NCSL in the News | October 2019

10/31/2019

Oct. 31

Five Components Of Autonomous Car Security
Forbes
As automated vehicles are becoming more prevalent and their safety is being questioned, there are numerous regulations being discussed that companies producing them would have to meet. According to a report published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states and the District of Columbia have already considered autonomous vehicle legislation, and the House of Representatives had previously passed HR 3388 obliging uniform standards for autonomous vehicles before it stalled in Congress.

Hutchinson honored with Senate retirement resolution
The Times Weekly
Hutchinson is also the immediate past President of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan non-governmental organization that serves both members of state legislatures and staff.

Correction: Hemp Growing Rules story
The Washington Post
At least 47 states have passed laws to establish hemp production programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Exceptions include South Dakota, Idaho and Mississippi.

Election reform bill speeds toward approval in Pennsylvania
Chicago Tribune
The bill also allows voters to register up to 15 days before the election. Among states, Pennsylvania's current 30-day deadline is the furthest out, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

USDA rule offers clarity for hemp program, Arkansans say
Arkansas Online
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substance Act, allowing commercial production across states, territories and tribal lands. At least 47 states have now adopted industrial hemp programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dallas County’s early voting running smoothly for most
The Dallas Morning News
Nearly half of all states permit some form of vote by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Four states — Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Hawaii — conduct all of their elections by mail.

Debate in Akron signals unwillingness in Columbus to create open primary elections
Akron Beacon Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 states allow independent voters to pull a Democratic or Republican primary ballot without declaring party affiliation.

Sodexo to pilot free meal program at 13 colleges
Education Dive
The National Conference of State Legislatures made similar recommendations in a 2018 report and suggested college enrollment count toward the program's employment requirement.

Oct. 30

2020 candidates discuss criminal justice reform from the cell block to the ballot box
ABC News
There are instances when the right to vote is lost indefinitely, often dependent on the jurisdiction or type of crime conviction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Long Islanders cast ballots on first day of early voting in New York State
Newsday
The State Legislature approved early voting in January. New York is the 39th state to allow early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

US finalizing rule to allow farmers to legally grow hemp
Chicago Tribune
At least 47 states have passed laws to establish hemp production programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Exceptions include South Dakota, Idaho and Mississippi.

Vt. lawmakers look at creating office leadership position
WCAX
Last March, the National Conference of State Legislatures issued a report detailing what the Legislature could do to be more efficient. Right now, there are five staff offices within the Legislature. The sergeant-at-arms, the capitol police, the joint fiscal office, legislative IT and the legislative council are all separate entities. Lawmakers are looking into creating a new position that would act as an "executive director" for the five offices.

Lock the clock? These states want to end daylight saving time
13WHAM-TV
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 26 states have proposed 46 pieces of legislation proposing to lock the clocks at either standard or daylight saving time (DST).

Do red flag laws allow gun seizure without a judge’s OK?
PolitiFact
Descriptions of red flag laws consistently refer to decisions being made by judges. That’s the terminology used by Giffords, the Legislative Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the New York Times and many others.

Done In By A Deadline
WABE
Since 2018, the number of states that allow Election Day registration has grown by nearly 50 percent, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 29

Bill could usher Pennsylvania elections into a new era
The Daily Item
Under the bill, voters can register up to 15 days before the election. Among states, Pennsylvania's current 30-day deadline is the furthest out, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Also, the bill allows any voter to mail in a ballot for any reason, adding Pennsylvania to a group of 31 states that already do so, according to the NCSL. Currently, Pennsylvania restricts mail-in ballots to "absentee" voters who meet a narrow set of reasons.

Speaker Vos open to medical marijuana in 'pill' form, opposed to it being smoked or edible
Channel3000.com – WISC-TV3
There is not a specific state the speaker plans on modeling Wisconsin's legislation after, but he did ask the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures to send him data on each state's laws regarding their medical marijuana programs. Vos is the current president of the NCSL.

A Georgia law prevented 87000 people from voting last year. And it could have a big impact in 2020
KASU
With technology making it easier for election officials to quickly verify applicants and update voter lists, a growing number of states have relaxed their deadlines in recent years. Since 2018, the number of states that allow Election Day registration has grown by nearly 50 percent, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It's currently in place in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

North Dakota meets October deadline for federal child welfare funding
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota spent more than $69 million on child welfare services in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Of that amount, about $47 million came from federal sources, and about $20 million of that was Title IV-E money.

