NCSL in the News | September 2015

9/1/2015

Sept. 30

Are Cities And States Prepared To Host More Refugees?
When the refugee resettlement program began, in 1980, the federal government reimbursed states for providing cash assistance, Medicaid and supplemental Social Security benefits to refugees for their first three years in the country, said Ann Morse of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Black Hills lawmakers want industrial hemp OK to boost tribal economy 
Many states across the nation have taken partial or full steps toward authorizing industrial hemp, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Federal lawsuit targets Idaho Core Standards, SBAC exam
At its apex, 46 states adopted some form of Common Core standards. Since then, five states have decided to opt out of Common Core in favor of new standards, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Gov. Scott: State added 20000 Jobs in August, led to Wage Hike
Five Southern states don’t even have a state minimum wage: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New e-cigarette study likely to prompt calls for more regs, despite lack of evidence
It’s not as if teens are able to readily purchase e-cigarettes right now. In 46 states, the sale of e-cigarettes to minors has been banned, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania lack such bans, though a bill to impose one is pending in Michigan.
 
Report suggests in-state tuition for immigrants
Georgia is one of six states where unauthorized immigrant students are not entitled to in-state tuition benefits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 29

GOP Stays Competitive at the Local Level
U.S. News & World Report
The numbers at the state level are stark: Republicans have gained more than 900 state legislative seats since Democratic President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. Today, Republicans are in total control of 23 entire state governments, both governorships and legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats have total control of only seven. The remaining states are split.
 
Referendum would let top Texas officials live outside Austin 
Washington Times 
“This is the first one we’ve seen” in at least a decade, said Kae Warnock, policy specialist at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative activity around the country.

Heroin, Murder, and the New Front in the War on Drugs
VICE
The prosecutions also run counter to the widespread adoption of harm-reduction policies like equipping first responders with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, as well as "good Samaritan" laws, which offer limited legal protection to people who call 9-1-1 to report a drug-related medical emergency. But those laws typically offer immunity from low-level possession charges and not for drug dealing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures—let alone for drug-related murder charges. 

E-mails: State official privately derided tech firm while publicly promoting it
Houston Chronicle
Former Texas health official Jack Stick tried to persuade dozens of other states to buy Austin technology company 21CT's Medicaid fraud detection system even as he privately complained that the results it produced for Texas were worth "a bucket of warm spit," according to his email messages. In March 2012, nine months before signing the first purchase order, Stick touted 21CT's "graph pattern analysis" technology  in a webinar for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Afterward, Stick told the moderator he wanted to continue to promote 21CT because it was "too good to hide."

Some Vermonters may get religion as vaccine outs narrow 
Salon 
Vermont, which historically has had one of the country’s lowest rates of students fully compliant with the recommended vaccination schedule, is the first state to preserve the religious exemption while doing away with the philosophical one, according to research complied by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Vaccine Information Center. Earlier this summer, California joined West Virginia and Mississippi as the only states without any personal belief exemption.

Internet taxes, internet sales taxes are two different things
DeSoto Times-Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures identifies an annual $303.4 million in uncollected Mississippi sales tax revenues.
 
It's time to chip away at the gender gap in Commonwealth elections
Richmond Register
Over the past five years, the most women serving in the General Assembly was 26 in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, ..

Facebook unfriending was the last straw in workplace bullying case
Naked Security
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 14 September 2015, legislation on the issue had been introduced or considered in at least 23 states during 2015, while nine states enacted such legislation.

Improving Healthy Habits during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Patch
Here in New Jersey, 24.7% of all children are considered overweight or obese according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 28

How states and localities are filling the gaps left by Washington’s gridlock
Washington Post 
“What we really want out of Congress is more budget certainty,” said Neal Osten, a director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2013 and 2014, state legislatures passed 609 laws related to immigration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They included measures to raise funds for immigration enforcement and English classes, and grant driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. The National Conference of State Legislatures has been pressing Congress for years, without success, to agree on national standards for how companies are supposed to notify and compensate victims of identity theft or other Internet wrongdoing.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Announces New Tribal Energy Technical Assistance Initiative to Help Native American Communities 
Yumanewsnow
The three-day summit, continuing through tomorrow, has convened tribal and state governments, federal agencies, tribal corporations, private industry, utilities, and academia. Participants will identify common goals, share best practices on energy innovation and technology deployment, examine challenges related to energy self-sufficiency and climate preparedness, and explore energy development and security issues identified by tribes and the ICEIWG. The summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Indian Energy and Policy Programs in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Millard parents start petitionn to end public voting in schools
Omaha World-Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 bills were introduced in 2013 dealing with schools as polling places, but none passed. Similar bills have come up each year since, but Delaware is the only state to pass a recent law on the issue, according to Wendy Underhill, program manager for elections with the conference. 

Amid Court Fights, Some States Consider Redistricting Commissions
Ktoo
Tim Storey, who studies redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), said the makeup of some commissions can be as political as that of legislatures, though commissioners’ motives may not be as transparent. “If the goal is to regulate the partisan influence of redistricting, do you need a commission or do you need tougher rules?” Storey said. “Is it who does it or how they do it? It’s better to focus on the criteria.

CCSD invites community to talk about sex education
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Only three states — Nevada, Mississippi and Utah — require parental consent before a student can participate in sex education, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Referendum would let top Texas officials live outside Austin
KSLA 12 News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says no such vote has been held nationwide in at least a decade.
 
Salter: Internet taxes, Internet sales taxes different
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Proponents of MFA said the new law would balance an unfair advantage that online retailers currently enjoy. The National Conference of State Legislatures identifies an annual $303.4 million in uncollected Mississippi sales tax revenues. The MFA doesn’t tax the Internet. It makes goods purchased on the Internet subject to the same tax collected daily on counter sales. 
 
Senators to consider allowing medical use of marijuana 
Lexington Herald Leader 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive medical marijuana programs. South Carolina is among 17 additional states allowing limited uses of non-psychoactive cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, derived from marijuana. 

