NCSL in the News | July 2015

7/1/2015

July 31

More push for police body cameras
Cincinnati.com
California, Nevada, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., have since passed laws that require at least some police officers wear body cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some provide money to purchase them, while others leave the agencies to foot the bill. At least 34 states have considered legislation this year. That number could balloon with national attention on Cincinnati and the important role that body camera video played there. 

How legislatures, parents are responding to Common Core
WYTV.com
While none of the 45 states participating in Common Core have completely backed out, measures have been introduced in 19 legislatures to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Sandifer: 3 changes to SC ballots that would encourage smarter voting
The State
Three changes in the way we conduct elections could lead to a more informed electorate and eliminate a potential bias in the voting process. 1) Eliminate the option for straight-ticket voting, which allows a voter with the press of a single button to cast a ballot for all the candidates of one party. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, straight-ticket voting has been declining, and South Carolina is now one of only 10 states with this option.

Texas, Utah Top Flagship Business, Economic Rankings
Business Facilities Magazine
The overall top 10 for RPS, which is tracked by the National Conference of State Legislatures, shows that the Northeast is keeping pace with the Southwest and other regions, with New York, Connecticut and New Jersey joining No. 1 Maine among the leaders (at fourth, fifth and eighth place, respectively).
 
Police Body Cameras: Coming Everywhere in 3 to 5 Years 
CityLab 
(Graphics Used) States that have passed body-warn camera bills. (National Conference of State Legislatures)

Bike Sonar C3FT Is Helping Cops Catch Rude Drivers That Ride ...
Tech Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), as of June 24, there are 25 states that have safe-passing laws to make sure that vehicles share the road with cyclists, giving them 3 feet of space to prevent sideswiping accidents.

Former Connecticut Sen. Eileen Daily dies at 72
New Haven Register
At the national level, she served on the Fiscal Chairs Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Thursday Wrap: Put it off till another day
WRAL
With some of the legislative leadership headed to Seattle for the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures, not much was accomplished at the General Assembly on Thursday.
 
Sexual harassment suits still unsettling
The Harlan Daily 
Legislative leaders hired the National Conference of State Legislatures to perform a management audit of LRC after issues arose about personnel, harassment and other procedures. A draft was delivered in April 2014 but not released to the public for a year.

July 30

Ohio Requires Front License Plates, but Some States Don't
New York Times
Few front-plate laws have changed in recent years, said Anne Teigen, program principal at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures over transportation and criminal justice.

Kentucky editorial roundup 
Washington Times 
Legislative leaders hired the National Conference of State Legislatures to perform a management audit of LRC after issues arose about personnel, harassment and other procedures. 

Common Core: Opting-out and test results spur action from legislatures and parents
wwlp.com
While none of the 45 states participating in Common Core have completely backed out, measures have been introduced in 19 legislatures to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Latest idea for fixing NJ's pensions: A federal loan
Cherry Hill Courier Post
Sweeney said he plans to write letters to legislative leaders in other states talking up the idea and hopes to drum up support for it with colleagues when the National Conference of State Legislatures meets next week. He said he talked about the idea with U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-Camden.
 
Panel weighs changes to Ohio's renewable energy targets
PennEnergy
Lawmakers in 17 states were considering 30 bills to repeal the standards around the same time, though none passed, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

Idea for fixing NJ pensions: Federal loan
Asbury Park Press
Sweeney said he plans to write letters to legislative leaders in other states talking up the idea and hopes to drum up support for it with colleagues when the National Conference of State Legislatures meets next week. He said he talked about the idea with U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-Camden.

New Jersey Parents Will Receive Opt-Out Guidance From State
Education Week
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have considered bills to repeal the common core.
 
CUNA, leagues, system partners to greet state legislators 
CUNA News Now 
When the annual Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) starts Monday in Seattle, nearly every aspect of the credit union movement will be there to greet attendees.

NH Afterschool Network Receives Grant 
Patch.com 
The New Hampshire Afterschool Network, in collaborations with the NH Department of Education and Plymouth State University, was awarded a data grant from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to expand its research on 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program outcomes, according to a press statement. This data grant is made possible with support from the C.S. Mott Foundation. The National Conference of State Legislatures will provide technical assistance for this grant project for the period of July 2015-February 2016. The National Conference of State Legislatures’ mission is to improve the quality of state legislatures, promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.

Cyberbullying – Re-examining School Policies, State Laws
Rhode Island College News
As defined by the National Conference of State Legislatures, “cyberbullying is the willful and repeated use of cell phones, computers and other electronic communication devices to harass and threaten others.” Occurrences of cyberbullying are most common via email, text messaging and Facebook.

July 29

Success of Independent Redistricting Boards a Work in Progress
NBCNews.com
Still, Tom Storey, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said there are still benefits to keeping redistricting in the hands of legislatures. "This is a much more diverse group of people who are intimately acquainted with the specifics of their state," he said. "Every square inch of every state has somebody in that legislature who cares about it."
 
Credit unions, nude recreation advocates to greet national legislative delegates in Seattle 
TheNewsTribune.com 
The 5,000 or so legislators from all 50 states who will invade Seattle Aug. 3-6 for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 41st annual Legislative Summit can expect to see the message from credit unions more than once.
  
Senate staff salaries to get a bump
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
On Tuesday, Senate staffers said that preliminary results of a National Conference of State Legislatures study found that Senate staff salaries were generally competitive with the market “but the Senate lagged behind the House.”
 
Stumbo: Former lawmaker, former LRC head made payments to settle harassment lawsuits 
Lexington Herald Leader 
When Sherman resigned as LRC executive director in 2013 after sharp questions about his leadership in the wake of the harassment scandal, the National Conference of State Legislatures sent a team to Frankfort to study the legislative agency.
 
Slow down for safety
Durham Herald Sun
Being a pedestrian in our auto-centric society can be dangerous.  In 2012, across the country, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in accidents – the highest fatality level since 2006, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Minnesota Senate Rules Committee Approves Staff Salary Raises
The Uptake 
Prior to approving the increase, the rules committee reviewed a National Conference of State Legislatures study of staff pay that found Minnesota’s pay scale is “competitive”, but pay to Senate staff lagged behind the pay to House staff.

