NCSL in the News

NCSL in the News Archive: October 2010

Oct. 29

Discussions on African American and Women's vote
NCSL Senior Fellow Tim Storey on state reapportionment. CSPAN

Ballot measures keep municipal-bond holders in limbo
“Initiatives got started as a way to get around state government,” said Jennie Bowser, an election analyst at NCSL. “So anti-government, tax-capping proposals are what keep the initiative process going.” MarketWatch

Government procurement 2.0
As just one sign of the impact, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has reported that the 50 states have seen a collective budget gap of more than $300 billion since the economy first tipped into recession in December 2007. Supply and Demand Chain

Six candidates vie in District 13
She has been recognized for her legislative work by the N.D. State Bar Association, N.D. Medical Association, ARC of N.D., National Federation of Independent Businesses, N.D. Township Officers Association, and Nurse Practitioners, among others; and has been active in the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving as national chair of the NCSL Health Committee in 2009. West Fargo Pioneer

Beverly candidates battle over time they will devote to position
Massachusetts is one of 10 states that have what could be called a full-time legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. About 43 percent of Massachusetts legislators hold other jobs, according to the NCSL. Among those who do, attorney is the No. 1 profession. Salem News

Oct. 28

Many decisions for US voters
"It costs a lot of money to get an initiative on the ballot," said Jeannie Drage Bowser, a ballot initiative expert with the bipartisan National Conference on State Legislatures. News 24 Chicago

Michigan losing its voice
Michigan and four other Great Lakes states are forecast to lose at least one seat in Congress, according to a report by Election Data Services for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Gross Pointe News

Recall amendment would apply only to governor
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states permit the recall of state officials. Illinois Journal Star

Editorial: NJ should close up dual-income pol loopholes
Twenty-five states ban dual office holding of any kind and nine states ban legislators from holding another government job, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Jersey.com

Failed governors in Iowa to support one of their own
When Terry Branstad was governor, a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that Iowa was one of three states with the worst financial condition. Editorial in Iowa Politics.com

Oct. 27

Numbers game shows women at risk of losing seats in legislature
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, women constitute 24.5 percent of the 7,382 state lawmakers nationwide. Metro West Daily

Idaho candidates' views on collecting taxes on Internet sales
One report produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures earlier this year estimates that Idaho could bring in an additional $103 million in revenue by collecting taxes on Internet sales. Idaho Reporter.com

Alabama Republicans look to make history on Tuesday
"If Alabama were to move to the GOP column, it would reflect a 20-year trend of Southern legislatures re-aligning under the Republican banner," Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told Stateline.org. AL.com blog

US voters to ponder climate, cannabis and shariah law
"Cutting taxes and restricting government in general has long been a popular topic of the initiative process, and that's reflected in this year's crop of ballot measures," Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, told Bloomberg financial news service. Monsters and Critics

Streamlined sales tax effort stalls, for now
A number of organizations have signaled their support for the legislation, including the National Association of Counties, National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and National League of Cities. The City Wire

St. Louis businessman Rex Sinquefield gives millions to Missouri campaigns
Missouri is one of six states that place no limit on campaign contributions from individuals, corporations or political action committees, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbia Missourian
 

Oct. 26

California pre-existing condition plan a go
While states were supposed to have the pools operating by July 1, only a few met the deadline, said Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Francisco Chronicle

For Democrats: Red alert in the states
State legislatures enact 20,000 new laws and manage 1.5 trillion in budgets annually, according to Tim Storey, a leading expert on state politics at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Real Clear Politics

M-Powering youth to be conscientious citizens
Project Citizen, a program developed by the Center for Civic Education and the National Conference of State Legislatures encourages students to become active and educated citizens. Mount Airy News

GOP poised to win Congress redistricting edge, too
"There's a big historic trend that points to this being a Republican election," said Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's tough for the party in the White House to win in midterm elections at the state legislative level, and Democrats are really at a peak of seats right now."Associated Press

State races to redraw lines of power in Washington
Big Republican wins in state houses could give them control of the gerrymandering for about 165 of the 435 seats in the U.S. House, compared with just 30 or so for the Democrats, a report by the National Council of State Legislatures said. Reuters

Gunman charged with attempted fetal homicide for near abortion
At least 38 states have fetal homicide laws increasing penalties for crimes against pregnant women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Brooklyn Eagle

Perovich takes on Jungbauer in Senate District 48
Mike also serves on the National Conference of State Legislatures standing committee on Agriculture and Energy; the American Legislative Exchange Council’s standing committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy and is a member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. ABC Newspapers

Unsustainable at every level: Congress fiddles and we get burned
With no more stimulus money available to them and, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with the states facing an additional $28 billion of budgetary shortfalls, they are in crisis mode. Big Government

Ohio case raises questions about homicide charges for coercing abortion
Thirty-eight states have laws that increase the penalties for crimes against pregnant women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Medical News Today

