NCSL in the News | September 2016

9/1/2015

Sept. 30

Involving Dads In Lives Of Children Born Out Of Wedlock
Huffington Post
In at least 14 states, sole custody automatically goes to the mother when a child is born to unwed parents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Voters in other states will decide a lot on Nov. 8
News & Observer
The following information comes from a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters in Arizona will decide whether to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and tax sales at 15 percent. They’ll also vote on whether to raise the minimum wage to $10 in 2017, then to $12 by 2020. The current minimum wage there is $8.05. (North Carolina’s is $7.25.) Voters also are expected to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Proposed minimum wage hikes also are on ballots in Colorado, Maine and Washington.
 
Washington pay floor to rise to at least $9.53
Capital Press
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the federal pay floor, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in America
YES! Magazine
Meanwhile, lawmakers in more than half the states and in Congress have introduced similar legislation on the federal level. “With Oregon opening the door, being the first to pass and implement automatic voter registration, more and more states are looking at it,” said Dan Diorio, policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A Legislative Perspective on the Kentucky General Assembly
The Floyd County Times
My remarks to the class coincided with the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 18th annual “America’s Legislators Back to School Program,” which has state legislators visiting classrooms to help the students learn more about their government. 

Sept. 29

Vote on Record Business Tax May Make Oregon a Liberal Test Case
Bloomberg
The tax increase would be the biggest of the millennium, said Jackson Brainerd, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. The most notable recent business-tax increase came from Texas, which in 2006 enacted a net margins levy, another type of gross-receipts tax, bringing in about $4.5 billion in revenue in the first year, said Brainerd.“Proportionally, Oregon’s potential $3 billion tax increase would be much larger,” he said.

Correction: Food Truck Voting-Idaho story
Washington Post
Idaho and 36 other U.S. states offer various ways to vote early, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A Legislative Perspective on the Kentucky General Assembly
The Floyd County Times
My remarks to the class coincided with the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 18th annual “America’s Legislators Back to School Program,” which has state legislators visiting classrooms to help the students learn more about their government.


Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions CEO Attends Legislative Conference Highlighting Evolving Banking Quandary
GlobeNewswire
The National Conference of State Legislatures conference was the largest gathering of state legislators and staff in the country. One breakout session on medical cannabis highlighted legislation from multiple states that were crafted with the input of MCPS.

Voters in other states deciding on variety of issues
Wilkes Journal Patriot
The following information comes from a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters in Arizona will decide whether to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and tax sales at 15 percent.
 
Mississippi editorial roundup
The Sun Herald
The position of the National Conference of State Legislatures is instructive. NCSL, in which several Mississippi legislators have played important roles, says "the most common means of regulating political spending is through various disclosure and reporting requirements."
 
Hacking The Polls: Where US Voting Processes Fall Short
Dark Reading
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: “Those standards vary from state to state.  Some states adopt federal standards, some develop their own standards and others use a hybrid of both approaches.”
 
Why This Virginia Tech Student Went on a Hunger Strike for Gun Rights
Daily Signal
In Virginia, along with 22 other states, a college or university makes the decision whether to ban or allow concealed carry on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mississippi editorial roundup
Bryan-College Station Eagle
The position of the National Conference of State Legislatures is instructive. NCSL, in which several Mississippi legislators have played important roles, says "the most common means of regulating political spending is through various disclosure and reporting requirements."
 
Tully: Candidates punt tuition question
Evansville Courier & Press
It’s a relevant issue because the Indiana legislature in 2011 passed a law barring such students from receiving in-state tuition rates, which are generally about half as much as out-of-state rates. It’s not a common law; according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana is among only six states that explicitly prohibit colleges from allowing unauthorized students to pay in-state tuition rates — regardless of how long they’ve lived in Indiana, how well they performed in school, how much potential they show, or how impressive their records.
 
Idaho Attempts to Lure Voters With Food Truck-Style Polls
Food & Wine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho is one of 37 states that offers early voting, and McGrane hopes that by making punching the ballot a fun and fast process, more and more Idahoans will cast their votes well ahead of November 8.

Sept. 28

NC not alone: Other states blocking access to police body camera footage
CNN
At least 19 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws on public access to police body camera footage, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which track such laws.
 
Idaho county launches 'food truck' polls for early voting
NBC4i.com
Idaho and 36 other U.S. states offer various ways to vote early, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Which Voters Show Up When States Allow Early Voting?
Pacific Standard
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day. 
 
NC not alone: Other states blocking access to police body camera footage
FOX43.com
At least 19 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws on public access to police body camera footage, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which track such laws.

Patrick Gannon: What other states' voters get to decide on Nov. 8
Rocky Mount Telegram
The following information comes from a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters in Arizona will decide whether to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and tax sales at 15 percent.
 
Movers & Shakers
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
State Sen. Deb Peters, a Republican from Hartford, has become president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She has served in the South Dakota Senate since 2011 and previously was a member of the House of Representatives.
 
Indiana's candidates for governor debate education, what it means ...
Fox 59
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana is one of three states that prohibit undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition.

Alabama ban on felon voting rights target of lawsuit: Law called unconstitutional, racist
AL.com
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia automatically give some, or most, ex-felons their voting right's back upon the completion of their sentence, according to an April report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Which Voters Show Up When States Allow Early Voting?
Pacific Standard
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day.

Sept. 27

Texas must adopt online voter registration
UT The Daily Texan
Going online won’t just make voter registration easier in Texas — it’ll make it cheaper, too. When Arizona brought voter registration online, the cost was reduced from 83 cents for paper registrations to 3 cents for online registrations. Maricopa County alone saved more than $300,000 in 2008. And despite 31 states plus the District of Columbia having adopted the service as of last June, “no fraud or security breaches are known to date,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

50 states, five types of voter-ID laws
STLtoday.com
The following is based on categorization by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawsuit seeks to overturn Alabama's felon voting rights ban
SFGate
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia automatically give some, or most, ex-felons their voting right's back upon the completion of their sentence, according to an April report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Registering To Vote Is Way Easier Than You Think
GOOD Magazine
And, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 31 states allow you to register online, making things pretty easy for the majority of voting Americans. 
 
