NCSL in the News | July 2016

7/1/2016

July 29

Unfunded Mandates On The States Rising Again
In recent days, I received an invitation to appear on a panel at the upcoming National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Summit 2016 conference in Chicago. The topic is “The Federal Regulatory Burden.” The NCSL hosts a Standing Committee on Budgets and Revenue, and their prominent resolution on unfunded mandates asserts that:
 
Should Violence Against Cops Be a Hate Crime?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in at least nine states have introduced bills similar to Louisiana's Blue Lives Matter law: California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and South Carolina. Most of the proposals also call for added protections for other kinds of emergency personnel, such as firefighters and paramedics. With the exception of one bill in California, they are all sponsored by Republicans.
 
Voter Registration Dates 2016: Here Are the Most Important Deadlines to Keep In Mind
Most states allow eligible voters to cast ballot before Election Day, during an early voting period. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states and the District of Columbia permit in-person ballot casting.
 
Blue Lives Matter Hate Crime Laws: These States Are Trying to Make a Non-Thing a Thing
Republican and Democratic lawmakers in California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and South Carolina have recently introduced so-called "Blue Lives Matter" legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It's similar to the law Louisiana enacted in May, which establishes protections for officers and other first responders if their attackers are motivated by hatred of their occupations.
 
Finding time for breast-feeding in the workplace
While local data hasn’t been generated yet, Washington is one of 49 states that allow breast-feeding in public places, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The organization also lists Washington as one of 29 states that dictate the act of breast-feeding or expressing milk is not classified as indecent exposure, and one of 27 states that have additional laws relating to breast-feeding in the workplace.
 
Illinois lawmakers 5th highest paid in the US
Illinois lawmakers’ pay is noticeably higher than neighboring states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures said Indiana and Iowa lawmakers make $24,140 and $25,000 respectively. Wisconsin legislators get $50,950.
 
Bill would protect police, Baker says
Similar legislation is pending in several states. A “Blue Lives Matter” law goes into effect in Louisiana next month, making police killings a hate crime. Lawmakers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida have introduced similar bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 28

Florida's first marijuana dispensary opens in Tallahassee
Sun Sentinel
The National Conference of State Legislators lists 25 states and the District of Columbia as having decriminalized medical marijuana under state law. Florida isn't one of them but is one of 18 that have limited access laws. 

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

The American woman jailed for having an abortion
Spiked
While ostensibly abortion is legal in the US, it is often difficult to obtain. Indiana is not alone on this. Noted legal warrior Lynn Paltrow, who played a leading role in Patel’s appeal, points out that the National Conference of State Legislators lists 38 states with feticide laws on the books.

First medical marijuana dispensary opens in Tallahassee
Florida Flambeau
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 25 states, including the District of Columbia, now allow the use of medical marijuana. 18 other states have limited access laws, with Florida among them. Despite the sale of marijuana remaining a federal crime, the Obama administration has encouraged federal prosecutors not to prosecute people who distribute the drug for medical purposes in line with state laws

Safe Families effort wins favor in Legislature
Indiana Lawyer
The bill, which took effect July 1, is based on model legislation from the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative nonprofit based in Florida. Similar bills have been passed in 13 states including Idaho, Florida, Kansas and Kentucky, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

July 27

'Where's My Stuff?' First Medical Pot Shop Opens in Florida
ABC News
The National Conference of State Legislators lists 25 states and the District of Columbia that have decriminalized medical marijuana under state law. Florida isn't one of them but is one of 18 that have limited access laws.

Where Are the P3s We Need?
Governing
P3 legislation varies state to state, and the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a detailed table of the specific types of authorized projects (including highways, toll bridges, buildings, and water and sewer systems) for each jurisdiction. As of this January, 33 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia had enacted some form of legislation enabling P3s.

Each Illinois legislator costs us an average of $100000 a year
Chicago Daily Herald
Legislators made a base salary of $67,836 in 2015. According to an annual salary study by the National Conference of State Legislators, base salaries for Illinois legislators are more than twice their counterparts in Iowa and Indiana, almost double what Missouri legislators make and almost $17,000 more than Wisconsin lawmakers.

Prekindergarten funding on the rise in US cities, states
AMI NewsWire
State funding for pre-K in 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by almost $755 million – a 12 percent jump over the 2014-2015 budget year, according to reports by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Education Commission of the States (ECS) – both non-partisan groups. Overall, 32 states and D.C. raised their funding levels; 22 of the states have Republican governors.

Group's 'secretive' meeting in Indianapolis draws criticism
WRTV Indianapolis
Vaughn said unlike the National Conference of State Legislators that is more politically balanced, ALEC’s slant is very conservative and corporate driven.

Women underrepresented across Utah's political spectrum
Daily Herald
That means women account for 15 percent of the Legislature — making Utah the eighth lowest in the country and one of 16 states that now has fewer female state lawmakers than it did in 2005, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill targeting Mass. patent trolls stalls
Sentinel & Enterprise
Since Vermont became the first state to adopt anti-patent trolling legislation in 2013, 26 other states have put similar laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Merkley, Kotek rally Democrats at convention
Statesman Journal
Republicans now control 31 governorships and 30 state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 26

Just the ticket
The Economist
The other two laws batted down last week imposed photo identification requirements on residents of Wisconsin, another swing state, and Texas, a reliably red one. Thirty four states request indentification at polling places, and the rules in nine are characterised as “strict” by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan advocacy group. But few have laws as unbending as Texas’s Senate Bill 14 (SB 14) or Wisconsin’s Act 23, both passed in 2011.