Texas pushes the tax envelope at Amazon
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that over $8.5 billion in internet retail sales tax shall go unpaid for 2010. Blogging Stocks

M-Powering youth to be conscientious citizens
Rather than stopping with what is talked about in the textbook, these students have taken up the challenge of Project Citizen, a program developed by the Center for Civic Education and the National Conference of State Legislatures that encourages students to become active and educated citizens. The Mount Airy News

October 25

'Plantations' in Rhode Island's formal name may go
It's one of 160 ballot questions that voters in 37 states will resolve when they enter voting booths Nov. 2, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Maine law set foreclosure crisis in motion
“States don't want to get in the way of the home-buying process, but they do want to have some back-stops and rules in there to make sure that the process is done correctly and that consumers are being protected,” says Heather Morton, who analyzes mortgage and foreclosure legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “The legislators are trying to balance those needs.” Stateline.org

Health care overhaul depends on states’ insurance exchanges
In Massachusetts, State Senator Richard T. Moore, a Democrat who is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said: “We took a much more governmental approach. But both models make sense. Small states might find Utah is a good model. Bigger industrialized states might go the route we went.”  New York Times and the Virgin Island Times

States face budget holes if U.S. capital-gains tax doesn't rise
At least 31 states and Puerto Rico project fiscal 2012 deficits totaling $73.5 billion, according to an April report by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Legal synthetic canabanoid is 'hit' at local head shops
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states are considering legislation, including Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Florida. Other states like Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri have already declared Spice to be illegal under state law. Indiana is scheduled to join that list on Jan. 1, 2011. BG News

Legalized pot, tax cuts on ballots as 36 states plan referendums
"Cutting taxes and restricting government in general has long been a popular topic of the initiative process, and that's reflected in this year's crop of ballot measures," said Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Austin American Statesman

Buck digs deeper into views on climate change
He pointed to a National Conference of State Legislatures report that said Colorado's economy would lose $1 billion annually because of climate change. Coloradoan

Internet helps individuals get involved with redistricting
Tim Storey, an elections expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said community involvement is the biggest change since the last redistricting cycle. He attributed this change to more accessible technology. InfoZine (Kansas City)

Voters to weigh in on bail-denial measure
At least a dozen other states, including California and Florida, have constitutional clauses or statutes that allow denying bail for crimes other than capital crimes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Post Intellgencer

2010 THE VOTE: Candidates flush for Election Day rush
Texas is among 13 states with limited or no campaign contribution limits, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures released earlier this year. In Texas, individuals, political action committees and certain partnerships can give an unlimited amount to nonjudicial candidates. Direct corporate contributions are outlawed, though. San Angelo Standard Times and The Eagle

Voters to weigh in on bail-denial measure
At least a dozen other states, including California and Florida, have constitutional clauses or statutes that allow denying bail for crimes other than capital crimes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bellingham Herald

Coalition needed to reform R.I. government
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are only 16 states that still have some form of straight-ticket voting. Providence Daily Dose

Charlie Crist claims Florida Legislature was first to reject investment in companies with Iran ties
Bills yanking state pension funds from countries suspected of engaging in genocide or sponsored terror became so popular, the National Conference of State Legislatures kept a list. Politifact.com

Number of women in state legislatures to stay even or increase
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 1,808 women legislators currently serve in the country’s statehouses. That number equals a total of 24.5 percent of all legislative seats (7,382), a ratio which the NCSL says, “…has increased by less than 4 percentage points over the past sixteen years. Thirty-six women serve in the legislative bodies of the United States Territories and the District of Columbia.” Sallys List

Various tax measures on November 2 ballots in several states
The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a list indicating tax and budget measures under consideration in 16 states. 21 Century Taxation Blog

Denise Merrill outlines Secretary of the State campaign
Merrill has served as a board member of the Connecticut League of Women Voters, the UConn Alumni Association, and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, has been active in the National Conference of State Legislatures for many years and served on the national board, and co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. She is still active in a number of local, professional and civic organizations. Register Citizen

ELECTION '10: State ballot initiatives give voters a say
Oklahomans will consider Question 746, which if passed would make Oklahoma the eighth state to pass a law requiring photo identification to vote, according to stats form the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 18 states require identification but don't require a photo. Baptist Press

Congressional candidates face off in Barnstable
FACT: By 2002, Ms. Lewis’s last year in office, the state only had $1.3 billion in its rainy day account, down slightly from a peak of $1.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 (National Association of State Budget Officers, National Conference of State Legislatures, Massachusetts state budget data) Cape News

In House race, an issue of names?
Civic experience: Served in Washington, D.C., as an adviser in the Harrison Institute for Public Law & Policy, the National Conference of State Legislatures. Herald Tribune

When Nightline and ABC News paint with a broad brush
Sprint was one of 95 companies and trade associations who sponsored the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) meeting which included over 150 sessions on state budgets, state transportation, state welfare and health programs as well as the reception at Churchill Downs. As part of the NCSL meeting, there was one other social event besides the Churchill Downs reception. That’s it. John Taylor PR Blog

