NCSL in the News

NCSL in the News Archive: September 2010

 Sept. 30

Safety net support for disabled refugees lapses
“If the government withdraws SSI benefits, [refugees] are shifted to state and local governments if their health care takes place in the emergency room or their income support comes from state programs,” says Sheri Steisel of the National Conference for State Legislatures. The Washington Independent

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

State revenues: Rounding the corner?
According to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, however, both states have reason for optimism. Stateline.org

Coming this November: Taxes tug-of-war
What these measures have in common is the Great Recession, said Jennie Bowser, an elections analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN Money

Recall amendment to state Constitution on Nov. 2 ballot
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow for voter recall of elected officials to varying degrees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Northwest Herald

Pennsylvania to lose a congressional seat
Tim Storey is with National Conference of State Legislatures. Capitol News Connection

Website to collect health care views
Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, who heads the National Conference of State Legislatures' health committee, has launched a new website. Omaha World-Herald

WellPoint, AT&T, Altria step up donations to sway state races
Of the 27 state legislative chambers most likely to change hands after the November elections, 20 are now Democratic-controlled, said Tim Storey, an elections analyst for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Edward Fitzpatrick: Help shine a light on the dealings of the Assembly
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states place prohibitions or restrictions on giving and receiving campaign contributions. Providence Journal

Changing ND crime penalties proving difficult
At least 19 states have reviewed their money thresholds at which various crimes should be considered felonies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Dickinson Press

More incumbent Md. senators lost their primaries than in any other
States with senate elections this year have term limits on their state senators,according to a chart by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Citybizlist (press release)

Florida to get more representation
A report released last weekend at a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting forecast that Florida would gain two new seats. Polk County Democrat

Republican state legislatures and conservative initiative
Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures writes in Crystal Ball that Republicans should make substantial gains in state legislatures. News By Us

Sept. 29

Beer, candy and pot among issues before voters
"There are efforts to increase revenues and to cut taxes," says Jennifer Drage Bowser, who tracks ballot measures for the National Conference of State Legislatures. National Public Radio

Likely losses of House seats in Midwest stir partisan feuds
“The economic upheaval makes this exercise more unpredictable than it’s ever been,” said Tim Storey, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times

Ehrlich, O'Malley far apart on immigration
All of the 46 state assemblies that met for regular sessions in the first half of this year considered regulations that would have restricted illegal immigrants in some way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Baltimore Sun

Bryant indictment highlights loophole in NJ ethics law
California, for example, requires lawmakers to disclose the names of clients from whom the lawmaker earned more than $10,000, and North Carolina requires legislators to list the names of certain clients from whom they received more than $5,000, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Philadelphia Inquirer

Missouri falls short of CDC's breast-feeding goal
Only six states do not have protection laws for mothers breast-feeding in public, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Columbian Missourian

Midwest to lose congressional seats
Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures held a training seminar for 250 lawmakers from across the country on how to draw new legislative maps and shrink the number of House districts. UPI.com

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

Arnold should pump up his budget
Unfortunately, in 2004, the most populous state, California, entered the most rigorous (that is, onerous) category – according to a classification used by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Editorial in Globe and Mail

State lottery reaches one-year mark
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2006, the average amount of lottery money that goes toward scholarships is around $.30 per $1.00. KATV

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

E-commerce sales taxes elusive
For 11 years, a coalition assembled by the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures has tried to institute uniform laws on how sales taxes are administered. WIBC

Biennial budgeting on the horizon?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states employed biennial budgeting in 1940. OMB Watch

Governor candidates disagree on state ethics commission
Were New Mexico to create such a panel it would join 41 other states that already have some form of a commission, including many of its neighbors like Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Nevada, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New Mexico Independent

Putting the service back in public service
Legislators are only on the job for an average of 70-80 percent of the work week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Boston Globe

Sept. 28

State and local tax revenue inches up
A separate report expected to be released this week by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows states are projecting depressed revenue for several years, and one, California, as far as 2016. Wall Street Journal

Census likely will cost Ohio two House seats
Texas would gain four seats and Florida two, according to the EDS study, released over the weekend at a National Conference of State Legislatures redistricting seminar in Rhode Island. A number of states would gain or lose one seat. Columbus Post Dispatch

Elections expert expects state to lose a congressional seat
Kimball Brace of Election Data Services of Manassas, Va., told an audience at a redistricting seminar of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Providence, R.I., last weekend that Minnesota will overtake Missouri in its census count and will not lose a seat in its' congressional delegation. Southeast Missourian