DIVIDED AMERICA: Clinton Highlights Lack of Women in Office
ABC News
Sixteen states have fewer women serving in legislatures than in 2005, and five others have shown no improvement, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Merkley, Kotek rally Democrats at convention
Statesman Journal
Republicans now control 31 governorships and 30 state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Court Decides Texas Voter ID Law Violates US Voting Rights Act
The Chicago Monitor
Currently, Texas ranks as 1 of 9 states with strict photo ID laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures – America’s “most respected bipartisan organization.”
 
For women, political glass ceiling intact
The Denver Post
Sixteen states have fewer women serving in legislatures than in 2005, and five others have shown no improvement, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Do Black Kids Matter in Memphis?
The Intercept
The National Conference of State Legislatures has documented wide-reaching attempts to “restore jurisdiction to juvenile court.”
 
Does Gender Make a Difference in Politics?
UConn Today
In 2016, approximately 1,809 women serve in the 50 state legislatures, about 24.5 percent of all state legislators according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Internationally, women in national legislative bodies globally comprise 22.6 percent of parliaments, according to the International Parliament Union.

July 25

For women in New Jersey politics, still a long way to go
Washington Times
Though women are more than half of the American population, they now account for just a fifth of all U.S. representatives and senators, and one in four state lawmakers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. They serve as governors of only six states and are mayors in roughly 19 percent of the nation’s largest cities.
 
Court Strikes Down Virginia Order Restoring Voting Rights to Ex-Felons
Fortune
Virginia is one of nine states that requires voting rights to be restored only by executive order or court action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Laws in 38 states and the District of Columbia allow most ex-felons to regain voting rights automatically after they complete their sentence.
 
Some questions raised about "Every Student Succeeds Act"
Prairie Public Broadcasting
A representative of the National Conference of State Legislatures says although the new “Every Student Succeeds Act” is a lot more flexible than the “No Child Left Behind” program, there are still some requirements local schools will have to meet. And the federal affairs counsel of the NCSL said state legislators will have to be involved, as the federal rules are written. Lee Posey told the Legislature’s Interim Education Committee, Congress kept the concept of statewide assessments first outlined by No Child Left Behind. "In other words, assessing every child in reading and in math, every year in 3rd through 8th grade," Posey said. "Then, once the student is in high school, testing in science."

A look at how states compare on women in elected office
Chicago Daily Herald
NCSL cited as source.

Legislature aware part of Ohio pot law legally questionable
WLWT Cincinnati
(NCSL Info Cited)

Clinton highlights lack of women in office – “The highest, hardest glass ceiling”
Kuwait Times
Sixteen states have fewer women serving in legislatures than in 2005, and five others have shown no improvement, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill to introduce community net metering
The Guam Daily Post
According to state net-metering policies from the National Conference of State Legislatures website, virtual net metering allows property owners with multiple meters to distribute net metering credits to individual accounts, such as to tenants in multi-family dwellings.

Clinton trailblazing: Will impact be felt in Delaware?
The News Journal
 Women make up half the U.S. population, but, at the state level less than one-quarter of lawmakers are women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Congress, four of five lawmakers are men.
 
Women hope to improve Oklahoma's standing on female ...
Tulsa World
Female legislators make up 14.1 percent of the Oklahoma Legislature, while the national average is 24.5 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

2016 sees increase in women running for state Legislature
NewsOK.com
Women hold only 21 of the 149 legislative seats, with 15 in the House and six in the Senate. Female legislators make up 14.1 percent of the Oklahoma Legislature while the national average is 24.5 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Indiana woman's feticide conviction overturned by appeals court
Albuquerque Journal
At least 38 states have fetal homicide laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Patel case was the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman specifically because of “an alleged self-induced abortion,” said Jill Adams, executive director of the abortion-rights advocacy group Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice.

Tennessee Selected To Join Three Branch Institute To Improve Child Safety and Prevent Child Fatalities
The Chattanoogan
Tennessee was one of eight states competitively selected to participate in the Three Branch Institute to Improve Child Safety and Prevent Child Fatalities, a project of the National Governor’s Association’s Center for Best Practices, the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Center for State Courts.
 
St. George police equipping body cameras
St. George Daily Spectrum
Utah is one of nearly two dozen states that have passed laws or resolutions regarding police use of cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Marijuana steps forward on state, national stages
AMI NewsWire
Karmen Hanson, health program manager for the Colorado-based National Conference of State Legislatures, said that, historically, marijuana initiatives don’t automatically benefit by being on a higher-turnout, presidential-election-year ballot. What matters more, she said, is funding and organization to get the initiative on the ballot in the first place. “Getting qualified for the ballot is the biggest hurdle, whether it’s a percentage of registered voters by county or however the state defines it,” Hanson told AMI Newswire. “When a group has the money to help pay to get the signatures collected, that will increase the odds of making the ballot.”

In Time magazine, ND gets good PR
Jamestown Sun
“Here it’s a source of quiet pride. In terms of approval ratings for state governments, ‘a really good score is 25 percent or 30 percent,’ says Karl Kurtz, formerly of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The most recent rating for North Dakota: 69 percent.”

