NCSL in the News | January 2020

1/1/2020

Jan. 31

Maryland’s Democratic-majority legislature reverses five Hogan vetoes
Washington Post
The District of Columbia passed a ban-the-box bill in 2014, and since then the city has charged employers more than 1,100 times for violating it. As of 2017, 20 other states had enacted similar ban-the-box bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Missouri proposal would add extra step to initiative petition process
News Tribune
Five states and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow their legislatures to review and approve any initiated petition to change state statutes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Illinois ethics commission addresses conflicts of interest, closing the “revolving door”
WGEM
Nicholas Birdsong, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, says most states have a one to two year cooling off period before lawmakers can become lobbyists.
"The general trend for revolving door or mandatory cooling off periods is to have longer periods, but there's a lot of variation in that as well," explained Birdsong. He says Florida has the longest prohibition period lasting six to seven years after an individual leaves office.

Effort to repeal Colorado's death penalty reaches new milestone
The Colorado Independent
Since 1976, 21 states and D.C. have abolished the death penalty either through legislation or court action. None repealed the death penalty through a ballot measure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Philadelphia won the soda tax battle. But across the US, Big Soda is winning the war
Union Bulletin
Lawmakers in seven states had proposed statewide taxes on soda last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
NAACP endorses ballot campaign to streamline Ohio voting
WCPO 9 Cincinnati
Twenty-one states plus the District of Columbia have same-day voter registration, and more than a dozen have some manner of automated voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Jan. 30

This plan for universal paid family leave in Pa. has bipartisan support. Will it ever become law?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks statehouse policy trends across the United States, says four states have proposed tax credits for employers who let workers take paid family leave. None of them have become law.
 
SD moves to protect plastic straws, cups
The Capital Journal
Eight states, including California and Oregon, have banned single-use plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

More States See Zoning as Lever to Lower Housing Costs
Stateline
Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C., last year passed a variety of legislation that addresses the housing affordability problem, from tax credits for developers to rental assistance and eviction protections for residents, said Sarah Scherer, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonprofit with offices in Denver and D.C. California, Washington and Hawaii passed the most laws.

Advocates: Registration reform could boost turnout by 100,000
The MetroWest Daily News
Maine first implemented same-day registration in 1973, and since then, 20 other states have rolled out similar policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine of those states have implemented or enacted the policy in the last two years alone, coalition supporters said Tuesday.
 
Carla Stefaniak murder trial: Here’s how Costa Rica’s justice system works
WSTP 10 News
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 21 U.S. states have abolished capital punishment, but it’s still practiced at the federal level.

GOP lawmakers want to reinstate the death penalty in Delaware
WGMD Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, capital punishment is currently authorized in 29 states, by the federal government and the U.S. military.

Jan. 29

Philadelphia won the soda tax battle. But across the U.S., Big Soda is winning the war.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Lawmakers in seven states had proposed statewide taxes on soda last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Bill seeks to move up primary, give Pa. more influence in presidential nomination process
Penn Live
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that would put this state in the company of Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona, which also hold their primaries on that date in March.
 
Wolf renews call for $15/hr. minimum wage. GOP isn’t interested
Pennsylvania Capital Star
Twenty-one states, including four Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, began 2020 with a higher minimum wage, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost certifies petition for raising minimum wage
Record-Courier
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.
 
Advocates: Voter registration reform could boost turnout by 100,000
South Coast Today
Maine first implemented same-day registration in 1973, and since then, 20 other states have rolled out similar policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Could Boost Turnout In Mass. By 100,000, Advocates Say
WGBH
Maine first implemented same-day registration in 1973, and since then, 20 other states have rolled out similar policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Jan. 28

Wegmans pulls plug on plastic bags in this state
Yahoo Finance
Wegmans isn’t the only store to eliminate single-use plastics. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont have levied bans as well, impacting big-box chains there, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Philadelphia won the soda tax battle. But across the US, Big Soda is winning the war.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Lawmakers in seven states had proposed statewide taxes on soda last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None have passed yet.