Which States Have The Strictest Voter ID Laws? 7 States Meet The Definition
Romper
A total of 34 states across the country require voters to provide some sort of identification in order to cast their ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Gov. Martinez's push for the death penalty prompts question: Why Now?
Taosnews
“Most states are much more broad,” said Amber Widgery, a death penalty policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Widgery added that many states have expanded capital punishment statutes over the years. New Mexico eventually could do the same if it reinstates capital punishment.

US awards $20 million for body cameras to 100 police departments
INFORUM
Eighteen states plus Washington, D.C., have laws governing public access to such footage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wage Engage Whets App-etite $15 an Hour Battle
Workforce Management
The national campaign to raise the minimum wage — Fight for $15 — was launched about four years ago by fast-food workers. So far, 29 states have passed laws to increase hourly wages above the federal minimum of $7.29, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Sept. 26

Early Voting Expected to Rise in 2016 as In-Person Balloting Begins
ABC News
While all states offer absentee voting, 37 states and Washington, D.C., will allow some form of early in-person voting this year before Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Early voting comprises both early absentee voting and early in-person voting. New York, South Carolina and Michigan are among the states that don't allow early, no-excuse voting.

The Risks of Giving Lawmakers a Raise
Wall Street Journal
Legislative pay ranges widely. In a survey this year, the National Conference of State Legislatures found that lawmakers in California make $100,113 a year, versus just $7,200 for those in Texas. (Both groups also receive per diem payments when in session.)

Charlotte, Tulsa Highlight Patchwork Approach to Releasing Body ...
Wall Street Journal
State laws can also impact whether video is released: 19 states have passed legislation governing the use of body camera footage; eight exclude video from open-records requests, though some include exceptions for police shootings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Weeks before Election Day, the votes are rolling in
The Boston Globe
NCSL Source Cited with Graphic
 
A closer look at voter ID laws across the US
Business Insider
Details of voter identification laws in the U.S. and how they differ across states. Thirty-two states have such laws, while the other 18 use other methods, such as signature verification, to confirm a voter's identity. In general, these laws apply only to in-person voting and not mail-in ballots. The following is based on categorization by the National Conference of State Legislatures:

Q&A: What voters need to know about state election laws
Business Insider
Laws that either request or require voters to show some form of identification are in effect in 32 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, half require photo identification, while the other half will accept non-photo identification such as a bank statement or utility bill with a voter's name and address on it.

Pok√©mon GO: “Gotta Catch 'em All”—Salestaxusaur and the Attention of the State Legislatures?
Bloomberg BNA
Even the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has cautioned legislators to thoughtfully consider the appropriate approach to taxing the digital world and to avoid allowing such decisions to be made administratively. For an insightful policy-focused reference tool on the “right way” to tax digital content, we suggest the NCSL's Cloud Based Services Principles.

Who is already voting for president?
My Fox Boston
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states have some form of early voting.
 
Yahoo Data Breach May Trigger Patchwork of Legal Duties Under ...
Corporate Counsel
Perhaps the most immediate regulatory consequences for Yahoo and other companies that experience breaches are on the state level. Every state, except for Alabama, New Mexico and North Dakota, has its own statute regarding security breaches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-five states are considering new laws or additions to existing data-breach statutes.
 
Brownfield bills raise questions over 'new' revenue
Crain's Detroit Business
Michigan would not be the first state to allow the capture of sales taxes in tax-increment financing districts. Sixteen states already allow sales tax to be an eligible revenue source in a TIF district, according to the National Conference of State Legislaturesand the Columbus, Ohio-based Council of Development Finance Agencies, though it was unclear whether that capture applied to brownfield TIFs. In a 2015 report, the council wrote that sales tax captures mostly served "retail TIFs."
 
State justices approve title of medical marijuana measure
Arkansas Online
Twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico either allow medical-marijuana use or are in the process of doing so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Presidential Debate: Trump vs. Clinton on the Refugee Crisis
Money Morning
Another cost estimate for Clinton's refugee policy is much lower; according to an analysis from the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, it would cost about $582 million to resettle 70,000 refugees. Scaling up the figures to resettle 620,000 refugees over four years, it would cost U.S. taxpayers about $5.2 billion.

Scared About Trump? Some Practical Things You Can Do—and some Things Trump is Doing
AlterNet
After you register, you have to present the state-required ID to get a regular ballot, whether you're voting early or on Election Day. A state-by-state map from the National Conference of State Legislatures has the latest ID requirements, which vary nationwide. That range exists because in many red states Republicans have narrowed the accepted forms of ID to discourage new voters, who they assume will vote Democratic (or with Trump, now possibly libertarian).
 
KYs reputation as national P3 leader continues to grow, state Rep 
Berea Online
Rep. Combs began receiving a number of invitations from around the country. That included being asked to take a leading role on a year-long steering committee the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) formed to help educate legislators and other elected leaders about the concept.

Why insurance denies your claim, but pays your neighbor's
Foster's Daily Democrat
States have passed about 1,800 mandates requiring the coverage of various treatments or conditions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But those mandates don't extend beyond state borders, and they don't apply to the self-funded coverage offered by nearly all large employers.
 
Gov. Martinez's push for the death penalty prompts question: Why ...
Santa Fe New Mexican
“Most states are much more broad,” said Amber Widgery, a death penalty policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Widgery added that many states have expanded capital punishment statutes over the years. New Mexico eventually could do the same if it reinstates capital punishment.

Early Voting Expected to Rise in 2016 as In-Person Balloting Begins
750 KXL
While all states offer absentee voting, 37 states and Washington, D.C., will allow some form of early in-person voting this year before Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Early voting comprises both early absentee voting and early in-person voting. New York, South Carolina and Michigan are among the states that don’t allow early, no-excuse voting.

Missouri marijuana initiative goes up in smoke
AMI NewsWire
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks ballot initiatives each year, also does not have information about the cost to taxpayers nationwide. Jacob said Citizens in Charge also does not track the data.