Baby found dead in vehicle is identified 
Akron Beacon Journal 
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that fourteen states have rescue provisions regarding distressed animals, LaRose’s office said Wednesday.
 
Gender gap in state elections 
Hazard Herald 
Over the past five years, the most women serving in the General Assembly was 26 in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan organization.
 
Fact Checker: Checking in on Jeb Bush's record on job creation 
KCRG 
Florida, like many states, is required by its Constitution to operate on a balanced budget, with revenues collected sufficient to meet appropriations, preventing any deficit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Growing Arizona's transportation system 
Prescott Daily Courier 
So far, seven states - Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Washington - have increased their gas taxes in 2015 alone, and two more-Kentucky and North Carolina-have altered the structure of their taxes in order to limit decreasing revenues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
2016 election will again test Florida 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune 
Some 21 states have pre-registration programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida has an early voting period of at least eight days with a local option of up to 14 days.

Age discrimination in hiring is hard to prove 
Dallas Morning News 
All states, except Arkansas and South Dakota, have laws barring age discrimination, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of these laws mirror the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
 
Ignition interlock devices are effective public safety tools that can prevent deaths, say researchers 
News-Medical.net 
Yet, just less than half of states mandate that first-time DUI offenders use ignition interlock devices before being able to operate their vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Local organizations provide services to support aging in place 
Grand Rapids Business Journal  
The AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures released a research report in 2011 indicating nearly 90 percent of individuals age 65 or older would like to stay in their home for as long as possible.

Sept. 25

DOJ announces $44M in grant funding to fight human trafficking
The Hill
The International Association of Chiefs of Police will receive $1 million to analyze how task forces are trained and study what technical assistance is needed to strengthen investigations and prosecutions, and the National Conference of State Legislators will receive $477,000 to create resources including an online database of state laws, websites, webinars and briefing papers.

Senators advance bill allowing medical use of marijuana
Washington Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive medical marijuana programs. South Carolina is among 17 additional states allowing limited uses of non-psychoactive cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, derived from marijuana.

Senate OKs Bill Banning Teens Under 18 From Tanning Salons
CBS Boston
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Hampshire, Vermont, eight other states and the District of Columbia ban indoor tanning for those under 18.

Baby found dead in vehicle is identified
Akron Beacon Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that fourteen states have rescue provisions regarding distressed animals, LaRose’s office said Wednesday. Ohio’s proposed legislation will be assigned to a Senate standing committee for deliberation.

Las Vegas man takes helm of troubled Kentucky legislative agency Oct. 1 
Lexington Herald Leader 
In January, legislative leaders released a 9-month-old performance audit of the LRC by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Legislative Research Commission director to start Oct. 1 
State-Journal.com 
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) 60-plus page draft of the LRC study found LRC employees felt there was no set upward mobility within the commission, pay scales for starting employees varied depending sometimes on who they knew and rarely were employees notified of new job openings. 

Other Voices: Regulations needed for hobby drones
Spartanburg Herald Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures is trying to help states negotiate this new gray area by developing guiding principles for state lawmakers hoping to protect the public without inhibiting the emerging drone industry.

Sept. 24

Lawmakers, advocates push for expanded online voter registration
Politico New York
New York is one of 24 states — along with Washington, D.C. — that offer online voter registration, while five other states have passed legislation to do so but don't yet have systems in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers vote to name Byerman as Legislative Research ...
The Floyd County Times
The winner of numerous public service awards, Byerman received the Kevin B. Harrington Award for Excellence in Democracy Education awarded by the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2014. He also received the Liberty Bell Award from the Clark County Law Foundation last year and the Jean Ford Award for Participatory Democracy from the Nevada Secretary of State in 2013.

Other Voices: Regulations needed for hobby drones
Spartanburg Herald Journal                                                                                       
The National Conference of State Legislatures is trying to help states negotiate this new gray area by developing guiding principles for state lawmakers hoping to protect the public without inhibiting the emerging drone industry.

New LRC director gets unanimous endorsement 
Richmond Register 
Following the initial allegations, the LRC also engaged the National Conference of State Legislators to conduct a management study of the LRC which reported serious morale problems among the staff and the absence of formal hiring, compensation and staffing policies.

Study: Most states treat DUI ignition interlock laws as regulatory ...
KU Today
Yet, just less than half of state mandate that first-time DUI offenders use ignition interlock device before being able to operate vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

News in Brief
Hazard Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 23 states allow voters to register to vote online while another five plus the District of Columbia have not yet implemented their systems. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the state Board of Elections says it will cost about $45,000 to implement the electronic voter registration system, with the money coming from the federal Help America Vote Fund.

State may let drug offenders keep licenses
Eagle-Tribune 
In recent years, the federal government has eased its policies to allow states to change the law without sanction. At least 33 other states have repealed similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Electronic poll books in the county's future
Ashtabula Star-Beacon 
The National Conference of State Legislatures website outlines some of the benefits of electronic poll books: Allows poll workers to look up voters from the entire county or state. This can reduce time spent checking in voters, one of the bottlenecks in the voting process.

Sept. 23

Gun-Friendly West Virginia Eyes Adding New Capitol Security
ABC News
Nationwide, 28 state capitols have metal detectors, two only have armed guards and 20 have no metal detectors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. States such as Texas, Utah, Virginia and Kansas let people carry guns in the state Capitol, though procedure varies on whether visitors must pass through metal detectors or have gun permits. The argument commonly made against additional security is that "the Capitol is a public building, citizens should have access to their legislators and to the legislative process," said Diane Chaffin of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

State Policy, Utilities Ignite Community Solar Growth
Bloomberg BNA
Various state laws generally mandate that utilities offer customers the option of community solar, with varying parameters on how they define it. The legislation often puts a cap on the size of the projects—for example, they can't be larger than one or two megawatts—as well as requirements about how many subscribers a community solar system has to have. For example, one large company can't be the only subscriber, explained Jocelyn Durkay, energy policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonprofit providing bipartisan policy analysis.