New laws could protect drivers from highway ‘ice missiles’
The Indiana Gazette
At least four states — Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont — have bills pending that would require drivers to clear off excessive ice and snow and would impose fines for violators, said Samantha Bloch, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost certifies petition for raising minimum wage
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.
 
State sets early voting days in presidential primary
Gloucester Daily Times
Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow any qualified voter to cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. No excuse or justification is required.
 
How to get involved in the Utah Legislature, whether you have 5 minutes or all day
Deseret News
46 of the current 100 senators, 198 representatives and close to half of all U.S. presidents previously served as state legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
50-50 in 2020 campaign to elect women dissolving
Globe Gazette
That 29 percent female membership in the Iowa Legislature matches the national average, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Second Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure Filed In Montana
MTPR
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eleven states and the District of Columbia now have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use.

Jan. 29

Philadelphia won the soda tax battle. But across the U.S., Big Soda is winning the war.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Lawmakers in seven states had proposed statewide taxes on soda last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill seeks to move up primary, give Pa. more influence in presidential nomination process
Penn Live
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that would put this state in the company of Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona, which also hold their primaries on that date in March.
 
Wolf renews call for $15/hr. minimum wage. GOP isn’t interested
Pennsylvania Capital Star
Twenty-one states, including four Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, began 2020 with a higher minimum wage, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost certifies petition for raising minimum wage
Record-Courier
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.
 
Advocates: Voter registration reform could boost turnout by 100,000
South Coast Today
Maine first implemented same-day registration in 1973, and since then, 20 other states have rolled out similar policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Could Boost Turnout In Mass. By 100,000, Advocates Say
WGBH
Maine first implemented same-day registration in 1973, and since then, 20 other states have rolled out similar policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Jan. 28

Wegmans pulls plug on plastic bags in this state
Yahoo Finance
Wegmans isn’t the only store to eliminate single-use plastics. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont have levied bans as well, impacting big-box chains there, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Philadelphia won the soda tax battle. But across the US, Big Soda is winning the war.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Lawmakers in seven states had proposed statewide taxes on soda last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None have passed yet.

New laws could protect drivers from highway ‘ice missiles’
The Indiana Gazette
At least four states — Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont — have bills pending that would require drivers to clear off excessive ice and snow and would impose fines for violators, said Samantha Bloch, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost certifies petition for raising minimum wage
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.
 
State sets early voting days in presidential primary
Gloucester Daily Times
Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow any qualified voter to cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. No excuse or justification is required.
 
How to get involved in the Utah Legislature, whether you have 5 minutes or all day
Deseret News
46 of the current 100 senators, 198 representatives and close to half of all U.S. presidents previously served as state legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
50-50 in 2020 campaign to elect women dissolving
Globe Gazette
That 29 percent female membership in the Iowa Legislature matches the national average, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Second Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure Filed In Montana
MTPR
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eleven states and the District of Columbia now have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use.

Jan. 27

Massachusetts Sets Early Voting Days In Presidential Primary For The First Time
CBS Boston
Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow any qualified voter to cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. No excuse or justification is required.

Senate Republicans want to renew voter ID push in 2020; DFLers say no way
Minnesota Public Radio News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 36 states with laws on the books that request or require voters to show some form of identification at the polls.

More firearms seized under 'red flag' law
The Daily News of Newburyport
Regulations vary widely but at least a dozen states and Washington D.C. have red flag laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Guide to Virginia's Controversial Bills: Gun Control, Abortion, Electoral College
The Epoch Times
Most states allow felons to vote, but usually after they complete their sentences, including parole or probation. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow felons to vote during incarceration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Human trafficking panel fails to issue reports, AP finds
Burlington County Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states have enacted legislation setting up commissions, while 13 others have them run by the attorney general or other executive branch agency. Twenty-two states have funds for survivors. 
 