New laws and rulings could cause Election Day confusion
Online Athens
Although South Carolina has a photo ID requirement, it is listed under the "non-strict, non-photo ID" category because there is a major exception for those who claim a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining a photo ID, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Amid scrutiny, California to track all police use of force
San Mateo Daily Journal
Only three other states — Texas, Colorado and Connecticut — now require departments to track similar use-of-force data but their systems aren’t digital, and in Colorado’s case, only capture shootings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 23

As Charlotte riots, critics fear law will conceal more police video
Reuters
Eighteen states plus Washington, D.C., have laws governing the public access to police body camera video, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Five of those states treat body camera recordings as public record, but they also provide many caveats allowing police to withhold, redact or obscure certain videos, the NCSL says.
 
A closer look at voter ID laws across the US
Chicago Daily Herald
Details of voter identification laws in the U.S. and how they differ across states. Thirty-two states have such laws, while the other 18 use other methods, such as signature verification, to confirm a voter's identity. In general, these laws apply only to in-person voting and not mail-in ballots. The following is based on categorization by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Are Fishing and Hunting a Right or a Privilege? Indiana and Kansas Will Decide
Governing
Even opponents of the measures believe voters will approve them -- and if history is any indication, they're probably right. Voters typically pass right-to-hunt-and-fish measures with large margins, and only one state's voters -- Arizona -- have rejected such an initiative, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Marijuana possession accounts for about half of drug arrests in Reading
Reading Eagle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. The list includes more conservative states such as Missouri, Nebraska and North Carolina.

The Big E: Try fried delights, see circus, register to vote
MassLive.com
Massachusetts is one of 37 states to let voters cast their ballots before Election Day with no justification needed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New Jersey legislators to take up limits on toy guns
NorthJersey.com
At least 11 other states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have laws regulating the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while many other municipalities have their own ordinances related to such guns.

California To Track All Police Use Of Force Online
CBS Local
Only three other states — Texas, Colorado and Connecticut — now require departments to track similar use-of-force data but their systems aren’t digital, and in Colorado’s case, only capture shootings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voters navigate maze of new voting rules
Wisconsin Gazette
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled — from nine to 20 — with majorities in state legislatures and governorships, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Amid scrutiny, state to track all police use of force that causes serious injury
OCRegister
Only three other states – Texas, Colorado and Connecticut – now require departments to track similar use-of-force data but their systems aren’t digital, and in Colorado’s case, only capture shootings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Which Voters Show Up When States Allow Early Voting?
Boise Weekly
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures,37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day.

Fred Thompson courthouse coming to Nashville?
Humphrey on the Hill
Representative Cohen: “Fred Thompson served the United States and the state of Tennessee with distinction for 8 years in Congress. I was present when the National Conference of State Legislatures awarded him the Restoring the Balance Award for his dedication to federalism. For Fred, it was not a political or campaign issue, it was his philosophy.
 
Life as an Abraham Lincoln Impersonator
Chicagomag.com
A few minutes earlier, Krebs played it serious as a panelist for a breakout session at the annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Organizers of the August meeting had decided to bring in a ringer to trade war stories about leadership with two actual state senators: Brent Hill of Idaho and Michael Sanchez of New Mexico. But the modern-day politicians couldn’t match the gravitas of Krebs, who channels Lincoln so believably he makes Daniel Day-Lewis look like a hack.
 
California Unveils New Online Tool To Combat Police Brutality
Mintpress News
Only three other states — Texas, Colorado and Connecticut — now require departments to track similar use-of-force data but their systems aren’t digital, and in Colorado’s case, only capture shootings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hawaii utility program to vary rates based on time of day
Hawaii Tribune Herald
The concept, also known as “dynamic pricing,” originated in the 1970s and saw a resurgence in popularity in the late 2000s with federal incentives for the adoption of smart grid technology, according to Jocelyn Durkay, senior energy policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
OUR OPINION: Iowa should pass voter ID law
Sioux City Journal
Voter ID requirements vary from state to state, but 34 states have passed laws requiring voters to produce a form of identification, either with a photo or without, at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Going green: The state Capitol will use more renewable energy
Twin Cities Business Magazine
Minnesota's 25 percent goal is higher than many. A handful of states have a RPS of 15 percent by either 2015 or 2020, while some states have much higher goals: California wants to use 50 percent of renewable energy by 2030, while Hawaii wants to eventually be 100 percent renewable by 2070, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Sept. 22

'Here they will be reminded of the truth'
Washington Post
Fenwick, a professor of education policy at Howard, held consecutive terms as a presidentially appointed visiting fellow and visiting scholar in education at Harvard University from 1999 to 2003. A former urban schoolteacher, school administrator and legislative aid to the Ohio Senate, she became a noted education-policy scholar. She was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences’ committee on the study of the effects of mayoral control on public schools, and she is regularly called upon to testify about educational equity and teacher quality to the U.S. Senate, National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Urban League, and Congressional Black Caucus, among other groups. 

Gov. Martinez resumes fight for death penalty in NM for cop killers and child murderers
Fox News Latino
Amber Widgery, a death penalty policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said no state has enacted a law to reinstate capital punishment after a legislative repeal over the last 40 years. "I haven't seen a reinstatement bill get traction in recent memory," she said.

Federal Autonomous-Car Guide Could Change States' Approach
Bloomberg BNA
Eight states—including California, Florida, Nevada and North Dakota—and the District of Columbia have already enacted autonomous vehicle laws that outline testing requirements, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed an executive order directing state agencies to support self-driving-car testing on public roads, in addition to creating pilot programs at certain universities. 

OUR OPINION: Iowa should pass voter ID law
Sioux City Journal
Voter ID requirements vary from state to state, but 34 states have passed laws requiring voters to produce a form of identification, either with a photo or without, at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Jersey legislators to consider bill to regulate sale of imitation firearms
NorthJersey.com
At least 11 other states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have laws regulating the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while many other municipalities have their own ordinances related to such guns.

U study shows dramatic shift in public perception of sex trafficking
MinnPost
Minnesota’s is one of at least 28 states around the country that have enacted some form of safe harbor laws, according to the most recent data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Your Address Could Determine Your Right to Vote. What if you don't have one?
Street Sense, USA
In the states the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) calls “non-strict,” voters may sign an affidavit of their identity or the poll worker can vouch for them. Some states — Colorado, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont — allow voters to vote on a provisional ballot. 