 
Skin doctors urge under-18 ban on tanning beds
The Bellingham Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Hampshire, Vermont, eight other states and the District of Columbia ban indoor tanning for those under 18.

July 28

Minimum wage levels in Midwestern states as of Aug. 1
(NCSL Info Cited)
 
Purdue study calculates cost of paying a living wage
More than 29 states last year responded by enacting minimum wage increases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
5 surprising facts about hemp 
Hemp has been effectively prohibited in the U.S. since the 1950’s, however 22 U.S. states have enacted laws relating to industrial hemp, and 13 states have enacted statutes establishing commercial industrial hemp programs, according to National Conference of State Legislators. Those 13 states are: California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
 
New position for Governor Herbert gives Utah louder voice on national stage
The governor is just one Utah politician holding a prominent national position. Salt Lake City Mayor, Ralph Becker is the president of the National League of Cities and State Senator, Curt Bramble takes over as chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures next week.
 
Laws to Protect LGBTQ Students Fail to Gain Traction on Federal or State Levels 
Since 2006, 49 states have enacted some type of legislation aimed at preventing bullying and protecting students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Stumbo: Former lawmaker, former LRC head made payments to settle harassment lawsuits
After Sherman resigned as LRC executive director in 2013 after sharp questions about his leadership in the wake of the harassment scandal, the National Conference of State Legislatures sent a team to Frankfort to study the legislative agency.
 
No Money Saved From Four-Day School Week, Report Says
Nationwide, at least 120 school districts in 21 states use a four-day week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Teenagers Who Use E-Cigarettes Are More Likely to Try Real ...
The National Conference of State Legislatures said that in most American states it’s illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors, but the FDA cannot regulate them unless they are marketed as devices from smoking cessation.
 
Body Cams Are The Next Step In The Over-Policing Of Schools
Administrators have compared the need for body cameras in schools to the need for body cameras on police officers — accountability. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, similar legislation has been offered in 30 states, making the use of body cameras in school a national issue

July 27

Despite new laws, cyberbullying becoming more prevalent 
Miami Herald
More than 30 states have adopted cyberbullying laws within the past few years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tennessee financial committee director resigns 
The Tennessean
Facing criticism of both the staff and the committee from lawmakers, House Speaker Beth Harwell asked the National Conference of State Legislatures in December to review Tennessee's process for determining fiscal notes. It wasn't immediately clear if the national group has issued any findings. White said his staff asks Harwell's office for those findings on a weekly basis.

States may tap hospitals to help pay for Medicaid expansion in 2017
Modern Healthcare
“What you're seeing now is that state budget people are saying, 'We're ending up with more people in the system than we initially thought, and we have to think about how we're going to finance this,' ” said Joy Wilson, health policy director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers looking at higher ed funding changes 
The Decatur Daily
According to a January report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have a funding formula that allocates some amount of money based on performance, including course competition, time to degree or number of degrees awarded.

Six states missed budget deadlines this year
Anniston Star
Most U.S. states start their fiscal year on July 1, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six of them entered Fiscal 2016 without a budget.
 
Gas severance tax faces stalemate for fifth year
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The National Conference of State Legislatures has characterized Pennsylvania as the largest natural gas-producing state without a severance tax, with 31 states specifically taxing the extraction of liquid fuels.

Panel weighs changes to Ohio's alternative energy targets
The Olympian
Lawmakers in 17 states were considering 30 bills to repeal the standards around the same time, though none passed, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

The State GOP Wave by Steven Malanga, City Journal Summer 2015
City Journal
States proceeded to pile on $29 billion in new taxes in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislators—collectively, the largest single-year state hike ever recorded.

Bill to raise Florida minimum wage faces long odds in Legislature
The News Herald
But it's not only urban areas adopting a move to higher minimum pay. Voters in more conservative states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, approved minimum wage increases through ballot measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Montana?
Newsmax
Vaccination requirements and exemptions vary from state to state. All states offer exemptions for medical reasons, such as children with weak immune systems or allergies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Panel is weighing changes to targets 
Defiance Crescent News
When Gov. John Kasich signed the bill pausing the mandates last year, it represented a compromise with those who sought a full repeal of the standards. Lawmakers in 17 states were considering 30 bills to repeal the standards around the same time, though none passed, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

Little support for bill to raise minimum wage
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Voters in more conservative states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, approved minimum wage increases through ballot measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Gun Industry Is Absolutely Booming in the US
IJ Review
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reported that Obama’s gun control plan consists of 23 executive actions and three presidential memorandums, including banning military-style assault weapons and a $4 billion proposal to increase state and local police forces.

Despite earmark ban, local governments hope for help from highway ...
Sunlight Foundation 
Federal funds account for only twenty-five cents for every dollar that states spend on transportation, a widely accepted figure that is backed up by, among others, Congressional Budget Office numbers. Given this, officials looking for funding might focus on their state capitol, not Capitol Hill. But the story is different when it comes to capital spending, like funding for a new road, overpass, or bridge, says Kevin Pula, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

This gift keeps on giving
Providence Business News
According to the National Association of State Legislatures, Connecticut does not either. Massachusetts allows expiration dates on gift certificates of no less than seven years from the date of issue. 

Our Opinion: Bevin's drug test proposal falls short
Kentucky New Era
Thirteen states have some form of drug testing for welfare recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The policies vary. Some states do random testing. Some test when there is a reason to believe a recipient is using illegal drugs. 

Common Core's opponents eye ballot question
Eagle-Tribune 
But controversy over the standards have some states reconsidering. At least three have rejected adoption of Common Core, and more than a dozen more are considering doing the same, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

July 24

No Money Saved From Four-Day School Week, Report Says
Education Week
Nationwide, at least 120 school districts in 21 states use a four-day week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Idaho, 42 of the state's 115 school districts have adopted a four-day week.