Republican Ben Carson embraces benefits of Muslim criticism 
U.S. News & World Report 
Nineteen states introduced legislation in 2015 to restrict the use of foreign law in state courts, Republican-backed steps largely designed to block the influence of Shariah — the legal framework that regulates many aspects of life based on the Quran and Islamic tradition in some Muslim countries. Nine states have already implemented such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NJ minimum wage to remain at $8.38 an hour in 2016 
NorthJersey.com 
The federal minimum wage, which last rose in 2009, is $7.25 an hour. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimums.
 
Gun-friendly West Virginia eyes adding new Capitol security
News Sentinel
Nationwide, 28 state capitols have metal detectors, two only have armed guards and 20 have no metal detectors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. States such as Texas, Utah, Virginia and Kansas let people carry guns in the state Capitol, though procedure varies on whether visitors must pass through metal detectors or have gun permits.

W.Va.: Register to vote online soon
The DPost
West Virginia will be the 24th state to make the change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ben Carson's no-Muslim-for-president comment gets him 100000 ...
Toronto Star
Nineteen states introduced legislation in 2015 to restrict the use of foreign law in state courts, Republican-backed steps largely designed to block the influence of Sharia — the legal framework that regulates many aspects of life based on the Qur’an and Islamic tradition in some Muslim countries. Nine states have already implemented such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Businesses Geo-Fence Properties Against Drones
Mondaq News 
Further, U.S. state legislatures have been active, especially in the last year, passing UAV laws regarding safety and privacy. Nineteen states passed drone legislation in 2015 so far, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Secretary of State will announce online voter registration system today
WBKO
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 23 states allow voters to register to vote online while another five plus the District of Columbia have not yet implemented their systems. The State Board of Elections says it will cost about $45,000 to implement the electronic voter registration system, with the money coming from the federal Help America Vote Fund, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

Sept. 22

As casinos falter, Mississippi sells debt backed by gambling tax
Chicago Tribune
With more than $2 billion in revenue from 28 casinos, Mississippi's industry ranks sixth nationwide. That's drawn the attention of its neighbors: Alabama and Georgia pushed to legalize gambling in the last legislative session, said Jon Griffin, who tracks the issue for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver.

Republican Ben Carson claims benefits from Muslim criticism
Globe Gazzette
Nineteen states introduced legislation in 2015 to restrict the use of foreign law in state courts, Republican-backed steps largely designed to block the influence of Shariah — the legal framework that regulates many aspects of life based on the Quran and Islamic tradition in some Muslim countries. Nine states have already implemented such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gun laws remain stagnant across campuses statewide
The Daily Beacon
In 2013 and 2014, lawmakers in Kansas and Idaho voted to allow concealed carry on campus, and the Arkansas legislature recently permitted faculty to posses weapons, according to the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Pennsylvania Senate proposal would out ‘dark money’ political groups
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As spending by outside groups has risen, a number of states have seen bills introduced in recent years to increase reporting and disclosure requirements, said Katy Owens Hubler, senior policy specialist covering elections at the National Conference of State Legislatures

In Minnesota, coal plant is ‘ground zero’ for Clean Power Plan debate
Midwest Energy
Some state legislatures are attempting to have a voice in any Clean Power Plan legislation. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported last month that in 14 states lawmakers have introduced legislation requiring that they have an opportunity to approve Clean Power Plan-related regulations.

World-Herald editorial: Easier voter sign-up, more democracy
Omaha World-Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states offer online registration and five others have passed legislation to create the systems.

Mississippi sells debt backed by gambling tax
SunHerald.com
With more than $2 billion in revenue from 28 casinos, Mississippi's industry ranks sixth nationwide. That's drawn the attention of its neighbors: Alabama and Georgia pushed to legalize gambling in the last legislative session, said Jon Griffin, who tracks the issue for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver.

Lou Cannon: Voter ID Controversies Cloud 2016 Elections
Noozhawk
Presently, according to a compilation by Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states require some form of voter identification. She classifies 21 of them as “nonstrict” and 11 as “strict.”
 
Dwight Dudley files bill that would lead to independent redistricting commission
SaintpetersBlog
Six states use a congressional redistricting commission – Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Jersey and Washington – and Indiana convenes “a ‘fallback’ commission if the legislature is unsuccessful in passing a congressional plan,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 21

How can we, how should we, regulate hobby drones?
Los Angeles Times
The National Conference of State Legislatures is trying to help states negotiate this new gray area by developing guiding principles for state lawmakers hoping to protect the public without inhibiting the emerging drone industry.

Courts call the shots for budget-less Illinois
Business Insider
Illinois and Pennsylvania are the only two states still fighting over a budget past their July 1 deadline, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arturo Perez, an NCSL analyst, said the fact that neither state was able to put temporary spending measures in place has opened the door to court intervention.

Survey: 43% favor part-time legislature
The Detroit News
Michigan is among 10 states with either a full-time or nearly full-time legislature with lawmakers that devote at least 80 percent of their time to the legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Online voter registration builds momentum
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Whoever is in the majority in your state is going to be the majority of people who are registering online. It should track pretty well with party composition in your state,” said Wendy Underhill, program manager for elections at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. “There is certainly no data to show it is an advantage to one party or the other.” 
 
After deaths, FDA warns about powdered caffeine
Allentown Morning 
Bills to regulate powdered caffeine and other caffeine products also were introduced last year and this year in other states, including New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island and Mississippi, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Is your soap harming sea life? Ban on microbeads gains momentum.
Christian Science Monitor
Six states — Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Maryland — have already enacted legislation to restrict the use of microbeads, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while bills are pending in others, including Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon, The New York Times reports.