Do red flag laws allow gun seizure without a judge’s OK?
Politifact
Descriptions of red flag laws consistently refer to decisions being made by judges. That’s the terminology used by Giffords, the Legislative Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the New York Times and many others.

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

Vaping Bill passage honored with plaque to Cash, county school board
Cleveland Daily Banner
Tennessee is leading the way in cracking down on the use of vaping products in its schools, an effort that originated in the Bradley County School system. The campaign has resulted in legislation sponsored by state Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, and state Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, after Director of Bradley County Schools Dr. Linda Cash alerted them to the problem… “There weren’t any others,” he said. “I checked with the National Conference of State Legislatures and there was no other activity going on at the time about dangerous vaping. We were the first ones, thanks to [Cash], to bring this to our attention to the public and get something done.”

Done In By A Deadline
WABE
Election Day registration has grown by nearly 50 percent, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It’s currently in place in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Oct. 28

The True Cost of Payday Loans
Forbes
Currently, only five states and the District of Columbia explicitly prohibit payday lending, according to the most recent data published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, while 37 states have specific statutes that allow for payday lending in some form. The lending caps and other rules they set, however, vary tremendously.

Why Underemployment Plagues People With Disabilities Even In A Strong Economy
Forbes
But the reality is that even in a strong job market, people with disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed. We also work part time at higher rates than those without a disability (32% and 17%, respectively) according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Bill could usher Pennsylvania elections into a new era
Baltimore Sun
Under the bill, voters can register up to 15 days before the election. Among states, Pennsylvania's current 30-day deadline is the furthest out, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Also, the bill allows any voter to mail in a ballot for any reason, adding Pennsylvania to a group of 31 states that already do so, according to the NCSL. Currently, Pennsylvania restricts mail-in ballots to "absentee" voters who meet a narrow set of reasons.

Wisconsin lawmakers seeking to expunge marijuana convictions
The Star Tribune
In the past four years, at least 10 states have enacted legislation to make it easier or faster for residents to shield their past marijuana convictions from public view, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio may toughen pentalties for not following school bus laws
Hamilton Journal News
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that states are considering improving school bus safety by adding seat belts to protect passengers in rollover or side-impact crashes and by adding cameras to stop arms to catch drivers who illegally pass the bus.Eight states require some manner of seat belts on school buses and 15 states permit the use of stop arm cameras, according to NCSL. Ohio lawmakers are currently considering HB83 to allow for the use of bus cameras to identify drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

Oklahoma census to take place without state funding
The Oklahoman
Oklahoma is one of a handful of states that have not dedicated financial resources toward the census, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Early voting starts Saturday
Rome Sentinel
All but nine states that allow in-person voting ahead of Election Day, though Delaware and Virginia have passed such laws but will not implement early voting this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Elections bill would make it easier for Pennsylvanians to vote by mail and to register later
The Morning Call
Under the bill, voters can register up to 15 days before the election. Among states, Pennsylvania's current 30-day deadline is the furthest out, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 25

Miller says he’ll step down as Maryland Senate president; Democrats pick Baltimore’s Bill Ferguson to replace him
Baltimore Sun
Miller is currently the longest-serving state senate president in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. He has the longest uninterrupted tenure of any state legislative presiding officer.

Other Voices: Hemp -- cash crop or cops' nightmare?
Aberdeen News
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, only South Dakota, Idaho, and Mississippi do not allow cultivation of hemp in their states.

House Speaker Bedke elected VP of state legislatures group
Idaho Business Review
Idaho Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley has been elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The group in a news release Monday says Bedke was elected Oct. 12 at the group’s Fall Executive Committee meeting. The group says Bedke will serve one year as vice president, become president-elect for one year, and then become president in 2021. The presidency alternates every year between Republicans and Democrats. The National Conference of State Legislatures on its website says it’s a bipartisan organization that offers research, technical assistance and other help so states can find solutions to difficult problems and remain strong and independent.

Washington will still turn clocks back despite Daylight Saving Time law
K5 News
Washington isn’t the only state that wants to move to Daylight Saving Time permanently. Dozens of states considered changes to time observances this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Oregon also approved a move to permanent Daylight Saving Time in the spring, and California voters approved the change last year, making the entire west coast open to permanent Daylight Saving Time.