Hellooooo Iowa
The Post Register
And Taylor sells his snake oil all over. In his Heartland Institute bio, he brags that he has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel and MSNBC, among other networks, and given presentations to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Council of State Governments and the National Association of Counties, among other organizations.

The Gazette
That 29 percent female membership in the Iowa Legislature matches the national average, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
New laws could protect drivers from highway 'ice missiles'
PostBulletin.com
At least four states - Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont - have bills pending that would require drivers to clear off excessive ice and snow and would impose fines for violators, said Samantha Bloch, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

South Bend advocate's long battle makes ex-drug offenders eligible for food stamps in Indiana
South Bend Tribune
By 2018, Indiana was one of just four states that still had the ban in place. Now it’s only South Carolina, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Jan. 23

Ohio measure to expand voting rights could be on ballot in November
The Columbus Dispatch
If voters approve, Ohio would join 21 states with same-day registration and 18 states with some type of automated voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill prohibiting local plastics ban gaining support in Legislature
Rapid City Journal
Eight states have banned single-use plastic bags and 15 states, including Minnesota and North Dakota, have adopted laws prohibiting government entities from banning plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

More firearms seized under 'red flag' law
The Eagle Tribune
Regulations vary widely but at least a dozen states and Washington D.C. have red-flag laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Legislatures in at least 20 states including New Hampshire are considering similar laws, according to the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence

2 bills seek to expand early voting in Alabama
The Times Daily
Nine states, including Alabama, do not offer early in-person voting options, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Beyond the headlines: Closing the lobbying revolving door
The Press Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, among the states that have cooling-off periods for former legislators, 26 require a one-year gap between legislating and lobbying. Ten states, plus the Minnesota House, set the waiting period to two years. 

Four-in-ten U.S. drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses – mostly possession
Pew Research Center
Illinois, the nation’s sixth most populous state, this month began allowing the sale of marijuana for recreational use. It joined 10 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing small amounts of the drug for adult recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Jan. 22

Bills to make voting easier advance in Virginia legislature
The Washington Post
Former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell signed SB 1256 into law mandating voters have a form of ID with a photograph. Virginia is one of the 18 states with such voting requirements, according to the National Conference of Legislature.


Medicaid IT: Finally Ready to Move Out of the Dark Ages
Governing
Finishing the job will take yet more years to come. "It's a reasonable request on CMS' part," says Emily Blanford, a health policy expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, "but getting there has been really tough."


Cuomo: Legalize and Tax Pot to Bring N.Y. $300 Million
Bloomberg Tax
New York would become the third state to legalize the drug through a legislative vote—rather than a ballot initiative—following Vermont and Illinois, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


New Laws Could Protect Drivers From Highway ‘Ice Missiles’
Pew Charitable Trusts
At least four states — Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont — have bills pending that would require drivers to clear off excessive ice and snow and would impose fines for violators, said Samantha Bloch, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Ballot proposal would increase Ohio minimum wage to $13 an hour within five years
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.

Jan. 21

Plastic bags have lobbyists. They're winning
Politico
Still, after years of environmental lobbying in the U.S., only eight states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont — ban plastic bags. Fourteen others, including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting laws to tie the hands of local officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Laws Could Protect Drivers From Highway ‘Ice Missiles’
Pew Charitable Trusts
At least four states — Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont — have bills pending that would require drivers to clear off excessive ice and snow and would impose fines for violators, said Samantha Bloch, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Amid consumer gripes, Missouri again seeking to hang up on robocalls
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In 2019, the National Conference of State Legislatures counted 35 states that had introduced more than 150 bills designed to crack down on unscrupulous telemarketers.