July 22

FEMA Looks to Shift More Disaster Costs to States
Wall Street Journal
Some groups questioned how FEMA could fairly administer a deductible when local governments and states face different disaster risks and take varying precautions. The heads of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities called the proposal a potential “administrative nightmare” in a joint comment. The groups said they appreciated FEMA’s efforts to reduce disaster costs but didn’t offer alternatives. States also point out that a federal law enacted in 1988 specifies that the federal government must pay at least 75% of the eligible costs of repair and rebuilding after a federal disaster has been declared. States, often with help from local governments, pay the other 25%.

Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage is worth less than ...
CNBC
Across the country, 29 states and Washington, D.C., currently have wages above the federal floor, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Request to limit welfare denied
Arkansas Online
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas law limits use of the financial aid that beneficiaries receive to "goods and services necessary to the welfare of the family."

Prevent deaths with stiffer penalties, more awareness
The Gazette
In addition, Iowa remains one of only 10 states that has no specific law in place for safely passing a bicyclist, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and mandates that pedestrians, not motorists, yield the right of way in the absence of a crosswalk. Lawmakers should address those shortcomings, as well.
 
Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law as Discriminatory to Minorities
AllGov
The National Conference of State Legislatures counts Texas among nine states that enforce a strict photo ID law.
Like Texas, in most of those states — North Dakota, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia - voters who do not have photo ID can cast a provisional ballot, but must later submit a photo ID to election officials for their votes to count.
  
Pence’s Indiana record more complicated than he says
Daily Journal
And while Pence has balanced the state’s budget, all states with the exception of Vermont have some legal requirement to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 21

Drivers prefer tolls to taxes. That's too bad.
Washington Post
Several states, as well as the District of Columbia, have reckoned with this and raised their fuel taxes since 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Federal judge blocks Wisconsin voter ID law
The Hill
Wisconsin is one of 34 states that request or require a voter to show some form of identification at polling places, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is one of nine states with strict laws, which require voters without identification to take additional steps after Election Day to make certain their votes are counted
 
Taxpayer-funded campaign staff can knock at Kansans' doors
Washington Times
Some states have laws to explicitly forbid campaign work during official work hours at the taxpayer’s expense, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alabama lawmaker wants to make attacks on cops hate crimes
AL.com
Many states, however, impose enhanced penalties for crimes against police under other laws, like "assault on a police officer," according to the NCSL.

Pence's Indiana record more complicated than he says
Lincoln Journal Star
And while Pence has balanced the state's budget, all states with the exception of Vermont have some legal requirement to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

OUR OPINION: In Time magazine, North Dakota gets good PR
Grand Forks Herald
"Here it's a source of quiet pride. In terms of approval ratings for state governments, 'a really good score is 25 percent or 30 percent,' says Karl Kurtz, formerly of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The most recent rating for North Dakota: 69 percent."

Arizona Gov. Ducey Cuts Off Many Public Sector Lobbyists
Cato Institute
Reports the Arizona Republic: “Use of contract lobbyists varies state by state. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah bans agencies from using public money to pay contract lobbyists.

'Unprecedented' lawsuits filed against Volkswagen
AMI NewsWire
The lawsuits appear to break new ground. A spokeswoman for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh told AMI Newswire the lawsuits are “unprecedented,” and the National Conference of State Legislatures is unaware of previous lawsuits by multiple states against a single manufacturer.

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Controversial Texas Voter ID Law
Courthouse News Service
The National Conference of State Legislatures counts Texas among nine states that enforce a strict photo ID law.
 
How Technology Is Shaping Voter Registration and the Election Process
StateTech Magazine
“There’s been a huge upswing in online voter registration and in the use of electronic poll books,” says Wendy Underhill, program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They’re becoming part of the landscape of elections.”

July 20

For Republicans looking for a little good news, this chart should do the trick
Washington Post
"It is the most legislatures they have held in over 150 years, matching the previous high point after the 1920 election," noted Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures in the wake of the 2014 election. In the most up-to-date numbers I could find, Republicans now control of 70 of the country's legislatures and have total control — state House, state Senate and governorship — in 24 states.
 
GOP platform calls for tough voter ID laws
The Hill
Thirty-three states will require voters to show proof of identification in November, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws vary widely by state: In Texas, a state with one of the stricter requirements, voters must show one of six types of government-issued photo identifications, ranging from a passport to a license to carry a concealed handgun.
 
How Technology Is Shaping Voter Registration and the Election Process
StateTech Magazine
“There’s been a huge upswing in online voter registration and in the use of electronic poll books,” says Wendy Underhill, program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They’re becoming part of the landscape of elections.”

Court Under Deadline for Texas Voter ID Ruling
Courthouse News Service
 The National Conference of State Legislatures counts Texas among nine states that enforce a strict photo ID law.
 
The handling of runaways differs from city to city
YourWestValley.com
Runaway kids that end up homeless are at a greater risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health disabilities, substance abuse, and death, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is estimated that 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year as a result of assault, illness, or suicide.
 
Lawsuit claims Fayetteville hospital failed to pay $873000 in taxes
Northwest Arkansas News
All but one state uses a similar tax, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. The American Hospital Association praised the concept last year as essential to maintain patient access and coverage under Medicaid

July 19

Revamping community colleges to improve graduation rates
Santa Fe New Mexican
While that legislation will be a tough sell, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee already mandate free or near-free community college tuition to eligible high school graduates; 11 other states have similar bills pending, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Ballot Initiatives, Explained
BillMoyers.com
Today, 24 states and Washington, DC allow citizens to change state law or the state constitution by gathering the required number of signatures to put an initiative on the ballot. There is a national uptick in proposed measures this year, according to Ballotpedia, which tracks federal, state and local elections. In addition to lower thresholds for signatures in some states, such as California, presidential election years often see more ballot measures, and Jennie Bowser, who studied ballot initiatives for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says she has also noticed that ballot initiatives are becoming more and more common in recent years.
 