California Wants to Allow Firefighters to Destroy Drones. Is It Legal?
The Epoch Times
Unlike automobiles, drones, which can easily be used to spy on your neighbors, will also pose privacy issues that have few technological precedents. As of 2015, 45 states have considered 153 bills related to drone regulations, and 17 states have already passed legislation on the matter, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kentucky legislature paying $400000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuits 
Lexington Herald Leader
After Sherman resigned as LRC executive director in 2013 following sharp questions about his leadership in the wake of the harassment scandal, the National Conference of State Legislatures sent a team to Frankfort to study the legislative agency. It issued a critical report calling the LRC a "frustrated" workplace whose 388 employees struggle with poor morale, in part because of perceived favoritism for certain insiders and a lack of merit-based hiring and promotion.

NC court upholds taxpayer-funded grants for private schools 
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
About 20 states help students attend religious and other private schools with vouchers, tax credits or both, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Denver painters fight toxic labor practices
The Colorado Independent 
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that a business can save 30 percent on labor costs by classifying employees as independent contractors.

Term Limits – A Failed Experiment 
San Juan Independent 
In 1998, Colorado Voluntary Congressional Term Limits Initiative 18 was narrowly approved by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. It amended the Colorado Constitution to create a system for candidates to submit declarations of voluntary term limits. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, no new states have adopted term limits since 2000.

July 23

The Never-Ending Battle of Redistricting
Governing
"It's a myth that there is a dormant time in the redistricting world," said Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). "For the past three decades, multiple lawsuits and special sessions devoted to redistricting have been the norm in the middle years of the decade."
 
Arizona consumer-protection agency to disappear next year
azcentral.com
Thirty-six states, including Arizona, house weights-and-measures regulation under their departments of agriculture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The remaining states typically assign the regulatory duties to other state agencies, such as commerce or labor departments.

Red States Revolt Against Obama Era Progressivism
Investors Business Daily
States proceeded to pile on $29 billion in new taxes in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Republican gubernatorial hopefuls ran successfully against the rising taxes and in favor of restraining spending in 2009 and 2010.

Stassen-Berger: What kind of legislator do you want, Minnesota?
TwinCities Pioneer Press
A National Conference of State Legislatures study reflects that. In examining the pay, time commitments and staff of state legislatures, it found that Minnesota falls into the gray zone. It sits midway between well-paid, full-time legislators in green zone states and poorly paid, part-time legislators in gold zone states.

Holmberg joins national unmanned aerial systems committee
The Dickinson Press 
The National Conference of State Legislatures is working with the organization's transportation program on a "public-private partnership on UAS," according to an email forwarded from Holmberg. The committee will be made up of selected lawmakers, legislative staff and private sector foundation sponsors, the email added. "We are aware of your past work and interest on UAS issues and would welcome your participation in this project to share your perspective and legislative knowledge," NCSL Research Analyst Amanda Essex wrote to Holmberg last month. 

Do You Know About the Distracted Driving Laws in Your State? 
Justice News Flash 
“Perry is the first governor to veto such a bill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan group. Since the first statewide ban on texting while driving was enacted in 2007, 34 states and the District of Columbia have enacted texting bans for all drivers.”
 
Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Mississippi?
News Max
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, from March 2015, "All 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations." 

July 22

Identity Theft Victims: The Culprit May Be Closer Than You Think ...
NBC News
Although, 22 states allow parents to freeze credit reports for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, including Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Texas.

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Indiana? 
Newsmax
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana is among the states that offer a religious and philosophical exemption from school vaccinations. Indiana also has provisions for parents to delay the immunization schedule. 

Minnesota legislators struggle with salaries and aging 
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
A National Conference of State Legislatures study reflects that. In examining the pay, time commitments and staff of state legislatures, it found that Minnesota falls into the gray zone. It sits midway between well-paid, full-time legislators in green zone states and poorly paid, part-time legislators in gold zone states. "Legislatures in these states typically say that they spend more than two-thirds of a full time job being legislators. Although their income from legislative work is greater than that in the Gold states, it's usually not enough to allow them to make a living without having other sources of income. Legislatures in the gray category have intermediate sized staff," the study said.

Online Death Threats and Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe: What Are Your Cyber Harassment Rights?
Yahoo Health
Laws governing what is and isn’t OK in terms of cyber-harassment, as well as punishment, typically fall under the jurisdiction of local and state authorities, she explains, and laws vary by district. (The National Conference of State Legislatures has a breakdown of state laws on cyber-harassment here.)  

Kindergarten cuts rile lawmakers
The Salem News
Only 11 states and the District of Columbia mandate full-day kindergarten, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Massachusetts isn’t one of them.

Holmberg joins national UAS committee
Grand Forks Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures is working with the organization's transportation program on a "public-private partnership on UAS," according to an email forwarded from Holmberg. The committee will be made up of selected lawmakers, legislative staff and private sector foundation sponsors, the email added.

Guest Opinion: State budget surplus shouldn't be confused with economic growth
Inside NoVA 
In early September, I will represent the Commonwealth at the 2015 Jobs Summit hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. My goal is to return home, armed with best practices used by our colleagues in the other 49 state legislatures.

July 21

A 'scarlet letter' for students implicated in sex assaults: DC bill sparks debate 
Washington Post 
Suzanne Hultin of the National Conference of State Legislatures said states have, indeed, begun to jump into the issue of prevention of campus sexual assault, since it percolating at the end of the 2014 legislative year, when six states considered bills. This year, 26 did. State legislators considered a variety of possible methods, including ensuring that campus police work closely with external police forces, mandating “affirmative consent,” or “yes means yes,” in an attempt to ensure sex is consensual, requiring reports to state legislators, and so on. So far, 11 states have passed legislation, Hultin said, and she expects that the topic will continue to be discussed in next year’s session, as well.

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Alaska?
Newsmax
Children entering school in Alaska can receive exemptions from vaccination requirements for religious or medical reasons. However, the state does not allow exemptions from immunizations on philosophical grounds for personal or moral beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Annual NC adjournment guess raises schedule change options
Winston-Salem Journal
North Carolina is among 11 states that don't set formal restrictions on how long legislative bodies meet in regular work sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Audits of the Missouri House and Senate are underway 
Missourinet
The Senate was also found to have spent more than $21-thousand in 2009 for a review of its policies and procedures by the National Conference of State Legislatures, but never implemented some of the Conference’s recommendations. Galloway said her office will see if those have been implemented since the 2013 audit.
 