State voting, registration laws vary and change frequently
Santa Rosa Press Gazette
In the states and the District of Columbia, lawmakers last year considered more than 2,900 bills dealing with elections and voting, and enacted more than 350, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States spend big bucks on census preparation
The Newburyport Daily News
Collectively, at least 27 states have spent or committed more than $316 million to the effort, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Jan. 17

Democrats plan major investments in state legislative races
The Hill
Republicans hold 3,838 of the 7,383 state legislative seats around the country, while Democrats hold 3,452 seats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump has broken more promises than he's kept
Washington Post
End Common Core. In Trump’s first three years, no serious action has been taken on this promise. (He ordered only a review of the federal government’s education-related regulations to assess whether they unlawfully interfere with state and local decision-making.) As of Dec. 30, 39 states are implementing Common Core or a revised version of it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

SC lawmakers pass bill in favor of abandoning daylight savings time changes
The State
The Palmetto State is one of many states that debated making daylight savings time permanent, ending the practice of switching clocks forward and backward, over the last year, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
20% of current General Assembly came to office thanks to an appointment
FOX 31 Denver
Colorado is one of five states that allow parties to appoint replacements, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Georgia lawmakers: Tighten internet sales tax collections
WSB-TV 2 Atlanta
So far, 38 states and the District of Columbia require online platforms to collect taxes for third-party sellers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Bill would extend nepotism law after KMTV's Dodge County Assessor investigation
KTMV 3 News Omaha
Several states have laws on nepotism that are more broad than Nebraska's, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures .
 
Chris Hansen chosen to fill seat of Colorado Sen. Lois Court, who resigned because of illness
The Colorado Sun
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Colorado is just one of five U.S. states that fills vacancies by political party.

Jan. 16

Democrats plan $50M campaign to flip state legislatures before redistricting
Politico
Though Democrats have made gains since President Donald Trump’s election, they are entering 2020 behind. The party lost nearly 1,000 state legislative seats during Obama’s presidency, and Republicans control 60 percent of all state legislative chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Republicans also have full control — including the governorship — of 21 states, while Democrats hold 13. (Control is divided in the remaining states.)

SC lawmakers pass bill in favor of ending daylight savings time
The State
The Palmetto State is one of many states that debated making daylight savings time permanent, ending the practice of switching clocks forward and backward, over the last year, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Five states have already passed legislation on the issue, including Maine, Delaware, Tennessee, Oregon and Washington.

Washington State Senate Votes to Ban Plastic Bags
Bloomberg Environment
The bill, which passed by a vote of 30-19, now heads to the House. If the single-use plastic bag ban ultimately passes, Washington will become the ninth state with such a ban joining California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures notice in November.

20% of current General Assembly came to office thanks to an appointment
FOX31 Denver
States across the country chose different ways to fill legislative seats. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 25 states allow for special elections to fill vacancies, 11 states use the governor to appoint, seven states permit county boards to fill vacancies and two states use their legislative bodies to select replacements.

Here’s What’s At Stake For Pa. In The 2020 Census: School Funding, Road Repairs And More
Pittsburgh Current
Through the U.S. Census count, Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually for federally funded programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That amounts to about $2,000 per-Pennsylvanian, per-year.

Jan. 15

Bill to increase Georgia tax collections could move quickly
San Francisco Chronicle
So far, 38 states and the District of Columbia require online platforms to collect taxes for third-party sellers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
The Biggest Issues to Watch in 2020
Governing
"There's more national money because of this," says Wendy Underhill, election and redistricting director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "We know the Democratic and Republican [committees] are raising money on this and sending it out."
 
How US Picks Its President, Iowa Caucuses to Nov. 3: QuickTake
Bloomberg Government
The National Conference of State Legislatures summarizes the movement to let the national popular vote decide the presidency.

Body Cameras May Not Be the Easy Answer Everyone Was Looking For
Stateline
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., require law enforcement to have written policies to use or receive funding for body-worn cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill to Eliminate Religious Vaccine Exemptions in NJ Postponed
NBC New York
Every state requires some vaccines for students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but exemptions vary by state. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia allow for religious exemptions to immunizations, according to the conference.