Hemp: You've Come A Long Way, Baby
Honolulu Civil Beat
That stands in sharp contrast to the states, 28 of which have now passed laws allowing some sort of hemp research and/or cultivation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NH: No immediate plans for online lottery games
The Union Leader
Forty-four states now have a state lottery. Only a few states, including Georgia and Illinois, currently offer online lottery games, in addition to traditional lottery games and tickets. More than a half-dozen states have considered online lottery legislation in the past two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 18

Three police officers killed, three others wounded in Baton Rouge 
Washington Post
No other state includes police officers as a protected class under hate-crime laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 37 states — including Louisiana — have enhanced penalties for assaulting police officers. In some states, hurting a police officer can be an “aggravating factor” to an assault or battery charge. 

Fact check: Trump oversells Pence's record
USA TODAY
Like nearly all states, Indiana is legally required to balance the budget. “All the states except Vermont have a legal requirement of a balanced budget,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NH: No immediate plans for online lottery games
The Union Leader
Forty-four states now have a state lottery. Only a few states, including Georgia and Illinois, currently offer online lottery games, in addition to traditional lottery games and tickets. More than a half-dozen states have considered online lottery legislation in the past two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Taxpayer-funded campaign staff can knock at Kansans' doors
Wichita Eagle
Some states have laws to explicitly forbid campaign work during official work hours at the taxpayer’s expense, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Maine, for example, requires partisan legislative employees to limit their campaign activities to evenings, weekends or to “take leave to pursue these activities if they occur during the Legislature’s regular business day.”

New state law makes urn theft a felony
Maui News
Metal theft was a much bigger topic in state legislatures several years ago, when there was a large spike in copper theft attributed to the recession and high value of metals, said Jocelyn Durkay, senior energy policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

North Carolina Governor Signs Law Declaring Body Camera ...
LawOfficer.com
While 29 other states and D.C. have laws addressing police camera recordings, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt them from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long killed three police officers on his 29th birthday
New Zealand Herald
No other state includes police officers as a protected class under hate-crime laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 37 states - including Louisiana - have enhanced penalties for assaulting police officers.

Urn thefts become a felony to deter crime without 'closure'
East Bay Times
Metal theft was a much bigger topic in state legislatures several years ago, when there was a large spike in copper theft attributed to the recession and high value of metals, said Jocelyn Durkay, senior energy policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Utah votes to let authorities disable drones near wildfires
Waterbury Republican American
It does not appear any state currently allows a drone to be disabled specifically for flying over a wildfire. Louisiana has a law allowing police or firefighters to disable a drone if it endangers the public or an officer, said Amanda Essex, who researches state unmanned aircraft policies for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

North Carolina Governor Signs Law Declaring Body Camera Footage Will Not Be Public Record
LawOfficer.com
While 29 other states and D.C. have laws addressing police camera recordings, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt them from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump's VP announcement includes tiny sliver of time devoted to ...
The Daily Dot
With the exception of Vermont, all states are legally required to balance their budgets according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

See Which Texas Schools Have High Vaccine Exemption Rates
Texas Tribune
A small but robust group of activists has so far thwarted efforts to re-examine vaccine laws in the state, which, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, is among 18 that waive immunization requirements for personal beliefs in addition to religious grounds.

ND agency estimates medical pot measure would cost $8.7M; supporter calls the ‘fearmongering’
Prairie Business
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 15

Agency: Medical pot would be big cost for North Dakota
Washington Times
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 25 states have laws allowing medical marijuana. But it is still illegal at the federal level, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the drug’s medicinal use.

Should felons be allowed to vote from behind bars?
Los Angeles Times
Currently, only two states — Maine and Vermont — allow felons to vote while behind bars, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Americans are failing in financial literacy: What can we do?
Christian Science Monitor
Major trends in financial literacy legislation have included “implementing statewide curriculum ... incorporating education opportunities for adults like first time homebuyer programs, and [establishing] prison reentry programs,” Heather Morton, insurance expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures tells the Monitor in an email.
 
New York Could Be the First State to Make Its Public Schools Test for Lead
Mother Jones
New York, home to more than 2.5 million public school students, may soon pass the nation's first law requiring regular testing of water in those schools for the presence of lead. It likely won't be the last: This year, at least 20 bills in seven states have been introduced to address lead contamination in school water, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
ND agency estimates medical pot measure would cost $8.7M; supporter calls that ‘fearmongering’
Bismarck Tribune
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Illinois House of Representatives Pass Historic Slavery Study ...
The Chicago Cusader
In the upcoming weeks, under the leadership of State Senator Donne Trotter, this idea of nationalizing this effort will be shared with state legislators from around the country. At the Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislators that will be held at the McCormick Place in August, Sen. Trotter will assist in presenting this action to this body.
 