STINNER: Early childhood education reaps many benefits
Scottsbluff Star Herald
This summer I had the opportunity to attend the National Conference of State Legislature’s Early Learning Fellows program, which is a multi-day conference of state legislators from around the country gathered to learn about the benefits of early childhood education.

Going green: The state Capitol will use more renewable energy
Rick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews
Minnesota’s 25 percent goal is higher than many. A handful of states have a RPS of 15 percent by either 2015 or 2020, while some states have much higher goals: California wants to use 50 percent of renewable energy by 2030, while Hawaii wants to eventually be 100 percent renewable by 2070, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Hawaii utility program to vary rates based on time of day
Bakken.com
The concept, also known as “dynamic pricing,” originated in the 1970s and saw a resurgence in popularity in the late 2000s with federal incentives for the adoption of smart grid technology, according to Jocelyn Durkay, senior energy policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Utility Company: Hawaii utility program to vary rates based on time ...
PennEnergy
The concept, also known as "dynamic pricing," originated in the 1970s and saw a resurgence in popularity in the late 2000s with federal incentives for the adoption of smart grid technology, according to Jocelyn Durkay, senior energy policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 21

New Mexico Governor Wants Vote on Reinstating Death Penalty
ABC News
Amber Widgery, a death penalty policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said bills in several states seeking to restore capital punishment have all failed since she began tracking the issue five years ago. "I haven't seen a reinstatement bill get traction in recent memory," she said. Under an unusual petition drive, Nebraska voters will decide in November whether to override last year's abolition of the death penalty by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.

Autonomous cars bills may zoom for speedy House vote
The Detroit News
Michigan is one of seven states that, along with Washington, D.C., have laws allowing testing of autonomous cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Florida and Nevada have laws allowing for the “operation” of those cars beyond testing.

Five Things to Know Before You Vote in 2016
Huffington Post
Absentee and early voting: If you know you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day you can vote using an absentee ballot. While registered voters from every state can request an absentee ballot, some states require an excuse. Your state might also offer early voting. Contact your state election office or consult the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about your state’s voting options.

A Conversation about Women in the Legislature
Oklahoma Watch
In a comparison of legislatures by gender makeup by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oklahoma ranked second lowest in percentage of lawmakers who are women, tied with South Carolina. Wyoming was last.

Who should decide how much lawmakers get paid?
Post-Bulletin
In most states, lawmakers decide whether to raise their salaries. Often, there are commissions that make recommendations on pay raises to lawmakers. However, a few states do rely on commissions to determine legislative salaries — including California. That state also has one of the highest salary rates for lawmakers in the nation — $100,113 per year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is worth noting that unlike Minnesota, California has a full-time Legislature. California's commission also approved cuts to lawmakers' pay during the economic downturn.

CBD oil is shaking up the medical cannabis industry
Chiropractic Economics
Much of the enforcement efforts are left to state agencies, which is why the industry is proliferating. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 25 states have some sort of provisions for medical marijuana use—many focusing on hemp, the low- THC, high-CBD products that fall under the DEA’s 0.3 percent rule.

Sept. 20

A Primer: The Congressional Battle Over Digital Sales Tax
Bloomberg BNA
States have bemoaned this tax break as permitting out-of-state sellers to take advantage of the local customer base without contributing to the state's sales tax base. Also at play are tensions relating to federal preemption of states' governance over their revenue systems, with organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association emphasizing the importance of preserving states' fiscal sovereignty.

Lou Cannon: Opportunities Abound for Democrats in 2016 Legislative Races
Noozhawk
“This is shaping up as an opportunity year for Democrats,” said Tim Storey, who analyzes politics for the National Conference of State Legislators.

Gas South raises worker's minimum wage to $15
The Signal
Other states like Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland have all raised their minimum wages in 2015. This year, California and New York both passed laws raising their state minimum wages to $15 within the next five years or so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

WYDOT Proposes Special Yellowstone License Plate
Yellowstone Insider
According to the Tribune Eagle, Wyoming ties with California as the states offering the third-fewest number of specialty plates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Identity that's skin-deep: The intrigue of implanting RFID chips in people
Albuquerque Business First
Over the years several state governments have addressed the issue of mandatory implants, and four of them — California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin —prohibit mandatory RFID chips, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Citizen Green: North Carolina says no to undocumented students
Triad City Beat
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states — including Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida and Texas — allow undocumented students to attend public universities at in-state levels. Virginia started offering in-state tuition to those covered by Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals in 2014.

Fake gun, real crime: Police notice an uptick in replicas
Youngstown Vindicator
At least 12 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have laws restricting the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 19

Cops take softer stance on medical-pot amendment
Orlando Sentinel
Since 1996, 25 states and Washington, D.C., have passed measures legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 19 states, including Florida, have passed more limited laws allowing patients to use non-euphoric strains of pot for medical uses.

Fake gun, real crime: Police notice uptick in replicas
Journal Times
At least 12 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have laws restricting the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while many cities and towns have their own ordinances on lookalike guns.

For law enforcement, fake guns create loaded situations
Press Herald
At least 12 states, including Maine, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have laws restricting the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while many cities and towns have their own ordinances on lookalike guns.

Lynn Evans: Alabama to collect Internet sales taxes
Jackson Clarion Ledger
In addition, 15 years ago the National Governors’ Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures set up a way for states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales under the interstate Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. 

State Question 776: Death penalty measure goes to voters
Shawnee News Star
Information gathered from the National Conference of State Legislatures, at NCSL.org.

It's hard to track campaign investments in Tennessee
The Tennessean
In addition to investments, gifts — like a trip to Europe — are more strictly regulated in other states, according to an analysis conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, such as Tennessee, ban gifts only by lobbyists or employers of lobbyists. 

WHY IT MATTERS: Child Care and Pay Equity
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Aggravating wage disparities is the steep cost of child care. Families in 2011 paid on average $143 per week for child care — up from $84 a week in 1985 (in constant 2011 dollars). According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, child care costs for two kids are higher than the median rent payment in every state.