Senate acts to keep powdered alcohol out of minors' hands
PennLive.com
The availability of this form of alcohol has become a concern around the nation. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 89 bills in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been introduced in the 2015 legislative session to date, mostly to ban the use and sale of this product.

Federal appeals court rules for employers on contraceptive coverage
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.
 
US Bills On State Internet, Sales Taxes Sought Together
Tax-news.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) wrote to Republican and Democrat leaders in the US Congress on September 16, urging them to delay legislation to extend, or make permanent, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).

Constitution Day Activities for Kids
Celebrity Cafe - Entertainment News
With our students in mind, the third week of September is when the National Conference of State Legislatures kicks off its “America’s Legislators Back to School Program”. The convention treaded lightly on the issue of slavery.

Courts call the shots for budget-less Illinois 
STLtoday.com 
Illinois and Pennsylvania are the only two states still fighting over a budget past their July 1 deadline, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arturo Perez, an NCSL analyst, said the fact that neither state was able to put temporary spending measures in place has opened the door to court intervention.
 
Missouri legislators serve hors d'oeuvres, lobbyists pass the envelopes 
STLtoday.com 
For legislators to engage in political fundraising while they’re in session looks bad enough that more than two dozen states ban it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nebraska to launch new online voter registration service
Sioux City Journal 
Nebraska joins 23 other states that have started using an online registration system, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arizona was the first state to do so in 2002, and Pennsylvania and Hawaii launched their systems last month. New technology has helped the registration lists become more accurate, secure and cost-effective, said Katy Owens Hubler, a senior policy specialist for the group.
 
Can coal state Kentucky embrace nuclear energy?
Nuclear Street
Recognizing the role he and his legislative district have played in Kentucky’s contribution to the nation’s nuclear industry, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has appointed state Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Nuclear Legislative Work Group.
 
The Daily Bucket - MicroBead Redux
Daily Kos
Six states — Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Maryland — have already enacted legislation to restrict the use of microbeads, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while bills are pending in others, including Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon, The New York Times reports.

Sept. 18

State weighs licenses for undocumented immigrants
theadanews.com
In 2013, about 80,000 undocumented immigrants lived in Oklahoma, 74,000 of whom were over age 16, said Gilberto Soria Mendoza, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa online voter registration to be ready in January
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 23 states offer online registration and five others have passed legislation to create systems but have not yet implemented them.
 
Republican group seeking prospective female candidates for fall
Daily Independent
“Kentucky lags far behind in cultivating women leaders,” Adams said, pointing to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures which ranked Kentucky 42nd in the percentage of women elected to state legislatures.
 
NCSL to Congress: Delay ITFA Extension While Considering Online Sales Tax Bills 
Tax Notes 
Congress should not extend or make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act without first passing legislation that would allow states to collect sales tax…(subscription)

NCSL Urges Congress to Delay Voting on Internet Access Legislation 
Bond Buyer 
The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging Congress to not consider extending or making permanent the moratorium on state and local governments taxing Internet access unless it does so at the same time as or after it considers legislation that would allow states to require out-of-state online retailers to..(subscription)
 
Iowa online voter registration to be ready in January
The Daily Nonpareil
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 23 states offer online registration and five others have passed legislation to create systems but have not yet implemented them.
 
Do Not Take Your Drone Out to the Ballgame 
90.5 WESA 
Nineteen states have passed bills related to drones and four other states have passed resolutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Pennsylvania is not one of them but legislation is pending in Harrisburg.  
 
LRC Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Officially Dismissed
WKMS
The new director will be tasked with reforming the state agency, which according to an audit conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures suffers from low morale. The audit detailed unclear hiring, advancement and pay policies, but said little of sexual harassment in the LRC.
 
Without Clear Federal Rules, Vermont Towns Consider Regulating ...
Vermont Public Radio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states considered bills this year to regulate drone use, and 19 have passed legislation.

Sept. 17

Ben Carson just proposed a radical minimum wage idea
Fortune
The idea behind indexing the minimum wage is to link the hourly rate of the nation’s lowest paid workers to fluctuations in the cost of living to keep such pay from eroding in value in the midst of legislative haggling. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia currently or plan to adjust their state minimum wages every year based on the cost of living, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Republicans unveil effort to recruit and train women candidates
Lexington Herald Leader
In announcing the effort, Kentucky Strong cited numbers from the National Conference of State Legislators that show Kentucky ranks 42nd in the percentage of women elected to the legislature, and of Kentucky's 25 largest cities, only three of them have female mayors.
 
Things to know about automatic license plate readers
SunHerald.com
Approval of automatic license plate reading systems varies from state to state. Proposed legislation on automatic license plate readers was introduced in at least 18 states in 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The organization says laws governing use of the devices were passed in Minnesota, North Carolina and Arkansas this year.
 
Mike Denham: Constitution Day reminds us to renew commitment to ...
Northern Kentucky Tribune
With our students in mind, the third week of September is when the National Conference of State Legislatures kicks off its “America’s Legislators Back to School Program.” What began as a single-day event in the late 1990s has since expanded to cover most of the school year.
 
GOP launches 'Kentucky Strong' aimed at recruiting and attracting ...
cn|2
A study by the National Conference on State Legislatures shows Kentucky ranks among the bottom in the percentage of women elected to serve in the state legislature.     

Proposal Would Enable Unmarried Couples To Live Together ...
WLRN
Florida is among a trio of states that still make cohabitation illegal for unmarried couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill allowing guns on college campuses moves forward
Central Florida Future
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states had banned carrying a concealed weapon on campuses as of June 2015. Twenty-three states leave the decision up to the respective state university systems, and eight currently allow the carrying of concealed weapons on campus.

Sept. 16

Things to know about automatic license plate readers
Washington Post
Approval of automatic license plate reading systems varies from state to state. Proposed legislation on automatic license plate readers was introduced in at least 18 states in 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The organization says laws governing use of the devices were passed in Minnesota, North Carolina and Arkansas this year.