Report: Missouri, Illinois will lose one congressional seat
The report was presented to the National Conference of State Legislatures last weekend. St. Louis Post Dispatch

Mass. may lose congressional seat in ’12
Election Data Services released the study this past weekend at a redistricting seminar of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Providence. Boston Globe

Heflin receives ag group's backing
Heflin serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock and is a member of the Agriculture and Energy Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Angelo Standard Times

Unfunded mandates reform bill clears Assembly panel
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, this law forbids unfunded mandates that, taken by themselves, would cost $50 million or more in 1996 dollars, adjusted for inflation. Examiner

Putting the service back in public service
It is considered a “full-time” Legislature, yet Massachusetts legislators are only on the job for an average of 70-80 percent of the work week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Boston Globe

A more robust analysis is needed before New Jersey maps a plan for the future of our gaming, sports
“It's being threatened in all directions,” Dylan Engberg, a research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, told Investors. “It's being threatened by Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Aqueduct in New York.” Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey

Kessler says she's not stepping into the shadows
Kessler, 69, said that message, which she delivered at the Clallam County Democrats' Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner on Saturday, has been well received, including at the National Conference of State Legislators meeting in Louisville, Ky. last July.Kessler spoke at that meeting after receiving the organization's Excellence in Legislative Leadership award. Peninsula Daily

Report: Florida sands to get two new congressional seats
A study by Election Data Services and released Sunday at a National Conference of State Legislatures' redistricting seminar in Rhode Island, shows Florida going from 25 seats to 27 seats, gaining one more seat than many had previously expected based on earlier population change estimates. Sunshine State News

Sept. 27

DNA made difference in solving cold case
Louisiana is one of 24 states that have such a provision, said Rich Williams of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Galveston Daily News

Working to keep a heritage relevant
Ten states already have the right to hunt and fish to their constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times

Maryland damage cap on non-economic damages upheld
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2005, ten states capped recoveries specifically on medical malpractice cases and another 22 have caps that are not limited to medical malpractice. About Lawsuits.com

Teachers deserve more than an apple for their efforts
For that reason, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) devotes a great deal of effort to help legislators and legislative staff with sound research and sharing of best practices. Metrowest Daily News

Most inmates miss out on shorter sentencing chance
Across the nation, at least 31 states offer prisoners "earned time" incentives that cut their sentences when they complete programs, and save taxpayers the cost of their extended incarceration, according to a report last year by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lebanon Daily News

Republican state legislatures and conservative initiative
Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures writes in Crystal Ball that Republicans should make substantial gains in state legislatures. Canada Free Press

The changing map, redistricting starts to shake out
Election Data Services released a report at the National Conference of State Legislatures's seminar on what the latest Census data will mean for redistricting. MSNBC

N.Y. projected to lose to House seats
The study by Election Data Services, released at a National Conference of State Legislatures redistricting seminar, determined a major factor in population shifts in the states this year is likely to be overseas military personnel returning to the United States, and where they end up. UPI.com

Proposition 109 backs hunting rights
Sources: ...National Conference of State Legislatures report. The Arizona Republic

'Sexting all the time': Explicit cell phone messages on rise
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 15 states have legislation in the works aimed at creating a range of punishments for sexting. Anniston Star

Athletes dedicating season to student's memory
And according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): 19.3 percent of high school students have seriously considered killing themselves. The Norman Transcript

Nothing to ‘Smile’ about
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states (Illinois, Kansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri) have declared various cannabinoids (particularly JWH-018) “schedule 1 controlled substances.” Herald Argus

Sept. 24

Indiana lawmakers push for Internet taxes
Kenley is on the national forefront of the issue; he is first vice president of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc., a body created in 1999 by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to simplify the collection of sales taxes and thus remove the central reason online retailers say they cannot collect sales tax. Indiana Business Journal

Advocates want ND insurance coverage for Autism
At least 21 states require insurers to provide treatment for autism, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WKRG-TV

Ohio outsourcing ban puts practice in perspective for other states
According to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, it maybe the only one to be successful, but it is hardly the only state to try. Civ Source

State approaches to school readiness assessment
The National Conference of State Legislatures released an updated technical report in August, “State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment,” that closely examines states’ approaches to readiness assessments. Policy For Results