Legislative reckoning all but assured for Idaho's Guthrie, Perry
Idaho Statesman
“It sounds like it will be become public record, because there’s nothing to really argue,” said Ethan Wilson, an attorney and policy specialist with the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It doesn’t sound like it’s the conduct that’s at issue here. It’s what’s the punishment.” The two were cleared of any related misuse of public funds in a probe that legislative leaders promptly initiated after the affair became public. Yet they still likely face ethics questions when the Legislature reconvenes in January. Since one is a senator and the other a representative, there might even be two inquiries.

Mixed results for autonomous vehicles at statehouses
Land Line Magazine
So far this year lawmakers in at least 18 states have pushed for bills covering autonomous vehicles. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the total is up from six states only four years ago.

Summer's Must-Have Accessory: Pocket Constitutions
Americans United
Every summer, I have the pleasure of attending the National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference. I am AU’s State Legislative Counsel and this conference, the biggest gathering of state legislators and staff in the country, gives us with the opportunity to educate state legislators and their staff, about AU, our mission, and how we can work with them to fight for religious freedom.

WYDOT researching possible Yellowstone license plate
Wyoming Business Report
Wyoming and California are tied for the third-fewest number of specialty plates available among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Police Dept.'s in Two States Cancel Use of Body Cameras, Citing ...
AllGov
At least eight states — Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia — have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sept. 16

Why early voting may matter in this election: Expert
CNBC
Over the course of the next several weeks, many eligible voters will cast their ballot early. They can do so during their state's designated early voting period by mail, physically voting at an early voting site or by requesting an absentee ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thirteen states do not allow early voting unless there is an approved excuse.

Hastings woman with chronic painful disease planning seminar to push for legalization of medical marijuana
Omaha World-Herald
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have granted exemptions for use of hemp oil to treat seizures.
 
WYDOT researching Yellowstone license plate
Casper Star-Tribune Online
Wyoming and California are tied for the third-fewest number of specialty plates available among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Over 100 experts to share their knowledge at 2nd annual Drone World Expo
eTurboNews
Throughout the conference other prominent women in the industry will present including Dr. Brittany Duncan, Co-Director, NIMBUS Lab, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Amanda Essex, Policy Associate, Transportation, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL); Marty Laporte, Principal, ManageWater Consulting, Inc.; Alicia Leahy Jackson, Director, Congressional Program & Outreach, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Sterling Witzke of Winklevoss Capital.

Five Things to Know Before You Vote in 2016
PR Newswire 
Absentee and early voting: If you know you can't make it to the polls on Election Day you can vote using an absentee ballot. While registered voters from every state can request an absentee ballot, some states require an excuse. Your state might also offer early voting. Contact your state election office or consult the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about your state's voting options.

Dickinson Stuck as PA Climate Shifts on Marijuana
The Dickinsonian
According to the ncsl.org (the National Conference of State Legislatures), Pa. is the twenty-fourth state to “allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs,” as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, however the dispensary system is not yet in place. Many details of the system are not yet clear, with the projected date for the launch of the program scheduled for an unspecified date in 2018, according to governor.pa.gov.

Boston heading down road of driverless cars
NewBostonPost
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that in 2011 Nevada became the first state to authorize the use of autonomous vehicles, and Massachusetts has not yet done so. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation did not provide a response to a News Service question about the legality of autonomous vehicles.

Sept. 15

As economy rebounds, state funding for higher education isn't bouncing back
PBS NewsHour
“Higher ed has historically been the thing used to balance budgets,” said Dustin Weeden, senior policy specialist at National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s because it has another source of revenue: tuition. “It’s the only spot on the budget where costs can be pushed on to the end user,” Weeden said. And that’s what many states are continuing to do. The amount students have been asked to contribute to the cost of running public colleges and universities more than doubled, from 23 to 47 percent, between 1987 and 2012, AASCU reports.

Opinion - Investment required to become a top education state
Deseret News
As I’ve written previously, our young people can be our greatest asset — if they are prepared for great jobs. Or they can be a great liability to society if they are not prepared. The urgency of this effort is reinforced by a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) titled, “No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State.” You can read the excellent report here: ncsl.org/documents/educ/EDU_International_final_v3.pdf.
 
7 Reasons People Give For Not Voting And Why They're Wrong
Bustle
Whether they couldn't get time off work, were out of town on Election Day, or had a disability, lots of non-voters reported not being able to get to the polls according to Census data. Luckily, in most circumstances, you don't have to. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a handy rundown of early and absentee voting options by state.
 
Folly gives preliminary approval to beach plastic ban
Charleston Post Courier
In 2014, the California State Legislature approved a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. The ban was supposed to take effect last year, but a referendum to repeal the prohibition has been added to the November ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. Hawaii’s most populous counties prohibit nonbiodegradable plastic bags at checkout, as well as paper bags containing less than 40 percent recycled material, the NCSL reports.

Incomes Jump, Says Census. Who's Doing Best?
Investopedia
Fourteen states began 2016 with higher minimum wage rates and three others have additional increases scheduled for this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York and California have both enacted initiatives to eventually move towards a $15 per hour minimum wage rate, all of which means workers will eventually take home more money per hour.

Worth Another Look: Sentencing Reforms
JD Supra
In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top ten issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. Since Pennsylvania will close out the 2015-2016 session this fall, it’s worth a look to see what our own elected officials are doing to address each of the issues. The next topic up for consideration: Sentencing Reforms.

States Step Up Cyber Protection For Consumers
Mondaq News Alerts
According to a May 2016 summary by the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 25 states in 2016 have introduced or are currently considering data breach notification bills or resolutions. While many of those proposals remain pending, statutory amendments took effect in at least four states this year.  Here's a brief summary of changes to data breach regulations in Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

Sept. 14

Colleges Take Steps to Prepare Students for Careers
U.S. News & World Report
A majority of states now peg some of their funding to measures like course completion and time to degree, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And the Obama administration's college scorecard provides information on cost, graduation rates and the salaries of graduates.
  
Report: Split Party Control Of State Legislatures Increasingly Rare
Wisconsin Public Radio News
Republicans currently hold a 19-14 majority in the Wisconsin state Senate and a 63-36 majority in the Wisconsin state Assembly. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that aligns with a national trends. A new analysis from the organization, which tracks state legislative activity, found Republicans control a higher percentage of state legislative bodies than ever before. The GOP controls both legislative chambers in 30 states, including Wisconsin.
Daniel Diorio, a policy specialist at the NCSL, traces the strength of today's Republican Party back to 2010, a year that "was really a watershed year for Republicans," Diorio said. "It was part of a national wave, and Republicans took over 24 chambers," he said. "And that is a big, big margin. On average, only about half of those chambers change every year."
 