Measles cases skyrocket as thousands of Florida students start school without vaccination
Panama City News Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks vaccine-related proposals, but reported none were considered by state leaders in the most recent session in Florida.

Madigan and Comed are at the center of federal heat
Illinois Policy
Illinois is one of only 11 states that do not have “revolving door” laws forbidding lawmakers from lobbying once they leave office, according to a report compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Beaufort Co. adds day to vote this weekend. But it’s still absentee, not early, voting
The Island Packet
South Carolina is one of only nine states without early voting options, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Instead, S.C. residents can vote absentee in-person if they complete an application saying they meet one of the qualifications for absentee voting.

Blount County commissioners attend controversial Sevier County Commission meeting
The Daily Times
“It’s early for us to talk about which direction we want to go,” Lee said about the laws at the National Conference of State Legislatures in August.

NY Law Allows Nursing as Reason to Postpone Jury Duty
Hamodia
A new law in New York allows nursing mothers to delay jury duty for up to two years…The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 other states have similar laws.

Oct. 24

In NJ, holding two public jobs not better than one | Editorial
NorthJersey.com
As the Network reported, New Jersey has a part-time Legislature that allows members to have second public or elected jobs when they’re not in Trenton, a practice, according to the an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, not in place in a majority of other states. Trenton’s system of paying legislators stands in contrast with neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania, which have full-time Legislatures and salaries almost double those of New Jersey lawmakers.

Legislators, sheriffs fail to agree on 'red flag' law
Albuquerque Journal
Red flag laws have already been enacted this year in at least 15 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington Transportation Officials Review Rules for Driverless Cars
The News Wheel
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states currently have driverless-vehicle laws. Washington is one of them.

Oct. 23

How To Vote In An Election
NPR
You may need identification. Some states require photo ID. These laws have been changing a lot in recent years, so it's worth double-checking. Two websites with good information are Ballotpedia and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New York Law Allows Breastfeeding As Reason To Postpone Jury Duty
CBS New York
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states and Puerto Rico already have similar laws in place.

Philadelphia is eyeing a ban on plastic bags. Here’s how that’s worked in other cities.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Fourteen states, including Pennsylvania, have so-called preemption laws on the books that block local bag regulations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Amid Democratic dissent, brokered election reform bill advances in the Pa. House
Pennsylvania Capital Star
Currently, just seven states, including Pennsylvania, have straight ticket voting according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Secretary of State Nominees Differ on Expanding Early Voting
Jackson Free Press
Thirty-nine states allow people to vote early without having to provide an excuse such as being out of town on election day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 22

House Speaker Bedke elected VP of state legislatures group
KSL.com
Idaho Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley has been elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
NY law allows breastfeeding as reason to postpone jury duty
The Baltimore Sun
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 other states have similar laws.
  
Glitches in California embolden automatic voter registration foes
Chicago Tribune
Since Oregon became the first state to pass automatic voter registration in 2015, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have followed with their own version of the policy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tarra Simmons Looks To Become 1st Former Inmate Elected To Washington Legislature
OPB
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it doesn’t track the candidacies or election of formerly incarcerated people to legislative office.

State Resists Immunizations
Urban Milwaukee
Wisconsin is one of just 15 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, where residents can refuse required vaccinations due to personal conviction or philosophical objections.

Turning Over A New Leaf: The Push To Nix Old Pot Convictions
Law360
Over the past four years, at least 15 states have enacted laws providing for the expungement of those convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures… Since 2014, at least 15 states have enacted laws providing for the expungement of some marijuana convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Excerpts from recent South Dakota editorials
Aberdeen News
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, only South Dakota, Idaho, and Mississippi do not allow cultivation of hemp in their states.

How One Conservative Group Plans To Maintain Republicans’ Grip On State Legislatures
TPM
While ALEC likes to compare itself to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), Feng said that’s far from the truth. NCSL’s meetings and operations are open to the public and the group facilitates debate between different parties and viewpoints, she said. ALEC, meanwhile, is almost exclusively Republicans working in secret.

Oct. 21

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

Texans should play bigger role in redistricting [Editorial]
Houston Chronicle
Fourteen states have nonpartisan commissions with primary responsibility for drawing their legislative districts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states let commissions draw congressional district lines. Maybe if Texas joined that movement, legislators wouldn’t want to flee to another state to avoid a quorum call.