O'Malley on the trail but lagging 
PolitiFact 
A survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures backs up the claim – to a point. Texas was the state "that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97 percent of its shortfall for fiscal 2010," according to a CNN.com story of the survey. However, the NCSL drew information on just 35 states. PolitiFact could not find similar studies to assess those figures. And, the NCSL survey did gather data from 50 states in one area: that of the budget gaps. Texas had a relatively small shortfall of about 11 percent. With a smaller gap, that meant more of the shortfall could be covered with stimulus dollars.

The right call? 
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states and the District of Columbia prohibit cellphone use by all drivers. Indiana and 43 other states forbid drivers of any age to text. Indiana’s rules for drivers younger than 18, which include a ban on cellphone use, have been credited for helping reduce auto accidents and deaths. 
 
Technology, the law, and you: BYOD
ChannelWorld.in
Fortunately, there are resources out there for concerned businesses the National Conference of State Legislatures publishes a state-by-state breakdown of data breach notification laws, for example. That could be a good place to start, in terms of examining liability in a worst-case scenario.

July 20

Who will grow, refine medical marijuana? Experts say state's new law puts LSU, Southern in grey legal area 
The Advocate
“It’s kind of uncharted territory,” said Karmen Hanson, program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Program that tracks state marijuana laws. Since 1996, 23 states, the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws. Another 15 states, including Louisiana, have adopted more limited-use, low-THC medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voter ID, registration and early voting laws vary widely across America 
Winston-Salem Journal 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization which tracks legislation nationally, 34 states as of March 24 had passed laws requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Laws in 32 states were in force. Pennsylvania’s law was struck down, and North Carolina’s photo ID requirement does not go into effect until 2016. As the National Conference of State Legislatures defines it, nonstrict laws mean “at least some voters without acceptable identification have an option to cast a ballot that will be counted without further action on the part of the voter.”
 
California Nonprofit to Hold College Fair for Servicemembers and Veterans 
U.S. News University 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California had the highest number of military education program beneficiaries in 2012, with nearly 90,000 people taking part.

Lynn Smith to chair saltwater intrusion study committee - The Newnan Times-Herald 
Newnan Times-Herald 
Two years ago, Ralston named Smith to the Southern Legislative Conference Energy and Environment Committee and the National Conference of State Legislatures Environment Committee and the NCSL Energy, Transportation and Agriculture Committee.

Annual NC adjournment guess raises schedule change options :: WRAL.com 
WRAL.com 
North Carolina is among 11 states that don't set formal restrictions on how long legislative bodies meet in regular work sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin AG Sues Feds over Food Stamp Drug Testing
TV Newsroom
Wisconsin joined 13 other states that have enacted laws that allow public assistance recipients to be screened or drug tested, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. According to a report from the USDA, the program has increased from 17 million participants in 2000 to almost 47 million in 2014. 

Medical pot opens new market for Down East lobster compost maker 
The Keene Sentinel
Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and in Maine made up a more than $5 million industry last year. With all of that money involved, the stakes for both quality control and willingness to pay more for that quality are higher.

Health fears stoke regulations on 'vaping'
The Daily News of Newburyport
At least 44 states have adopted e-cigarette restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire two years ago banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under 18, among other regulations. Other states are considering similar legislation.

Bar Exam: Saz's, Where Scott Met Tonette - Urban Milwaukee
Urbanmilwaukee
By 1995 Sazama’s Catering had opened an office next door at 5501 W. State St. From there came the food that fed 6,000 people at the Zoo for the National Conference of State Legislators. 

The 100-plus-year history of the anti-vaccination movement
MinnPost
Similar to today’s religious exemptions in 47 U.S. states and the personal belief exemptions in 18 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the parents signed paperwork certifying that they knew and accepted the risks associated with not vaccinating.”
 
New regulations on e-cigs trigger concern, lobbying
Salem News 
At least 44 states have adopted e-cigarette restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire two years ago banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under 18, among other regulations. Other states are considering similar 

Calif. Conflict of Interest Bill Clears Key Assembly Committees – SB330
California Newswire
For more information on what other states conflict of interest laws cover, please visit the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website:

Protest planned after Moorhead mom breast-feeding at pool told to cover up
INFORUM 
City officials acknowledged late Thursday afternoon that it was a mistake. Laws in both Minnesota and North Dakota allow mothers to breast-feed in public and exempt it from public indecency laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 17

Uncertainty over federal highway funding threatens states, motorists 
USA TODAY 
States want Congress to pass a traditional six-year highway bill — commonplace before 2009 — that give them the certainty they need to carry out major road and bridge repairs and improvements, said Ben Husch, infrastructure committee director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The real-world impact of uncertain funding is states delaying or cancelling bids for highway projects," Husch said.

McConnell Uses Clout to Help Hemp Industry
Roll Call
Industrial hemp is made from low-THC strains of the marijuana plant, and 13 states having approved production, according to a March report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States Rethink Laws Denying The Vote To Felons
Huffington Post
More states are considering restoring the right to vote to felons, with supporters saying that once their debt to society is paid they should be allowed to exercise a fundamental right. This year, 18 states considered legislation to ease voting restrictions on felons; Wyoming was the only state to pass such a bill. That’s up from 13 states that considered bills last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Wisconsin Asks Federal Court to Clarify Food Stamp Drug Testing Law
Fox Business
Wisconsin joined 13 other states that have enacted laws that allow public assistance recipients to be screened or drug tested, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Weed Entrepreneurs Woo Women in Bid to End the Ganja Gender Gap
Bloomberg
A total of 23 states, the District of Columbia and Guam allow medical use of marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legal recreational sales have begun in Colorado and Washington, and voters have approved similar programs in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia.