State path to Obamacare alternative fraught with obstacles
Politico
The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. While complaints about the law persist, political gridlock in Washington makes it unlikely that federal lawmakers will agree on an overhaul. Instead, the action is moving to the states. Across the country state governments are seeking to tailor the federal law to their local needs. Participants in the POLITICO Health Care State Innovation Working Group, Joy Wilson, health policy director, National Conference on State Legislatures 
 
Mass. bans e-cig sales to minors, standardizes rules 
USA TODAY 
At least 46 states prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes or vaping/alternative tobacco products to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of developing national regulations.
 
California braces for hotter, more frequent fires 
San Francisco Chronicle  
Last month, the National Conference of State Legislatures unanimously passed a resolution to lobby Congress to change the law to fund catastrophic fires through emergency spending — like hurricanes or floods. 
 
State weighs licenses for undocumented immigrants
Meadville Tribune
In 2013, about 80,000 undocumented immigrants lived in Oklahoma, 74,000 of whom were over age 16, said Gilberto Soria Mendoza, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Legislators Pass 153 New Immigration Laws In First Half of 2015
KJZZ
Legislators in 46 states passed 391 bills and resolutions related to immigration during the first half of the year — 153 of those were new laws. That’s a 16 percent increase in the number of laws from the first half of last year. Ann Morse worked to track this as the program director for the Immigration Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She explained the increase.
 
Iowa medical pot advocates seek help from presidential candidates
Quad City Times
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
A legislative perspective 
The Floyd County Times 
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, states have enacted 99 statutes that facilitate use and distribution of Narcan. Kane-Willis said 40 states and the District of Columbia now have laws on the books allowing its wider use.

How States are confronting the new heroin crisis
Modern Healthcare
With our students in mind, the third week of September is when the National Conference of State Legislatures kicks off its “America’s Legislators Back to School Program.” What began as a single-day event in the late 1990s has since expanded to cover most of the school year.

Sept. 15

States Issue Their Own Drone Rules
Governing
More broadly, 45 states considered at least 156 bills relating to drones this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nineteen of those states passed legislation targeting the use of commercial drones as well as the use of devices flown privately or by law enforcement; another four adopted resolutions.
 
California braces for hotter, more frequent fires
San Francisco Chronicle
Last month, the National Conference of State Legislatures unanimously passed a resolution to lobby Congress to change the law to fund catastrophic fires through emergency spending — like hurricanes or floods. This is a sensible approach that better matches the nature of the funding to the unpredictable nature of fire.
 
LRC director needs multi-year contract
Lexington Herald Leader
After the scandal broke and Sherman went on a document-shredding spree, legislative leaders commissioned a management audit by the National Conference of State Legislatures, then sat on it for nine months before being pressured into releasing it.

Rep. Pierce visits Monroe Avenue Elementary
Richmond County Daily Journal
State Rep. Garland Pierce, right, is pictured with members of Tiffany York’s class at Monroe Avenue Elementary School during a recent class visit for the America’s Legislators Back-to-School Program. Pierce, D-Scotland, is participating in the nonpartisan educational outreach sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislators and is scheduling class visits in Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Hoke counties.
 
Myths And Facts About Net Metering For Solar Energy
Media Matters for America
The Center for Social Inclusion is keeping tabs on other community solar projects like it across the nation as examples of what energy democracy look like -- literally more power to the people. [National Conference of State Legislatures, accessed)

Sept. 14

First NYC Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open in in January
NBC New
In total, 23 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York state allows for medicinal use under the 2014 Compassionate Care Act.

What a state can expect when it fails to pass a budget 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
“We saw an increase in the number of states where the debate over the budget was more intense and where there was more disagreement, sometimes within the legislative institution itself, or between the executive and the Legislature,” said Arturo Perez, fiscal affairs program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Lawmakers see own funds dwindle in Pennsylvania budget fight
Akron Legal News
Pennsylvania has 253 state lawmakers, and its permanent staff of nearly 3,000 ranked first in the country as of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Despite its full-time status, the Legislature is often absent from Harrisburg — the House has held 52 voting sessions so far in 2015, the Senate 49, with about two dozen more scheduled through December.

2015 Tribal Energy Summit to Explore Solutions to Energy and Climate Challenges
EIN News
The U.S. Department of Energy is participating in the Tribal Energy Summit: A Path to Economic Sovereignty in partnership with U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Indian Energy, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Sept. 23–25, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

It's been 100 years since women won the right to vote, people, so this is pathetic
Daily Kos
Fortunately, several organizations have churned through the data, including the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California Governor strikes down bill that would have squashed Amazon’s drone dreams
GeekWire
This particular legal battle may have been won by the tech industry, but it certainly won’t be the last. As CNBC notes, National Conference of State Legislatures says 46 states have considered more than 150 drone bill this year alone.
 
Salter: Miss. playing role in future of drone regulation 
Jackson Clarion Ledger 
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that this year 45 states took up 156 distinct pieces of proposed legislation designed to regulate this technology. Some 19 states passed legislation targeting the use of commercial drones as well as the use of devices flown privately or by law enforcement.
 
Discriminatory' insurance pricing for car drivers is in the spotlight
Waterbury Republican American
Three states — California, Hawaii and Massachusetts — prohibit insurers from using credit scores to determine how much drivers should pay. And legislation was introduced this year in almost a dozen others to prevent insurance companies from using credit scores, occupation, education level or other standards in factoring how much they should charge for car insurance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Lawmaker: Child porn law misused against sexting teens, but tools ...
Fayetteville Observer
At least 20 other states have modified their laws since 2009 to account for teen sexting, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported in 2013.
  
Consensual 'sexting' between Cumberland teens raises questions ...
News & Observer
Since 2009, at least 20 states and Guam have passed laws addressing sexting, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported in 2014. Louisiana lawmakers passed a sexting law in 2010, the same year they addressed cyberbullying and made changes to an existing cyberstalking law.

