NCSL in the News | November 2019

11/21/2019

Nov. 25

California court invalidates law requiring Trump tax returns
Associated Press
California is the only state to pass such a bill, but the issue was before lawmakers in 20 states this year, said Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
26 states are spending $350 million on 2020 Census efforts
Washington Post
The decennial census will help determine the allocation of $1.5 trillion of federal dollars and how many congressional seats each state gets. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, Associated Press.
 
Five states resisting creation of panels to promote the census
Los Angeles Times
Twenty-six state governments are appropriating nearly $350 million to reach people and get them to respond to the census. The amounts range from California’s record $187 million to Montana’s $100,000, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  
 
Plastic bag ban debate now shifts to Massachusetts House
The Morning Call
Eight states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont — have banned single-use plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 22

California court invalidates law requiring Trump tax returns
Associated Press
California is the only state to pass such a bill, but the issue was before lawmakers in 20 states this year, said Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
26 states are spending $350 million on 2020 Census efforts
Washington Post
The decennial census will help determine the allocation of $1.5 trillion of federal dollars and how many congressional seats each state gets. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, Associated Press.
 
Five states resisting creation of panels to promote the census
Los Angeles Times
Twenty-six state governments are appropriating nearly $350 million to reach people and get them to respond to the census. The amounts range from California’s record $187 million to Montana’s $100,000, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Plastic bag ban debate now shifts to Massachusetts House
The Morning Call
Eight states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont — have banned single-use plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 21

California court invalidates law requiring Trump tax returns
Washington Post
California is the only state to pass such a bill, but the issue was before lawmakers in 20 states this year, said Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures. While bills in 10 states are still pending, those legislatures are on recess or done for the year so that legislation is effectively dead, Underhill said.

Iowa Caucus: Presidential candidate Tom Steyer stopping in Mason City, Osage
Globe Gazette
During the debates, Steyer raised the idea of term limits for members of Congress. Similar plans, in the past, have been struck down for being unconstitutional (in U.S. Term Limits, Inc v. Thorton) and reported on as actually increasing the influence of lobbyists in the political process (in 2006 paper by the National Conference of State Legislatures).
 
Lawmakers Advocate Easing Legal Burdens and Social Discriminations for Wisconsin’s Marijuana Offenders
Milwaukee Independent
In the past four years, at least 10 states have enacted legislation to make it easier or faster for residents to shield their past marijuana convictions from public view, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Hand-Held Cellphone Ban For Drivers Passes, Headed To Governor’s Desk
CBS Boston
Twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New Hampshire legislators make base annual salary of $100, lowest compensation in U.S.
The Conway Daily Sun
State lawmakers in New Hampshire now draw a base annual salary of $100, in addition to mileage or travel outlays that vary depending on travel distances, according to a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire legislators don't receive per-diem payments during sessions. Lawmakers’ salaries can be set by statute, legislatures or compensation commissions, according to the NCSL, which collects information yearly on state lawmaker pay and per diems in the 50 states. In addition to this compensation, legislators may also receive insurance and retirement benefits, as well as office and staffing allowances. (Cites NCSL data).

Nov. 20

Lawmakers approve ban on drivers using hand-held cellphones
The Advocate
Twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Hampshire legislators make base annual salary of $100, lowest compensation in U.S.
The Laconia Daily Sun
State lawmakers in New Hampshire now draw a base annual salary of $100, in addition to mileage or travel outlays that vary depending on travel distances, according to a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The single worst idea proposed at the Democratic debate
VOX
A 2006 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures examined states that imposed term limits on their state lawmakers. It found that term limits tend to increase the influence of lobbyists and lead to a “decline in civility” that “reduced legislators’ willingness and ability to compromise and engage in consensus building.”

W.Va. not alone in high CPS turnover rates
The Herald-Dispatch
Sharing the information was Nina Williams-Mbengue, senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures, who talked about how other states are trying to deal with the problem.

Nov. 19

Murray and South Salt Lake will have new female majority city councils next year
The Salt Lake Tribune
About one in five of Utah’s 104-member Legislature are women and five of them are women of color — a historic high, though Utah still ranks 36th among state legislatures for the percentage of women in office. The national average is 28.9 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Virginia Democrats’ top bill would create 45 days of early voting — by another name
The Virginia Pilot
Thirty-nine other states and the District of Columbia already offer some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some Ohio cities want to ban plastic bags, the state may stop them
Dayton Daily News
Eight state have statewide bans on single-use plastic bags and several large cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. have imposed bans or fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Meanwhile 14 states have enacted pre-emption laws, similar to what Ohio is considering, NCSL reported earlier this month.