Jan. 14

Plastic bags have lobbyists. And they're still winning.
Politico
Still, after years of environmental lobbying, only eight states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont — ban plastic bags. Fourteen others, including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting preemption laws to tie the hands of local officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Vote set on bill to bar religious exemption for shots in NJ
Washington Times
Every state requires some vaccines for students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but exemptions vary by state. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia allow for religious exemptions to immunizations, according to the conference.

Colorado Lawmakers Move Again To Abolish The Death Penalty (Just Like In 1897)
Colorado Public Radio
Capital punishment is allowed in 29 states and by the federal government, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but the movement against has gained momentum.

House GOP retaliates against Wolf's overtime proposal
Pennsylvania Capital-Star
Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which matches the federal minimum, is lower than all its neighboring states by at least $1.30 as of Jan. 1, 2019 according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There has not been a vote to increase it since 2006.

Sen. Moore named to Public Safety Advisory Committee
Millbury-Sutton Chronicle
Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Millbury, was recently appointed the National Conference of State Legislatures representative on the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). The PSAC was established in 2013 and consists of 42 representatives from both traditional and non-traditional public safety responder associations and organization as well as members of local state, territorial, tribal and federal governments. The committee formed to assist the First Responder Network Authority in its mission to build, deploy, operate and maintain the FirstNet Network.

Jan. 13

Redistricting power at stake in 2020 legislative elections
Washington Post
“The 2020 election is the premier election when it comes to redistricting, because it is the election that will set the players in place who will do redistricting come 2021,” said Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

14 Nebraska state senators aim to put voter ID on the November ballot
Omaha World Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 36 states have passed voter ID laws, including at least two that put voter ID requirements in their constitutions. 
 
Don’t backtrack on front license plates
Akron Beacon Journal
“And we’ve reached out to the National Conference of State Legislators, and they’ve reported back that there’s really no correlating evidence that shows having that extra plate increases the ability to police better than one-plate states.”
 
Montana isn't ready for annual legislative sessions
The Missoulian
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the trend has been for more states to adopt regular annual sessions. Sixty years ago, only 19 state legislatures met each year. Now, Montana is one of only four states — Nevada, North Dakota and Texas are the others — whose legislatures still convene only once every two years.
 
Alabama AG opposes expected medical marijuana bill
Tuscaloosa News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says more than 30 states have approved some form of medical marijuana program.

Jan. 9

Kentucky photo ID bill backed by top election official
Washington Post
Seven states currently have strict photo ID laws in effect, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Self-Driving Cars Need `Performance-Based' Regulation, Chao Says
Bloomberg Law
Congress has tried in vain to provide that federal framework. Lawmakers are developing legislation that would addresses how federal, state, and local governments should balance the regulation of the technology, according to the drafts. At least 29 states have already enacted their own laws related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Fact check: Here’s what you need to know about NC voter ID and voter fraud
The Raleigh News & Observer
According to an analysis of every state’s voter ID law by the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina’s rules are considered in the “non-strict” category along with nine other states.
 
Pelosi claim, Wis. voters ‘prohibited from voting,’ rated false
The Times-News
Wisconsin is one of 21 states that allows voters to register at their polling places the day of the election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Why Does Planned Parenthood Get to Avoid Paying Taxes?
RealClear Politics
Taxes impact health care providers. For example, the National Conference of State Legislators notes that a "provider tax,” sometimes termed a "fee" or "assessment," authorizes collecting revenue from specified categories of providers.
 
Lawmakers Receive Ethics, Sexual Harassment Training at Statehouse
93.1 FM WIBC Indianapolis
“This is the other person’s standard that counts,” said Selena Saucedo with the National Conference of State Legislatures explained to lawmakers. “They get to decide if they feel like it is a harassing environment. So, even if you didn’t intend it, your intentions don’t matter.”
 