Former lawmakers are cashing in on Michigan's lucrative marijuana industry
Detroit Free Press
Michigan is one of only nine states, along with Washington D.C., that has little or no cooling-off period between when lawmakers leave office and when they can register as a lobbyist, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Editorial: South Carolina needs to pass hands-free cell phone law
Aiken Standard
Neighboring Georgia is among the 20 states that has a hand-held cellphone use ban for all drivers, according to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alaska communities that levy sales taxes launch plan to collect for online purchases
Anchorage Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 42 states across the country have begun collecting online sales taxes since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that online retailers can be required to pay sales taxes, even if they don’t physically exist in a particular state.

Oct. 18

Cannabis legalization may be off the table for Pennsylvania’s GOP majority. Decriminalization is another matter
The Philadelphia Tribune
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have already decriminalized marijuana to varying degrees. Their ranks include red states such as Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Mississippi.

A solution for food waste in schools: Give it to the pigs
Hartford Courant
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it's unclear how many other states have laws like the one in Maine.

Pennsylvania put plastic bag bans on hold for a year. So, how did the issue land before Bethlehem City Council this week?
The Morning Call
In 2016, California became the first state in the country to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at major retailers, and a total of eight state now have some type of ban, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio marijuana processors pledge to list ingredients on vape products; U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce talks marijuana with Politico
Crain’s Cleveland Business
Only 33 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., currently have some kind of marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers have spent nearly $77K so far on 2019 travel
Cambridge News & Deerfield Independent
Wisconsin lawmakers in 2019 have used their office budgets for travel to Australia to attend a youth leadership conference, Denver for a hemp seminar and Nashville to witness Assembly Speaker Robin Vos become president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women Cracking State’s Executive Suites
Urban Milwaukee
“At least four other states have passed or are considering similar measures on gender, but not race, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

Measles cases skyrocket as more parents refuse vaccine
Star news Online
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks vaccine-related proposals, but reported none were considered by state leaders in the most recent session in North Carolina.

A Democratic takeover could make Virginia more marijuana-friendly. But legalization may still be years away.
Virginia Mercury
Recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Decriminalization measures have passed in 26 states and D.C.

Cannabis legalization may be off the table for Pennsylvania’s GOP majority. Decriminalization is another matter
Pennsylvania Capital-Star
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have already decriminalized marijuana to varying degrees. Their ranks include red states such as Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Mississippi.

Mary Stuart Gile, Concord representative and community pillar, dies at 83
Concord Monitor
She helmed the Committee on Children and Family Law in Concord, sat on the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and took part in a range of task forces and committees throughout her life.

Column: Sign the correct petition if you oppose utility’s bailout
The Columbus Dispatch
At a recent National Conference of State Legislatures meeting, I was talking to a Kentucky lawmaker who told me that he followed Ohio economic development closely. I asked his opinion on Ohio’s House Bill 6, the bailout bill for FirstEnergy Solutions’ two nuclear plants and two coal-fired plants. He asked me to thank Ohio legislators for improving Kentucky’s business climate.

Senate bill aims to legalize adult-use marijuana
The Intelligence
Eleven states have approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, although only two state legislatures, in Vermont and Illinois, have passed bills to legalize marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Q&A with Kelly Latterman, candidate for 4-year term on Steamboat Springs School Board
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Formerly, she began her career in education policy working as a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. With NCSL, she managed an education policy portfolio including school leadership, rural education, governance, teachers and free speech…. As a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, I managed policy work in rural education, school leadership and K-12 school governance. In this role, I enjoyed connecting legislators with the resources they needed to make informed policy decisions.

Oct. 17

Officials weigh ID response
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Arkansas is not one of the 13 states that allows migrants to obtain driver's licenses even if they're not authorized to be in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Glitches in California Embolden Automatic Voter Registration Foes
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Across the country, proponents of automatic voter registration often laud its ability to dramatically increase a state’s voter rolls, bringing more people into the political process. Since Oregon became the first state to pass automatic voter registration in 2015, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have followed with their own version of the policy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Colorado asks US Supreme Court to stop so-called 'faithless electors'
The Colorado Independent
The compact would require Colorado’s electors to vote for the candidate who wins the national popular vote, rather than the statewide popular vote. It would only take effect if enough states join that 270 electoral votes are in play. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact. In order for the compact to take effect, 74 additional electoral votes are needed.