Why some police departments are already shelving their body camera programs
Business Insider
At least eight states — Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia — have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Former state Rep. Carey dies at 88
Delaware State News
A career farmer and Milford native, Mr. Carey served on the Farm Bureau, Council of State Governments and National Conference of State Legislatures, advising policymakers on agriculture. In the General Assembly, he served on the Agriculture Committee for more than 20 years.
 
Lawmakers' laptop proposal could be national trailblazer, but comes with complications
Superior Telegram
"Equity and ensuring that kids who are in rural areas also have (technology) access is a priority, and Wisconsin could be a leader there,” said Sunny Deye, an education policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks and supports lawmaking across the country. Deye said there's only been one other state to implement a laptop-for-every-student policy: the state of Maine, more than 10 years ago.
 
Why It Matters: Child care, pay equity key issues
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Aggravating wage disparities is the steep cost of child care. Families in 2011 paid on average $143 per week for child care — up from $84 a week in 1985 (in constant 2011 dollars). According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, child care costs for two kids are higher than the median rent payment in every state.

Sept. 13

WHY IT MATTERS: Child Care and Pay Equity
ABC News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, child care costs for two kids are higher than the median rent payment in every state. And only 12 percent of private industry workers last year had access to paid family leave, despite strong public support for it and concerns in some states that struggling parents are turning to low-quality, unlicensed daycares because they are cheaper.

Patagonia, Sensing Political Apathy, Wants To Get Out The Green ...
Huffington Post
But, in just the past year, 32 other states passed laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If Ben & Jerry’s plans to help overturn eliminate such legislation, it will take time.

ESSA Raises K-12 Stakes in 2016 State-Level Elections
Education Week 
Legislators not running for office have in recent months bombarded the National Conference of State Legislatures with technical, in-the-weeds questions about ESSA, assessments, and accountability systems and have requested NCSL's handful of education experts to fly out to state capitals to testify during off-season committee hearings. "This is the most engaged we've ever seen legislators in education policy," said Michelle Exstrom, the organization's education program director. "Legislators are becomi

New study says families spend more on child care than housing
WAAY
A new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures says families across America are spending more on child care for two kids than they are spending on housing costs. Working moms in the Tennessee Valley says this shocking statistic is very much a reality.

Students with guns, the new reality
The Venture
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all 50 states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons if they meet certain state requirements. Currently, there are 19 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus. In 23 states, the decision to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campuses is made by each college or university individually.

Sept. 12

Some Police Departments Shelve Body Cameras, Cite Data Costs
ABC News
At least eight states — Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia — have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why insurance denies your claim, but pays your neighbors
Fox News
States have passed about 1,800 mandates requiring the coverage of various treatments or conditions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But those mandates don't extend beyond state borders, and they don't apply to the self-funded coverage offered by nearly all large employers.

Protecting People With Life Threatening Allergies: Remembering Senator Debbie Smith
Huffington Post
Post school stock epinephrine passage, Senator Smith did not stop. I joined her at the National Conference of State Legislators as we presented, “Protecting People with Life-Threatening Allergies”. I was able to explain to lawmakers that our food allergy community is a unique blend of parents and professionals, (such as lawyers, teachers, journalists, etc.), and I urged them to reach out to us as the experts who live daily with this disease. Senator Smith discussed how lives were saved in Nevada and made herself available as a resource to other lawmakers nationwide.

Obama's legacy: Growing drug problems
Washington Examiner (blog)
Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia have each passed laws that not only decriminalize marijuana, but allow for its recreational use. In addition, 21 states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Straight-party voting can continue in Michigan: How many states ...
Christian Science Monitor
Forty other states prohibit straight-party voting. The practice was once more common, according to the National Conference of State Legislators:
 
WHY IT MATTERS: Child Care and Pay Equity
Minneapolis Star Tribune
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, child care costs for two kids are higher than the median rent payment in every state. And only 12 percent of private industry workers last year had access to paid family leave, despite strong public support for it and concerns in some states that struggling parents are turning to low-quality, unlicensed daycares because they are cheaper.
 
RELEASE: Great Teaching Takes Time—So Give Teachers More of It, Says TeachStrong Coalition
Center For American Progress
So much evidence—whether data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey and the recent National Conference of State Legislators study of international best practices in education or examples such as the implementation of extended learning time in Meriden, Connecticuit, and the creativity and innovation in some of NYC’s PROSE schools—points us in this common-sense direction.”
 
Michigan moves to not require human in driverless test cars
Bedford Now
Michigan is among eight states with laws related to autonomous cars, while Arizona’s governor has issued an executive order, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada was the first state to authorize self-driving vehicles in 2011, and California, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah followed.

Our View: The lengthy process of downsizing
The Sentinel
It included Joint Resolution 2016-1, an amendment to reduce the size of the Legislature, the second largest state legislature in the country after New Hampshire at a staggering 424 members. Pennsylvania has the third largest legislative staff in the U.S. at 2,358 employees, following New York (2,865) and Texas (2,359), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Editorial: Closing ITT Tech helps stop for-profit colleges from shaking down students
STLtoday.com
For-profit colleges have seen a 225 percent increase in enrollment in the past couple of decades. A study by the National Conference of State Legislatures said that in the 2010-2011 academic year, about 2.4 million students — 12 percent of all college students — were enrolled in for-profit schools.

Two US police departments drop body cameras over costs
TODAY.ng
At least eight states – Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia – have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Breakdown of the common good
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The final report is one completed by the National Conference of State Legislatures addressing educational reform. The report acknowledges there are no silver bullets and the present efforts at reform have failed. The report recognizes the importance of having all stakeholders be a part of the process of improving our schools.
 
Two state police departments shelve body cameras over data costs
CTV News
At least eight states -- Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia -- have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voter registration info available for all states
Land Line Magazine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia – offer online paperless registration. Seven more states – Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process.
  
State nears providing immunity for all overdose phone calls
Monroe Evening News
Thirty-seven states have enacted some form of a Good Samaritan or 911 drug immunity law since 2007, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sarah Freeman named commissioner of IURC
Greensburg Daily News
Freeman was also recently appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures Task Force on Cybersecurity. Freeman earned her undergraduate degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington and her law degree at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.
 
Rising Trump Boosts GOP in Legislative Contests
LifeZette
According to research done by the National Conference of State Legislatures earlier in September, the Republicans held 1,090 state Senate seats, or 55.3 percent of upper chamber seats. That’s compared to 827 Democratic state Senate seats, 52 nonaffiliated seats, and three vacancies. In 2009, the Republicans held 889 state Senate seats.

Sept. 9

Lots of people will vote before Election Day: What that means for Clinton, Trump
CNBC
A total of 37 states and the District of Columbia offer eligible voters the ability to cast a ballot before Election Day. Voters can cast their ballots either during a state's designated early voting period by mail, physically voting at an early voting site or by requesting an absentee ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thirteen states do not allow early voting unless there is an approved excuse.

Time for the Democrats to Rethink Education Policy
Ed Week/Marc Tucker
To see a policy framework that might make more sense, take a look at No Time to Lose, the recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. That report, of course, lays out a program for state policy, not federal policy, but that is a pretty good place to begin the development of federal policy, framed as policies that will help the states do what these state legislators think needs to be done.

Why Insurance denies your claim, but pays your neighbor’s
Associated Press
States have passed about 1,800 mandates requiring the coverage of various treatments or conditions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But those mandates don't extend beyond state borders, and they don't apply to the self-funded coverage offered by nearly all large employers.
 
Fire Away: Defying National Trend, Arizona Allows Concealed Guns ...
Phoenix New Times
After 20-year-old Adam Lanza massacred 20 children and six teachers and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, state legislatures introduced a flurry of bills related to arming teachers and school staff, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But of the 80 proposed, all but seven, including Arizona's, failed.
 
Consumer watchdog wants more transparency about Uber's self ...
Pittsburgh Business Times
As of January, only eight states and Washington D.C. enact legislation relating to self-driving cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Eager to vote for Clinton or Trump? Voting in N.J. starts this month
NJ.com
New Jersey is one of 27 states that allows voters to cast absentee ballots without giving a reason, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

'Best practices' for autonomous car testing sought by new industry ...
Automotive News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states are reviewing autonomous vehicle legislation that if passed could expand testing opportunities beyond the small number of states that currently permit the practice
  
Michigan moves to not require human in self-driving test cars
OregonLive.com
Michigan is among eight states with laws related to autonomous cars, while Arizona's governor has issued an executive order, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada was the first state to authorize self-driving vehicles in 2011, and California, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah followed. 
 
Texas recently changed its voter ID laws to curb voter suppression – here’s what to know
Mic
Voter identification laws by state as of September 2016. Texas had a "strict photo ID" law until a federal court said the law was illegal in July. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
 
The New Era of Restricting Voting
Urban Milwaukee
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled — from nine to 20 — with majorities in state legislatures and the governor’s party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Sept. 8

Michigan Moves to Not Require Human in Driverless Test Cars
ABC News
Michigan is among eight states with laws related to autonomous cars, while Arizona's governor has issued an executive order, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada was the first state to authorize self-driving vehicles in 2011, and California, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah followed.

Opinion - Bolstering the teaching profession will lift public education in Oregon
Oregon Live
A recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) put the state of our nation's education system in stark terms: America is desperately lagging behind the rest of the world. The NCSL, a bipartisan coalition of legislators and policymakers, went on to say that the shortcomings of our education system have made the U.S. workforce "among the least well-educated in the world." By practically every measure, our standing in education has plummeted since 2000. Our rankings in math, reading, and science are declining, as is our high school graduation rate. This includes Oregon.

Editorial: School voter registration is long overdue
Ventura County Star
The National Conference of State Legislatures points out some potential problems of voter preregistration. A student registering at age 16 might move by the time he or she turns 18, rendering the registration invalid. But that could happen with voters of any age, and presumably students will be told that they'll need to reregister if they move.
 
Governor's race: Should Washington copy Oregon's minimum wage ...
Grays Harbor Daily World
But other states are leapfrogging it. Connecticut, Alaska, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California and Vermont are above Washington’s $9.47 minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Educating young constituents on the values of civic participation
The Lebanon Enterprise
Hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), the program helps legislators educate young constituents in their classrooms on the values of civic participation and the legislative process.
 
NEI: New York Clean Energy Standard underscores significance of state-level nuclear legislation
Daily Energy Insider
A report published last week by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) draws together an overview of legislative and regulatory actions by state governments in favor of maintaining nuclear facilities, demonstrating the importance of the role of state legislation.

Sept. 7

Ill. Supreme Court sets new rules for pot decriminalization law
Chicago Sun-Times
Illinois is now the 21st state to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small amounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tax Boosts to Aid K-12 Up for Vote in Several States
Education Week
In 2010, at the height of the recession, more than eight states had ballot initiatives that would affect school funding, a record number, according to an analysis by Daniel G. Thatcher, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Are ‘instant runoffs’ a better way to vote?
Bozeman Chronicle 
Interest among state legislators in instant runoffs appears to be growing, said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Although, she added, “It’s hard to pass a bill changing the electoral system.”

Officials Predict More Hardship For State Road Fund
89.3 WFPL
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 17 states have increased their state gas taxes since 2013, around the same time gas prices began to fall from historically high levels.
 
Controversial anti-voter fraud program risks disenfranchising voters ...
Louisiana Weekly
The program has since expanded to 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), but it’s been controversial from the start. For one thing, it’s resulted in very few actual cases of fraud being referred for prosecution, as alleged cases of double voting in multiple states turned out to be clerical and other errors.
 
Uncertainty reigns as upcoming budget looms over UW System
The Daily Cardinal
Performance-based funding is presently used in 32 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Voters in Wisconsin, other states navigate new voting rules
Superior Telegram
The ongoing political and legal wars over voting rights date to the mid-2000s, when the first new state voting requirements were enacted. The number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled — from nine to 20 — with majorities in state legislatures and the governor's party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.
 