Request for nursing mom to cover up sparks breastfeeding protest at Moorhead pool
Grand Forks Herald
City officials acknowledged late Thursday afternoon that it was a mistake. Laws in both Minnesota and North Dakota allow mothers to breastfeed in public and exempt it from public indecency laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Growing up 16 means mandatory school attendance 
Delmarva Daily Times 
Maryland is among at least 32 states that have set compulsory school age to either 17 or 18, according to a task force on School Dropout Prevention and Recovery. The Upper Compulsory School Age report was published in January 2014 by the task force of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and points to economic and other societal consequences facing high school dropouts.

To-Go Craft Beer is the Way to Go
Millionaire Corner
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states allow breweries and brewpubs sell to beer to customers directly without using a distributor.

July 16

Students push state to extend tuition help to undocumented immigrants 
Boston Globe
Twenty states and university systems have measures where undocumented students can receive in-state tuition, although some come with qualifiers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Craft beer boom prompts states to ease laws in bid for revenue 
Macon Telegraph
All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have statutes that allow tasting samples, and at least 35 states and Washington let breweries, small brewers or brewpubs sell to customers who can take the beer off premise, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Energy Companies and Utilities Are Well Advised to Engage in Drone Privacy Discussions
The National Law Review
The National Conference of State Legislators reports in 2015 45 state legislatures have considered 153 bills related to UAS. A review of the 2015 state legislation as well as prior legislation enacted or considered indicates that many of these bills focused on various privacy concerns such as voyeurism, surveillance, trespass, and unauthorized gathering of information related to critical infrastructure. 
 
GPA adding credit card fee 
Pacific Daily News 
A convenience fee is allowed unless specifically forbidden by states and territories, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eleven states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma and Texas — and Puerto Rico have laws that prohibit merchants from charging consumers with surcharges on credit card transactions, according to the organization of state legislatures.
 
Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Maine?
Newsmax
While all 50 states mandate that children be immunized against certain diseases in order to enroll in school, each state also allows exemptions to those requirements for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Louisiana? 
Newsmax 
While all 50 states require children to receive immunizations against certain diseases in order to enroll in school, each state also allows exemptions to immunization requirements for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Almost all states also permit exemptions for religious reasons while 20 allow philosophical exemptions "for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs," the NCSL reported.
Louisiana allows exemptions for medical reasons and philosophical reasons, according to the NCSL. That organization indicated that while Louisiana doesn’t specifically mandate a religious exemption, it allows – as a practical matter – for religious reasons to be covered by the philosophical beliefs exemption.

State brings back debate on tuition costs for immigrants 
My Fox Boston
Arizona, Georgia and Indiana prohibited in-state tuition rates for students in the country illegally as of February, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Alabama and South Carolina forbid these students from enrolling at public colleges.

Performance funding for colleges: Research roundup
Journalist's Resource
Historically, public colleges and universities have been funded based primarily on enrollment. As of January 2015, 30 states had begun to tie at least some of the money they give colleges and universities to certain educational metrics, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

A state-by-state guide to short-term rental legislation
The Center for Public Integrity 
 Center for Public Integrity analysis of state lobbying records; campaign finance data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics and the Internal Revenue Service; legislative information from LegiScan and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 15

Businesses often ignore E-Verify
Washington Examiner
Ann Morse, director of the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project, says that the state laws mandating its use were not well-crafted in terms of creating a working enforcement system but were "really protest votes against the federal government's policy," she said. "There were no reporting requirements. There were no follow-up requirements in the legislation. It was a 'We passed it and now we're done' kind of situation," Morse said, adding that when she tried to contact state economic development agencies to get data on compliance with the mandate for a report a few years ago, "they just had no records."

State brings back debate on tuition costs for immigrants
The Olympian
Arizona, Georgia and Indiana specifically prohibited in-state tuition rates for undocumented students as of February, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Alabama and South Carolina forbid undocumented students from enrolling at any public college. But at least 18 states allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students, according to the conference.

Arizona Dreamers' Tuition Victory in Court Threatened
NBCNews.com
As of February this year, 18 states allowed students without legal status to pay in-state tuition and three _ Arizona, Georgia and Indiana _ prohibited it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Wisconsin asks federal court to clarify food stamp drug testing law
Business Insider
Wisconsin joined 13 other states that have enacted laws that allow public assistance recipients to be screened or drug tested, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Kansas?
Newsmax
All 50 states require children to receive certain immunizations to enroll in school, with each state also allowing exemptions to immunization requirements for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Almost all states permit exemptions for religious reasons, while 20 allow philosophical exemptions “for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs,” the NCSL reported. 

State leaders say House chemical bill is better
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
In recent days, the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) have said they support the House approach to chemical safety reform. (See the letters below.)

July 14

Tweaks to Colorado law can impose fines, jail for cyberbullying
Denver Post
More than 30 states have adopted various cyberbullying laws over the last few years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New policy: No drones may fly over Michigan Capitol
Detroit Free Press
The National Conference of State Legislators says 15 states have some sort of statutory drone regulations, including Michigan's ban on using drones to harass hunters or take game.
 
Obama Asks DOL To Allow States To Require Retirement Plans For Small-Company Workers
Financial Advisor Magazine
While the courts would have the final word on whether state plans conflict with federal law, National Conference of State Legislatures retirement expert Luke Martel said in an interview that DOL’s rules should encourage states with more legal clarity and certainty to adopt mandatory retirement savings vehicles. “This is something the states have been looking for,” Martel said.
 
Senate returns as budget impasse continues
Republican & Herald
And, lawmakers will have to decide whether the stalemate will interrupt anybody’s plans to attend two national legislative conferences in coming weeks. The American Legislative Exchange Council which draws conservative lawmakers meets July 22 to 24 in San Diego and the National Conference of State Legislatures meets Aug. 3 to 6 in Seattle.
 
The Rise of Synthetic Marijuana And What It Means For You
ATTN
"More recently, a few states have also passed laws restricting marketing, display, labeling, and advertising of these substances by utilizing consumer protection laws or classifying these activities as deceptive trade practices," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Where substances are not specifically banned, law enforcement and prosecutors have also creatively used existing provisions such as agricultural regulations, consumer protection laws, and public nuisance laws to prosecute those selling these drugs."
 