Mass. Senate to vote on statewide plastic bag ban
Boston Business Journal
NCSL Information Cited.

Nov. 18

After it languished for years, lawmakers look set to pass ban on cell phone use while driving
Boston Globe
At least 20 other states that have banned hand-held phone use by all drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And at least 21 require the collection of demographic information for motor vehicle stops as of last year, according to the organization.

Don’t Wait for an Attack to Do Statewide Cybersecurity Training
State Tech
The National Conference of State Legislatures echoes the observation that most states offer cybersecurity training to workers and notes many require it. In a fact sheet, “State Cyber Training for State Employees,” NCSL enumerates the training initiative of each state, from training opportunities in California to Maryland's mandate that employees take a class with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Optimal Marijuana Crop Growth Using Gas Sensing
AZO Sensors
NCSL research cited.

Massachusetts Senate to vote on statewide plastic bag ban
Mass Live
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have banned single-use plastic bags: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Virginia election officials recommend 45 days of early voting
Virginia Mercury
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 states and the District of Columbia offer excuse-free early voting.

Mass. Senate to vote on statewide plastic bag ban
Boston Business Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have banned single-use plastic bags: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Actors who bring #MeToo to life are in demand
The Times of India
These videos don’t have a reputation as great cinema, which is not surprising considering that, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, they have a lot of legal ground to cover. In New York, for example, training programmes have to define sexual harassment, give information on harassment laws and lay out venues for handling complaints. There must also be interaction, so there are often little quizzes along the way to keep viewers paying attention.

Maryland Police Turning to Drones to Help With Investigations
Officer.com
At least 18 states have passed laws to require police to obtain a warrant before using a drone for surveillance or searches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

We must change our election primary systems to save our democracy
Valliant News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, . Just consider how many types of primaries we have: closed in nine states, partially closed in seven, partially open in six, open to unaffiliated voters in nine, open in 15 and top-two systems in four.

Nov. 17

Only 8 percent of Americans say marijuana should be completely illegal
The Washington Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, just four states — Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas — prohibit marijuana use in all forms.

Some Ohio cities want to ban plastic bags, the state may stop them
Dayton Daily News
Eight state have statewide bans on single-use plastic bags and several large cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. have imposed bans or fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Campaign kicks off for road-funding tax
Arkansas Online
Since 2013, 31 states and the District of Columbia have sought increases in fuel taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Missouri voters in 2018 blocked a planned increase in that state's motor fuel tax.

New Mexico cannabis backers tout rising national support
Santa Fe New Mexican
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Thirty-three states and D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also have legalized it for medical use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin Communities Back Bill To End Vaccine Waivers
Wisconsin Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states allow exemptions for immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.

Adoptees receive right to birth certificate under new New York law
ABC 7 NY
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about half of states still require a court order. Some critics worry about privacy rights of birth parents.

Nov. 15

The Most Watched Show at the Office? Sexual Harassment Training Videos
The New York Times
These videos do not, naturally, have a reputation as great cinema, which is not surprising considering that, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, they can have a lot of legal ground to cover.

NJ takes step to ban vaping, increase penalties and taxes
North Jersey.com
No state has yet banned flavored vaping liquids via Legislative action, according to Vitale and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State voters apparently reject affirmative action referendum
Peninsula Daily News
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Beaumont Sues Michigan’s Con Commission Over Rejected Oxford Hospital Plans
HealthLeaders
A federal law passed in 1974 prompted states to enact CON laws. At one point, every state but Louisiana had done so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The federal law was repealed, however, in 1987, and states began modifying or repealing their CON laws as well. But most states still have some form of CON program on the books, according to the NCSL.

PN Reader Helps Link to Argument that Daylight Saving Time Has Outlived Benefits; Illinois Senate Also Advances Argument
Positively Naperville
Last year, 19 bills were pending in state legislatures around the U.S. to end the biannual time change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None passed. Since the beginning of the year, state legislators have introduced an additional 20 bills on the topic, according to the NCSL. Eleven bills, including proposals in  and , would put states permanently on standard time; nine of the bills aim to make daylight saving time permanent, many of them by urging lawmakers in Washington to change the rules.

Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization
Pew Research Center
Meanwhile, 33 states – plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – have legalized the drug for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Secretary of State audit shows new voting machines accurately counted Bartow city's election
West Georgia Neighbor
Called a risk-limiting audit, it allowed them to check a random sample of the total ballots to "ensure the ratio of votes for each candidate is represented in the total compiled by the scanners used in tabulating ballots from early voting and Election Day" and verify the results were accurately derived, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Struggle, chaos, litigation, great cost: NM redistricting
New Mexico In Depth
In October, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report comparing New Mexico to other states with a wide variety of intermediate solutions.