Area history, Sept. 6, 2016
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Illinois is the only state in the nation where the ultimate control of drawing legislative districts is left to chance, said Tim Storey, the redistricting expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrat Michael Bilandic, a former mayor of Chicago, will be the tie-breaking ninth member of the commission charged with drawing new district boundaries.

Sept. 6

States Fight Opioid Epidemic With Prescription Databases
Wall Street Journal
Since 2015, more than a dozen state legislatures have passed laws aimed at improving the databases’ effectiveness, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In nearly three dozen states, medical professionals must consult a state database in certain circumstances or soon will be required to, said Sherry Green, president of the congressionally funded National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. A key aim remains thwarting doctor shopping by drug-abusing patients, she said.

How ranked-choice voting could make voters more open to third-party candidates
PBS NewsHour
Interest among state legislators in instant runoffs appears to be growing, said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Although, she added, “It’s hard to pass a bill changing the electoral system.”

Clinton and Trump Begin Last Leg in Race for the White House
NBCNews.com
Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the earliest of those states begin voting in less than three weeks.

Summer Round-Up: Four States Bolster Data Breach Notification ...
The National Law Review
According to a recent summary published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 25 states in 2016 have introduced or are currently considering security breach notification bills or resolutions. 
 
Voters in Wisconsin, other states navigate maze of new voting rules
Madison.com
Their number greatly increased after the 2010 off-year election, in which Republicans more than doubled the number of states they controlled — from nine to 20 — with majorities in state legislatures and the governor's party, according to a News21 analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, by comparison, lost control of five states, going from 16 to 11. Party control remained divided in the other states.

Schapiro: For some Va. Republicans, lifelong voting bar is a non ...
Richmond.com
New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which monitors voting issues, could not immediately confirm the Democrats’ claim. A state-by-state overview by the National Conference of State Legislatures of rights-restoration practices makes no mention of any state with an irreversible bar akin to that advanced by Norment.

Part-time system'll make legislators ineffective— Ex-Gov Attah
Vanguard
He said: “I want to look at the reasons they should be part-time or not, rather than jump up to say I agree or I do not agree. It is not new. At the last national conference in 2014, there were people that suggested that we should go unicameral and there were those who said it should be part-time and there were a lot of arguments and in the end, it was agreed that the status quo should remain. 

Life-saving tips for if you see someone overdose on heroin
WSAZ-TV
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 37 states and the District of Columbia have some form of a "Good Samaritan Law."
 
Some public funds uneasy with fee disclosure
Pensions & Investments
At least eight states have considered fee disclosure for alternative investments, according to the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio a battleground for early-voting fight
MyDaytonDailyNews
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states have some sort of method that allows eligible voters to cast ballots before election day. Early voting is not available in 13 states; in those states, voters must also need a valid excuse to request an absentee ballot.

The FAA just gave drones license to fly, but it'll be a tough job to keep order in the sky
Bangor Daily News
Last year, 15 states — including Maine — passed laws prohibiting certain bothersome drone activities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those particularly irksome behaviors states sought to rein in include using drones to harass hunters (read: PETA drones), flying over crime scenes and flying near prisons, nuclear plants and other “critical facilities.”

Sept. 2

Ill. Supreme Court sets new rules for pot decriminalization law
Chicago Sun-Times
Illinois is now the 21st state to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small amounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
A New Kind of Paramedic for Less Urgent 911 Calls
Governing
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that up to 27 percent of all visits to ERs are for nonemergencies. But so-called community paramedic programs are finding new ways to manage these frequent flyers.

Are 'Instant Runoffs' a Better Way to Vote?
Stateline
Interest among state legislators in instant runoffs appears to be growing, said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Although, she added, “It’s hard to pass a bill changing the electoral system.”
 
Texting, speeding and cheap gas are killing more of us
Sun Herald
Since then, 38 states have raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, including Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have boosted the maximum speed to 80 mph. The NCSL, citing a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says an additional 33,000 people have died because of those higher speed limits in the past 20 years. That’s nearly as many Americans as were killed in the Korean War.
  
Del. Ken Plum: Protecting Our Families
Reston Now
In the week that I was in Chicago for the annual Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), there was a record 100 people shot in the city in less than a week. According to data kept by the Chicago Tribune, there had been by that time 2,514 shooting victims–about 800 more than at the same time last year.

Sept. 1

Americans are still way too tolerant of drunken driving
Washington Post
All 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, have some form of law on interlock devices, according to MADD and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Since West Virginia’s law was enacted in 2008, drunken driving deaths there have plummeted by 50 percent, MADD says. Other states have reported dramatic results, too. But many impose the measure only on repeat offenders or on offenders who had high levels of alcohol in their blood. Only 23 have laws that require all offenders to use them, the NCSL says.
 
New Jersey Governor Christie vetoes minimum wage hike to $15/hr
Business Insider
State voters agreed to a previous wage hike in 2013, to $8.25 from $7.25. New Jersey's rate is tied to the consumer price index and is now at $8.38, according to a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

SD School District Moves Ahead With Armed Employee Policy
CBS Local
At least seven states have passed laws authorizing schools or school boards to allow teachers and staff to carry firearms, though some of the laws are specific to private schools or specific counties, according to Joellen Kralik, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Democrats say Harwell policies responsible for highway fund issue
The Tennessean
In addition to Spalding, when the National Conference of State Legislatures reviewed Tennessee's fiscal review process in 2015 they made several recommendations including hiring additional analysts, paying them more money and increasing the amount of time they have to review fiscal notes.

Voting can be a perplexing process for overseas troops
89.3 KPCC
"We've got legislators who are very interested in meeting the needs of military members," said Wendy Underhill, program director for elections and redistricting with the National Conference of State Legislatures . "They are younger. They are used to using electronic interactions for every single thing in their life, and so, there is that push against the security."

US pediatricians pushing back on vaccine 'hesitancy'
Midland Reporter-Telegram
Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia require that schoolchildren be immunized against a broad range of diseases, most states allow parents to opt out if they have a religious objection to vaccines and 18 allow for “philosophical exemptions” for those who object based on personal, moral or other grounds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.