Color of Money: New York does it right by banning credit checks for job applicants
Reading Eagle 
Currently, 11 states now limit employers' access to or use of applicants' credit information: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. And there are an additional 28 bills pending in statehouses across the nation. 
 
Gun Range Proposed for Oklahoma’s Largest, Oldest State Park
Oklahoma Watch
Oklahoma has the fourth lowest percentage of female legislators in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 11

New York Governor Calls for A $15 Minimum Wage
Huffington Post
Washington State currently has the highest minimum wage of $9.47 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  
 
California governor vetoes drone bill
The Hill
States have attempted to act on their own without federal commercial regulations. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 19 states have passed various legislation related to drones, while another four have passed resolutions related to the unmanned aircraft. 

Amazon, Google Emerge Victorious in California Drone Bill Battle
CNBC
Per the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks these sorts of things, 46 different states have considered 156 different bills about drones this year.

Protecting a child from ID theft isn't easy
Yahoo Finance 
Given the risks involved, many states have passed laws requiring bureaus to freeze a child's credit at a parent's request. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, those states include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
 
California Democrats Drop Petroleum Provision From Climate-Change Bill
Fx Report Daily
Since 2013, 45 states have considered at least 156 bills related to drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States rush to regulate drones ahead of federal guidelines
GCN.com
More broadly, 45 states considered at least 156 bills relating to drones this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nineteen of those states passed legislation targeting the use of commercial drones as well as the use of devices flown privately or by law enforcement; another four adopted resolutions. 

Jerry Brown Shoots Down Drone Bill
Breitbart News
In total, the National Conference of State Legislators counts 19 states with drones laws on the books, many of which prohibit voyeurism. Mississippi’s law literally refers to “peeping Tom” activities
 
Ridgway to vote on lodging tax increase Nov. 3
The Daily Planet
According to a 2012 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the range of taxes paid by guests staying in overnight accommodations across the U.S. ranged from zero percent to 16 percent and averaged six percent at the state level. However, the amount of local taxes can vary greatly.

Former Nevada Secretary of Senate picked to lead LRC
Richmond Register
An audit of the commission by the National Conference of State Legislatures found commission employees were "frustrated and often confused" by personnel decisions. The audit recommended reducing the power of top leaders and implement annual performance evaluations and pay scales. Stivers said it will be Byerman's decision whether to implement the report's recommendations.

Rep. Pierce scheduling school visits
Richmond County Daily Journal
Sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the program is designed to teach young people — the nation’s future voters and leaders — what it’s like to be a state legislator: the processes, the pressures and the debate, negotiation and compromise that organizers say “are the very fabric of representative democracy.”
 
California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes controversial bill on drone restrictions
Computerworld
In 2015, 45 states have considered 156 bills related to drones, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Q&Amy: Can I donate unused prescription drugs?
Greenville News
In response to the problem, about 40 states have established drug repository or donation programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though not all of them are active or operational.

Sept. 10

The Promise Of Telehealth: States Push For Insurance Coverage As Support For Virtual Healthcare Services Swells
International Business Times
"Telehealth is something we've seen an uptick in interest in recently," Kate Blackman, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says "I think we're seeing it as a bipartisan issue and it's really being driven by the triple aim -- achieve better health and better care while reducing healthcare costs."
 
EXTRAS ON EXCISE: ARE HEALTHCARE PROVIDER TAXES A CURE FOR STATEBUDGETS?
Bloomberg BNA
Forty-nine states and D.C. impose at least one health provider tax, up from just 21 states back in 2003, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Alaska is the only state that does not impose any. But are healthcare facility taxes really a budget cure? 
 
National Tribal Energy Summit to Kick Off on September 23rd in Washington, DC 
PennEnergy 
Using its experience with Reservation Economic Summits (RES) and knowledge of American Indian economic development, NCAIED will collaborate with DOE and summit host the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to ensure a successful event. 
 
A week later, the plot thickens on Illinois union vote. Who's telling the truth? 
Reboot Illinois 
“The House of Representatives, the speaker specifically, along with our chief of staff, they were clear that I was not going to be there.  We planned months in advance for this conference, this job conference, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislators. Everyone was clear. I was clear. I certainly let our leader know and a number of the union members were clear as well,” said Dunkin.

The Latest on Legislature: Limits imposed on connected TVs 
Macon Telegraph 
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the bill by Democratic state Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale would be the first such legislation in the nation.
 
Restore tax provisions for businesses
The News-Press
Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation have been a home run in the state of Florida where the tech sector has shown remarkable improvement from seven years ago. According to reports by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida has added 266,000 jobs since 2014 and currently ranks fourth in the nation for the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment at 3.5 percent. 

The Latest on Legislature: Wage theft bill heads to governor
Santa Cruz Sentinel
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the bill by Democratic state Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale would be the first such legislation in the nation. 

Singletary: Give NY credit for necessary new ban
The Columbian
There are efforts in Congress to prohibit employers from requiring potential employees to disclose their credit history as part of the job application process. Currently, 11 states now limit employers’ access to or use of applicants’ credit information — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. And there are an additional 28 bills pending in statehouses across the nation. 

Sept. 9

California lawmakers approve ban on plastic microbeads
Los Angeles Times
Six other states already have passed measures banning or restricting the use of the microbeads, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Latest on Legislature: Wage theft bill heads to governor
The Modesto Bee
California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a "wage theft" bill to crack down on employers that shortchange workers. National Conference of State Legislatures says the bill by Democratic state Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale would be the first such legislation in the nation.
  
For some states, a focus on older workers
USA TODAY
All states, with the exception of Arkansas and South Dakota, have laws barring age discrimination, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

On Marijuana Policy, Congress Needs to Pick Up Where It Left Off
Huffington Post
In the House, Rep. Rohrabacher is sponsoring the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, which got a boost on August 6 when the National Conference of State Legislatures passed a resolution calling on Congress to "allow states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference ..."  