Anti-incumbent mood could help republicans in state legislative races
In the non-presidential-year elections over the past 110 years, the party that was not in power in the White House has virtually always won seats in the state legislative races, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Morning Call

Entergy study finds environmental risks could cost Gulf Coast $700B
The National Conference of State Legislatures and AWF are hosting the first-ever Gulf Coastal Policy Forum Thursday. Power Online

Questions raised in Ohio gunpoint abortion case
At least 38 states have fetal homicide laws increasing penalties for crimes against pregnant women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press in KTTC-TV, TMC Net, FOX News, KTVN-TV

Tea Party-backed Ken Buck steps up his denial of global warming
Buck’s team is trying to make the economic argument for denying climate change, a clear contradiction to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which points out that “Colorado could be affected by more than $1 billion in losses due to impacts on tourism, forestry, water resources and human health as a result of climate change.” Mother Nature Network

Oct. 22

Questions raised in Ohio gunpoint abortion case
At least 38 states have fetal homicide laws increasing penalties for crimes against pregnant women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

As redistricting looms, Dems step up the fight for state legislatures
"The pendulum is kind of at its apex, and it's ready to swing back," says Tim Storey, senior fellow at the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Time

1 in 3 legislators holds extra public job
Half the states ban dual office-holding of any kind, and most of the rest restrict the type of elected office that can be held by lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. NorthJersey.com

Buck digs deeper into views on climate change
Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid pointed to a National Conference of State Legislatures report that said Colorado's economy would lose $1 billion annually because of climate change. The Coloradoan

In House race, an issue of names?
Zeeshan Javed Hafeez. Civic experience: Served in Washington, DC, as an adviser in the Harrison Institute for Public Law & Policy, the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Vote early, vote easy
Illinois is one of 32 states and the District of Columbia that allows early voting, and one of 30 states and the District of Columbia that offers no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kane County Chronicle

Oct. 21

Five ex-governors hope to catch on again
"They clearly demonstrated some level of success the first time or they wouldn't have made it through the primary process," said Tim Storey, senior fellow and elections analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Times

Collect existing state taxes
The National Conference of State Legislatures projects that states will lose an estimated $8.6 billion in 2010 from failing to collect existing sales taxes. Opinion in Hattiesburg American

Medical marijuana not a burning issue for lawmakers
Fifteen states and Washington, D.C., currently have laws allowing for medical marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. State Journal

Government to rescue hospitals on Medicaid bed tax
The budget was passed long before a stimulus extension for Medicaid was contemplated, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Columbus Business First (blog)

Gulf Coast damages near $350B by 2030, report says
The National Conference of State Legislatures and AWF host the first-ever Gulf Coastal Policy Forum on Oct. 21. Houston Business Journal

Top federal prosecutor vows crackdown on corrupt state legislators
When more than 4000 lawmakers, vendors, lobbyists, and legislative staff gathered for the annual convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures only 26 journalists – most of them local media -- registered to attend. KBOI (Idaho)

Legal pot, tax cuts on ballots as 36 states weigh referendums
“Cutting taxes and restricting government in general has long been a popular topic of the initiative process, and that’s reflected in this year’s crop of ballot measures,” said Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Federal health care restricts Md. pension reform
Maryland pays more into employee health plans than 28 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Examiner

Ohioan pleads not guilty in gunpoint abortion case
At least 38 states including Ohio have so-called fetal homicide laws increasing penalties for crimes against pregnant women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press
 

Oct. 20

Colorado's House may end up tied. What then?
Only three states have enacted legislation to address tied chambers, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst for National Conference of State Legislatures. State Bill Colorado

Constitutional right to hunt, fish on four state ballots
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions. Los Angeles Times blog

John Baer: That gut-gnaw: It's the election. Oh, it's Pennsylvania ...
Two-thirds of the states and the District of Columbia allow early voting, usually during a two-week period leading up to Election Day, according to National Conference of State Legislatures data. Column in Philadelphia Daily News

Collect existing sales taxes rather than levy new ones?
The National Conference of State Legislatures projects that states will lose an estimated $8.6 billion in 2010 from failing to collect existing sales taxes. Jackson Clarion Ledger

Boscobel prison inmates learn civic skills through State Bar-sponsored Project Citizen program
Project Citizen is administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education in cooperation with the National Conference of State Legislatures.State Bar of Wisconsin

Tax measures on ballots reflect U.S. economic unease
"It's the economy for sure," said Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Compared to all the other states, NJ doing OK
Many states have said they expect it will take until 2015 to get back to revenue levels they had before the recession, but New Jersey has not issued a forecast, according to an earlier report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asbury Park Press (blog)

Revenue rises for 2nd quarter in US states: report
Two weeks ago, the National Conference of State Legislatures said fiscal 2010 was likely the "trough for state revenues." Reuters

Oct. 19

Ballot measures reflect states'shaky economies
“It's all funding,” said Jennie Drage Bowser, a senior fellow in the Legislative Management Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Education Week News