Drones banned at Capitol
Lansing State Journal
The National Conference of State Legislators says 15 states have some sort of statutory drone regulations, including Michigan's ban on using drones to harass hunters or take game. Other states, including Georgia and Texas, have specifically regulated drones around their capitol buildings — with mixed response.

July 13

Craft Beer Boom Prompts States to Ease Laws in Bid for Revenue
Bloomberg
All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have statutes that allow tasting samples, and at least 35 states and Washington let breweries, small brewers or brewpubs sell to customers who can take the beer off premise, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pa. might be the last to reach a budget deal
Philly.com
The slowdown in state funding is akin to what is occurring in Illinois, where a similar impasse means that state is unable to fund some services. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and North Carolina also haven't agreed on final spending plans, but are operating with temporary ones.
But the national outlook is "changing by the minute," said Arturo Perez, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislators. 

NC Insider: Your legislators, at work
News & Observer
As of that day, 42 of the 50 states had enacted budgets for fiscal year 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislators did pass a “continuing resolution,” which, for the most part, allows spending to continue at the present rate until a new budget is approved. 

As cost of running for state office increases, some say it's time for a fresh look at campaign spending 
Omaha World-Herald 
Currently, 13 states provide public funds for political campaigns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state policies. Neither Nebraska nor Iowa offers public funding.

Chief elections officer says primary might need to be sooner
WPRO
The National Conference of State Legislatures says only Massachusetts has a later state 2016 primary.

Franklin Tomorrow plans for quarterly breakfast in August
Franklin Home Page
Prior to his service as an elected official, Zimmerman was chief economist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He holds a master of arts in economics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Economics from The American University.

Pension bill gets vetoed
Scranton Times-Tribune
While 31 states maintain defined-benefit plans as their primary retirement benefit, others offer different plans on a competing or mandatory basis, according to the Denver- based National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Child sex abuse victim says ruling underlines need to change law
The Japan Times
Many U.S. states have adopted extensions of statutes of limitations for cases involving child sexual abuse, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 10

Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes pension bill passed by Republican-controlled legislature
York Daily Record/Sunday News
Many states are struggling to cover the rising cost of their state and school pension plans. While 31 states maintain defined-benefit plans as their primary retirement benefit, others offer different plans on a competing or mandatory basis, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Since 2009, eight states have replaced their defined-benefit plans with an alternative such as a defined-contribution, hybrid or cash-balance plan, said Anna Petrini, a policy associate for NCSL. By November, 13 states will not offer new employees a defined-benefit plan, she said.

From Tenure to 'Yes Means Yes,' State Lawmakers Delve into University
Stateline
(NCSL Info Cited) Chancellors, professors and students across the country noticed: During this year’s legislative sessions, state lawmakers frequently delved into policy matters traditionally left to universities themselves. Twenty-six states considered legislation to change universities’ sexual assault policies and campus adjudication processes and 17 debated bills that would allow people to carry a concealed weapon on college campuses.

Ex-governors surprised that new law authorizes them to perform marriages
Newsday
With the new law, New York joins Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Tennessee and Massachusetts in authorizing governors to perform marriages, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Georgia and Idaho also give the authority to former governors.

Workers' rights groups push for paid sick days
WRAL.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only three states have enacted paid sick leave statutes. Connecticut was the first in 2011, and California and Massachusetts followed suit in 2014.

July 9

No-Bail Programs Aim To Relieve Jail Overcrowding
Wall Street Journal
Between 2012 and 2014, 47 states passed 261 laws creating or expanding pretrial programs that would supervise low-level offenders in lieu of holding them in jails, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ashcroft seeks 10000 volunteers to get photo-ID proposal on the ballot
St. Louis Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 18 states now have some form of photo-ID requirement. In about half of those states, there are exemptions for the elderly or provisions that allow two poll workers to verify the identity of a voter without ID.

Miami Beach unanimously passes marijuana ordinance
Local 10
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill legalizing cannabis oil for some medical conditions on May 4, take a look at which states allow recreational and medical marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Incentives drive electric vehicle sales in US, but they've gone too far in Norway
Ars Technica UK
That last one also counts as an indirect incentive, as do other EV perks like carpool lane access. With so many states offering many different kinds of incentives for EVs, we're not going to list them all, but the National Conference of State Legislators has a detailed list of who offers what (although it just predates California's new rule).

July 8

Budgets, Testing Commanded State Lawmakers' Attention
Education Week
"Are legislators trying to get funding back to 2008 levels, or are they trying to get increases [compared to the] past year? It seems like it's the latter," said Daniel Thatcher, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures who studies K-12 finance.
 
Could this be the super crop that saves us?
MSN Money
Only recently has space opened up for hempreneurs in the United States. For decades, hemp, like its psychoactive cousin, was a crop non grata in the U.S., and it still is, mostly. But in 2014, a provision in the federal farm bill opened room for universities and state agricultural departments to begin cultivating hemp; since then, at least 22 states have passed laws allowing commercial or industrial hemp programs for agricultural and research purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hempreneurs hope that Congress will pass legislation that would legalize the non-psychoactive form for cultivation.

Gay rights clash with religious rights in baker's appeal
9NEWS.com
Colorado is one of 22 states that also include sexual orientation in its public accommodation laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The PA payraise, 10 years later 
Philly.com 
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, that’s the second-highest lawmaker salary in the country behind only California, which Epstein said is high because California legislators represent many more constituents than Pennsylvania legislators.

California Approves Bill For Protection Of Medical Marijuana Users In Need Of Organ Transplants 
Tech Times Tech Times 
More than 75,000 people have registered Medical Cannabis Cards. Comprehensive public programs for medical cannabis are now also allowed in 23 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

State lawmakers' 2005 pay raise was rescinded but not forgotten 
PennLive.com 
Had lawmakers decided not to rescind their raise in 2005, they would have been the highest paid state lawmakers in the nation instead of being the second highest paid behind California, which pays its lawmakers $97,197 this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Drone Flying is Problematic in Arizona 
The Monitor Daily 
Nonetheless, as in the case of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, local communities and 25 states have so far enacted laws that address drone flying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gay rights push continues in Michigan, but 2016 ballot proposal unlikely 
MLive.com 
Some 22 states have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 15 also include gender identity protections.