Op-Ed: With corruption accelerating, slam the brakes on Illinois red-light cameras
The Center Square
The number of communities nationwide using red-light cameras has fallen 35% since 2012. And Texas Gov. Greg Abbot signed legislation this year that bans the cameras outright, joining seven other states nationwide that prohibit using red-light cameras to cite drivers, while another three states ban red-light cameras altogether, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 14

Washington voters reject affirmative action referendum
Washington Times
Washington is one of eight states - including California, Florida and Oklahoma - that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington’s ban came with 1998’s Initiative 200, which was approved by 58% of voters.

Next secretary of state wants to get rid of Mississippi's Jim Crow-era election law
The Clarion Ledger
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states allow recall elections, where residents can seek to hold a special recall election to remove an elected official from office.

Washington state voters reject affirmative action referendum
The Register-Guard
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Senator Powers chosen for class of emerging leaders
Clarksville Now
Senator Bill Powers (R-Clarksville) has been chosen to be part of the National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) class of emerging leaders.
Powers was recommended to the prestigious program by Lt. Governor Randy McNally. The program’s intensive training seminar will take place Thursday through Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nov. 13

In polarizing times, one issue can still unite lawmakers in Minnesota (and everywhere else): sticking it to the NCAA
MinnPost
Andrew Smalley, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state governments across the country, said prior to 2019 “we had not seen a lot of state legislative activity on this topic.”

Next secretary of state wants to get rid of Mississippi's Jim Crow-era election law
Clarion Ledger
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states allow recall elections, where residents can seek to hold a special recall election to remove an elected official from office.

Washington voters reject affirmative action
The Lewiston Tribune
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Affirmative action measure still losing in latest counts
Education Week
NCSL Information Cited.

Nov. 12

INSIDE POLITICS: Minimum wage battle comes to Fayetteville; Floyd faces NC House challenge
The Fayetteville Observer
Data published by the National Conference of State Legislatures says 29 states and Washington D.C. have higher minimum wages than the federal minimum. Some states increase their minimum wages automatically with inflation. Washington D.C. has the highest minimum wage at $14 per hour, the NCSL data says. This is scheduled to reach $15 on July 1 of next year. Across the country, several states are scheduled to increase their minimum wage to $15 over the next several years.

Why car rental bills are so high: taxes and sneaky fees
Pocono Record
For anyone who wants to see which states have the highest taxes that specifically target rental car customers, the National Conference of State Legislators has been keeping track. Alaska, Nevada, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Texas and Virginia are at the top of the list, all assessing 10% to 11.5%.

Central Jersey Daily Rundown, Monday, Nov. 11
My Central Jersey
Pinkin was also appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Opioid Policy Fellows Program.

That's It?! Nearly 60 Percent of Floridians Oppose Driver's Licenses For Illegal Aliens
MRC TV
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 13 states and the District of Columbia already offer driver’s licenses to “unauthorized immigrants.”

Nov. 11

In McKeesport, poverty talk goes over the "benefits cliff"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
His report notes that the National Conference of State Legislatures has assembled case studies of states that have sought to address the benefits cliff.

Maine lawmakers eye ways to boost their own pay
Portland Press-Herald
The state ranks low for lawmaker pay, according to a 2018 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a national nonprofit organization that provides research to lawmakers and the public. 

SC now prohibits teens under 16 from marrying, but some lawmakers want even stricter rules
The Post and Courier
Women make up less than 16 percent of the South Carolina General Assembly, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Minimum wage battle comes to Fayetteville; Floyd faces NC House challenge
The Fayetteville Observer
Data published by the National Conference of State Legislatures says 29 states and Washington D.C. have higher minimum wages than the federal minimum. Some states increase their minimum wages automatically with inflation.

Nov. 8

Affirmative action referendum losing in state
Peninsula Daily News
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington’s ban came with 1998’s Initiative 200, which was approved by 58 percent of voters.

Georgia Ranks In Top 20 Among Most Obese States
GPB News
The list ranks the obesity of the 50 states and Washington D.C. based on factors such as how many adults and children are overweight. The results of the study are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Census Bureau and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Federal hemp rule to be fin
Post Register
At least 47 states have passed laws to establish hemp production programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Exceptions include South Dakota, Idaho and Mississippi.