Utah Votes to Disable Drones near Wildfires
Firefighter Nation
Louisiana has a law allowing police or firefighters to disable a drone if it endangers the public or an officer, said Amanda Essex, who researches state unmanned aircraft policies for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
NC keeps police camera videos from public record
Winston-Salem Chronicle
While 29 other states and D.C. have laws addressing police camera recordings, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt them from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

July 14

Why should public money be used to build sports stadiums?
PBS NewsHour
Furthermore, when local and state governments agree to pony up money for stadiums, taxpayers are on the hook for years — sometimes even after the team leaves town. St. Louis, for example, is still paying $6 million a year on debt from building the Edward Jones Dome, the old home of the Rams that opened in 1995, despite the team’s move to California. The debt is financed by a hotel tax and taxes on “game day” revenues like concessions and parking. Jackson Brainerd, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), said the teams often hold up cities and states for sweet financing deals by threatening to move. “Clearly major league professional sports teams are all fully capable of paying for stadiums themselves,” he said, citing Los Angeles.

Utah considers allowing officials to disable drones
Washington Times
It does not appear that any state currently allows a drone to be disabled specifically for flying over a wildfire. But Louisiana has a law allowing police or firefighters to disable a drone if it endangers the public or an officer, said Amanda Essex, who researches state unmanned aircraft policies for the National Conference of State Legislatures…. Earlier this year, Utah lawmakers considering allowing law enforcement to shoot down drones that interfere with emergency workers, but they backed away from the idea. Other states have proposed shooting down drones, but it hasn’t become law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Should felons be allowed to vote from behind bars?
Los Angeles Times
Currently, only two states — Maine and Vermont — allow felons to vote while behind bars, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Utah considers allowing officials to disable drones
Chron.com
It does not appear any state currently allows a drone to be disabled specifically for flying over a wildfire. Louisiana has a law allowing police or firefighters to disable a drone if it endangers the public or an officer, said Amanda Essex, who researches state unmanned aircraft policies for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Federal judge declares evidence from cellphone tracker unconstitutional
Christian Science Monitor
By 2014, 10 states had passed similar legislation. They were joined by California and Washington state last year, according to Jake Lestock, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stingray legislation is currently pending in Illinois and Rhode Island.

With hail of lawsuits pending, Americans divided on bathroom bill
Journal Times
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana, Mississippi and Louisiana also had bathroom bills that failed. Ten other states have such bills pending. States that have considered legislation in 2016 that would restrict access to sex-segregated facilities on the basis of biological sex. Data as of May 25, 2016.

Massachusetts lawmakers want police attack to be hate crime
NewBostonPost
Such legislation has failed in four states and is pending in five others and in Congress, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawmakers in at least four other states have said they plan to introduce similar legislation but haven’t officially done so.

With hail of lawsuits pending, Americans divided on bathroom bill
Lincoln Journal Star
Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, InsideGov, a Graphiq politics site, mapped the status of state-level bathroom bills across the country. As the below visualization shows, North Carolina is one of 18 states to consider bathroom bills in 2016.
 
Wisconsin legislator announces 'Blue Lives Matter' bill
Wisconsin Gazette
Blue Lives Matter laws have failed in four states and is pending in five others and in Congress, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawmakers in at least four other states have said they plan to introduce similar legislation but haven’t officially done so.

July 13

North Carolina to keep police body and dashboard camera recordings from public records
FOX News
While 29 other states and D.C. have laws addressing police camera recordings, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt them from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Congress Is Voting on an Inadequate Opioid Bill
New York Times (Op-Ed.)
Such programs can help reduce the drug abuse that can result from overprescribing, experts say. At least 26 states and Guam require physicians to use monitoring programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

North Carolina passed a law exempting police camera footage from the public record
Business Insider Australia
At least five other states also have laws that exempt body camera recordings from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lieutenant governor announces personnel changes
Deseret New
In addition, Katy Owens Hubler will oversee the Voting Equipment Selection Committee in its duties to evaluate and recommend voting equipment. She is known nationally for her extensive policy experience, having served as senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Report: Drone Legislation a Priority for States Across the US
Techwire.net
To date, 32 states have taken legislative action when it comes to unmanned aerial systems, more commonly referred to as “drones.” What’s more is that every state in the nation, with the exception of South Dakota, has at least considered the value in putting rules on the books over the course of the last three years, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Why North Carolina is exempting body cameras from public record
Christian Science Monitor
With the new law, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt body and dash cam recordings from public record requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
ND medical marijuana backers submit signatures for November ballot measure
Prairie Business
Since California voters first approved medical marijuana in 1996, 24 more states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Massachusetts lawmakers want police attack to be hate crime
Gillette News Record
Such legislation has failed in four states and is pending in five others and in Congress, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawmakers in at least four other states have said they plan to introduce similar legislation but haven't officially done so.

July 12

Report: Drone Legislation a Priority for States Across the U.S.
Government Technology
To date, 32 states have taken legislative action when it comes to unmanned aerial systems, more commonly referred to as “drones.” What’s more is that every state in the nation, with the exception of South Dakota, has at least considered the value in putting rules on the books over the course of the last three years, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). According to NCSL policy associate Amanda Essex and committee director Ben Husch, who worked on the report Taking Off: State Unmanned Aircraft Systems Policies, states have had to negotiate their own paths between the issues around drones.

Every Student Succeeds Act Focus of Maui Town Hall Meeting
Maui Now
“It’s important that the public understand and have some input about how schools are educating our youngsters,” Senator Kidani said.  “I have invited education policy expert Lee Posey from the National Conference of State Legislatures to be a guest speaker at our Town Hall sessions.  I’ve heard her presentations, and they provide an excellent overview of ESSA and how the new law can benefit the state.”