July 7

Greece just voted 'no' on its bailout deal. But in America, we usually vote ‘yes’
Washington Post
Across nearly 6,500 intiatives and referenda tracked by the National Conference of State Legislatures, ballot measures in the United States passed 57.6 percent of the time.
 
Should Rhode Island's legislature change? Lawmakers weigh in 
Washington Times 
Nine other states have a part-time legislature similar to Rhode Island’s, while six states have part-time legislatures with lower pay and smaller staffs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Could this be the super crop that saves us?
MSN
But in 2014, a provision in the federal farm bill opened room for universities and state agricultural departments to begin cultivating hemp; since then, at least 22 states have passed laws allowing commercial or industrial hemp programs for agricultural and research purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kansas isn't joining 14 states poised to raise minimum wage
Wichita Eagle
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia will see their minimum wage increase this summer or next year, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Drones over your home? Phoenix, Paradise Valley explore laws
azcentral.com
Meanwhile, at least 25 states have enacted their own laws addressing drone issues, and at least five others have passed resolutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Is Illinois The Only State Struggling With Its Budget?
WNIJ and WNIU
National Conference of State Legislatures' fiscal analyst Arturo Perez says more states than usual have unfinished budgets. "It's sort of indicative of some of the additional problems certain states have had during the slow economic recovery from the Great Recession," Perez said. Some states can function without a full budget in place, others have short-term plans.

Las Vegas Sands allows employees to choose community philanthropy projects 
Casino City Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, approximately 75 percent of homeless youth nationally have dropped out or will drop out of school. 

At summer break, a legislative status report 
Asheville Citizen-Times 
The General Assembly has not passed a state budget for the next two years, even though the new fiscal year began July 1. As of that day, 42 of the 50 states had enacted budgets for fiscal year 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislators did pass a “continuing resolution,” which, for the most part, allows spending to continue at the present rate until a new budget is approved.

Former Board of Trustees Chair Lew Rome Dies
UConn Today
Elected to the State Senate in 1970, he served first as Senate Majority Leader and later as Senate Minority Leader, and and also held leadership roles with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Big Gains for Doctors in Diet Clinics
NDTV
In 23 states, insurers must cover weight-loss surgery, according to an analysis in 2014 by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Our View: Independent redistricting
News Herald
In the other states, lawmakers get the first chance at drawing districts, approve plans drawn by commissions or appoint commission members of their choosing, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.

July 6

Voter ID laws' impact on election turnout unclear as Democrats allege disenfranchisement
Washington Times
Thirty-four states have laws requiring each voter to show a form of ID at the polls, although only 32 of the measures are in effect, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Insurance premiums spark new front in Obamacare war
Washington Examiner
Obamacare requires states to report on any premium increase trends and recommend whether certain plans should be excluded from the exchanges, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. In 2011, the federal government started to work with states to strengthen or alter their rate review programs. If a state doesn't have the resources to conduct the required review, the Department of Health and Human Services will do it, the National Conference on State Legislatures said.
 
In Health Law, a Boon for Diet Clinics
New York Times
In 23 states, insurers must cover weight-loss surgery, according to an analysis in 2014 by the 2014 by the National Conference State Legislatures. 
 
Dramatic cuts to college tuition in Washington State: Will others follow?
Christian Science Monitor
“It’s going to be interesting to ... see if this model is sustainable long term,” says Dustin Weeden, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Even just freezing tuition “tends to be expensive for states,” he says. “Over time, the political will diminishes the more budget cycles you go through.

Georgia officials, drone supporters clash over safety, privacy after vote banning flights
The Augusta Chronicle
Meanwhile, more than 150 bills were introduced this year in 45 states regulating everything from the type of photos permitted to prohibiting the vehicles’ use in hunting or fishing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers weigh powdered alcohol ban
Scranton Times-Tribune
Twelve states have banned the sale of powdered alcohol and several states have temporary bans in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Indiana's religious freedom bill among host of new laws
News Sentinel
Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant for use of drones. So far, 25 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Grants for undocumented students nears decisive vote
Pamplin Media Group
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is among 18 states with some form of in-state tuition rates for undocumented students, who do not qualify for federal aid. 

Did lawmakers have a LePage investigation in mind in 2002?
Bangor Daily News
The lawmakers who crafted the bill consulted with the National Conference of State Legislatures and oversight agencies in Florida, Kansas, Idaho and elsewhere for help with writing the legislation and outlining OPEGA’s responsibilities

Illinois among several stateswith incomplete budgets
Peoria Public Radio
National Conference of State Legislatures' fiscal analyst Arturo Perez says more states than usual have unfinished budgets. "It's sort of indicative of some of the additional problems certain states have had during the slow economic recovery from the Great Recession."

Lawmakers clear grants for undocumented students
Pamplin Media Group
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is among 18 states with some form of in-state tuition rates for undocumented students, who do not qualify for federal aid. Oregon would join California, Washington and a few other states that allow state aid.
 
No shortage of studies on roles, value of nurse practitioners, and other letters
ModernHealthcare.com
These studies, and others citing cost efficiencies and higher rates of patient satisfaction, have been sufficiently comprehensive such that renowned policy organizations—the Institute of Medicine, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, etc.—call for authorizing nurse practitioners to practice to their full scope of education and clinical training, as is now the law in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

OPINION: Teachers need assistance to do jobs properly
Daily Inter Lake
Bill Gates, who is very involved in education and who has never taught one hour in a classroom, inadvertently gave away the underlying purpose of Common Core in a 2010 speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Redistricting Commission
Lid Time - Weird News, Entertainment, News Headlines
Here’s how redistricting works in those states, as categorized by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ruling could alter maps
Bowling Green Daily News
Currently, 21 states, including Arizona, use a commission in the redistricting process, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 13 states use commissions with the primary responsibility for drawing district lines.

Questions remain about independent redistricting commission
The Courier-Journal
About a dozen states give “first and final authority” for legislative redistricting to a group other than the legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
House approves bill making schools publish vaccine rates
Thrasher Backer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is among 18 states with some form of in-state tuition rates for undocumented students, who do not qualify for federal aid.
 