Republicans Push For Voter Photo ID Bill In Kentucky Legislature
WFPL
If the bill passes, Kentucky would become the eighth state with a “strict” voter photo ID law, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Iowa law enforcement issues another warning about Illinois marijuana
Radio Iowa
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there’s no national standard for drugged driving.

Jan. 8

Could new laws designed to protect gig workers actually hurt them?
USA TODAY
Last year, at least 15 states introduced bills related to worker classification, says Josh Cunningham, manager of the employment, labor, and retirement program for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, bills in Delaware, Illinois and Nevada, as well as California, were signed into law.

Indiana lawmakers receive ethics, sexual harassment training
WISHTV.com
“This is the other person’s standard that counts,” said Selena Saucedo with the National Conference of State Legislatures explained to lawmakers. “They get to decide if they feel like it is a harassing environment. So, even if you didn’t intend it, your intentions don’t matter.”
The presenters from the National Conference of State Legislatures covered topics including unwelcome touching and gossiping about someone’s sexual history. Stacy Householder, the other presenter from the National Conference of State Legislatures, told lawmakers, “When you’re engaging in something that could be considered somewhat questionable, make sure you’re considering the others who are within the conversation or those who might be around you.”

Sen. Moore tapped for Emergency Communications Committee
The Worcester Telegram
Moore, a former officer in the Environmental Police and Senate chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, will serve on the Public Safety Advisory Committee as the representative of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the organization announced.
 
As civics education declines, nonprofits and state try to fill the gap
The Mail Tribune
At least 31 state legislatures proposed 115 bills or resolutions aimed at bolstering civics in 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Iowa Law Enforcement Keeping An Eye On Recreational Pot In Illinois
Iowa Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there’s no national standard for drugged driving like there is for drunk driving.
 
Indiana lawmakers lead the way in sexual harassment prevention training
CBS 4 Indianapolis
Stacy Householder of National Conference of State Legislatures and Ed Ferguson of the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission presented at the event.

Jan. 7

Wawa’s data breach hits close to home but reflects global problem
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among some 25 states mulling over legislation to bolster consumer data protection. 

Sen. Young files legislation to boost minimum wage
Miami News-Record
Thirty-one states have a minimum wage requirement higher than the federal minimum, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Legislation files to reinstate the earned income tax credit
Fox 25 News
Studies by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) show each EITC dollar refunded to families generates between $1.50 to $2 for the local economy from purchases that support local businesses and create tax revenue.
 
Proposed Kentucky bill could ban plastic bags, Styrofoam containers
LEX 18 News
California and Vermont are just two of eight states that have passed similar bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Jan. 6

Streaming body cams, Ring agreements with law enforcement raise red flags
Deseret News
According to data assembled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, some 23 states have passed legislation guiding the use, access and storage of police body camera footage. Utah has passed a series of laws, going back to 2015, that have variously required agencies using the cameras to establish policy for the cameras’ use, making released footage subject to requests under the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act, and establishing rules for third-party use of police footage.

Saving on gas mileage, but paying higher fees: The cost of electric cars
WKBN.com
There is some sort of fee for electric or hybrid vehicles in 24 states now, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The fees range from $50 to $200.

Lawmaker files legislation to increase Oklahoma minimum wage requirement
KOCO Oklahoma City
According to Young's office, 31 states have a minimum wage requirement higher than the federal minimum, citing data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tennessee legislators target unpopular regulation as they look to lower health care costs, increase access
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Currently, 36 states and Washington, D.C., operate a certificate of need program, and those programs vary widely, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. 
 
Local legislators applaud release of rules for growing hemp
Times Herald-Record
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 47 states have passed laws for industrial hemp cultivation and production.
 
Easier access, more voter participation
The Tribune-Star
Generally, turnouts increase by an average of 5%, according to studies cited by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Kentucky Bill Would Ban Plastic Bags, Styrofoam Containers
89.3 WFPL
Eight states including California and Vermont have passed similar bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.