North Dakota medical pot backers submit signatures
The Washington Times
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 25 states have laws allowing medical marijuana. But it is still illegal at the federal level, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the drug’s medicinal use.

Massachusetts lawmakers want police attack to be hate crime
Fredericksburg.com
Lawmakers in at least 13 other states and in Congress have floated similar proposals. Such legislation has failed in four states and is pending in five others and in Congress, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawmakers in at least four other states have said they plan to introduce similar legislation but haven't officially done so.

North Carolina keeps public from seeing police camera videos
KTRK-TV
While 29 other states and D.C. have laws addressing police camera recordings, North Carolina joins at least five other states that exempt them from public records requests, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin legislator announces "Blue Lives Matter" bill
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Such legislation has failed in four states and is pending in five others and in Congress, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawmakers in at least four other states have said they plan to introduce similar legislation but haven't officially done so.

Branstad defends ban on Iowa felons' voting rights
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News
Iowa is one of eight states in which felons must have their voting rights restored by the governor or the courts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states restore voting rights upon completion of the sentence or do not revoke voting rights.

Governor Cracks Down On Government Paying Lobbyists to Lobby ...
The Weekly Standard
Arizona now joins other states that limit or prohibit government entities from hiring lobbyists. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of February 2015, ten states prohibited state agencies from using public funds to hire lobbyists.

Going for it: North Dakota medical marijuana backers submit signatures
The Cannabist
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 25 states have laws allowing medical marijuana. But it is still illegal at the federal level, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the drug’s medicinal use.

Governor defends felon voting rights ban
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Iowa is one of eight states in which convicted felons must have their voting rights restored by the governor or the courts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states restore voting rights upon completion of the sentence, or do not revoke voting rights.

July 11

The state where targeting a police officer is a hate crime
Washington Post
The New Jersey resolution is the only one that is still being considered, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures's Richard Williams. Williams said he's seen an uptick in legislation addressing law enforcement more broadly over the past two years. But as state legislatures across the nation wrap up, Louisiana remains the only state with this kind of law on the books.

Voter registration goes digital
Washington Examiner
"Online registration has been a real boon in terms of keeping the voter roles clean," said Wendy Underhill, program director for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. She cautions that the trend toward online registration isn't itself going to make the debate over voter ID laws moot. The technological issues related to online voting are more complicated than merely registering, and no state is even close to experimenting with it.
 
After 10 years, term limits reshape Nebraska Legislature
Washington Times
Nebraska is one of 15 states that impose term limits on lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters approved term limits in 2000 with a constitutional amendment that went into effect in 2006, restricting senators to two consecutive four-year terms. 

NC legislature's plan to freeze some tuition, lower others raises concerns
Winston-Salem Journal
At least six states have policies that allow or require state universities to have guaranteed tuition rates, according to a report last year from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Company gears up first legal marijuana harvest in Florida
Naples Daily News
Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, 25 states, the District of Columbia and Guam allow comprehensive marijuana use for medical purposes, and several others are considering it this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Good idea gone awry? How term limits impact sessions of Louisiana ...
The Advocate
The laws were thrown out by the courts in four states, and two others repealed the measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, leaving Louisiana among the 15 state assemblies with term limits.

Some businesses get option to keep to 2018 non-ACA conforming ...
Crain's Detroit Business
Traditionally, small-business groups pay higher rates — 8 percent to 18 percent more than large firms for the same health insurance policy — because they don't have the buying power of larger companies, said the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Alaska's citizen Legislature is now pretty much full-time
Alaska Dispatch News
There's no objective measure of the degree of a legislature's professionalization, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, headquartered in Denver.

Wolf to let budget bill become law despite funding questions
Bristol Herald Courier
The struggle over how to shore up Pennsylvania's deficit-riddled finances has left it as the only state government without an enacted budget for part or all of the new 2016-17 fiscal year, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Replacement of No Child Left Behind Act causing problems in Washington
Times Record
Such concerns have brought together a coalition including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, groups representing school administrators, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

Claims of tampering with state's online voter registration
Record Bee
Thirty-one states, including California, have online voter registration, while another seven have passed legislation to create online registration systems but have yet to implement them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California’s system launched in 2012, according to the conference website.

Technology Plays Essential Role in Modern Legislature Process
StateTech Magazine
People tend not to think of legislative types as hip early adopters of the latest tech. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average age of state legislators across the country is 56, nearly a decade older than the adult U.S. population average — and more than two decades older than the hyper-connected millennials who are coming to dominate the workplace in other fields. 
 
States have enacted dozens of drone laws since 2013 — report
StateScoop
The National Conference of State Legislatures surveyed the legislative landscape surrounding unmanned aerial vehicles in a study released late last month, and found that 17 states enacted 23 bills and passed four resolutions involving drones in 2015 alone. In all, 45 legislatures debated 153 bills and resolutions last year.

 

July 8

Understand the Ballot Initiative, Our Most Direct Democracy
WNYC – The Takeaway
(Radio Segment) This election season, there were 104 statewide ballot measures in 34 states as of July 4th. In 26 of those states, citizen initiatives are allowed. But after Brexit, can voters be trusted to vote in their best interests? Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures, explains the ups and downs of ballot measures in the United States. 

After Medical Marijuana Legalized, Medicare Prescriptions Drop For Many Drugs
NPR
(NCSL Cited) The findings add context to the debate as more lawmakers express interest in medical marijuana. This year, Ohio and Pennsylvania passed laws allowing the drug for therapeutic purposes, making it legal in 25 states, plus Washington, D.C. The approach could also come to a vote in Florida and Missouri this November.