Sept. 23

Midterm elections play major role in redistricting
That's Tim Storey, who tracks these races for the National Council of State Legislatures. "So if theres a strong wave in the direction of the GOP, as it appears there will be, they're going to be in position to perhaps have unilateral control of drawing maybe as many as 150 or 160 U.S. House seats," said Tim Storey. NPR

Advocates want ND insurance coverage for autism
At least 21 states require insurers to provide treatment for autism, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Dickinson Press

Obesity down in BRF schools
The rate of childhood obesity in Wisconsin for 2007 was estimated at 31 percent, compared to 23.1 in Minnesota, 26.5 in Iowa and 34.9 in Illinois, according to information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Jackson County Chronicle (WI)

Phil Haire, Democratic incumbent, N.C. House District 119
Also, I am a state delegate to the National Conference of State Legislators, and among other activities served as chair of the Standing Committee on Law and Criminal Justice. Column in the Asheville Citizen-Times

The Path to a Degree: Policies to improve college access and success
Presentation made by Brenda Bautsch, Education Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), on Sept. 1st, 2010 before the HECR Task Force. Alaska Senate; Advisory Task Force on Higher Education and Career Readiness

Sept. 22

Governor of Arizona has 'backbone,' Conrad says
In 2006, there were 570 immigration-related bills introduced in states around the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the first six months of 2010, that number was up to 1,400. Winston Salem Journal

Debate over government pension plans heats up
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," National Conference of State Legislatures public-pension analyst Ronald Snell told the AP. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." The New American

State unemployment rates rise again
The National Conference of State Legislatures offers the Bureau of Labor Statistics information in easy to read table – check that out here. Figures for September are due out this time next month. Civ Source

Public-sector workers flee as pension benefits shrink
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." The Associated Press in the Detroit News

Lou Cannon: States, cities squeezed in tepid recovery
Corina L. Eckl, fiscal program director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, anticipates that state revenues won’t reach pre-recession levels until 2014 in Florida, Georgia, Idaho and North Carolina and until 2015 in Arizona, Maine, Montana and New Mexico. In California, the poster child for fiscal dysfunction, state revenues are not expected to attain pre-recession levels until 2016. State Net in Noozhawk.com

Voter ID state question faces challenges
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states have adopted stricter voter identification requirements than the federal law, which requires first-time voters who registered by mail to show identification. Of those 26 states, eight specifically request or require a photo identification. Edmond Sun

Sept. 21

Larger shortfall looms in Colorado budget, and schools are likely to feel the pain
States across the country have reported shortfalls in the current budget year, collectively facing a cumulative shortfall of $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of July, 20 states had reported their estimates of personal income were below previous projections. Denver Post

Immigration reform heats up again as elections and trials approach
Other states are watching. In the first six months of 2010, 46 states introduced nearly 1,400 immigration-related bills, and five of them – South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Michigan – have introduced bills similar to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Science Monitor

Sept. 20

Medicaid: Expansion helps state
Joy Johnson Wilson, a health care policy director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, told members of the Mississippi Legislature on Monday that individuals with incomes of less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level - less than $14,400 annually - will be eligible for Medicaid. Opinion in the Jackson Clarion Ledger

Moving out of state to get autism treatment
"We've definitely seen an increase in the number of bills that have been introduced in the last few years related to autism [insurance mandates], and so I think it's been a growing issue for states -- or at least they've become more aware of it," Saunders says. CNN.com

Mississippi should take lead on health
The National Conference of State Legislatures last week brought to Mississippi its non-partisan voice of reason and information about mandated nationwide health care reforms still unfolding in detail and impact. Opinion in the Hattiesburg American

Other ways to have your say
According to a handy round-up from the National Conference of State Legislatures, there will be at least 150 such measures on the ballot in November, including 43 initiatives and four referenda to call constitutional conventions — in Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and Montana. National Review

State laws and employer I-9 employment verification responsibilities
The National Conference of State Legislatures does a remarkable job of monitoring these new developments and I include a variation of their chart and summary of the new state legislation below. Working the Puzzle Blog

Here's how health reform affects you
Up to 13 million of the 47 million uninsured Americans are young adults, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates. In many states, when kids turn 19 or graduate, they are dropped from their parents’ plans. Lubbock Online

Building a climate change mitigation coalition: state by state
At least 300 bills have been filed in 40 states that address heat-trapping gases and climate change in some form, said Adela Flores-Brennan, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hyubrid Auto News Blog