Keep Employment Discrimination Out of People's Bedsheets
The Courier
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and 27 based on gender identity, either by law or through an excecutive order. However, only 3 states–California, Rhode Island and Nevada–also ban discrimination based on gender expression.

Hyundai Motor Group is receiving support from South Korea for self-driving car development
Business Insider
At least 29 state legislative bodies have already enacted AV legislation, and 11 governors have issued executive orders concerning AVs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 16

Indiana lawmakers look for better ways to identify students living in poverty
Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana is among 11 states that use the federal programs to count poverty, NCSL data showed. Most states—32—still use free and reduced-price lunch, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Koch-backed study claims New York’s hefty film tax credits don’t lead to job creation
NY Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 31 states and the District of Columbia offered similar film or TV tax credits in 2018.

Lawmakers to receive a raise
Tahlequah Daily Press
Missouri pays lawmakers $35,915. New Mexico doesn't pay a salary, and Texas pays $7,200, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 15

One State's Solution to Food Waste in Schools? Pigs
Time
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it’s unclear how many other states have laws like the one in Maine.

UVM launches legislative intern program to help lawmakers who lack staff
VT Digger
States including Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey had close to 1,000 staffers in their statehouses as of 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Wyoming's highways are facing a funding shortfall; lawmakers balk at possible solution
ABC Fox Montana
“The National Conference on State Legislatures has come up with 54 different ways to be able to fund transportation infrastructure,” Pappas said. “A lot of those ideas won’t work in Wyoming. But eight to 12 of them just might. I don’t think just one thing is going to solve the problem.”

Health Care Service Corp. bosses rake in the green
Modern Health Care
The average annual premium for employer-sponsored family coverage rose 5 percent to $19,616 in 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump says again that Americans need ID to buy groceries. They still don't
WRAL
Thirty-five states -- including Louisiana, where Trump was speaking on Friday -- have some kind of voter identification requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some of these states require photo identification, while some allow other forms of identification.

Oct. 14

Lights turn green for traffic signal company that hired MDOT director
Detroit Free Press
At least 18 states have laws or rules that would have barred Steudle from seeking a state contract involving his former agency, according to a summary compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alamance County Census committee talks money and power
The Times News
North Carolina gets about $16.3 billion per year from those programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kansas Legislators Make Laws, But They Don't Make Much Money
KCUR
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 66% of Kansas legislators were baby boomers in 2016, compared to 29% of the state population. Only 22% of Kansas lawmakers were millennials or Gen X, even though those age groups made up 58% of the state.

Oct. 11

No, You Still Can't Bring Your Gun on a Plane
Bloomberg
At the state level, there weren’t any bills relating to TSA checkpoints and firearms as of mid-September, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

When is daylight saving time? Do you need to turn clock back in Washington, given the new law? Your questions answered
Seattle Times
Whatever you call it, the idea of abandoning the twice-yearly time change isn’t new. But it has gained traction: Over the past two years, more than 30 states have signaled an interest in opting out of the shift, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Homeless In Seattle, Part 2: Tech Sucks The Soul Out Of The City
Townhall
There are now about 42 million immigrants from just about every country in the world living in the U.S., making up about 13 percent of the overall population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Consent Still Isn't Taught In Schools. Here's How Sex Educators Want To Fix That
Bustle
The often conflicting and confused understanding of consent and overall sexual health can be connected to what is required and offered in schools. According to National Conference of State Legislatures, as of March 1, 2016, only 24 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education, and only 20 states require that this education must be medically, factually, or technically accurate.

Oct. 10

Stun gun sales increasing in Mass.
Haverhill Gazette
Besides Massachusetts, stun guns are legal in 42 states including New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In most cases, owners must be at least 18 years old and not have a felony record.

Check out who is running for Kentucky's secretary of state in 2019
Courier Journal
According to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, same-day registration is available in 16 states and Washington, D.C. Costs may be associated with same-day registration such as the purchase of additional equipment and the reallocation of poll workers to process new registrants.

Oct. 9

Black and Latino Roundtable focuses on immigration, incarceration reform
madison365.com
In 2011, the National Conference of State Legislatures notes, new provisions in Wisconsin related to early release were repealed. As a result, said Taylor,  “We are now seeing a trajectory up in incarceration.” The Justice Reinvestment Initiative highlighted the high costs associated with incarcerating sick, elderly people.

Meat, Milk Groups Seek to Defend Supermarket Turf
Wall Street Journal
That association and other groups also want legal limits on the ability of plant-based producers to call their products milk or meat. This year 45 bills have been introduced in 27 states that seek to police the labeling of plant-based products and cell-cultured meats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 8

Fertility Preservation Bill Would Give Insurance Coverage to Cancer Patients Who Want Biological Children
Newsweek
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "15 states—Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia—have passed laws that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment."

Would You Buy Marijuana From Someone Wearing a Body Camera? You May Have No Choice
Observer
Massachusetts is not one of those states where police must wear cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state-by-state camera requirements.

The High Cost of Mental Health Care for One Family
Frontline
Last year’s congressional budget contained the Family First Prevention Services Act, which the National Conference of State Legislatures says has the potential to dramatically impact child welfare systems nationwide.

S.D. transportation secretary answers questions about trucking-rules proposals
Kelo
“Autonomous Vehicles – Self-driving Vehicles Enacting Legislation” dated March 19, 2019, and published by the National Conference of State Legislatures on its website.

Despite spending billions on school security, expert says children are still vulnerable
KATV
NCSL research cited: Some states like Virginia, Maryland and Florida are now governed by laws that require schools to have threat assessment teams that adhere to protocols for reporting and intervening, when spotting children or adults in contact with the schools are displaying or posting threatening behavior. But those mandates don’t apply in other states. READ MORE: http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/school-safety-prevention636876490.aspx

4-Year-Old Kindergarten Gets Bipartisan Support
Urban Milwaukee
Olsen also took part in the research that led to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures titled “No Time to Lose: How to Build a World Class Education System State by State.” The report urges the United States to adopt best practices from other countries (some of which Olsen visited). These include “a strong early education system, a reimagined and professionalized teacher workforce, robust career and technical education programs, and a comprehensive, aligned system of education.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos became president of the NCSL in 2019.

Maryland Democrat Charged with Wire Fraud Three Days After Resigning
Law & Crime
Member, National Conference of State Legislatures (redistricting & elections committee, 2005-)

Oct. 7

'Money and Power': Fearing an undercount, states and cities pour millions into 2020 census
NBC News
Twenty-three states have put millions toward backstopping federal efforts, but none come close to California's $187 million. Illinois has allocated about $30 million, New York, $20 million and Washington state, $15 million, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Suit says Little Rock hotel ignored sex trafficking
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
By 2013, every state had enacted criminal penalties for human trafficking, though only 34 also have passed civil suit guidelines, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arkansas is one of them.

Fee for electric cars hits speed bump at Capitol
The Meadville Tribune
Among nearby states, only Virginia and West Virginia have electric vehicle fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State scores low on ease of voting
The Journal Gazette
Twenty-one states plus the District of Columbia have same-day registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Oct. 4

Budget-Weary Lawmakers Shift Focus to Non-Budget Issues
U.S. News
In 45 states, the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction is 17, while Missouri's law increasing the age to 17 will take effect in 2021. Michigan, Texas, Georgia and Wisconsin draw the line at age 16, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Expect States To Tweak Marketplace Laws, Tax Board Told
Law 360
The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Multistate Tax Commission have fielded comments from businesses and are creating resources that states can use to strive for uniformity in marketplace facilitator laws, the MTC's Richard Cram said….In the NCSL’s case, a work group is putting together model legislation that can act as a prototype for states to adopt, while the MTC is drafting a white paper on marketplaces that will outline where states should turn next, Cram said….The most recent draft of the NCSL bill would allow marketplace sellers that meet a yet-to-be-decided gross sales threshold to opt out of having a marketplace facilitator collect their taxes. The board is slated to discuss that bill in more detail Thursday.

Fee for electric cars hits speed bump at Capitol
The Sharon Herald
Among nearby states, only Virginia and West Virginia have electric vehicle fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Virginia, motorists pay a $64 electric vehicle fee. In West Virginia, the electric vehicle fee is $200 for electric vehicles and $100 for hybrids, according to the NCSL.