University of Texas professors sue to block guns in classrooms
Reuters
The so-called campus-carry law allows private colleges to opt out, and most of the state's best-known private universities have done so, saying the measure runs counter to protecting student safety. Eight states allow people to carry concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Winds Are Changing for Renewable Energy
The Atlantic
California and New York each established landmark requirements for their utilities to generate fully half of their power from renewable sources by 2030. Oregon joined them this year with a 50 percent renewables by 2042 mandate. Though smaller markets, Vermont (75 percent renewables by 2032) and Hawaii (100 percent by 2045) have set the bar even higher. Massachusetts may soon approve its own increase. “There is a strong trend toward strengthening renewable portfolio standards,” said Jocelyn Durkay, an energy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “But that’s not a universal trend.”

As Drones Fill the Skies, Privacy Worries Grow
The Fiscal Times
At least 25 states considered bills or resolutions related to security breaches this year, focusing on expanding the definition of personal information or increasing requirements for notification or security, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Lawmakers take aim at credit reports
Gloucester Daily Times
At least 11 states have passed laws limiting the use of employment credit checks – including Connecticut, Vermont and California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several more are considering similar bills.

Lt. Governor Cox Announces Personnel Changes
Utah Policy
Katy Owens Hubler will oversee the Voting Equipment Selection Committee in its duties to evaluate and recommend voting equipment. She is known nationally for her extensive policy experience having served as senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and has published several articles on voting technology.

Judge likens Koch brothers’ plight that of civil rights workers in the 1950s
NMPolitics.net
“Since Citizens United, disclosure in general has been where the action is,” said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “And in the most recent years, as independent expenditures have become a major source of financing, that’s when legislators have looked at disclosure.” So far in 2016, legislatures have considered a whopping 350 bills in 46 states related to campaign finance disclosure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ database.
 
Rhode Island lawmakers hope to resume push to end tampon tax
The Providence Journal
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania exempt feminine hygiene products from state taxation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Connecticut exempted the products in its most recent budget bill, which takes effect in 2018.

July 7

Hawaii Law Aims to Deprive Rapists of Parental Rights
ABC News
There are between 17,000 and 32,000 rape-related pregnancies in the U.S. every year, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. The group says nearly two dozen states allow for termination of parental rights if a parent was convicted of sexual assault which resulted in the birth of a child.

Clearing some misconceptions about felons and voting
Centerville Daily Iowegian
The media reports criticizing Iowa’s process as “too burdensome” compared to other states are also inaccurate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states like Iowa require action by a governor or court to approve restoration. Many other states require a waiting period and verification process before voting privileges are restored.
 
Can Posting Political Stuff on Social Media Get You Fired?
Tom's Guide
Laws differ from state to state, so you'll want to find out what's on the books where you live. The National Conference of State Legislature is a good resource to learn whether or not your social media rights are protected

State House copy of Liberty Bell seldom seen, never heard
New Boston Post
Massachusetts is one of 32 states to display its replica bell either inside its capitol building or on the capitol grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states have donated the replicas to colleges or universities, other states display the replica bells in public parks, and Virginia's bell is located at a fire station in Charlottesville.
 
Wind energy an untapped resource on Palouse
The Daily Evergreen
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, the state of Oregon has enacted a portfolio standard which requires 25 percent of their energy to come from renewables by 2025, while California requires 50 percent by 2030. Idaho does not have a renewable energy target or standard.
 
If My Website Is Hacked and Customer Data Exposed, Am I Liable?
Small Business Trends
Following California’s lead, other states enacted laws requiring organizations to notify individuals when a security breach puts personal information at risk. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a comprehensive list as does BakerHostetler, a law firm.

July 6

E-Retailers, Congress Feel Heat From States' Digital Tax Frenzy
Bloomberg BNA
For states once hesitant to go head-to-head with Quill, the DMA body of law has boosted confidence to contest the 24-year-old rule of law with more force. And combined with continued congressional inaction, Max Behlke, manager of state-federal relations for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), told Bloomberg BNA June 16 that more states will likely join the collective anti- Quill effort by pushing through legislation in 2017.
 
For New School Choice Laws, 2016 Has Been a Slow Year
Education Week
Now that spring, when many legislative sessions are held, is behind us, I called up Josh Cunningham, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, to get a roundup of the major school choice-related legislation that passed—or didn't—this year. Our conversation below has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity. 
 
CPD reports 'progress' not 'success' -- RAUNER wedding dance ...
Politico
It's the only time in post-World War II history it’s happened in the country. ‘Late budgets will have a new meaning after you guys are done,' said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures who has researched past overdue budgets nationally.” http://apne.ws/29hRdV8

Koch Brothers Hide Donations Behind Civil Rights Precedent
Newsweek
“Since Citizens United, disclosure in general has been where the action is,” said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “And in the most recent years, as independent expenditures have become a major source of financing, that’s when legislators have looked at disclosure.” So far in 2016, legislatures have considered a whopping 350 bills in 46 states related to campaign finance disclosure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’s database.
     
State legislature 'dismal' in racial diversity
The Philadelphia Tribune
According to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures in conjunction with Pew Charitable Trusts, the number of African-American lawmakers at the state level jumped from 2 percent to 9 percent between 1971 and 2009 nationwide But since 2009, the advances of women and African Americans in legislatures have stalled.