Drone supporters say ban around Georgia Capitol goes too far
13 WMAZ
The National Conference of State Legislatures found more than 150 bills introduced this year in 45 states.

July 2

What California's Strict New Vaccination Law Means for the Rest of the Country 
Yahoo Health 
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia and Mississippi are the only other states without a personal-belief or religious exemption for vaccines, allowing parents in the majority of U.S. states to refuse to vaccinate their children — at least under religious grounds. Twenty states also allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations due to personal, moral, or other beliefs. (with graphics)

Counties resist gay marriage ruling
Washington Examiner
The 13 states where gay marriage was illegal were Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South and North Dakota, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In some states, certain counties have refused to provide marriage licenses. In Alabama, for instance, about seven out of 67 counties refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Connecticut Updates Data Breach Law
Government Technology
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 32 states in 2015 introduced or are considering security breach notification bills that will require reporting to a state agency or attorney general and that expand the definition of personal information. 

Study: Fewer U.S. adults use indoor tanning beds
Ithaca Journal 
Though those under the age of 18 were not measured in the study, 11 states and Washington, D.C., prohibit minors from indoor tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kentucky's Legislative Research Commission launches search for a permanent director 
Northern Kentucky Tribune
The job opening has been posted on the LRC website and will be advertised in The Courier-Journal in Louisville,The Lexington Herald-Leader and The Cincinnati Enquirer. It will also be shared with the National Conference of State Legislatures and Council of State Governments.

California Legislature Moves on Requiring Vaccinations
Education News 
Only Mississippi and West Virginia, along with California if the bill is signed, require immunizations in spite of parents’ religious or personal stances, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Washington State Legislature Will Lower Public University Tuition Up to 20 Percent
University Herald
An education policy specialist at the National Council of State Legislatures, Dustin Weeden also called Washington's ruling unique given the times."Tuition freezes are much more common," he told the AP. "You'd have to go back before the recession to find any other examples." 

Oregonians Can Start Tending Up to 4 Pot Plants
Newser
Medical marijuana is already legal in 23 states plus DC, per the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Court ruling spurs backers' hopes for redistricting changes 
Chattanooga Times Free Press 
The GOP controls the governorship and legislature of 24 states, including Nebraska's officially nonpartisan legislature. Seven states are run by Democrats and 19 are split, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Indiana's religious freedom bill among host of new laws 
Chattanooga Times Free Press 
So far, 25 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 1

McCarthy Presses for Online Sales Tax Deal
CQ Roll Call
Max Behlke, manager of state and federal relations for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said his group has been in contact with House GOP leaders to make the case for moving the Chaffetz bill in the Judiciary Committee. “Very few lawmakers support the Goodlatte bill. Chairman Goodlatte won’t bring up the Chaffetz bill because he knows it would be passed by the committee, and by the full House. It’s a sad state of affairs when a bill that has overwhelming support can’t get a vote,” Behlke said.
 
Rand Paul raises money with the marijuana industry
Washington Post
Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia and Guam allow the medical use of marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lowest-Paid Americans Lead Wage Gains as Job Market Tightens
Bloomberg
Some of the wage gains have been prompted by government actions. The minimum wage was raised in 20 states from Hawaii to Connecticut on Jan. 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California governor signs strict law requiring vaccinations for most kids
USA TODAY
While all 50 states require school children to be vaccinated, 48 currently allow exemptions for families with religious objections and 20 exempt children based on parents' personal beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Delaware Citizens Deserve Easy Access to the Polls
The Huffington Post 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, protections against fraud are integral to Same-Day Registration across the country. Groups from the League of Women Voters to Delaware's own Elections Commissioner have likewise concluded there's no evidence that SDR programs increase voter fraud.

'Historic' tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S.
The Seattle Times
Washington’s moveisn’t well-known elsewhere in the country, but some say it could spur other states to think about cuts. “I don’t know how widely known this proposal was,” said Dustin Weeden, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “If Washington gets lots of headlines, I really think a lot of people are going to be asking: ‘What’s going on in Washington? Why are they doing that?’ ” The only two states that come close to what Washington has done this year: Minnesota, which is cutting community-college tuition by 1 percent; and Ohio, where a budget plan would require colleges to propose ways to reduce student costs by 5 percent.

New Colorado laws address homemade hash oil, cyberbullying
The Denver Post
Since 2006, nearly three dozen states have enacted legislation to address cyberbullying in various ways, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Washington Legislature cuts state tuition by 15-20 percent
CBS7
Harnisch said he's never seen anything like the Washington plan in the eight years he has been tracking college tuition nationally. Neither has Dustin Weeden, education policy specialist at the National Council of State Legislatures. "Tuition freezes are much more common," Weeden said. "You'd have to go back before the recession to find any other examples."
 
Ohio senator eyes redistricting changes after court ruling 
WKBN.com 
Here’s how redistricting works in those states, as categorized by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California Legislature Approves One of the Strictest Vaccination Mandates in the US 
The New American 
If it becomes law, California will have one of the strictest vaccine restrictions in the country. The Wall Street Journal elaborates, “Most states give religious exemptions, and 20 states permit philosophical exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” 

After Disneyland measles outbreak in December, Gov. Jerry Brown signs one of stricter vaccine 
OCRegister 
It was among 20 states that allowed for personal belief exemptions and among 48 that allowed for religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California now joins only two other states – Mississippi and West Virginia – in allowing only medical exemptions.

The Growing Movement to Hold Colleges Accountable for Graduates Getting Jobs 
EdCentral 
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 30 states now have policies that connect some state funding to the performance of public colleges.

Galloway to audit Missouri General Assembly
The Missouri Times
In the Senate, findings were issued “related to the Senate Administrator’s Fund, operating policies and procedures, National Conference of State Legislatures’ report recommendations and contingency planning.”

Police body cams raise privacy concerns
The Rushville Republican
At least 10 states have passed laws dealing with cameras worn by law enforcement, with most limiting what recordings may be publicly released, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.