With Jackson and Forbes, Appointees Make Up One-Fifth of Legislature
Maryland Matters
Twenty-five states fill legislative vacancies through special elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Legislative threat deserves full airing
Helena Independent Record
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ briefing paper, Vol. 14, No. 40, The Importance of Decorum by Natalie O’Donnell, “…a legislator is speaking not as an individual but as a representative of a constituency.”

Autonomous, Electric Infrastructure Will Expand With Demand, Experts Say
Transport Topics
Louisiana joined 28 states and the District of Columbia as jurisdictions that have enacted autonomous vehicle legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa judge allows two voting ID requirements to stand, strikes two others
The Fulcrum
Iowa and 34 other states require an ID before voting, and half those states require a photo card, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. Proposals for photo ID requirements in Montana and Wyoming were rejected in those legislatures this year.

UC Berkeley poll shows majority of CA voters favor SB 276, which tightened state vaccine regulations
The Daily Californian
All 50 states allow medical exemptions to vaccines, but 45 states allow religious and personal objections to immunizations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 3

High cost of insulin endangers lives, diabetics tell legislative panel
Washington Times Herald
The committee also heard from Colleen Becker, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, who gave examples of how other states are tackling the problem. Bills passed in 2019 in Louisiana, Maine and Minnesota have transparency requirements and language to ensure the best interest of clients is considered.

Gov. Wolf discussed pardons process for people with nonviolent marijuana-related crimes
WPXI Pittsburgh
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states and Washington D.C. have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. Eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana. Wolf would like Pennsylvania to be the 12th.

Fl Democrats, Republicans unite against amendment allowing independents to vote in primary elections
Florida Phoenix
Florida is in the minority of (nine) states that have completely closed primary elections. The other 41 states operate some form of an open or not completely closed primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oct. 2

Judge upholds voter ID, strikes parts of 2017 voting law
The Washington Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 states have laws that require a photo ID to vote and 18 states including Iowa have laws requiring some form of ID to vote.

Jurors in Amber Guyger murder trial are considering Texas' Castle Doctrine
NBC News
At least 25 states have some form of a Castle Doctrine, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan nongovernmental organization.

Florida Schools to Teach Students About Child Trafficking Prevention
U.S. News
Human trafficking crimes include sex trafficking and labor trafficking, where an individual is forced or coerced to work, according to a 2017 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

State Net Neutrality Laws Get Green Light in Court Ruling
Bloomberg Law
Washington, Oregon, Maine, and Colorado also have enacted net neutrality laws. Twenty-nine state legislatures introduced net neutrality bills this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The FBI is investigating a potential breach of election voting software
The Advocate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the West Virginia Secretary of State, eight states are considering using mobile voting in 2020. Those states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah.

Paychecks tapped for paid leave deductions
Salem News
Eight states and the District of Columbia have paid family leave programs. Only four, including Massachusetts, have implemented them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin one of smallest states to have full-time legislators
La Crosse Tribune
Compared to other states, the National Conference of State Legislatures considers Wisconsin “full-time lite” in its job-time requirements for legislators.

Oct. 1

Paychecks tapped for paid leave deductions
Eagle-Tribune
Eight states and the District of Columbia have paid family leave programs. Only four, including Massachusetts, have implemented them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin one of smallest states to have full-time legislators
La Crosse Tribune
Compared to other states, the National Conference of State Legislatures considers Wisconsin “full-time lite” in its job-time requirements for legislators. 
 
Pennsylvania governor now supports legalizing marijuana
NY Daily News
Eleven states have approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, although only two state legislatures, in Vermont and Illinois, have passed bills to legalize marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Stun gun sales rising in state
Gloucester Times
Besides Massachusetts, stun guns are legal in 42 states including New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Will Utah alter its insanity defense?
KSL.com
In the west, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana have similar standards, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
 
Using phone in school zone can cost drivers starting Tuesday
Kansas City Star
Florida is one of 48 states that currently ban all drivers from texting while driving, but the National Conference of State Legislatures says only 20 states prohibit all hand-held use of cellphones while behind the wheel.
 
Did Pat McCrory help immigrants get driver's licenses?
PolitiFact North Carolina
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to make immigrants living in the country illegally eligible for driver’s licenses, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures in July 2019.