Old Voting Machines, Early Voting Could Mean Trouble in Ohio
Newsmax
Meanwhile, some 33 states plus Washington, D.C., offer early voting periods, and Ohio’s is longer than most, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Politico reports. 

Some states take aim at 'discriminatory' auto insurance pricing
Pocono Record
Three states — California, Hawaii and Massachusetts — prohibit insurers from using credit scores to determine how much drivers should pay. And legislation was introduced this year in almost a dozen others to prevent insurance companies from using credit scores, occupation, education level or other standards in factoring how much they should charge for car insurance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Abstinence Only Sex Education Overlooks Stark Realities 
ATTN 
As of January 2015, only 22 states and the District of Columbia require sex education in public schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thirty-three states and D.C. require instruction about HIV/AIDS, and just 19 require that sex education be "medically accurate."

Sept. 8

States to Help Workers Save for Retirement 
Wall Street Journal 
But the idea has caught on. At least 18 bills have been introduced in 15 states this year dealing with state-sponsored retirement plans, up from 10 bills in seven states in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Health groups fume over delayed e-cigarette rules
Washington Examiner
At least 46 states and two U.S. territories prohibit e-cigarette or alternative tobacco product sales to minors, according to August 2015 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Michigan lawmakers weigh discipline for pair in sex scandal 
U.S. News & World Report 
Expulsion is rare. About 30 U.S. state lawmakers have been expelled by colleagues in the last century, including two from Michigan, according to an informal tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Most states ban lawmakers from holding two offices, but not Washington 
The Olympian 
At least 26 states explicitly forbid state lawmakers from holding more than one elected office, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voting laws may be left to voters 
Philly.com 
A number of states have enacted parts of these reforms - for example, 23 offer online voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures - but this legislation "would put New Jersey in pretty unprecedented territory in terms of the size of this package," said Damon Daniels, campaign and outreach associate with Demos, a New York-based, liberal-leaning think tank.

Nashville mayoral candidates spend Labor Day campaigning
WSMV 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Tennessee is one of five states that does not have a state minimum wage.

Thinking outside the box after jobs summit 
The Marshall Democrat-News
This week I attended the third Jobs Summit sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislators. Held in New York City (and funded by NCSL), this proved to be very beneficial to legislators interested in creating jobs for the future. 

Michigan prevailing wage supporters allege misleading sales pitches in petition drive 
MLive.com 
Some states have election laws that prohibit unethical behavior by circulators, including misrepresenting the contents of a petition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Michigan does not. 

Arizona One Of Many States Thinking About Military Base Encroachment 
KJZZ 
For that perspective, we turn to Jim Reed, group director for the Environment, Energy & Transportation Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

2 North Carolina teens hit with child porn charges after consensual sexting 
Ars Technica 
The National Conference of State Legislatures began tracking sexting legislation in 2009 and reported that at least 20 states and Guam have enacted bills to address youth sexting.
 
Wisconsin Dems Want Insurance Companies Monitored 
Breitbart News 
According to The National Conference of State Legislatures, which reported the ranking of the average premium increases state by state in 2014-15, Wisconsin’s 7% average increase ranked 15th in the country.

NYC leads way against credit checks by employers 
The News Journal 
Currently, 11 states now limit employers’ access to or use of applicants’ credit information – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. And there are an additional 28 bills pending in statehouses across the nation.

Top business, financial, and health services available in this community 
Gazette Chicago 
Hunter serves as a Majority Caucus Whip and is currently chairperson of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. She also serves on the Human Services, Public Health, and Executive and Appropriations I Committees. Senator Hunter was appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is co-chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force. 
 
California passes three bills regulating drone usage
ITProPortal
According to PC World, 45 states have considered 156 bills related to drones, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California bills aim to put a lid on drones 
Computerworld 
But states have pushed ahead with their own legislation on drones. In 2015, 45 states have considered 156 bills related to drones, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 4

States to Help Workers Save for Retirement
Wall Street Journal
For now, the state plans—even those passed by legislatures—are in the development stages and none has yet begun withdrawing money from paychecks. But the idea has caught on. At least 18 bills have been introduced in 15 states this year dealing with state-sponsored retirement plans, up from 10 bills in seven states in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

(Interview) Arizona One Of Many States Thinking About Military Base Encroachment
KJZZ
For that perspective, we turn to Jim Reed, group director for the Environment, Energy & Transportation Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Online Voter Registration May Boost Tech-Savvy Latino, Millennial Voter Engagement
The Latin Post
Wendy Underhill, program manager for elections at the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), said online voter registration has become "the story of the year" in terms of election policy across the country. As of Aug. 28, 28 states have authorized online registration, but only 23 of those states have fully implemented the program. Most recently, Pennsylvania became the latest state to implement online voter legislation, which may increase the 6.3 percent Latinos living in the state. According to the NCSL, Arizona has been considered as the innovator in paperless voter registration as it implemented its program in 2002. It would take six years for the next state, Washington, to implement its online program. 

Sex Ed. continues to be a touchy subject
The Sheridan Press
Currently 19 states require that sex education — if taught — must be medically accurate, according to a report on State Policies on Sex Education in Schools by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Michigan prevailing wage supporters allege misleading sales 
MLive.com
Some states have election laws that prohibit unethical behavior by circulators, including misrepresenting the contents of a petition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Michigan does not.

See How Minimum Wage Has Grown in the Past 50 Years
Go Banking Rates
Their demands are being answered — at least in some areas. Last year, lawmakers in 11 states enacted minimum wage increases, and voters in four more approved them via ballot measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Sept. 3

Court Cases Leave States Stuck In Redistricting Limbo
Huffington Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, courts often decide gerrymandering cases by determining “how much is too much,” and, more specifically, whether the plan is so discriminatory it violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. 