N.Y. legislators given $33M for expenses since 2000
About two dozen states offer per diem allowances to lawmakers based on federal rates. Five don't provide them at all, mainly some of the states that are the smallest geographically, such as Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New Jersey. The other is Ohio, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Poughkeepsie Journal

Footnote: Why does state require front and rear license plates?
A minority of states — 21 — have gone to just one plate, said Anne Teigen, a transportation specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Madison.com

States cutting benefits for public-sector employees
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." Associated Press in the Post Tribune and KTNV-TV and Times Dispatch

Federal K-12 funding muddies electoral waters
Democrats currently control 60 state legislative chambers, Republicans control 36, and two are evenly split. Between 15 and 20 of those chambers are likely to change party control this fall, with most of those expected to shift to Republican majorities, said Tim Storey, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures, in Denver. Education Week

Congress leaps into pre-election stretch, may put NFIP in budget bill
Each of the ballot questions focuses on not accepting mandates—federal or state—that would require purchase of insurance by individuals or employers, and not imposing fines or penalties for those who fail to do so, said Dick Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Insurance News and Trading Markets

"Fairy-tale promises" in New Jersey, legal battles in CO, SD, MN
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." Associated Press in Yahoo News in Howe Street

Rep. Fludd named vice chair of NCSL’s Budget and Revenue Committee
State Representative Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone) has been named Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Budget & Revenue Committee. The Citizen

Jobs With the best health coverage
Just like state laws, state-government health coverage varies from place to place. However, all states do provide their government employees with the option for health coverage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website. eHow News

Sept. 17

States working harder to collect online sales taxes
But it turns out that the vast majority of Americans are completely unaware of those rules, so the forms don’t get filed and the taxes don’t get paid — to the tune of $8.6 billion in 2010 alone, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates.MSNBC

Federal K-12 funding muddies electoral waters
Democrats currently control 60 state legislative chambers, Republicans control 36, and two are evenly split. Between 15 and 20 of those chambers are likely to change party control this fall, with most of those expected to shift to Republican majorities, said Tim Storey, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures, in Denver. Education Week

Pat Ingraham
Appointed to the National Conference of State Legislature. The Missoulian

States cutting benefits for public-sector retirees
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." The Laramie Boomerang

Sept. 16

Slowdown on the public-private express
The available permutations of P3s are increasing, says Jaime Rall, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures who focuses on transportation issues. “That raises a lot of opportunities, but it also makes the necessary dialogue more complex,” says Rall, noting that questions about how to govern and oversee P3 contracts over long periods of time tend to be especially prickly. Stateline.org and State Bill News

Insurers say autism coverage would be costly for W.Va.
Twenty-three states currently mandate that insurers cover autism, although the degree of coverage varies from state to state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. State Journal

Shore residents eager to vote early
Nationwide, 32 states have some form of early voting, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Delmarva News Media Group

Trib: ID Solons suffer senior moments
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 percent of Idaho’s legislators are 65 or older, second only to New Hampshire where half of that state’s lawmakers are 65 or more. Spokesman Review

States cutting benefits for public-sector retirees
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." Associated Press, Scranton Times Tribune, the Advertiser, The Observer-Report

Sept. 15

States cutting benefits for public-sector retirees
"Whether legislatures have the power to change benefits for people who are already in the system, that's a tough question," said Ronald Snell, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures who monitors public pension issues across the country. "It's unresolved in a lot of places." WTXL TV, AP and Boston Globe

State lawmakers have use of taxpayer-funded cars
The rest of the states require lawmakers to use their own cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Press and Sun Bulletin

Powell named to national ag, energy panel
According to NCSL, the Agriculture and Energy Committee is charged with helping Congress and federal agencies understand state concerns about agriculture, rural development, natural resources, energy, and electric utilities. Moultire Observer

Sept. 14

GOP expects its own change
Tim Storey with the National Council of State Legislatures notes that if a traditional trend holds true down the ballot in state legislative races, Republicans could make big gains there too nationwide. Gaston Gazette (N.C.)