Legislature closes loophole in Virginia's underage marriage law
Richmond.com
Similar bills were introduced in California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As late budgets go, Illinois has no equal
Kankakee Daily Journal
"Late budgets will have a new meaning after you guys are done," said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures who has researched past overdue budgets nationally.

July 5

How drones raised privacy concerns across cyberspace
PBS Newshour
At least 25 states considered bills or resolutions related to security breaches this year, focusing on expanding the definition of personal information or increasing requirements for notification or security, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

Louisiana's Budget Crisis Empowers an Unusual Group
Governing
Across all 50 capitols, total state legislative staff has declined about 9 percent since 2003, according to statistics compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most Louisiana House members have one legislative aide to handle correspondence, but are otherwise on their own to request information.

Minorities missing in many legislatures
Richmond Register
The Associated Press analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Congress and the National Conference of State Legislatures to determine the extent to which the nation's thousands of lawmakers match the demographics of its hundreds of millions of residents.
 
New law will expand access to drug-overdose antidote
The Herald
Nearly all states have a naloxone access law of some kind, though they vary widely. New Mexico became the first state to increase access in 2001, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Unlike other states, few options for specialty license plates in Wyoming
Casper Star-Tribune Online
Wyoming and California are tied for the third-fewest number of specialty plates available among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Virginia introduces law to stop 12-year-old girls from getting married
The Independent
The Washington Post said that the legislation was the result of bills being passed by state politicians Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel and Democrat Jennifer McClellan. Similar bills were introduced in California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Legislatures seek limits on phone-tracking technology
Akron Legal News
Congress has a pending bill on Stingrays, and California, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Virginia are among the 12 states that have passed laws addressing the technology, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last week, Connecticut lawmakers sent the governor legislation that restricts the devices' use.

Rauner signs stopgap budget deal
Chicago Tribune
“Late budgets will have a new meaning after you guys are done”, said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures who has researched past overdue budgets nationally. The impasse had become even more tense as the start of the 2016-2017 school year loomed, with districts uncertain whether they could open their doors in the fall.

Lawmakers collect $327K in travel pay
Eagle-Tribune
The state has one of 10 full-time legislatures in the country, and it ranks among the highest in terms of lawmaker compensation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Fact Checker: Is Clinton overstating role in children's health coverage?
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News 
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP, which later was shortened to the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP, was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as the number of uninsured children was growing. The program was designed to fill the gap for those who couldn’t afford private insurance but weren’t poor enough for Medicaid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Minn. voters to decide on state lawmaker pay this fall 
Winona Daily News
Rank-and-file Minnesota legislators rank 19th in base pay among the 39 states that provide an annual salary, according to a survey this year by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

'Still in Legal Limbo': HB 1523 Down in Mississippi, But Not Out
Jackson Free Press
Rep. Greg Snowden, a Meridian Republican and the speaker pro tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives, tweeted to the Jackson Free Press this morning that "[i]ssues are not settled" around HB 1523. "An appeals court (maybe SCOTUS) will have to sort it all out." He provided a link to the National Conference of State Legislatures' page on "Marriage Solemnization" laws around the country.

Texas GOP leaders ask state agencies to propose 4 percent budget ...
Dallas Morning News
There is great -- and continuing -- appeal to the idea that fresh thinking will liberate budget writers. In some form, zero-based budgeting  has been tried in at least 17 states in recent years,  according to a 2012 analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

July 1

New Minimum Wage Hikes Come with ‘Off Ramps’
Stateline
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states began 2016 with higher minimum wages than the year before. Of those, 12 states increased their rates through legislation passed in the 2014 or 2015 sessions and two others automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living. At least 29 states, plus D.C., now have minimum wages above the federal level, according to NCSL. (with Graphic)

Illinois Lawmakers End Yearlong Budget Impasse
NASDAQ/WSJ
The stalemate has made Illinois the first state since the Great Depression to go a full year without a budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Texas GOP leaders ask state agencies to propose 4-percent budget cuts
Dallas Morning News
There is great -- and continuing -- appeal to the idea that fresh thinking will liberate budget writers. In some form, zero based budgeting  has been tried in at least 17 states in recent years,  according to a 2012 analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Should state legislators pick their own pay?
Twin Cities Pioneer Press
The constitutional amendment that voters will consider establishes a citizens board to set lawmakers’ salary. Minnesota Public Radio reports there hasn’t been a change to their base salary of about $31,000 since 1999. A survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures ranks Minnesota 19th in base pay for legislators among the 39 states that provide an annual salary.
 
Attorney General: Half of Maine Homicides Result of Domestic Violence
Maine Public Broadcasting
If such a proposal passes, Maine would become the 20th state to permit pretrial electronic monitoring of domestic violence defendants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Uber to start watching its drivers more closely
Digital Trends
Texting while driving is a safety concern. It’s also illegal in 46 states plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Island, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists have safety responsibilities
Ashland Daily Press
The National Conference of State Legislatures website (www.ncsl.org) states that in Wisconsin “vehicles must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, person operating a bicycle, or person operating a personal assistive mobility device who is crossing the highway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

Activists trying to recall Michigan governor face an uphill fight
AMI NewsWire
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only three gubernatorial recall elections have been held during the nation’s history. North Dakota voters tossed out Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921, and California voters in 2003 cleared the path for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ascension to office with the recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis.