NCSL in the News | October 2015

10/1/2015

Oct. 30

Here's Where the 2016 GOP Candidates Stand on College Issues
TIME 
About 80% of the state money for Ohio’s four-year colleges is based on their performance on graduation and course completion rates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New York to require extra training to prescribe medical marijuana
CBS News
Florida's program is so constrained that the National Conference of State Legislatures does not include it in its list of the 23 states with comprehensive laws.
  
Senators push for Perkins renewal
Politico
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures [http://bit.ly/1RCrV1Y], the system actually works like this: Half of funding for four-year institutions is based on degree completion and 30 percent is based on course completion.
 
How Will We Handle a Sky Full of Drones?
Governing
Nine states have already passed their own laws. (Mother Jones magazine, with assistance from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Civil Liberties Union, has created an online map showing which states have passed laws restricting drone use.)

The road to a funding problem
Kingsport Times News
This year, seven states — Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Washington — passed legislation to increase gas taxes, while Kentucky and North Carolina altered the structure of their taxes in order to limit decreasing revenues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Powdered Alcohol Or ‘Palcohol’ Just Got Banned In Michigan
Morning News USA
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, the U.S. Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for Palcohol stating that it can be added to water to make an alcoholic beverage back in April 2014. However, within two weeks of approving the said labels, the TTB had said that they had approved the said labels for Palcohol by mistake. And the following year, in March 2015 the TTB had approved the revised labels for Palcohol. Moreover, the organization had allowed for Palcohol to be sold legally throughout the United States, unless prohibited in the state.
 
Georgia school districts still say no to arming teachers
Atlanta Journal Constitution
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that lawmakers in 33 states introduced more than 80 bills related to arming K-12 teachers and school staff. At least nine enacted some version of it.
 
Open-carry campuses will encourage, incite violence
Lamron
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states—including New York—ban carrying concealed weapons on college campuses. Twenty-three states, however, leave the decision solely at the discretion of the college or university. Since 2013, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas state legislatures have all passed bills allowing for concealed carry on college campuses.

A look at medical marijuana in Illinois' neighbor states
KSL
SOURCES: National Conference of State Legislatures, Marijuana Policy Project, Associated Press reporting.

Oct. 29

Why Bernie Sanders' marijuana proposal would be a big deal
Washington Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures has said the same thing. Removing marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances would simply add a federal imprimatur to a way of thinking held by a majority of Americans.
 
Funny Or Die Videos Highlight Glaring Need For Sex Education
Forbes
The videos are just the beginning of the partnership, with hopes to discuss topics ranging from puberty to more comprehensive contraception. Pelletier hopes educating young people about how their bodies work destigmatizes these conversations and brings them out of the shadows. Only 22 states require sex education in public schools, and only 19 require that education to be, in the words of the National Conference of State Legislatures, “medically, factually or technically accurate.”
 
State task force to address drones
IllinoisHomePage.net
It has 18 members ranging from law enforcement, agriculture and business. The National Conference of State Legislatures says 26 states have enacted laws addressing drones; six more have adopted resolutions.
 
NY to require training for doctors who OK pot for patients
Lexington Herald Leader
Florida's limited medical cannabis program includes the regulation perhaps closest to the New York training requirement. A 2014 Florida law that has yet to be implemented will allow certain patients to obtain marijuana with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, one of the drug's active ingredients. That law will require physicians to complete a training course offered by the state's medical association. Florida's program is so constrained that the National Conference of State Legislatures does not include it in its list of the 23 states with comprehensive laws.
 
Judge Dismisses Charges Against Man Who Shot Down Drone
The Epoch Times
As of 2015, 26 states have laws regulating drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with many of them prohibiting the use of cameras to record other people on private property without their permission.

Special report: Kansas one of 9 states that doesn't offer live streaming for Legislature committee remotely
Topeka Capital Journal 
Most states offer the public opportunities to watch or listen live to some or all committee meetings remotely. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of just nine that don’t.
 
Kansas behind most states in not streaming Statehouse events 
Lawrence Journal World 
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 41 states allow the public to watch or listen live to some or all committee meetings remotely, and most opt for video. The NCSL also said 35 also archive recordings so that people can access them later.
 
Webcasting, live-tweeting shut out of Legislature 
The Garden City Telegram 
Most states offer the public opportunities to watch or listen live to some or all committee meetings remotely. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of just nine that don’t.

Oct. 28

Potholes Mean Pressure for Governors Devising Road Plans
Bloomberg
Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Washington all enacted increases to their gasoline taxes this year ranging from 6 cents per gallon to 11.9 cents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. All those states except Washington have Republican governors.

Virginia's health-care law stifles competition, federal agencies say 
Washington Post 
Virginia is one of more than 30 states with similar laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Virginia, facilities wishing to expand or offer new services in acute care, diagnostic imaging, surgical and rehabilitation must first obtain a certificate of public need from the state health commissioner.

Webcasting, live-tweeting shut out of Legislature
The Garden City Telegram
Most states offer the public opportunities to watch or listen live to some or all committee meetings remotely. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of just nine that don’t. Of the 41 that do, most opt for video. Thirty-five also archive recordings so constituents can access them later.
 
Johnson County lawmaker spearheads efforts to let voters watch Capitol remotely
Topeka Capital Journal
Most states offer the public opportunities to watch or listen live to some or all committee meetings remotely. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of just nine that don’t.
  
Politicos propose legislative session limits 
WRAL.com 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 10 states with full-time or nearly full-time legislatures, including Florida, California, New York and Pennsylvania. NCSL ranks only six small states as working on the truly "citizen legislature" model that Pendleton prefers, including Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. 
 
Medical marijuana initiative crafted in North Dakota 
The Bellingham Herald 
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 23 states have laws allowing medical marijuana. But it is still illegal at the federal level, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved the drug's medicinal use.

Supreme Court asked to rule on health care 'origination clause' issue
JURIST
The ACA [JURIST backgrounder] has generated legal controversy since its passage. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) [official website] reports that between 2010 and 2015, at least 21 states enacted laws attempting to challenge or completely opt out of mandatory provisions of the ACA. 

NC legislator assembles group to work for session limits
Asheboro Courier Tribune
A recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures placed North Carolina lawmaker pay at the low end nationally. 

View from around the state: Give nonviolent 17-year-olds a second chance
Wisconsin Law Journal
Since 2007, at least four states have moved 17-year-olds into juvenile court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
6 Unusual Tattoo Laws From Around The Globe
Bustle
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, Georgia Law states that it is unlawful to tattoo within an inch of the eye socket.
 
Wisconsin would follow only one state in campus carry
UW Badger Herald
According to a statement from the National Conference of State Legislatures, if the campus carry bill is passed, Wisconsin will join just one other state, Utah, in having a statute specifically naming public colleges and universities public entities.
 
Got anything else but stuff on a stick? State fairs need to change ...
The Gazette
“At one time, they were state fairs, and states would pick up the tab,” said Doug Farquhar at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “States more and more lost patience with that payment model.”

Oct. 27

NC legislator assembles group to work for session limits
News & Observer
A recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures placed North Carolina lawmaker pay at the low end nationally. A proposal to form a subcommittee to study the issue did not draw wide interest, underscoring the delicate nature of lawmakers making decisions about pay.

Got anything else but stuff on a stick? State fairs need to change, and remain the same
The Gazette
“At one time, they were state fairs, and states would pick up the tab,” said Doug Farquhar at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “States more and more lost patience with that payment model.” Most state fairs now are not-for-profits that receive little or no state funds. They rely for their operating budgets on ticket sales, along with corporate sponsorships and revenue from vendors, carnival games and rides.
 
Wisconsin would follow only one state in campus carry
UW Badger Herald
According to a statement from the National Conference of State Legislatures, if the campus carry bill is passed, Wisconsin will join just one other state, Utah, in having a statute specifically naming public colleges and universities public entities. This title prohibits the institutions from banning concealed carry and gives anyone with appropriate licensure the ability to carry weapons on their property.
 
Both Sides of Right-To-Work Mobilize For Governor's Race
WKMS
Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia have right-to-work laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Americans for Prosperity has made mobilizing voters on this issue a priority.
 
Mississippi won't be voting on marijuana initiatives in '16 election
DeSoto Times-Tribune
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, some 21 states had legislation introduced in 2015 that would in some way allow or advance policy for adult recreational use of marijuana, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
 
Family therapy introduced to curb state's juvenile justice population
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures points to functional family therapy as a successful alternative juvenile justice program.

Oct. 26

Journal Times editorial: Give nonviolent 17-year-olds a second chance
Journal Times
Many states toughened their punishments for young offenders in the late 1980s and early 1990s as juvenile crime increased, the Associated Press reported. In recent years, though, many have begun backing off in the face of declining juvenile crime rates, budget crunches and research showing that the brain doesn’t fully develop until a person is in his or her mid-20s. Since 2007, at least four states have moved 17-year-olds into juvenile court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Why Aren't More GOP-Led States Defunding Planned Parenthood?
Daily Signal
(NCSL Info. Cited) Few states have defunded Planned Parenthood in the wake of a series of damaging undercover videos, even though Republicans—who tend to be pro-life—control the governorship and legislature in more than 20 states.
 
Voter ID foes stress legal cost in new tactic 
The Philadelphia Tribune 
And, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Minnesota is still confused on whether it spent $3 million on implementation since 2012 or as much as $78 million.

When residents clash with homeowner associations, some states step in 
Myrtle Beach Sun News 
“You’re dealing with people and personalities and homes and emotions,” said Heather Morton, a legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Having an ombudsman is a way to have somebody a little more neutral offer help and information to the homeowners and the board, and possibly mediate and bring the parties together so they can reach an amicable solution.”
 
A Miseducation in Memphis 
Gawker 
States invest little in state arts agencies—less than one half of one tenth of one percent of state budgets are invested in arts programming—but the arts still generate significant dollars. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity annually and is responsible for 5.7 million full-time jobs in the United States. 
 
Local legislators urge session limits 
The Robesonian 
Members of the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee recently were presented with National Conference of State Legislatures data that reveals North Carolina is one of 11 states that don’t have formal restrictions on how long legislative sessions can last.
 
Two top LRC officials retiring 

The Courier-Journal 
And the controversy surrounding the harassment allegations prompted legislative leaders to ask for an audit of the agency by the National Conference of State Legislatures which sharply criticized personnel, compensation and management policies for causing low staff morale.
 
'Armed with reason': Texas campus carry law sees pushback from academics 
The Guardian 
California banned concealed carry at colleges earlier this month but Texas will be the eighth public post-secondary campus carry state, joining Utah, Mississippi, Oregon, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas and, since 2014, Idaho. The practice is prohibited in 19 states and at the discretion of individual institutions in 23, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Boulder Valley companies called out for use of offshore tax havens 
Longmont Times-Call 
Today, five states and the District of Columbia have a similar requirement, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures — Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
 
Why the US Hasn't Solved Mass Incarceration, Video 
Kansas City infoZine 
According to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures, there have been over 1,300 policy reforms both through JRI and through state-driven initiatives. 

Hawaii Legislatures Public Access Room 
Small House Plans 
breastfeeding state laws legislative news studies and, sources national conference of state legislatures and statenet note list may not be comprehensive but is representative of state laws that exist.
 
Supreme Court's Long Conference Significant for States 
World News 
Source: NCSL – National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Salter: No marijuana initiatives in 2016 
Jackson Clarion Ledger 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, some 21 states had legislation introduced in 2015 that would in some way allow or advance policy for adult recreational use of marijuana, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
 
Proposed state bill has doctors, nurses at odds over anesthesia care
Crain's Detroit Business
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it does not track individual state requirements specific to nurse anesthetists.
 
States challenge health care insurance fee
JURIST
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) [official website] reports that between 2010 and 2015, at least 21 states enacted laws attempting to challenge or completely opt out of mandatory provisions of the ACA. 

Oct. 23

Want Better Education Policy? There’s a Checklist for That.
Governing
And according to research commissioned by the Education Commission of the States and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 percent of the chairs of education committees in state legislatures are serving in that role for the first time.

Abbott Wary of Regulating Fantasy Sports Betting
Houston Chronicle
“It’s definitely a very hot topic” among states, said Jon Griffin, senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “I think a lot of them are just trying to figure it out. … If you turn on ESPN, or you turn on any sporting event, the advertisements are nonstop. I think that that’s just made people wonder, and made various lawmakers around the country wonder, how these things are legal.”

State Legislator Pay and Session Length Examined 
TWC News 
“A possible downside of lower legislative salaries combined with high legislative demands is that it might foreclose legislative service from those who might need to support a family for example,” said Laura Rose with the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Gov. Mike Pence to pay off federal unemployment loan
Indianapolis Star
Indiana is one of a handful of states that has a remaining federal loan balance. Other states include Ohio, Connecticut and California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vermont mulls performance-based funding for higher education
North Country Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states have a funding formula or policy to distribute part of their higher education funding based on performance metrics, such as the number of degrees awarded, four-year graduation rates and other factors.
 
Not all students will qualify for free community college
Bend Bulletin
In launching the program, Oregon joins Tennessee and Minnesota in offering free community college, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and at least 11 additional states introduced legislation to create programs in the 2015 session.
 
When residents clash with homeowner associations, some states step in
Bradenton Herald
"You're dealing with people and personalities and homes and emotions," said Heather Morton, a legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Having an ombudsman is a way to have somebody a little more neutral offer help and information to the homeowners and the board, and possibly mediate and bring the parties together so they can reach an amicable solution."

Legislators briefed on sessions limit, pay raise 
The Robesonian 
North Carolina is one of 11 states that don’t have formal restrictions on how long legislative bodies meet, according to National Conference of State Legislatures data presented to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee. Most of the others set limits through their constitutions, state law or chamber rules.

Lawmakers in NC step gingerly on pay issue 
News & Observer 
The presenters, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, also looked at North Carolina’s legislative schedule versus other states’ and offered input on how technology – like videoconferencing – could improve access to Raleigh meetings.
 
Rancho Santa Margarita Ranked Third Best City in California to Find a Job 
OC Weekly  
WalletHub compared 250 Golden State cities when it came to job-finding prospects because "things are looking good for job seekers in California," which the personal finance website bases on the National Conference of State Legislators finding we added 36,200 new jobs in August, the largest increase among 32 states that saw their employment numbers go up.

Oct. 22

Marijuana use more than doubles in just 12 years
Washington Post
Starting in 2012, states began legalizing small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use; it's now legal in four states and the District of Columbia.  And medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Vetoes Help New Jersey's Christie, Democrats
Wall Street Journal
Nationally, some states have gone a decade with no successful votes to override a governor’s veto, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Connecticut, former Republican Gov. Jodi Rell vetoed 57 bills and the Democratic-controlled legislature reinstated 16, according to analysis of the 2007 to 2011 sessions.
 
Guns in the campus workplace
The Hill 
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted that in October 2015, 19 states banned guns on campuses of public institutions, 23 states allowed institutions to implement gun policies and eight states allow concealed carry on campus. The New York Times reported that "similar measures are being debated in Florida, Michigan, and Ohio," and gun advocates will undoubtedly continue to agitate for changes in the law, either through legislation or litigation.

North Carolina lawmakers begin studying session limits, pay
Washington Times
Members of the General Assembly’s government watchdog committee heard a presentation from experts at the National Conference of State Legislatures. They provided information about which states cap how long their lawmakers meet, how much legislators elsewhere make and the use of technology to hold remote meetings.

Vermont mulls performance-based funding for higher education
Houston Chronicle
Thirty-two states have funding formulas or policies to distribute part of their higher education funding based on performance metrics, such as the number of degrees awarded, four-year graduation rates or amount of low-income or minority graduates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states also are developing similar formulas.
 
Open carry, guns on campus bills pass FL Senate commitees
NYSE Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 19 states had banned carrying a concealed weapon on campuses as of June 2015. 

Legislators briefed on sessions limit, pay raise
The Robesonian
Members of the General Assembly’s government watchdog committee heard a presentation from experts at the National Conference of State Legislatures. They provided information about which states cap how long their lawmakers meet, how much legislators elsewhere make and the use of technology to hold remote meetings.

Gov. Mike Pence to pay off federal unemployment loan
Indianapolis Star
Indiana is one of a handful of states that has a remaining federal loan balance. Other states include Ohio, Connecticut and California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How parental leave in Massachusetts stacks up
The Boston Globe
NCSL Sources used
 
Kansas May Be The Toughest Place to Vote in America
The Takeaway
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Kansas and Arizona are enforcing the law.
 
New California Gun Law Runs Counter to Trend 
Alaska Dispatch News 
Ten states allow at least some civilians to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, either because of legislation or a court decision, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vermont considers linking higher education funding to performance of schools, students
The Republic
Thirty-two states have funding formulas or policies to distribute part of their higher education funding based on performance metrics, such as the number of degrees awarded, four-year graduation rates or amount of low-income or minority graduates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states also are developing similar formulas.
 
Supreme Court orders oral argument for medical pot amendment
Florida Politics
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana under state or D.C. law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but selling marijuana is still a federal crime.

The regulator in the Range hat: How politicians, DEP became cozy ...
PennLive.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 33 states have enacted some form of a "cooling off" period for lobbying or other private employment. Among other shale producing states, Colorado has the strictest, with a two year lobbying ban.  
 
Initiative seeks state penalties for wildlife trafficking
Coos Bay World
More than two dozen bills in 19 states and the District of Columbia were introduced relating to wildlife trafficking bans this year, including in Washington and Oregon, but most died, National Conference of State Legislatures said.
 
North Carolina lawmakers begin studying session limits, pay
WRAL
A government watchdog committee met Wednesday and heard a presentation from experts from the National Conference of State Legislatures. They provided information about which states cap how long their lawmakers meet and salary information.
 
Gun bills go before Senate committees on Tuesday
lidtime.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 19 states had banned carrying a concealed weapon on campuses as of June 2015, according to a previous Central Florida Future article.
 
The regulator in the Range hat: How politicians, DEP became cozy with shale drillers
Central Pennsylvania
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 33 states have enacted some form of a "cooling off" period for lobbying or other private employment. 

Oct. 21

As campus fears rise, so do efforts to enact school gun laws
The Seattle Times
Since 2007, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin, as well as Texas, have passed laws that allow or will allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms on campus. Courts in Colorado and Oregon affirmed the right to carry guns on campus. “Over the past three years, we have seen 12 to 20 states introduce legislation every session to allow guns on campus,” said Suzanne Hultin, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “And every year, one or two states enact that legislation.”
 
The regulator in the Range hat: How politicians, DEP became cozy with shale drillers
PennLive.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 33 states have enacted some form of a "cooling off" period for lobbying or other private employment. Among other shale producing states, Colorado has the strictest, with a two year lobbying ban. West Virginia bars public employees from registering as a lobbyist for a year, Ohio had its one-year ban for legislators overturned in 2010 and Texas has no such requirement.
 
Many States Still Grapple With Regulating Medical Marijuana
Stateline
(NCSL Data Cited) Montana is among several vanguard states whose voters eagerly legalized medical cannabis by passing broad ballot initiatives as many as 19 years ago, but left lawmakers struggling to regulate an industry that grew quickly with few rules.
 
States Fall Short on Teaching Financial Literacy
Education Week
The study looked at states' graduation requirements, academic standards, and regulations regarding how personal-finance courses are delivered in public high schools. The data were compiled from a variety of sources including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council for Economic Education, and the JumpStart Coalition on Personal Financial Literacy.
 
More silence from JCOPE
Albany Times Union
The search committee in May posted the job with groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Bar Association, and provided an in-house contact for applicants, as well.

Simonaire drafts 'right-to-try' bill for dying patients to access unapproved drugs in Maryland
Capital Gazette
State lawmakers across the country began looking at new ways for terminal patients to access experimental treatments in 2014. In the first year of this trend, five states — Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri — passed similar laws. Since then, 19 more states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming have followed suit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Fla. Senate committee approves bill for guns on campus
Central Florida Future
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 19 states had banned carrying a concealed weapon on campuses as of June 2015, according to a previous Central Florida Future article. Twenty-three states leave the decision up to the respective state university systems, and eight currently allow the carrying of concealed weapons on campus.
 
Which Vaccine Exemptions Are Allowed by Wisconsin?
Newsmax
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: "All 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations."

Imagine winter with green energy
Newton Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, environmentalists have managed to convince 29 states to adopt “renewable portfolio standards.”

Answer Man: Here are Rep. Duane Quam's 56 words
Post-Bulletin
Seventeen other states also are tinkering with the idea, including Minnesota, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Minimum wage in Kansas remains $7.25
Kansas State Collegian
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage. New York has a minimum wage of $8.75, while California and Massachusetts are both at $9. Others have raised their state minimum wages as well, due to a higher cost of living.

Oct. 20

Democrats Seek to Stem Republican Tide in Off-Year State Races
Bloomberg
Republicans control 31 governor’s offices and a record two-thirds of state legislative chambers after Democrats lost 816 seats in elections under President Barack Obama, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. That gave the party the power to cut taxes, restrict abortion and collective-bargaining rights and implement new voting rules.

As Campus Fears Rise, So Do Efforts to Enact School Gun Laws
New York Times
The number of states allowing students to carry firearms on campus has climbed since the shooting deaths of 33 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. Ten states allow at least some civilians to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, either because of legislation or a court decision, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

More and more area teens, adults being injured and killed in ATV ...
Texas Examiner
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, in Texas, no child under age 6 may operate an ATV on public lands. All operators under 14 are required to be directly supervised by a parent/guardian or a person over 18 who is authorized by the child’s parents/guardians.
 
Minimum wage in Kansas remains $7.25
Kansas State Collegian
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage. New York has a minimum wage of $8.75, while California and Massachusetts are both at $9. Others have raised their state minimum wages as well, due to a higher cost of living.
 
Ballot measure would add state penalties to violators of wildlife trafficking
Peninsula Daily
More than two dozen bills in 19 states and the District of Columbia were introduced relating to wildlife trafficking bans this year, including in Washington and Oregon, but most died, the National Conference of State Legislatures said.
 
Kansas unusual in giving elections chief power to prosecute
Lawrence Journal World
Ho questions whether other states will emulate Kansas. Only eight, including Kansas, have strict voter photo ID laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and only Alabama, Arizona and Georgia have proof-of-citizenship statutes.
 
For nonviolent 17-year-olds Lawmakers urge juvenile system
Daily Union
Many states toughened their punishments for young offenders in the late 1980s and early 1990s as juvenile crime increased. In recent years, though, many have begun backing off in the face of declining juvenile crime rates, budget crunches and research showing that the brain doesn’t fully develop until a person is in his or her mid-20s. Since 2007, at least four states have moved 17-year-olds into juvenile court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Students come to Ohio University with varying levels of sex ed
The Post
In 19 states it is required that provided sex education must be medically or factually accurate, and in 35 states, aState Legislatures website.

Ballot measure would add state penalties to violators of wildlife ...
Peninsula Daily
More than two dozen bills in 19 states and the District of Columbia were introduced relating to wildlife trafficking bans this year, including in Washington and Oregon, but most died, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. 

Oct. 19

Voices: Sex toys, firearms and other campus hazards
USA TODAY
Texas joins seven other states — Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin — that allow concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 23 other states, that decision is left up to the college or university, and 19 states ban weapons outright on public campuses.

Analysis: Low Voter Interest, High Interest to Others
Texas Tribune
That’s not a baseless fear. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is one of only 13 states without such a tax and is by far the most-populous state in a pack that includes Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
 
Cloud of contradictions surrounds cannabis' legality
Albuquerque Journal
Almost half the states, among them New Mexico, have legalized medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And yet, as far as federal law is concerned, cannabis “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” That contradiction sums up our society’s mix of attitudes.
 
Bell eyes bill to allow college faculties, staff with permit to go armed 
Chattanooga Times Free Press 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is the eighth state to enact such a law.
 
How Guns on Campus Became a Live Issue in Wisconsin 
Chronicle of Higher Education
But every year there are more attempts to loosen the laws banning guns on campuses. In 2013 bills allowing concealed carry were introduced in at least 19 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
PHHS Students Participate in Legislators Back-to-School Program 
Parsippany Focus 
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides educational materials about representative democracy for legislators’ use in the presentations to K to 12 classes.
 
Court Strikes Down Sprinkler System Requirement in New Homes 
Daily Signal 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have prohibited the passage of mandatory sprinkler requirements, either legislatively or through the adoption of code.

State fairs look to add 'wow' factor 
Burlington Hawk Eye 
“At one time, they were state fairs and states would pick up the tab,” said Doug Farquhar at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “States more and more lost patience with that payment model,” he said.
 
Armer seeks fifth term as county clerk 
Van Buren Press Argus-Courier
She was appointed to the Arkansas County Clerk Legislative Committee, is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Crawford County, was one of three Arkansas county clerks appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures board in 2014 and is a volunteer with various fund raisers for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Arkansas Special Olympics.
 
Where guns stand on local campuses 
St. George Daily Spectrum 
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, "Utah remains the only state to have statute specifically naming public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry, and thus, all 10 public institutions in Utah allow concealed weapons on their property."
 
State constitutions set education quality benchmark 
Jackson Clarion Ledger 
Although some have said the passage of Initiative 42 could prime the state for a school finance lawsuit, there’s no guarantee. Daniel Thatcher, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said research doesn’t show a solid relationship between constitutional language and the outcome of such litigation.

Program designed to help GOP women run for office 
Paducah Sun 
Kentucky ranks 42nd among states in terms of the percentage of women who hold office in the state legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

SUNDAY DOME: Spotlight on 'citizen' lawmaker pay in NC 
News & Observer
Lawmakers on the state’s Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee in May asked the National Conference of State Legislatures to independently research and provide “information on legislator salaries and per diem in other states than can be used to consider whether a different salary and per diem structure could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the North Carolina General Assembly,” according to the approved plan. NCSL is also expected to present on “the timing and length of legislative sessions in other states that can be used to consider whether a different session schedule could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the North Carolina General Assembly.”

Push for all-claims payer database an uphill battle 
Crain's Detroit Business
However, the National Conference report also concluded "it is too early to determine whether all-payer claims databases can help states control costs."
 
Wisconsin legislators push to move 17-year-olds into juvenile system 
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Since 2007, at least four states have moved 17-year-olds into juvenile court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Kansas unusual in giving Kris Kobach power to prosecute
Topeka Capital Journal
Ho questions whether other states will emulate Kansas. Only eight, including Kansas, have strict voter photo ID laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and only Alabama, Arizona and Georgia have proof-of-citizenship statutes.

Lawmakers push to move young criminals into juvenile system
Dubuque Telegraph Herald
Many states toughened their punishments for young offenders in the late 1980s and early 1990s as juvenile crime increased. In recent years, though, many have begun backing off in the face of declining juvenile crime rates, budget crunches and research showing that the brain doesn’t fully develop until a person is in his or her mid-20s. Since 2007, at least four states have moved 17-year-olds into juvenile court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Say Yes: Is it really college for all?
Greensboro News & Record
Twenty states allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition through legislative action or through state university systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Initiative seeks state penalties for wildlife trafficking
Yakima Herald-Republic
More than two dozen bills in 19 states and the District of Columbia were introduced relating to wildlife trafficking bans this year, including in Washington and Oregon, but most died, National Conference of State Legislatures said. 

Kansas Voter ID Sets Off Lawsuit from Anti-Sovereignty Democrats
VDARE.com
Kansas is one of four states that require proof of citizenship to register to vote, along with Alabama, Arizona and Georgia. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Kansas and Arizona are currently enforcing the law. 

Ripple effects of raising min. wage too pricey
Northeast Valley News
Since 2013, 29 states have taken the initiative to set wages higher than $7.25. State hourly wages range from $7.50 in Arkansas, Maine and New Mexico to $9.47 in Washington State, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Arizona, it sits at a decent $8.05.

Students becoming numb to Campus Mass Shootings
The Southern News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), eight states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses.  These states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
 
Brase: Nudity will never lead to equality
Iowa State Daily
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Puerto Rico requires malls, airports and public service government centers to have areas designed for breast-feeding and diaper changing that are not bathrooms.

Oct. 16

Finding a Place for Cannabis Cash
Bloomberg
Since 2012, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use, and 23 states have approved medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How Guns on Campus Became a Live Issue in Wisconsin
Chronicle of Higher Education
But every year there are more attempts to loosen the laws banning guns on campuses. In 2013 bills allowing concealed carry were introduced in at least 19 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2014 such bills were proposed in at least 14 states. In addition to the bill in Wisconsin, legislation under consideration in Michigan would allow concealed carry nearly everywhere without restriction, including on campuses and in college buildings, and a Tennessee lawmaker says he may write a bill allowing faculty and staff members to carry weapons in public-college buildings, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Bell eyes bill to allow college faculties, staff with permit to go armed
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Texas lawmakers this year passed a law allowing permit holders to carry guns on university campuses. It takes effect in 2016. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is the eighth state to enact such a law.

Longest-serving lawmaker undecided on another run
Albuquerque Journal
As of earlier this year, Salazar was one of about a dozen legislators around the country who had completed at least 42 years of legislative service, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Fast-tracked election bill would dramatically alter campaign spending
Madison
The bill would double limits on individual donations, which are currently $30,000 for gubernatorial candidates, and $3,000 and $1,500 to Senate and Assembly candidates, respectively. These current figures are more than the national average, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Immigrants without legal status seek in-state tuition in Georgia
MyAJC
Twenty-one states now allow students with no legal status in the United States to pay in-state tuition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Unions are becoming increasingly active in South Florida
Fusion
The Sunshine State has the oldest right-to-work law in the country according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Right-to-work laws dictate that an employee cannot be compelled to be part of a union as a condition of his or her employment.

Resident wants Longboat Key to become 'Less Plasticy'
Longboat Key News.
In 2009, the District of Columbia passed a law to ban distributing plastic carry-out bags and sets a fee of five cents for all other disposable bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

DMV Creates First Public Data Set on Driverless Car Crashes
Techwire.net
Google is also testing 14 self-driving cars in Austin, Texas, but that state has yet to regulate such testing. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, the Texas Legislature failed to pass three bills related to autonomous vehicles during its 2015 session.

Oct. 15

Kansas Voter ID Law Sets Off a New Battle Over Registration
New York Times
Kansas is one of four states that require proof of citizenship to register to vote, along with Alabama, Arizona and Georgia. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Kansas and Arizona are currently enforcing the law. In Georgia, officials said they were still smoothing out legal and technological requirements and did not yet have a timeline for when the law would take effect. In Alabama, the secretary of state’s office said that its proof of citizenship law conflicted with a federal law and could not currently be enforced.
 
Michigan House OKs powdered alcohol ban bill, headed to governor soon 
Yahoo News 
The National Conference of State Legislatures has listed 25 states that have banned powdered alcohol, and New Hampshire's liquor commission in September also announced a ban.
 
Democrats propose banning guns outright on college campuses
Madison.com
Twenty-three states leave the decision on banning or allowing weapons to the individual universities and colleges. Suzanne Hultin, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said her organization has noticed proposals to allow concealed carry on campus have been more popular in recent years. “We’ve definitely seen a trend in the number of states that are introducing legislation on this,” Hultin said.
 
Latest estimate on Idaho's due but unpaid online sales taxes: Up to $50M a year 
The Spokesman Review
Max Behlke, manager of state-federal affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures, briefed the group about the latest version of online sales tax legislation that’s pending in Congress; it has the votes to pass both houses, he said, but a committee chairman isn’t allowing it to come up for a vote. Idaho already meets the basic requirements under the bill to collect online sales taxes, Behlke said, including having a single entity in the state handle all sales and use tax return processing and audits, having one return that reflects all liabilities for all counties, and having a uniform tax base across the state as far as definitions.
 
Bill would require random drug testing of legislators
The Ellsworth American
He said other states have voted to drug test welfare recipients — indeed, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports at least 13 states have put some type of test or screening in place — but said many of them found it “wasn’t worth the expense.”
 
Fast-tracked election bill would dramatically alter campaign spending
The Daily Cardinal
The bill would double limits on individual donations, which are currently $30,000 for gubernatorial candidates, and $3,000 and $1,500 to Senate and Assembly candidates, respectively. These current figures are more than the national average, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Group aims to elect more women to KY offices
The Courier-Journal
So when the National Conference of State Legislatures recently ranked Kentucky 42nd in the percentage of women serving in our state legislature, it hit close to home for us. When we looked at the local level and found that women are mayors of only three of Kentucky's 25 largest cities, we knew something had to be done.
 
What Laws Are We Going to Make This Year?
Seattle Weekly
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 states in this union have no form of voter initiative, meaning laws there are completely controlled by elected officials. 
  
Lawmakers release bill to allow concealed weapons on UW campuses
UW Badger Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all UW System campuses ban concealed weapons inside their buildings. But Wisconsin is also one of just eight states to allow concealed weapons on campus grounds, according to the NCSL.
 
Lawmakers move for moratorium since online gambling efforts stalled 
World Casino Directory 
There has also been several groups that are coming out opposed to RAWA. These groups include the Fraternal Order of Police, National Conference of State Legislators and the National Governors Association.

GOP scratched tripling campaign limits 
Appleton Post Crescent 
Compared to neighboring states, Wisconsin’s current campaign finance limits are higher for governor and similar for state legislative offices, according to a May report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Iowa, with no contribution limits, is the regional exception. The National Conference of State Legislatures report found a dozen states across the nation have no contribution limits on individuals. New York had the highest limits for governors at $50,000 while Ohio had the highest limits for state legislators at about $12,500. state legislators at about $12,500.
 
Texas Judge Rules Gay Marriage Was Legal Before It Was Legal
Queerty
According to National Conference of State Legislatures, several states have statutes that allow for common law marriages, including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. In the states of Alabama, Rhode Island, and Oklahoma there are no laws that specifically allow for common law marriage, but courts have allowed the arrangements in some cases.

Oct. 14

Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium
The Hill
The Congressional GOP leadership should note the vocal opposition to RAWA at the state and national level. The National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Fraternal Order of Police all strongly oppose the federal government usurping state authority to regulate gambling within their borders.

In some Texas dorms, Nerf guns will be banned while real ones are allowed
Washington Post
Twenty-three states allow individual colleges and universities to set their own concealed-carry policy, while the remaining 19 ban concealed weapons outright, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (with Graphic)

California Blazes Trail With New Sex Education Mandates
Education Week
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 22 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education.
 
Michigan House OKs powdered alcohol ban bill, headed to governor soon
Yahoo News
The National Conference of State Legislatures has listed 25 states that have banned powdered alcohol, and New Hampshire's liquor commission in September also announced a ban.
 
Body cameras raise more issues
The News Journal
Nineteen states have statewide policies, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures in July. During the first half of this year, 15 states enacted legislation, ranging from requiring some officers to wear cameras to setting the standards under which footage is to be released to the public.
 
West Haven man charged under revenge porn law
Standard-Examiner
Thirteen states have passed laws to punish revenge-porn in the past two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The effort to pass a law was spearheaded by a recent case in Layton.
 
California DMV Creates First Public Data Set on Driverless Car Crashes
Government Technology
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, the Texas Legislature failed to pass three bills related to autonomous vehicles during its 2015 session.

Democrats jump ship on online voter registration
La Crosse Tribune
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska are among the 25 states and the District of Columbia that allow online voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
The straight dope on pot?
The Market Business
A total of 23 states, and the District of Columbia, allow medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New online system to aid voters
Times-Argus
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 25 states already have online voter registration. Arizona was pioneered the effort in 2002. Condos said Vermont, like other states, has utilized funding made available in the federal Help America Vote Act.

GOP scratched tripling campaign limits 
Appleton Post Crescent 
Compared to neighboring states, Wisconsin’s current campaign finance limits are higher for governor and similar for state legislative offices, according to a May report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Iowa, with no contribution limits, is the regional exception.The National Conference of State Legislatures report found a dozen states across the nation have no contribution limits on individuals.  
 
The First Democratic Debate Is Tonight. Too Bad The 2 Most Qualified Candidates Are Banned. 
ThinkProgress 
In 2006, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published “Coping With Term Limits: A Practical Guide.” Among other things, the guide warned, term limits can result in a “decline in civility” which has “reduced legislators’ willingness and ability to compromise and engage in consensus building.”
 

Oct. 13

The college gun rule that drove a professor emeritus to quit
Washington Post
Texas is not the only state to have taken such action, but several others — including Florida, Georgia and Illinois — have banned concealed weapons on university campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Do Bike Helmet Laws Do More Harm Than Good?
Wall Street Journal
Mandatory bike-helmet bills also have stalled or failed in Hawaii, New Jersey and Mississippi in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Dallas changed its helmet law in 2014 to exempt adults before a local bike-share program’s launch.
 
Teaching Legally Armed Students Is Not What Many College Professors Signed Up For
New York Magazine
Concealed-weapons laws are being loosened up nationwide. Nineteen U.S. states have banned concealed carry on campus altogether, and 23 have decided to leave it up to the schools themselves. But Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin are the eight states with provisions allowing handguns to be carried on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Democrats jump ship on bill that would allow Wisconsin voters to register online
Chippewa Herald
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska are among the 25 states and the District of Columbia that allow online voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Condos takes transparency on tour
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 25 states already have online voter registration. Arizona was pioneered the effort in 2002. Condos said Vermont, like other states, has utilized funding made available in the federal Help America Vote Act. Online registration is part of a complete election management system expected to be in place by the end of the year, he said.
 
Marijuana lollipops? Dep't of Revenue says: taxable
SaintPetersBlog
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana under state law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but selling marijuana is still a federal crime.
   
University of Texas Students Prepare New Fight Against Guns With ...
Daily Beast
The campus carry law, passed in June, made Texas one of eight states to allow concealed weapons at public universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Dorothy Hukill tries again to protect "digital assets"
SaintPetersBlog
At least nine states now have laws that allow for some level of control of digital assets after death, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 12

Police withhold videos despite vows of transparency
Washington Post
The District and Arizona passed bills that respectively required the mayor and a study committee to develop proposed policies. Most bills dealt with multiple issues; the maps represent highlights. Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures, state legislation, staff reports. Graphic by Kennedy Elliott. 
 
Texas figuring out how to handle campus carry law 
CNN 
McRaven is responsible for implementing Senate Bill 11. The Republican-run Legislature passed the bill to make Texas the eighth U.S. state to allow concealed handguns to be carried into classrooms, dormitories and other buildings at public and private universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Mass shootings or everyday violence: Where should campus gun debate focus?
Yahoo News
Eight states have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislators: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Guest View: Redistricting commission would be accountable to no one 
The Southern 
Independent commissions are not necessarily less partisan than legislatures when drawing district boundaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by West Virginia? 
Newsmax 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of only three states that do not allow exemptions from vaccination requirements for any other reasons than medical.

Conservative groups target health care regulations 
seattlepi.com 
Virginia is one of about 36 states with certificate of public need laws or regulation as of 2014, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Momentum building for General Assembly changes 
Lincoln Times-News 
Currently, only 11 states, including North Carolina, don’t somehow limit the lengths of their regular legislative sessions, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Study: No link between concealed carry licenses and campus safety 
wwlp.com 
Seven other states – Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin – widely permit concealed guns on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Texas Schools Hit By Gun Violence—And More Guns Are Coming To Campus 
Vocativ 
The law will make Texas one of eight states to allow the carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses. The others are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Oregon pot stores sell more than $11 million in first 5 days 
KY3 
Oregon is now the third state where marijuana can be legally purchased for recreational use, after Colorado and Washington. Take a look at which states currently allow marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Should you be able to 'pick and choose' customers? 
Post-Bulletin 
Nationwide, religious freedom legislation has been introduced in 17 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Currently, 21 states have this type of law on the books. Minnesota is not one of them.
 
Obama signs Affordable Care Act amendment into law 
JURIST 
Comprehensive health care reform [JURIST backgrounder] was passed by Congress in March 2010, and recent legal challenges have reinvigorated debate. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) [official website] reports that between 2010 and 2015, at least 21 states enacted laws attempting to challenge or completely opt out of mandatory provisions of the ACA.

Amid Budget Crisis, 17 Go To Legislative Conferences On $28205 Taxpayers' Tab 
Hartford Courant 
The most recent tab was $28,205 for 17 people — members of the state House and Senate and legislative staff members — to attend two conferences in August: the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2015 Legislative Summit in Seattle from Aug. 2 to 6; and the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference from Aug. 15 to 19 in Wilmington, Del.

Question 1: The Maine Clean Election Act explained 
Bangor Daily News 
Only 13 states provide public campaign financing; of those, just five open it to legislative hopefuls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Maine could take it further this Election Day.
 
Age and the law: Youth crime; adult time 
Fayetteville Observer 
Only North Carolina and New York treat all teens age 16 and older as adults when they commit crimes. Most of the rest of the country sets the age for adult culpability at 18, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven set the threshold at 17.

Texas Figuring Out Campus Carry Law
Big Country Homepage
The Republican-run Legislature passed the bill to make Texas the eighth U.S. state to allow concealed handguns to be carried into classrooms, dormitories and other buildings at public and private universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State task force completes work on potential implementation of medical marijuana
Citizens Voice
A total of 23 states, and the District of Columbia, allow medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Momentum builds for changes in General Assembly
Jefferson Post
Currently, only 11 states, including North Carolina, do not somehow limit the lengths of their regular legislative sessions, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Others include Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Tacoma voters to consider new wage floor
TheNewsTribune.com
The National Conference of State Legislators has a breakdown of the minimum wage, state by state, as well as a legislative tracker. Go to ncsl.org and hover over “Research,” then click on “Labor and Employment.” The minimum wage link will be on that page.
 
Will Jerry Brown Sign Bill Automatically Registering 7 Californians vote
AlterNet
For example, as of October 1, 25 states and the District of Columbia offer online registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 9

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by West Virginia?
Newsmax
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of only three states that do not allow exemptions from vaccination requirements for any other reasons than medical.

Momentum building for General Assembly changes 
Asheville Citizen-Times 
Currently, only 11 states, including North Carolina, don’t somehow limit the lengths of their regular legislative sessions, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Preserve tax credits so struggling families can do more than just survive
News & Observer
Two of the most effective programs at keeping Americans out of poverty are the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. These are refundable, pro-work tax credits that lifted nearly 10 million people out of poverty – half of them children – in 2014. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, an estimated 931,000 working families in North Carolina took advantage of these federal refundable tax credits in 2013.
 
Michigan mental health nurses say OT hurts patient care
Detroit Free Press
A dozen states already regulate nurse overtime through statute, and lawmakers in at least another eight states have tried, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House could take up bill allowing research into industrial hemp
Central Penn Business Journal 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures , seven states have already passed laws that allow industrial hemp programs for agricultural or academic research purposes: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New York and Utah
 
Local activists rally for higher minimum wage
Citizen's Voice
Arizona’s minimum wage is $8.05 per hour, increased annually based on cost of living, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The organization’s website notes that 29 states and Washington D.C. have minimum wages above the federal level.

Oct. 8

States Continue Welfare Drug Tests, Catch Basically No One
Huffington Post
More than a dozen states have approved welfare drug testing programs of one kind or another since 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the proposals keep popping up, even though the results suggest that most of the people applying for benefits don't test positive for drug use.
 
Oklahoma's opposition to REAL ID law could be painful later
NewsOK.com
Yet some states, Oklahoma among them, resisted due to concerns over unfunded mandates tied to the federal law and concerns regarding the security of individuals' personal information. The National State Conference of Legislatures estimated the cost of implementing the REAL ID Act would be $11 billion for all 50 states. In Oklahoma, it was predicted initial one-time costs would be around $8 million, with $23 million needed annually for at least five years thereafter.
 
State nurses say they work too much OT
Lansing State Journal
A dozen states already regulate nurse overtime through statute, and lawmakers in at least another eight states have tried, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Do Ballot Selfies Pose a Danger to Democracy?
Government Technology
Every state has laws governing personal conduct in voting booths, according to Ethan Wilson, a policy associate at the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislators. Some ban photography in the polling station, while others prohibit revealing a marked ballot. Such laws are meant to protect the secrecy of the ballot and therefore help prevent vote buying and voter coercion.

New LRC Director Says He's Ready To Make Changes
89.3 WFPL
A National Conference of State Legislatures audit of the LRC found that the state agency had low morale in part due to unclear hiring and compensation practices. 

What does the Oregon college shooting mean for Texas' campus ...
Dallas Morning News
The National Conference on State Legislatures lists Oregon as one of eight states that allows the carrying of concealed handguns on public university campuses. But Umpqua Community College’s president has said that “we have a ‘no guns on campus’ policy.”

Oct. 7

Bucks collecting DNA from crime suspects
Philly.com
But 30 states, including New Jersey, allow police to take DNA from people arrested, but not charged, for serious crimes such as murder and sexual offense, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A pending bill would grant similar powers in Pennsylvania.

Hearing sheds light on benefits, costs to rooftop solar
Deseret News
A briefing on the issue by the National Conference of State Legislatures said U.S. solar capacity has increased 418 percent since 2010, and more than half of that comes from panels installed on homes or businesses. Utah is among 44 states, the District of Columbia and four territories that have authorized net metering, and Utah went an extra step and allows aggregated net metering — solar generation credits from multiple meters on one property, such as universities.

Patrick Gannon: Momentum builds for changes in General Assembly
Rocky Mountain Telegram
Currently, only 11 states, including North Carolina, do not somehow limit the lengths of their regular legislative sessions, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Others include Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In the other 39, limits typically are set by constitution, statute or chamber rules. They also may be set indirectly by restricting the days for which a legislator receives compensation, per diem or mileage reimbursement.
 
Early voting starts today
Hamilton Journal News
Currently, around two-thirds of the country’s states permit some form of early voting, including three states that have all-mail voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Broadband meeting wraps up; tomorrow, both broadband and tax panels to meet
The Spokesman-Review
Tomorrow’s agenda includes presentations from state agencies on how they use broadband, two speakers from the National Conference of State Legislatures on what other states do, both for education and state agencies; a presentation from Education Networks of America; and more.

Georgia Sen. Ross Tolleson announces retirement, Alzheimer's diagnosis 
Atlanta Journal Constitution 
He played a national role to colleagues on water and energy issues, including as a member of the National Conference of State Legislature’s Energy and Environment Committee as well as a member of the Southeastern Energy Board.
 
David Byerman: New director of Legislative Research Commission ready to write new chapter 
Lexington Herald Leader 
Yes, the National Conference of State Legislatures was asked to study LRC's operations and concluded that significant changes were needed. And yes, there have been serious questions raised about LRC personnel and compensation policies — or the lack thereof.

Reject law for more guns on campuses 
Vidette Online 
There are 19 states that ban concealed weapons on campuses according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states have allowed concealed carry at higher education institutions, including Texas. The other 23 states allow schools to set their own policies.
 
Colorado Marijuana Users Legally Challenge Grower Over Pesticide
Food Safety News
State legislative bills have mostly gone nowhere in 2015. According to Donna Lyons, group director at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislature’s criminal justice program, 14 of 21 state bills to legalize recreational pot have failed. Bills remain alive in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and Georgia, New York and Vermont bills will carry over to 2016.

Lawson-Spann, Quarles spar on medical marijuana, GMOs at Ky ...
cn|2
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana since 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Internships are key to professional success but Latino students ...
Chron.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Latino students were more likely to attend college part-time, and more likely to work part- or full-time to help pay for college in 2012.

Oct. 6

California weighs banning concealed handguns on campuses
The Sacramento Bee
At least 14 states have introduced legislation to allow guns on campus in each of the past three years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some States Now Have Associations to Deal With Condo Disputes
Governing
“You’re dealing with people and personalities and homes and emotions,” said Heather Morton, a legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Having an ombudsman is a way to have somebody a little more neutral offer help and information to the homeowners and the board, and possibly mediate and bring the parties together so they can reach an amicable solution.”

2 drivers sought in Vegas hit-run cases could face new law
San Francisco Gate
But Amanda Essex, a researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, said state-by-state comparisons are impossible due to variations in legal wording and sentencing structures around the country. "Factors such as judicial discretion and sentencing enhancements, among others, can factor into the severity of a potential sentence," Essex said.

David Byerman: New director of Legislative Research Commission ready to write new chapter
Lexington Herald Leader
This should not be. Yes, the agency went through a major sexual harassment scandal and subsequently settled several lawsuits. Yes, the National Conference of State Legislatures was asked to study LRC's operations and concluded that significant changes were needed. And yes, there have been serious questions raised about LRC personnel and compensation policies — or the lack thereof.
 
FSM Scoop: BPA
Food Safety Magazine
The National Conference of State Legislatures and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that research links BPA exposure to a laundry list of diseases and ailments--cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some childhood neurological disorders.

Legislative study of voter laws, voter participation scheduled Wednesday morning at State Capitol
Edmond Sun
State Rep. David Perryman, who requested the study, has enlisted four presenters for the event. Wendy Underhill, a senior policy specialist and elections program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures;
 
Industrial hemp gains ground 
AG Week 
The programs vary, sometimes greatly, from state to state, and are difficult to summarize, though all seek to provide farmers with at least some of the information and other support needed to raise hemp, according to information on the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 5

Debate, and Confusion, Over Oregon's Gun Rules After Deadly Shooting
NBCNews.com
Oregon is one of just eight states that allow carrying of concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Oregon Campus Carry Gun Laws Scrutinized After Umpqua ...
International Business Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states outright forbid people from bringing concealed weapons on campus, while 23 allow each institution to make its own call on whether to ban guns. 
 
Measuring Impact of New Tax Cuts May Be a Tricky Business
New Hampshire Public Radio
Still, lowering corporate taxes has lately been a priority for many states in recent years, said Mandy Rafool, a tax analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire is unusual, however, for the degree to which it relies on business taxes to pay the bills. Business taxes here make up nearly a quarter of total state revenue –more than double the rate of the next highest state. “Where other states can cut the rate by a percent or two without feeling a lot of impact, I don’t know if that will be the case in New Hampshire. I think it will affect the bottom line a lot more,” Rafool said.
 
Drones raising privacy worries
The Daily Item
Pennsylvania is not alone in trying to manage the rapid expansion of eyes in the sky. All but five states have considered regulations on drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and 19 have passed laws related to the technology.

BERNIE'S SOCIALIST PARADISE: College Grads Are Fleeing ...
Daily Caller
The $9.15 per-hour minimum rate for all workers regardless of what they are actually doing is among the highest in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
LRC director learns ropes before making changes
The Independent
During the long search for a new LRC director, legislators, led by Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, hired the National Conference of State Legislatures to conduct a review of the LRC.
 
Kansas officials to begin culling incomplete voter forms
Santa Cruz Sentinel
The only other states with proof-of-citizenship laws are Arizona, Alabama and Georgia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though the last two haven't fully put them into effect.

Oregon allows guns on colleges campuses, but with many restrictions
NOLA.com
Louisiana is one of 20 states that ban the carrying of concealed weapons on a college or university campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-three others allow colleges to decide for themselves whether to allow or ban guns on campus.
 
Oregon sheriff shared Sandy Hook hoax propaganda
The Rock River Times
Oregon is also one of seven U.S. states that allow concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks local laws.

Doug Spade & Mike Clement: Do we want 18-year-old lawmakers?
The Daily Telegram
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 percent of all lawmakers today are 50 or younger, up from 18 percent just six years ago. While the average age for legislators nationally is 56, the average state representative in Michigan is 48½, and the average senator is only three years older.

Pam Bondi formally asks Supreme Court to review medical pot ...
SaintPetersBlog
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana under state law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but selling marijuana is still a federal crime.

California weighs banning concealed handguns on campuses
Inland Empire News
At least 14 states have introduced legislation to allow guns on campus in each of the past three years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

College shooting draws mixed response
Appleton Post Crescent
However, an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling in 2011 ended campus bans on weapons, making it one of 30 states that don't have bans against concealed carry on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Kansans Sue to Block Coming Voter Purge
Lid Time - Weird News
The only other states with proof-of-citizenship laws are Arizona, Alabama and Georgia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though the last two haven’t fully put them into effect.
 
Twitter joins an elite group of companies pioneering a radical perk new moms love
The Chron
REUTERS/Tyrone SiuBoth mothers and children benefit from breast milk,according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 2

Up to 13 dead at gun-free Oregon community college
USA TODAY
The next March, Oregon’s state board of higher education unanimously approved a policy banning guns from classrooms, buildings, residence halls and events, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says
New York Times
Oregon is one of seven states with provisions, either from state legislation or court rulings, that allow the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The other states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin.

Missouri law professor sues school over campus gun ban
FOX News
Missouri is one of 20 states with laws explicitly banning conceal-and-carry on campuses, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why It's Important to Know Lawmakers' Day Jobs
Governing
The one source of comprehensive information on this subject is the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which does a 50-state survey of legislative occupations every decade or so. But the most recent NCSL information dates back to 2007, so it doesn’t reflect the Republican tidal waves in the 2010 and 2014 elections, events which almost certainly ushered in changes analogous to the clustering of farmers at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock. NCSL is currently working on a new survey, and when it is released we will know much more about this under investigated aspect of American political life.

Clark County, NV Parents Debate Opt-In/Opt-Out Sex Education
Education News
After hours of public input, the board voted not to recommend that the sex education advisory committee revisit the opt-in option. Nevada, Mississippi, and Utah require parental consent before a student can join a sex education class, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Kansas officials to cull incomplete voter forms
AP
The only other states with proof-of-citizenship laws are Arizona, Alabama and Georgia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though the last two haven’t fully put them into effect.

Answers to 11 questions about the push to repeal Wisconsin's ...
Madison.com
Wisconsin is one of 16 states that have minimum markup laws with price protections for retailers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Internet taxes, sales taxes are two different things
Hattiesburg American 
The National Conference of State Legislatures identifies an annual $303.4 million in uncollected Mississippi sales tax revenues.

Oct. 1

Obama urges state lawmakers: 'You can act when Washington won't'
USA TODAY
But many of the Democratic lawmakers meeting at the White House Wednesday come from Republican states. Democrats have lost 919 state legislative seats since 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and now have complete control of just 11 statehouses — and four of those states have Republican governors. 

Lawmakers and donors plot strategy against GOP in the states
Politico
Republicans control both chambers of 30 state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures; Democrats control only 11. The GOP holds the governorship and the legislature in 23 states compared to seven controlled by Democrats.

State panel talks dollars and cents of medical pot
Saint Peters Blog
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana under state law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but selling marijuana is still a federal crime.