Voter ID state question faces challenges
According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 26 states have adopted stricter voter identification requirements than the federal law. Edmond Sun

Senior women legislators hit trail
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Hampshire claims the largest contingent, with 37.3 percent of its legislative members female. Next up is Vermont with 37.2, Colorado with 37 percent, and Minnesota with 34.8 percent. Boston Globe

Early voting highest on Shore
Nationwide, 32 states have some form of early voting, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Delmarva Media Group

NY to seek info on cleanser contents
The National Conference of State Legislatures, the cleanser institute and consumer and environmental advocates say they aren't aware of any other law like New York's. Associated Press

Synthetic marijuana available in stores
The state is among 11 others that have made the drugs illegal, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tri Cities.com

Getting a seat at the table
Texas has no limit how much a donor can give an office holder or political action committee. It’s one of only 13 states with little or no such limits, although New Mexico and Illinois laws limiting donations are set to take effect within the next few months, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. El Paso Inc.

Candidate spotlight – Why choose Tom Nelson
He also has been on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Center for Policy Alternatives, as has been the President of the National labor Caucus of State Legislators. Milwaukee Courier

Rep. Powell named to NCSL's Agriculture/Energy Committee
"It is an honor to be selected by Speaker Ralston to serve on this important committee within the National Conference of State Legislatures," said Rep. Powell. WALB-TV

Sept. 13

The redistricting bump goes to November's winners
"When you start to look at it state by state, if there's a big Republican wave election in November, the advantage for the Republicans in the redistricting would be fairly dramatic," says Tim Storey, senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures. National Public Radio

Oklahoma public employee buyout program pays out $6 million
"The depth that the recession has had on state revenues has caused states to put anything and everything on the table,” said Todd Haggerty, a fiscal policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Oklahoman

Ore. budget outlook: pink slips, business rebates
Oregon's is the only one that triggers rebates based on revenue forecasts that turn out to be too low, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press

Sept. 10

Court voids Hazleton, Pa., law targeting illegal immigrants
After 84 state immigration laws of different kinds were passed in 2006, more than 200 were passed by state legislatures in each of the next three years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Ballot measures 101: Will they boost voter turnout?
In general, about 200 total ballot measures face voters in national election years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Science Monitor

Utah big rigs to cut emissions
Long engine idling costs the trucking industry more than $2.5 billion a year in fuel and engine repairs, and releases 11 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Salt Lake Tribune

State sees low turnout in first early voting run
Maryland is one of 32 states with early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Baltimore Sun

NY to seek info on cleanser contents
The National Conference of State Legislatures, the cleanser institute and consumer and environmental advocates say they aren't aware of any other law like New York's. Associated Press

Georgia Supreme Court OKs hospital, capping four-year fight
Through Certificate of Need programs, state governments have the power to determine whether there is a need for any new hospital before it is approved for construction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fierce Health Care

Clean up ethics or limit terms
White stopped short of putting a limit on campaign contributions, leaving Texas as one of 11 states that hasn't done much of anything along those lines, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Antonio Express

Quiet SC town refuses to ban illegal immigrants
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that lawmakers in 44 states passed more than 300 immigration laws and resolutions during the first six months of this year. AP in Buiness Week

State workers should pay more for health care
Data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that nationwide, state workers pay, on average, 18 percent of their premiums for family coverage. News Tribune

Little interest shown for early voting
Maryland voters approved early voting by constitutional amendment in the 2008 election, joining 32 states nationwide that offer some type of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Md. Business Gazette

Sept. 9

Georgia voter ID law
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan allows voters to sign their names if they don't have a photo ID.
MyFOX Atlanta

Slow down, save cash, avoid crash
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 31 states have raised the limits since Congress repealed the 55 mph maximum speed limit in 1995. Editorial in Rockford Register Star

Town tables illegal immigrant ban
The National Conference of State Legislatures says lawmakers in 44 states passed more than 300 immigration laws and resolutions during the first six months of this year. Myrtle Beach Sun News

Should hunting, fishing be constitutional rights?
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 10 states guarantee the right to fish and hunt in their state constitutions. Stateline.org

Del. 16-year-olds getting a driver’s license will also get to register to vote
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan also considered pre-registration proposals for teens under 18 this year. WGMD Talk Radio

Mollis, Raptakis in spirited battle
Rhode Island is one of only eight states in the country where the legislature does not post its votes online, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Providence Journal

If you can't beat 'em
The state, meanwhile, does its part: not only prohibiting smoking in more and more places, but by continuing to increase tobacco taxes in the interest of "achieving health public policy goals such as discouraging use of tobacco," as the National Conference of State Legislatures puts it. San Matean editorial