Why hasn't the Kentucky clerk been fired?
Boston Globe
The conservative political climate in Kentucky makes both of these options unlikely. In addition, Kentucky does not allow recall elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Future of "right to work" bill uncertain
STLtoday.com
Currently, 25 states let workers choose whether to join a union, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those states still have unions, but workers cannot be required to become members.

Atkins Presses Feds to Budget for Catastrophic Wildfires
Times of San Diego
California Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins is pressing the federal government to budget for catastrophic wildfires the same way it does for earthquakes and hurricanes. Earlier this week she sponsored a resolution at the National Conference of State Legislatures authorizing the group to lobby Congress for this change. The resolution passed unanimously.

Senator Chandler Named VP of Women's Legislative Network
GoLocal Worcester
Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester) will named Vice President of the 2015-2016 Executive Board of the Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

24 States Lack Laws Governing Drone Use
Government Technology
Twenty-six states have enacted laws addressing drones, and six others have adopted resolutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Democracy inaction: Old equipment and partisan battles threaten ...
NMPolitics.net
Some 33 states plus Washington, D.C., offer early voting periods, and Ohio’s is indeed longer than most, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Unvaccinated Children: Public Health Threat
Press Examiner
Almost all states allow exemptions from vaccinations because of religious beliefs; excluding California and Vermont, 18 permit exemptions because of parents’ personal or philosophical convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In total, 45 states and the District of Columbia provided exemption records.

Sept. 2

Texas counties turn to voting centers to boost turnout
Houston Chronicle
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the possible advantages include convenience, financial savings and increase in turnout. Possible drawbacks include a loss of the tradition of neighborhood voting, confusion if the scheme isn't properly explained to voters and the cost of new equipment and technology.
 
The case for a full-time legislature in North Carolina
News & Observer
The National Conference of State Legislatures classifies eight states as having full-time legislatures, including states much larger than North Carolina, such as California, but also those significantly smaller, such as Wisconsin and Alaska. North Carolina is considered to have a hybrid legislature by the NCSL, a category in which legislators spend two-thirds of their time in activities related to their political office, but whose total compensation is not enough to allow them to live without another source of income.
 
Nebraska, other states fight rural population flight
Lincoln Journal Star
“Without money coming in, you don’t pave the roads, you don’t pick up the trash, you don’t upgrade the sewer system,” said Doug Farquhar, a program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Government Accountability Board moves toward use of electronic pollbooks
Madison
Thirty-two states have jurisdictions that currently use electronic pollbooks, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alabama legislature considers performance-based funding model 
Flor-Ala
A report from the National Conference of State Legislatures found 32 states currently use a performance-based funding model. The report also indicated Alabama’s four neighboring states use, or are transitioning into, a performance-based funding model for their community and 4-year institutions.

Online voter registration is great, but Wolf should do more 
Reading Eagle 
The Keystone State became the 23rd state to allow voter registration online. Five other states and Washington, D.C., have approved online voter registration but haven't implemented it yet, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

As Drones Flood US Skies, States Are On A Legal Collision Course 
Defense One 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the past two years have seen 26 states pass legislation concerning drones. The laws range widely in their treatment of drones, from the mildly limiting to the extremely restrictive.

Paving the way to the future
Cape Cod Times
California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize automated vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, two have set out detailed regulations.

Kentucky is Among 24 States With no State Laws Governing The Use of Drones
Emergency Management
Twenty-six states have enacted laws addressing drones, and six others have adopted resolutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Merits of federal metals theft legislation questioned
americanrecycler.com
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) applauded the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for joining the growing chorus of state leaders opposing Congressional attempts to impose a problematic federal solution to combat metal theft.

Sept. 1

As the school year begins, it's time to think about vaccination policies
Washington Post
Every state allows medical exemptions — for children whose immune systems are compromised because of congenital problems or cancer treatment, for example. Nearly all states allow exemptions because of religious beliefs; excluding California and Vermont, 18 permit exemptions because of parents’ personal or philosophical convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Getting Serious about Palcohol: Powdered Alcohol
The National Law Review
After federal regulators approved Palcohol nationally in March, a number of states also moved to regulate Palcohol. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 states and Washington, D.C. have either passed bills or have bills under debate to restrict powdered alcohol.

Lending businesses fear federal regulations will threaten their existence
Washington Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, four states — Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina — plus the District of Columbia have banned the operations outright.

North Carolina justices ponder 2011 redistricting again
News & Observer
The two U.S. Supreme Court rulings reflect the tension on how to draw boundaries in states with large minority populations, said Tim Storey, a redistricting expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures. A Virginia congressional district also was reviewed recently based on the Alabama case, with a panel of federal judges again striking down its boundaries because its majority-black population had been increased. "The legislatures would like bright lines ... and courts have been very reluctant to provide those bright-line parameters to draw those plans," Storey said in an interview.
 
Delegate Eric Nelson and Senator Mike Hall: Tax reform committee covering all ground
Charleston Gazette
In addition, we have reviewed what other states are doing to ease the tax burden on their citizens and improve their business climates. We’ve heard from economic experts from Marshall University, West Virginia University, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Tax Foundation, to name a few.

What should customers pay — and receive — for generating their own solar power? 
MiBiz 
As of June 2014, 44 states had some sort of net-metering policy in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In states like Wisconsin, utilities are pushing for higher fixed rates among all customers to help pay for associated grid costs.

Editorial: America's sexual education deserves an 'F' 
University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News 
According to The National Conference of State Legislators, only 22 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education, only 33 states and the District of Columbia require HIV/AIDS instruction and only 19 states require sex education to be medically, factually or technically accurate, as of Jan. 1, 2015.
 
Insure Tennessee is dead, but don't tell that to advocates 
Kingsport Times News 
But, so far, 29 states have opted to expand Medicaid for adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Loophole in state electric car tax law 
The Idaho Statesman 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states have incentives for buying hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. These benefits include financial incentives, vehicle inspection or emission test exemptions, parking incentives and utility rate reductions.