricting program for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Let the world watch the 2020 election
The Boston Globe
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 states restrict or prohibit observation of voting, including big states like Florida, Ohio, and Texas.
 
'An insidious ploy': Trump admin's decision to cut census short could have dire consequences
NBC News
Nearly two dozen states have put millions toward backstopping federal efforts. Fearing the loss of political power, California has poured nearly $200 million into outreach; Illinois allocated $30.5 million; New York, $20 million; and Washington state, $15 million, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states have earmarked less than $10 million each for the effort.
 
Vote by mail? Yes. Should state be paying postage? Heck no.
Morning Call
Thirty-four states allow all voters to vote by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seventeen of them have laws requiring local election officials to provide return postage.
 
Michigan clerks: What we need to count absentee ballots in November
Detroit Free Press
In Colorado and Delaware, even counting can take place, but not be disclosed, before Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Despite projected deficit, Minnesota officials in no rush to implement budget cuts
Minn Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures is also keeping a running tally of state revenue reductions that are not pleasant reading for state budget leaders. The same organization has been compiling a list of the budget cuts decisions made by various states.
 
Native mascots still a sticking point in high school sports
Mooresville Tribune
Attempts in other states to govern the use of Native American mascots have failed in recent years. At least three — Illinois, Massachusetts and Minnesota — are considering legislation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 7

Commission denies Trump's request to move up presidential debates
NBC News
Pennsylvania and Kentucky will send out requested mail ballots as early as Sept. 14, with several other key states following the same week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Cops’ Legal Cover Is in Question as States Agonize Over Reforms
Bloomberg Law
The killing of George Floyd sparked a flurry of reform measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. At least 395 bills related to policing were introduced in 30 states and the District of Columbia this year, according to a database of such legislation. Thirty-four bills related to police reform—8.6% of the bills in the database—were enacted.
 
Black man shares crucial lesson after getting pulled over by police: ‘I’ve never seen this happen to me’
Yahoo Sports
Among countless other issues, the protests have sparked new demands for police accountability, including calls for the increased use of body cameras. Currently, just five states have enacted laws requiring at least some officers to use body-worn cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
West Virginia may have to cover some costs of National Guard deployment
The Weirton Daily Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Title 32 federal funding pays for as much as $9 million per 1,000 guard members. States receive 75 percent of their funding through a Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance. States with 2 percent of their guard members deployed can receive a waiver for the remaining 25 percent. The federal C.A.R.E.S. Act also appropriated $1.4 billion for guard deployments for the pandemic.
 

August 6

Georgia House speaker asks U.S. Senate for $500 billion aid package for states
Atlanta Journal Constitution
During a video “town hall meeting” put on by the National Conference of State Legislatures, England said Georgia lawmakers were able to avert major job cuts or furloughs during the General Assembly session that ended in June. England said lawmakers stopped “just shy of the point where it gets into the livelihood of state employees.”
 
Ivanka Trump Raises $4 Million for Her Father: Campaign Update
Bloomberg
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina is the only one of those states that accepts mail-in ballots if they are postmarked on Election Day, but received within three days.
 
Kanye West files signatures in hopes of getting on ballot in Ohio and Colorado
NBC News
The campaign's new strategy is to target voters in early-voting states. North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Arizona all begin early voting in October, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The campaign did not disclose the exact amount being spent for the ad buy, but deputy national press secretary Ken Farnaso said it is in the "high seven figures."
 
The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere
The Atlantic
The GOP has a big cushion: It now controls 59 state legislative chambers, compared with just 39 for Democrats, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
West Virginia expected to foot part of bill for National Guard pandemic deployment
Martinsburg Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Title 32 federal funding pays for as much as $9 million per 1,000 guard members. States receive 75% of their funding through a Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance. States with 2% of their guard members deployed can receive a waiver for the remaining 25%. The federal C.A.R.E.S. Act also appropriated $1.4 billion for guard deployments for the pandemic.
 
Fact check: Post showing mail ballot applications from past tenants misleadingly oversimplifies voter fraud
Reuters
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides information on home voting, including a section on security features in place here . Measures in place to counter voter fraud include hand-marked paper ballots, signature verification, examining and processing ballots ahead of election day to allow for more verification time, up-to-date address information, security cameras during storage, and many more (see Security Features of Voting by Absentee/Mailed Ballots section bit.ly/33vUvBA ).
 
Deferred income tax payments means Christmas in July for state tax collections
The Logan Banner
Justice and Hardy both disputed a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures projecting that West Virginia will have a downturn of revenue collections of $646 million and an increase of $100 million in Medicaid costs in the 2020-21 budget year.
 

August 5

States Asking For More Coronavirus Aid, But Treasury Says They’ve Spent Just 25% So Far
Forbes
State and local governments have been lobbying Congress for months to allocate more flexible aid in the next round of Coronavirus aid. But a new U.S. Department of Treasury report that tracks CARES Act spending says governments have collectively spent just a fraction of the $150 billion allocated back in March.
 
Less than three months from Election Day, five states hold competitive primaries Tuesday
NBC News
The campaign's new strategy is to target voters in early-voting states. North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Arizona all begin early voting in October, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump spares only Texas and Florida in cutting funds for National Guard
Politico
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the cost of the deployment is as much as $9 million per month for every 1,000 troops.
 