Sept. 8

State gains would give redistricting edge to G.O.P.
Tim Storey, a senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that the way the mid-term election was shaping up, “you could see Republicans easily have their best redistricting position in the modern era of redistricting.” New York Times

Future Missouri teachers' pensions likely to be smaller
At least 11 other states, including Illinois, have increased employee contributions, reduced benefits or lengthened how long employees must work to receive pensions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. St. Louis Today

Holmberg named to national committee
North Dakota state Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, was named to the position on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Redistricting and Elections Committee. Grand Forks Herald

Sept. 7

Tax collections are a hopeful sign
According to a July 2010 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states project budget gaps for fiscal year 2012 and 23 states for fiscal 2013. Wichita Eagle

Idaho voters now need to show photo ID or sign affidavit
About half of states require voters to show identification, but only Idaho and seven other states request photo ID, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Idaho State Journal

Gas tax debate rekindled
Reductions in gas tax rates have been rare; Florida had a one-month decrease in its gas tax of 8 cents a gallon in August 2004, according to Mandy Rafool, an analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. iStock Analyst Press Release

Auditor blocked in expenses probe
Foley said his “eyes popped out” when he saw a National Conference of State Legislatures report that put Nebraska No. 1 out of 48 states surveyed in monthly costs for family health insurance coverage. Omaha World-Herald

Conn. cigarette tax hike raises more than expected
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Connecticut now has the fourth-highest state cigarette excise tax in the country, after New York, Rhode Island and Washington state. AP in the Seattle Times

Cigarette tax increase boosts state's revenue
Connecticut now has the fourth-highest state cigarette excise tax in the nation, behind New York state at $4.35 a pack, Rhode Island at $3.46 and Washington state at $3.025, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. FOX CT

Smoke and taxes
Some states have used similar strategies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Blog in Times Union

Health costs: Talks, balks
Other data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver showed that the employee share of health
insurance costs held steady from 2006 to 2009. The Olympian

GOP poised for legislative gains
Tim Storey, who watches politics for the National Conference of State Legislatures, reports that political scientists have
constructed models to use generic-ballot polling for Congress to predict simultaneous gains in legislative seats. National
Review

Health insurance law at stake in R.I. governor’s race
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states and the Virgin Islands have formed executive-branch
task forces or working groups to prepare for the health-care changes. Providence Journal

Sept. 3

States being asked for 'right-to-hunt' amendments
Such constitutional guarantees are already in place in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in Miami Herald

Silence of the thumbs
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that more than half of the country's state legislative chambers restrict the use of electronic devices. The Voice of San Diego

Virginia's Capitol may honor Indians
Peace researched the matter with help from the National Conference of State Legislatures and found that most states have nothing at their capitols in recognition of the American Indian. Column in Richmond Times Dispatch

Agency director, Nebraska auditor dispute release of records
His office was prompted to look into the cost of the health-care plans by a National Conference of State Legislatures survey. Lincoln Journal Star

Texas senator to speak at women’s club
She has been actively involved in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), serving as president from 2006 to 2007. Blanco County News

N.C. General Assembly has not raised base salaries since 1995
Nationwide, California offers the highest annual pay to lawmakers, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Tribune

Sept. 2

Willing to take the bet on a lottery?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lottery revenues declined in FY 2009 in 25 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Opinion in Hattiesburg American.com

Tennessee General Assembly wins digital government achievement award
In 2009, the Tennessee General Assembly website was chosen by the National Conference of State Legislatures to receive the Online Democracy Award for making democracy user-friendly. Chattanoogan

Sept. 1

Online dating, bedbugs addressed in new laws in NY
A flurry of such measures were proposed in the past four years, the National Conference of State Legislatures said, though New Jersey may be the only other state to have enacted such a law. Associated Press

Voters cool to early option?
Thirty-two states nationwide offer some type of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Southern Maryland News.com

HPV vaccine can stop cervical cancer
As of April, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that at least 41 states and Washington, D.C., have introduced legislation to require, fund or educate the public about the HPV vaccine. Oregon Live

SC lawmaker wants to expand safe haven law
Two states allow for safe abandonment of babies up to a year, but most states cap infants' ages at between 72 hours and a month, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in Columbia Herald

As state immigration legislation spreads, Ariz. says judge misconstrued law in ruling
In July, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that bills similar to the one Arizona passed had been introduced in five state legislatures: South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Michigan. The National Law Journal