Anti-incumbent mood could help Republicans in state legislative races
In the non-presidential-year elections over the past 110 years, the party that was not in power in the White House has virtually always won seats in the state legislative races,, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Los Angeles Times

Strategy session: Campaigns stress turnout in final two weeks
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states offer some kind of early voting. Fox News

NEAL: Voters: Gerrymander no more
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have implemented redistricting reform in the form of non-political commissions. Opinion in Evening News and Tribune

Editorial: Straight out, take the time to vote each race
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is increasingly an anomaly in allowing the straight-ticket vote. Dallas Morning News

The case that could end cyberbullying
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes, "Forty-seven states now have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within stalking or harassment laws." Salon

Oct. 18

Costs of health care law adding up
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, chairman of the Health Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said he expects that lawmakers will have many questions about the budget requests. Omaha World Herald

Republicans hope To gain 15 to 20 seats in state house; Democrats not conceding to national republican headwind
In the non-presidential-year elections over the past 110 years, the party that was not in power in the White House has virtually always won seats in the state legislative races, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hartford Courant Blog

Ehrlich stings unions with pension plan
"The political question is, why would you do something that would be wildly unpopular with employees when there is no short-term gain for doing so?" asked Ron Snell, a pension expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures (cited incorrect in the article). Washington Examiner

While healthcare debate rages, Kansas officials enact reforms
Dick Cauchi, a health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says some states have adopted measures to reflect opposition to the health reform law, but it remains to be seen what impact those actions will have. “There is a raging debate about how much a state can contradict federal law,” Cauchi said. Lawrence Journal World

Lockheed-to-tenet tumble showing contractors see election peril
Some states already counted on the money when they drew up their budgets, and dropping the funding would add to nationwide shortfalls projected at $84 billion, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg News

Tennessee General Assembly website receives top honor
This recognition as a leading state website, www.capitol.tn.gov, comes on the heels of two awards last year: the Online Democracy Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which ranked Tennessee the best legislative website in the nation, and also a Digital Governance Award for Leadership in Digital Access. Market Watch

California first to OK insurance exchange outlined under health system reform
Some states already have laid foundations to adopt insurance exchanges. At least 17 states -- including California -- considered health reform legislation between 2006 and 2009 that would have created exchanges, said Laura Tobler, a health policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. American Medical News

Governor's 2010: Views on abortion
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states have adopted fetal homicide laws. Sun Journal

Leaders seek ideal financial formula
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states have some form of a severance tax on resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, timber and uranium. Maryland has a severance tax on clams and oysters.iStockAnalyst

State ballot question 3
Nevada could have collected more than $114 million last year in sales taxes on Internet purchases, and the potential take is expected to increase to more than $330 million by 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Las Vegas Journal Review

Leaders seek ideal gas drilling financial formula
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states have some form of a severance tax on resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, timber and uranium. Maryland has a severance tax on clams and oysters. Centre Daily

Marijuana alternative's popularity soars
At least 10 states, including Georgia and Tennessee, have already banned spice, and four more have legislation pending to ban it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. FayObserver.com

Ballot questions on Nov. 2
Ten states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions, with Vermont’s assurance going back to 1777, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The nine other states, ranging from Georgia to Montana, have adopted the rights since 1996. The State

Some say state’s “Taxachusetts” nickname no longer applies
Arturo Perez, a tax expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, says the tax picture can be more complicated than comparing percentages. “It’s just one part of the general tax base,” said Perez. “There are also local option sales taxes which can sometimes multiply the rate so you have to look at the big picture.” Patriot Ledger in Enterprise News

Hunting, a right we need to keep?
The National Conference of State Legislatures said Vermont ensured the right to hunt and fish the earliest — in 1777 — while nine other states have since adopted the language since 1996. Two additional states — California and Rhode Island — have provisions for guaranteeing the right to fish only. Stuttgart Daily Leader

Berkshire billionaire's son battles soros on California ballot
Commissions redraw legislative districts or assist lawmakers in doing so in 21 other U.S. states, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Ben Ginsberg: A Rick Snyder victory could mean Obama loses Michigan in 2012
But National Conference of State Legislatures analysts don't believe Michigan is in danger of losing two. MLive.com

Pension benefits for current employees could face legal challenges
Ronald Snell, director of the state services division for the National Conference of State Legislatures, wrote in a July report that "More states have enacted significant retirement legislation in 2010 than in any other year in memory," but, as his October report demonstrates, the vast majority of that legislation concerns plans for new hires. Huffington Post

Oct. 15

Right to hunt, fish on ballot
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions. Vermont’s provisions go back to 1777 but the rest have all been put in place since 1996. Manila Bulleting

Voters: Gerrymander no more
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have implemented redistricting reform in the form of non-political commissions. The Star Press

Republican wave expected in statehouses
However, Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says that hold may not last. Stateline.org

Neb. senator seeks talks in Congress on fetal pain
Ten states — Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah — address the idea of fetal pain in counseling information provided to women seeking abortions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In some states, that information only goes to women who are at least 20 weeks pregnant. Associated Press

US state and local governments feel squeeze
State lawmakers alone expect that they will have closed multiyear budget gaps of more than $500bn by the time the effects of the downturn dissipate, according to a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Financial Times

November Initiatives
This report highlights key issues and provides a state-by-state list all of ballot measures for the year. For additional nonpartisan information, see the Initiative & Referendum Institute, Ballotpedia and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politics and Society

State could end gerrymandering
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have implemented redistricting reform in the form of non-political commissions. Courier Press

Nebraska law affirms fetus can feel pain
Ten states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah -- address the notion of fetal pain in counseling information that is given to women who seek abortions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Christian Broadcast Network

Satellite TV providers don't seek tax refund
Fifteen states, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association are among those who have signed on in support of Ohio in the case. In its brief, the bipartisan governors' group said it's interested in the case because it "calls into question the ability of all 50 states to raise revenue." TMCNet

Bill Gates at the National Conference of State Legislatures
“Difficult times can spark great reforms.” Bill Gates speaks to state legislators on the importance of investing in education–even in the middle of a recession. Lawdastic.com

Oct. 14

Muni bond issues worth $16.8 billion facing U.S. voter approval next month
Statewide bond questions also are on the decline because of federal stimulus payments to the states, said Jennie Bowser, an elections-policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, based in Denver. President Barack Obama’s $814 billion economic-stimulus package included money for capital projects typically financed with bond debt. Bloomberg News

Lawyer: Satellite providers don't seek tax refund
Fifteen states, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association are among those who have signed on in support of Ohio in the case. In its brief, the bipartisan governors' group said it's interested in the case because it "calls into question the ability of all 50 states to raise revenue." Associated Press

Right to hunt, fish on ballot in four U.S. states
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions. Vermont's provisions go back to 1777 but the rest have all been put in place since 1996. Reuters, Africa

Has reform improved health care yet?
Nordquist, who is the chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Health Committee, created a similar site last year for voters to discuss their budget concerns ahead of a special session on budget cuts. California Health Line

Former U.S. Rep. McCarthy Succumbs To Alzheimer’s
Her election to the seat came after she served as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures in that same year. The Kansas City Call

Delegate Scott's Richmond report
NCSL hoped that these discussions would cause re-examination of health policies in four states – and perhaps beyond. Falls Church News Press

Oct. 13

Gerrymander no more
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have implemented redistricting reform in the form of non-political commissions. Some commissions draw up the plans, others advise the legislatures and a few merely serve as a backup if the legislature fails to come up with something. Opinion in the Indianapolis Star Tribune

Edwards event to explore ballot measures
Jones worked for 24 years at the National Conference of State Legislatures, where he was director of the Legislative Programs Division. In that role, he wrote extensively about topics such as management, legislative operations, term limits, staffing and oversight. Vail Daily News

Reform coming to government pensions
This year alone, 16 states have slashed benefits for government employees or forced them to personally increase their own contributions to their retirement accounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fox News Blog

California's recreational pot proposition
California has already downgraded possession of an ounce or less to a mere infraction, and is one of 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have already legalized medical marijuana in some form. NCSL cited as the source. Care2 Blog

Homeowners deserve a foreclosure freeze
Treasury and the major banks should begin work with state legislator groups (the American Legislative Exchange Council and National Conference of State Legislators in particular) to work towards harmonizing state-related foreclosure laws. Frum Forum

GOP could crack Democratic supermajority in Oregon
Oregon Democrats must also counter national historic trends. Since 1900, the party in the White House has lost state legislative seats every election except 1934 and 2002, said Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. KVAL

Enforcement issues complicate Mississippi's efforts on texting drivers
Thirty states have passed texting bans for all drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, laws were enacted this year in Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming, said Anne Teigen, an NCSL policy specialist. Enforcement Journal

Preventing HPV
In February 2009, New York became one of 19 states to enact legislation that requires immunization against HPV to be administered to children in the same manner and on the same time schedule as other immunizations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. My South Side Stand

Oct 12

A lone stance on ad spending
At least nine of the 24 states with campaign laws threatened by Citizens United have repealed or suspended them, according to Jennie Bowser of the National Conference of State  Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

University of Wisconsin program melds neuroscience with public policy
In some cases, children as young as 10 can be tried in adult court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Balanced budget item is the first nonbinding referendum ever on statewide ballot
Florida's non-binding referendum is the only one on the ballot in the nation this election as well as the only measure dealing with federal spending, according to National Conference of State Legislatures elections analyst Jennie Bowser. Palm Beach Post

Oct. 11

Immigration advocacy goes local
In the first half of the year, 44 states passed 191 immigration laws that included restrictions to public benefits for illegal immigrants, penalties for businesses that hired them and sanctions against human trafficking, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Spice: The new high
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction cautions that little research has been conducted on spice's effect on humans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Report: Idaho could bring in $100 million collecting online sales taxes
That figure comes from a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Idaho Reporter

Shape Of Political Boundaries At Stake This Election Year
Tim Storey is the redistricting expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures. WFAE.org

Md. retirement fund: Paying for poor performance
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have reduced benefits for employees or increased required contributions this year. Baltimore Sun

Analysis: Enforcement big factor in texting debate
Thirty states have passed texting bans for all drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Business Week

Are your state lawmakers worth $9.8 million?
More than 2900 people last year — the most of any legislative body in the nation, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures' survey. Pocono Record

Jobs, economy dominate Assembly race
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states currently operate on two-year budget cycles. Napa Valley Register

Burlington teens weigh in on 17-year-old vote in primaries
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the 11 states that permit 17-year-olds to vote in primaries are Connecticut...BurlingtonFreePress.com

The coming year might bring best chance for ethics reform
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, of all the states with ethics commissions, Alabama's is one of three that does not have subpoena...Anniston Star

Pension cuts: Will they stick this time?
California is the 16th state this year to take steps to curb pension costs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fresno Bee

Ballot vote targets hunting, fishing
right to hunt and fish in their constitutions with Vermont's assurance going back to 1777, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Myrtle Beach Sun News

Reapportionment: Slight Population Shifts Complicate a Zero-Sum Game
The newest study, produced by Brace for a National Conference of State Legislatures...CQPolitics.com

Hot Oregon legislative races put Democratic supermajority in play
... said Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. OregonLive.com

State ranked 30th in “Best and Worst Run” study
Other sources used in the study were Standard & Poor's, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the National Conference of State Legislators. Montana Watchdog

House District 66: Incumbent Brunswick rep faces 2 challengers
He is chairman of the Veterans Caucus and vice chairman of the National Council of State Legislatures. The Forecaster

Oct. 8

Rare law inspires NY confab on cleanser contents
It's apparently the only measure of its kind in the country, according to groups involved in the issue and the National Conference of State Legislatures. BusinessWeek

Kentucky teachers encouraged to apply for free civic ed training
The project is a collaborative effort of the Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University and the National Conference of State Legislatures. AM News

Maryland joins crowd of states considering pension changes
To help reporters with their coverage of the 2010 election, The National Conference of State Legislatures has launched its StateVote website. Citybizlist (press release)

School Bullying: Managing the risk; information and resources
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) notes that since 2001, more than half the states have enacted legislation to combat bullying. VillageSoup Belfast

Two constitutional amendments on ballot
The National Conference of State Legislatures has started a blog called Prop 50 which will track and discuss the initiatives prior to Election Day. Hawaii 24/7

Iowa parents say body piercing needs regulation
Several states regulate body piercing, with most requiring some type of parental consent for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mason City Globe Gazette

Vote 2010: Culver, Branstad clash over budget, economy
"The National Conference of State Legislatures ranked Iowa as the third-worst managed state when Terry Branstad was governor," Culver said. Chicago Tribune

Education not the only priority in Oklahoma
However, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports Oklahoma is right in line with the rest of the nation. NewsOK.com

Oct. 7

Iowa Poll: Attitudes shift on immigration
All told, states enacted 314 new laws and resolutions involving immigrants and refugees in the first six months of 2010 — a 21 percent leap over the same period in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Des Moines Register

Protecting right to hunt, fish on Arkansas ballot
Ten states already have the right to hunt and fish in their constitution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Leader

Years in Congress ended on troubled note
She was president of the National Conference of State Legislatures before winning election to Congress in 1994 to represent a district that included Kansas City. Washington Post

New York state moving toward disclosure of cleanser contents under rare 1971 law
It's apparently the only measure of its kind in the country, according to groups involved in the issue and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Canadian Business

California ballot question would suspend GHG emissions rule
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the state has had three periods since 1970 when the unemployment rate was at or below 5.5 percent for at least four consecutive quarters. The rate was below 5.5 percent when AB32 became law. Land Line Magazine

McCarthy's trailblazing career was no bed of roses
A woman who became president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas City Star

Oregon's Measure 71 asks voters to approve annual legislative sessions
In the 1960s, 31 states -- including Oregon -- had legislatures that convened every two years. Now five -- including Oregon -- have biennial sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Oregon Live.com

OUR VIEW: An expensive waste of time
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow for voter recall of elected officials to varying degrees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Journal Standard

Deb Heinrich talks about job growth, tax reform, government efficiency
She has also been recognized by the National Conference of State Legislatures for her work as a founding member of the Results Based Accountability Legislative Task Force. The Day

Oct. 6

Voters face decisions on a mix of issues
“I’ve never seen a fiscal impact comparable to what would happen if all three of these were to pass,“ said Jennie D. Bowser, who studies ballot initiatives for the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times