GOP leaders reluctant to add billions in state, local aid in new relief deal
Georgia Recorder
More flexibility for how states spend the money already on hand is needed because it’s not always easy to show an expense is related to the pandemic, state Rep. Terry England, an Auburn Republican, said Tuesday in a virtual panel discussion with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

 
States eager to expand broadband, wary of CARES Act deadline
AP Vermont
“The coronavirus funds that the feds are giving to the states can be used for the short-term in response to COVID, but broadband expansion is a long-term goal,” said Heather Morton, who follows state broadband efforts for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 4

2020 Daily Trail Markers: Everything you need to know about mail-in voting
CBS News
Election officials and experts say the best way to make sure your ballot is counted is to read the ballot instructions carefully, make sure you sign it, and send it in as early as possible. Nearly every state allows voters to return ballots to a local clerk's office, according to the National Conference of States Legislatures, and several states set up ballot drop boxes.
 
Trump or Biden? Voters in North Carolina could pick as soon as next month
NBC News
Pennsylvania and Kentucky will follow, sending out requested mail ballots as early as Sept. 14, with several other key states following the same week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Fact check: Trump has not banned $57.4 billion of “welfare for illegal immigrants”
Reuters
Illegal immigrants in the U.S. may be eligible for emergency medical assistance under Medicaid and certain public health programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures ( bit.ly/2PqIVzf ) A Reuters Fact Check debunking the claim that “illegals get all healthcare for free” is visible here .
 
Trump campaign returns to the airwaves in early-voting states
NBC News
North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Arizona all begin early voting in October, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'A horrible position': National Guard's virus mission in jeopardy without White House extension
Politico
While states could keep troops deployed even if the federal mission is terminated, they would have to pick up the tab — as much as $9 million per month for every 1,000 troops, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State election officials urge swift legislative action on voting reforms
Pennsylvania Post
Pre-pandemic, 16 states counted mail-in ballots that arrive after polls close. Of those, four (Kansas, Virginia, California and North Carolina) follow rules similar to what DoS proposed: accept ballots with an Election Day postmark for three days afterward, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Deferred income tax payments means Christmas in July for state tax collections
The Herald-Dispatch
Justice and Hardy both disputed a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures projecting West Virginia will have a downturn of revenue collections of $646 million and an increase of $100 million in Medicaid costs in the 2020-21 budget year.
 
Trump campaign returns to the airwaves in early-voting states
WRCB TV
The campaign's new strategy is to target voters in early-voting states. North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Arizona all begin early voting in October, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 

August 3

Trump campaign, in strategy shift, makes push in early-voting states
NBC News
In some battleground states, such as Michigan and Minnesota, early voting starts as soon as September. There are 39 states that offer some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump's campaign in crisis as aides attempt August reset before time runs out
Washington Post
Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin are among states that begin mailing out absentee ballots to voters more than 45 days before the Nov. 3 election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Michigan, Georgia and Texas are among states where ballots will also begin hitting mailboxes in September.
 
Fact check: Americans won't have microchips implanted by end of 2020
USA TODAY
Indiana, Nevada, Arkansas, Missouri, and Montana prohibit employers from requiring chip implants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as reported in State Net Capitol Journal. Laws passed in California, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Utah prohibit the required implantation of a microchip in any person, not just employees.
 
Voting at risk in SC due to coordinated cyber threats, experts say
Charleston City Paper
"States are really locking (elections systems) down so the votes themselves are OK but if there is any more of (other cybersecurity interference), it has an impact on voter confidence and democracy stands on voter confidence. You have to believe your vote counts for it to work," National Conference of State Legislatures election security expert Wendy Underhill told Statehouse Report, a City Paper sister publication.
 
States eager to expand broadband, wary of CARES Act deadline
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The coronavirus funds that the feds are giving to the states can be used for the short-term in response to COVID, but broadband expansion is a long-term goal," said Heather Morton, who follows state broadband efforts for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State election officials urge swift legislative action on voting reforms
PA Post
Pre-pandemic, 16 states counted mail-in ballots that arrive after polls close. Of those, four (Kansas, Virginia, California and North Carolina) follow rules similar to what DoS proposed: accept ballots with an Election Day postmark for three days afterward, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Formerly incarcerated people can vote in upcoming Michigan elections
Detroit Free Press
Michigan is among 16 states and the District of Columbia where people convicted of crimes lose their voting rights only while incarcerated and automatically have their rights restored upon release, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. People in Michigan can vote while on parole or probation. Proof of residency, such as Hollister's state ID, is required to register to vote within 14 days of Election Day.
 
The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere
The Atlantic
The GOP has a big cushion: It now controls 59 state legislative chambers, compared with just 39 for Democrats, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Missouri Secretary of State's Office answers frequently asked primary questions
Southeast Missourian
Missouri has an open primary, which means voters may choose any party's ballot on primary Election Day. Voters in Missouri do not need to register as affiliated with a certain party, unlike surrounding states such as Illinois and Kentucky, according the National Conference of State Legislatures.