Put-in-Bay mayor race a close call
Sandusky Register
A voter is allowed to cast a provisional ballot if there’s a question about that voter’s eligibility, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

3 Things to Never Ask a Military Veteran in the Workplace
RealLeaders
According to NCSL.org, there are 18.8 million veterans living in the United States today, representing 7.6 percent of the country’s population.

GOP control expands in Mississippi Senate, steady in House
WREG
Mississippi had the lowest percentage of women lawmakers of any state legislature in the nation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures , at 13.8%. Overall nationwide, 29% of state lawmakers are women.

Nov. 7

Election Results 2019: Democrats Take Control of Virginia Legislature
Wall Street Journal
The GOP has a numeric advantage in Nebraska’s officially nonpartisan, unicameral Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington state voters reject affirmative action
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Washington is one of eight states that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Top 5 Obese and Overweight States in America
Atlanta Journal Constitution
WalletHub, a personal finance site, recently released its annual list of the “Fattest States in America.” To determine the results, its experts pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, CDC and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington state to decide affirmative action referendum
Education Week
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nov. 6

Polls Open in States Facing Tests of Party Control
The Wall Street Journal
“There is a little extra heat on elections in 2019 and 2020 because of redistricting,” said Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. “If you have a trifecta, in most states you get to draw the map.”

Labor’s next $15 minimum wage: Fair scheduling for shift workers
Politico
Bills were introduced but failed in both Maine and West Virginia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Election official rejects attempt to recall Alaska's governor
CBS News
Two governors — Gray Davis in California in 2003 and Lynn Frazier in North Dakota in 1921 — have been recalled by voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington voters to decide affirmative action referendum
Q13 Fox News
Washington is one of eight states — including California, Florida and Oklahoma — that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cost-Sharing Features Can Help State Pensions Manage Economic Uncertainty
PEW Trusts
On Aug. 5, Pew joined Bob Conlin, secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Employee Trust Funds, and Erica Nale, assistant director of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, at the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, to explore how other states can use such features to plan for economic volatility.

Nov. 5

Decision expected on push to recall Alaska governor
Washington Post
Two governors — Gray Davis in California in 2003 and Lynn Frazier in North Dakota in 1921 — have been recalled by voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2012, then-Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election in Wisconsin.

Study: Religious vaccine exemptions in kindergartners on the rise
WWMT
45 states allow religious exemptions to school vaccination laws. 15 allow personal belief exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures… According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Michigan allows philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.

With count uncertain, voters will weigh Victims Right ballot question
Meadville Tribune
Voters Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada and Oklahoma added Marsy’s Law amendments to their constitutions in 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

More than 256,000 NYers took advantage of new early voting law
Newsday
Nationwide, 39 states offer early voting and Delaware and Virginia have approved the measure to begin in the coming years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington state voting on affirmative action referendum
KIRO7
Washington is one of eight states - including California, Florida and Oklahoma - that ban affirmative action in state government and public colleges and universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Raise the age for tanning beds? NY bill would increase tanning age from 18 to 21
Rochester First
Health advocates are asking Mississippi lawmakers to ban people younger than 18 from using tanning beds. They say teenagers put themselves at risk of cancer while tanning for proms or other events. The District of Columbia and 17 states, including Louisiana and Texas, have already enacted such a ban, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Amid Recall Fight, Alaska Governor Cites Trump
Newser
Two governors—Gray Davis in California in 2003 and Lynn Frazier in North Dakota in 1921—have been recalled by voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Scott Walker survived a recall election in Wisconsin in 2012.

From Math To Economics
The Intelligencer
Of the three states in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, West Virginia is the only state with a severance tax. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pennsylvania has an impact fee for each well. Ohio’s severance tax on natural gas is just 2.5 center per MCF of gas, or 0.37 percent.

Ethical and legal guardrails will help avoid an AV nightmare
ZD Net
The regulatory environment is different state by state. The National Conference of State Legislatures has information on laws, legislation, and executive orders that affect AVs in all 50 states.

Switching from math to economics
The Weirton Daily Times
Of the three states in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, West Virginia is the only state with a severance tax. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pennsylvania has an impact fee for each well. Ohio’s severance tax on natural gas is just 2.5 cents per MCF of gas, or 0.37 percent.

North Carolina redistricting cases could offer map to others
The Laurinburg Exchange
North Carolina and Pennsylvania are among 30 states with similar state constitutional requirements for “free” elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 18 also require “equal” or “open” elections, and 15 further protect the right to vote from interference by “civil or military” powers.