U.S. cities increasingly ban or tax plastic shopping bags
Aside from North Carolina's ban in the Outer Banks, none of the plastic bag bans or fees proposed in 11 other states in the past two years have passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Cost, lack of cooperation threaten effort to broadcast Texas House sessions
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 29 states and the District of Columbia broadcast their sessions. The systems are funded in a variety of private and public partnership combinations. Texas Watchdog

Changing N.D. crime penalties proving difficult
In the last decade, at least 19 states have reviewed their money thresholds at which various crimes should be considered felonies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Delaware, the threshold for the lowest-level felonies was increased from $1,000 to $1,500, while Maryland doubled its threshold from $500 to $1,000 for the lowest felony classifications, the organization said Wednesday. Grand Forks Herald

Want the legislature to meet every year? Vote 'Yes' on 71
The National Conference of State Legislatures groups the states into three main categories based on the time demands they place on their lawmakers, how much they pay them and the size of their staffs. At one end — the NCSL calls them "red" legislatures — are the big states with full-time professional staffs. At the other end are "blue" states, sparsely populated and rural, in which lawmakers spend an average of 54 percent of a full-time job on legislative work. Oregon is grouped in the middle, the "white" states, in which legislators work an average of 70 percent of full time. KATU

Nikkel has worked hard for children
Nikkel's work on this panel was nationally recognized when she received an invitation to serve on a child welfare panel hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Coloradoan

Former congresswomen Karen McCarthy dies at 63
She rose to become president of the National Conference of State Legislatures in 1994 and, that same year, easily defeated 10 other Democratic candidates to cruise into Congress. Kansas City Star

Oregon editorial roundup
The National Conference of State Legislatures groups the states into three main categories based on the time demands they place on their lawmakers, how much they pay them and the size of their staffs. At one end - the NCSL calls them "red" legislatures - are the big states with full-time professional staffs. At the other end are "blue" states, sparsely populated and rural, in which lawmakers spend an average of 54 percent of a full-time job on legislative work. Victoria Advocate

Top Missouri Democrats mourn the passing of former U.S. Rep. Karen McCarthy
She served on the national Democratic Party's platform committee in 1984, and was president of the National Conference of State Legislatures in 1994. In late 2002, she caused a stir when she voted against going to war in Iraq.St. Louis Beacon

Four Nevada questions on November election ballot
Nevada and 19 other states are members of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, an effort created by the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Governors and Federation of Tax Administrators to persuade Congress to give them authority to collect taxes on remote sales. Reno Gazette Journal

Nov. 3 measure would prevent governments from imposing transfer tax on real estate
According to an August 2010 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas imposes a .26 percent mortgage fee, Arkansas taxes at .33 percent on current property value, and Iowa issues a .16 percent tax. South County Times, MO

Former US Rep Karen McCarthy dies at 63 due to Alzheimer complications
McCarthy represented Kansas City from 1995 through 2005. In 1994, after becoming president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, she easily defeated ten other Democratic candidates to Congress. Channel 6 News

Coming This November: Taxes tug-of-war
What these measures have in common is the Great Recession, said Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The measures reflect the general uncertainty in the economy and the fear that people feel," she said. WIBW

Oct. 5

Heineman: Arizona just the first
Ann Morse, director of the immigration policy project for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, said legislatures typically move slowly in enacting immigration laws, anyway — Arizona, for instance, debated for three years before adopting its controversial law this year. “The issue, as it has for the last five years, will see lively debate in many state legislatures,” Morse said. “(But) I expect legislatures to pretty much wait for the fallout from the court rulings.” Omaha World Herald

'You just can't put a price tag on our children'
Nebraska approved the Lindsay Ann Burke law in 2007, and states including Washington, Virginia and Ohio have passed laws addressing dating violence education. Oregon has not, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. The Associated Press in KVAL

Serving the wide open spaces
Right now, California lawmakers have the most constituents per district. On average, a California state Senator represents more than 900,000 people and an Assembly member represents 500,000, according to 2008 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline.org

Make hunting and fishing your right
Ten states already have such provisions according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (see the list below). Outdoor Life Blog

Report: Missouri to likely lose congressional seat
According to the Politico story, EDS released the results of its new study at a redistricting seminar of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Providence, R.I., last weekend. Hannibal

Landske receives multiple endorsements
She also works on the national level through her involvement with the National Conference on State Legislatures, Council of State Governments and Midwest Council of State Legislatures as well as the U.S. Election Commission Board of Advisors. Landske For Senate

Arkansas: Voters asked to protect hunting rights
Ten states already have the right to hunt and fish in their constitution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Vermont’s is the oldest, dating to 1777. The Associated Press in NRA News

California blazes a trail for exchange implementation
Joy Johnson Wilson, health policy director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), predicted that more organizations in the next few weeks will be releasing exchange models as well. Commonwealth Fund

Coming & Going: Who is where in the political world…
Her work has been recognized with awards from the Public Relations Society of America (including the Silver Anvil for best PA campaign in 2009), the American Association of Political Consultants, the Public Affairs Council, and the National Conference for Political Involvement Professionals. Campaigns and Elections Magazine

Oct. 4

Arizona Medicaid cuts include transplant funding
Medicaid coverage varies widely among states, but there has been no evident trend that the many states struggling to balance their budgets are slashing transplant coverage, said Laura Tobler, a National Conference of State Legislatures program analyst in Denver. Associated Press

Voters again asked to approve Web taxes
Nevada lost more than $114 million last year in sales taxes on Internet purchases. Those losses will increase to more than $330 million by 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Las Vegas Journal-Review

Parents peeved body piercing is not regulated
Several states regulate body piercing, with most requiring some type of parental consent for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The penalties vary by state. Often ear piercing is exempt. Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Jobless may get a break
North Carolina began borrowing to pay for its overextended unemployment insurance benefits in February of 2009, and was more than $2.4 trillion in debt on Sept. 16 according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Richmond County Daily Journal

Election 2010: A close look at the Illinois recall amendent
That would make Illinois unique among states, according to the National Conference of  State Legislatures. The group says 18 states have recall on the books for some state officials. WBEZ Radio

Ark. voters asked to protect hunting rights
Ten states already have the right to hunt and fish in their constitution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Vermont’s is the oldest, dating to 1777. The Log Cabin Democrat

Fiscal, not social issues, draw ballot attention
Of the 155 measures voters will take up, only 42 come from citizens' initiatives, the lowest number in 24 years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline.org in the Lexington Herald-Leader

Measure 71: Yes
The National Conference of State Legislatures groups the states into three main categories based on the time demands they place on their lawmakers, how much they pay them and the size of their staffs. At one end — the NCSL calls them "red" legislatures — are the big states with full-time professional staffs. At the other end are "blue" states, sparsely populated and rural, in which lawmakers spend an average of 54 percent of a full-time job on legislative work. Opinion in the Mail Tribune

Coming in Nov.: Taxes tug-of-war
measures have in common is a Great Recession, pronounced Jennie Bowser, an elections researcher for a National Conference of State Legislatures. “The measures simulate a ubiquitous doubt in a economy and a fear that people feel,” she said. MMC News

Public option isn't likely in Louisiana, some say
Richard Cauchi, who analyzes illness caring issues for a National Conference of State Legislatures, pronounced legislation has been filed in eleven states looking to shun a small partial of a illness caring mandates being debated in Washington. He expects more. Yodye

Voters in 3 states mull opting out of 'Obamacare'
Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said all three proposals would be aided by voter anxiety over the economy and fears about the long-term cost of the health care overhaul. "The economy is a general theme running through ballot measures this year," said Ms. Bowser. "I really hesitate to predict outcomes, but Arizona leans conservative with all the controversy and media coverage, I just think it's likely to pass this fall. Amendment 63 in Colorado is a little harder to predict because Colorado's purple." NewsMax.com

LA likely to lose 1 congressional seat
The official Census numbers are set to be released in December, but a recent estimate and analysis done for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) shows Louisiana as one of eight states losing one seat each. Gambit

Cindy Hyde-Smith named vice chair of agriculture, energy committee
State Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, D-Brookhaven, has been selected to serve as vice chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture and Energy Standing Committee. Clarion Ledger

Ohio likely to lose two congressional seats
Experts say it’s not that losing states aren’t growing. They’re just not growing as fast. And Tim Storey with National Conference of State Legislatures says the number of Congressional seats a state has does make a big difference. Capitol News Connection

Oct. 1

Austerity plan spurs bond rush
The proposal could embolden anti-tax and anti-debt groups elsewhere to propose similar measures in their own states, said Jennie Drage Bowser, who tracks ballot measures for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

New form of synthetic marijuana sold in stores despite ban
"We are currently working with the National Conference of State Legislatures to see what other states are doing to address the problem," said La. Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Jefferson, one of the bill's sponsors. LSU The Reveille

U.S. states predict improving tax revenues
Forty of the 47 states that responded to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan legislature group, expect their total tax collections in fiscal 2011 to exceed those in fiscal 2010. Financial Times

State candidates catch a wave of GOP cash
"Democrats are playing defense just about everywhere," says Tim Storey, an elections analyst for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. BusinessWeek

Taxed $25 billion more, but it's not enough
According to The National Conference of State Legislatures' latest projections, “The [state] revenue slide associated with the
recession was tempered by state tax increases. Watchdog (blog)

State revenues are slowly rebounding, survey finds
Some rare good news for state spending on higher education: A new survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures concludes that tax revenues are projected to rise in 40 states in the 2011 fiscal year. blog in Chronicle of Higher Education

Revenue rising in most states: report
"State officials have anxiously awaited this turnaround for months or, in some cases, years," said a report released on Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

40 states bank on rising tax revenue in 2011
Forty states forecast having an increase in tax receipts in the current fiscal year, according to a forthcoming report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP on FOXNews

Measure would prevent governments from imposing transfer tax on real estate
According to an August 2010 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas imposes a .26 percent mortgage fee. South County Times