Colorado’s plan to avoid a water shortage needs money. Is a tax on sports betting the answer?
The Colorado Independent
Thanks to last year’s Supreme Court ruling, Colorado could become the 19th state, not including DC, where sports betting is legal, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Personal Exemption Bans Don't Stop Vaccine Doubters
WebMD
Five states currently bar any nonmedical exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They include California and New York, where large measles outbreaks prompted lawmakers to toughen their rules.

Nov. 4

Alaska governor cites Trump as he faces recall campaign
Washington Post
Two governors — Gray Davis in California in 2003 and Lynn Frazier in North Dakota in 1921 — have been recalled by voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2012, then-Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election in Wisconsin.

PA lawmaker wants to stop changing the clocks for Daylight Saving Time
FOX43.com
According to National Conference Of State Legislatures, 26 states have proposed legislation to lock the clocks in one way or another.

Michigan bills would let residents apply for driver's licenses regardless of immigration status
MLive.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws on the books that don’t require applicants for a driver’s license to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

State judges in North Carolina strike down dozens of legislative districts, stop use of congressional district map
Santa Fe New Mexican
North Carolina and Pennsylvania are among 30 states with similar state constitutional requirements for “free” elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 18 also require “equal” or “open” elections, and 15 further protect the right to vote from interference by “civil or military” powers.

Lawmakers debate the benefits and potential power of a Statehouse 'CEO'
vtdigger.org
The recommendation came from the Legislative Branch Workforce Comparative Evaluation report, produced in March 2019 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The report analyzed the organizational structure of Vermont’s Statehouse, and made suggestions about how it could be improved. It also made recommendations that the Legislature hire a human resources director and add more tech support.

North Carolina redistricting cases could offer map to others
Minneapolis Star Tribune
North Carolina and Pennsylvania are among 30 states with similar state constitutional requirements for "free" elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 18 also require "equal" or "open" elections, and 15 further protect the right to vote from interference by "civil or military" powers.

Nov. 1

$90M for Voting Machines, Mail-In Ballots Signed Into Law
U.S. News & World Report
Under the legislation, voters can register up to 15 days before the election. Among states, Pennsylvania's long-standing 30-day deadline is the furthest out, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wolf had initially pushed for election-day voter registration, which some states allow.

Why car rental bills are so high: taxes and sneaky fees
Los Angeles Times
For anyone who wants to see which states have the highest taxes that specifically target rental car customers, the National Conference of State Legislators has been keeping track. Alaska, Nevada, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Texas and Virginia are at the top of the list, all assessing 10% to 11.5%.

Pennsylvania Overhauls Election Rules Ahead of 2020
Wall Street Journal
Pennsylvania joins 28 states and Washington, D.C., in allowing no-excuse absentee voting, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Three other states mail out ballots to eligible voters, and Hawaii is moving to all-mail ballots next year, the group says.
Pennsylvania continues to lag in some areas, such as its lack of early voting. Forty-one states allow—or will allow by 2022—voters to cast a ballot in person during a set period of time before Election Day, the NCSL says. 

Fulcher supports Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
KPVI
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho reports 30 percent women representation in the legislature, ahead of the national average of state legislatures at 28.7 percent for 2019.

Payday Lending — Regulatory Reform and Emerging Competition
Inside Sources
At the state-level, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that as of May 2019, 37 states have statutes that allow for small-dollar lending, while 11 states do not have specific small-dollar lending statutory provisions and/or require lenders to comply with interest rate caps on loans. Only five states — Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, New Mexico and North Carolina — and the District of Columbia prohibit small-dollar lending.

USDA finalizes hemp farming regulations: What producers need to know
Yahoo News
Idaho, South Dakota and Mississippi are the only states in the U.S. that haven't passed legislation for hemp production programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Felon voting push sparks uproar
Press-Republican
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there has been a national trend to expand the pool of registered voters by amending laws that disenfranchised those convicted of crimes.

Voters to decide countywide, town races
Clinton Record
All but nine states that allow in-person voting ahead of Election Day, though Delaware and Virginia have passed such laws but will not implement early voting this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Workplace harassment laws getting stricter: What CFOs must know
CFO Daily News
And in 2019, 29 states introduced 100 pieces of sexual harassment legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Move to let jailed felons vote in N.Y. sparks uproar
The Daily Star
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there has been a national trend to expand the pool of registered voters by amending laws that disenfranchised those convicted of crimes.

USDA hemp rules calm Arkansas farmers, processors
Texarkana Gazette
At least 47 states have now adopted industrial hemp programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump effort to clear path for gas pipelines garners broad state-level objections
SP Global
The Western Governors' Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Association of Clean Water Administrators and Association of State Wetland Managers were concerned their recommendations for potential process improvements were not addressed in the proposal.