State Net Capitol Journal: Alaska Considering Investing Billions In Pipeline Project

A study commissioned by the state of Alaska that was released last week suggested that a direct investment by the state in a long-sought liquefied natural gas pipeline project might improve the project's prospects. The $424,000 study, conducted by a team that included New Hampshire-based oil consultant...

State Net Capitol Journal: Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper Proposes New Colorado Drilling Regulations

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) last week proposed new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling operations in the Centennial State. His proposals include a first-in-the-nation call to force drillers to reduce the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas linked to global...

State Net

State Net Capitol Journal

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight: Hot Issues Won’t Vary Much in 2014

By Rich Ehisen | For most states, 2013 was a welcome respite from the usual election year political gridlock. That all changes next year, with 38 governorships, 46 legislative chambers, 33 United States Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats up for grabs. But amidst all that politicking...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Lead Paint Ruling May Spur More Lawsuits

Over the last 25 years, public agencies across the country have failed at least 50 times to convince courts that paint manufacturers should have to foot the bill for removing lead-based paint from homes built before the federal government banned that product in 1987. But they finally succeeded last week...

State Net Capitol Journal: The Obamacare Pitfall: Health Care Issues Dominate State Politics

By Lou Cannon Obamacare remains an untidy work in progress in the states, which are struggling with Medicaid expansion, website problems, and insurance issues in an election year in which health care policy issues are overshadowed by partisan politics. Tim Storey, a political analyst with the National...

State Net Capitol Journal: A Tale of 2 Obamacares

The starkly contrasting ways in which Democrat- and Republican-led states have generally responded to the Affordable Care Act is creating two separate health care systems, according to a report released last week by the Obama administration. Democrat-leaning Kentucky, which has warmly embraced the ACA...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Spending More Time At Supreme Court

Over the past half-century states have increasingly been involved in the proceedings of the U.S. Supreme Court. States filed briefs in only 4 percent of the cases before the high court between 1946 and 1955, but that rate jumped to 30 percent by the 1990s and has only continued to rise since then, according...

State Net Capitol Journal: With D.C. Stalled, More States Ponder Regulating E-Cigarettes

By Rich Ehisen The use of electronic cigarettes — battery powered devices that look like a traditional cigarette or cigar but which allow smokers to inhale flavored nicotine in a vapor form that uses no tobacco and produces no secondhand smoke — is booming. But with no definitive scientific...

State Net Capitol Journal: Voting Rights Bill Introduced In Congress

A bill introduced in Congress last month would require four southern states to once again obtain federal preapproval before making any changes to their voting laws by replacing parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The bill modernizes the formula in the forty...

State Net Capitol Journal: Congress Passes Food Industry Overhaul

Just when it looked as if no legislation of any consequence would ever make it through the partisan gridlock in Washington, the 113th Congress approved three significant, bipartisan measures in three months, the latest a five-year farm bill passed last week that will impact everything from farm subsidies...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Embracing Efforts to Combat Rise in Heroin Deaths

By Rich Ehisen For years, America's "war on drugs" has inspired police and lawmakers to take a very tough minded, arrest-and-incarcerate approach to dealing with illicit drug use. But an alarming increase in heroin overdose deaths nationwide has a growing number of states turning away...

State Net Capitol Journal: U.S. High Court Refuses To Hear Gun Control Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court disappointed gun-rights advocates last month by refusing to hear three lower court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state gun-control laws. Petitioners, which included the National Rifle Association, were seeking to overturn laws they contend are in conflict with the...

State Net Capitol Journal: More States Looking to Offer ‘Safe Harbor’ to Underage Trafficking Victims

By Rich Ehisen Dealing with human trafficking has always been tricky business for lawmakers. States have in recent years been bringing down a variety of hammers, most aimed at the traffickers or the johns who solicit their often-underage victims. But how to best deal with the young girls and boys...

State Net Capitol Journal: Lack of Progress on Immigration Reform Stymies States

By Lou Cannon With congressional efforts to repair a broken immigration system stalled by election-year politics, the Obama administration is deporting unauthorized immigrants at record rates and in the process putting pressure on the states. In five years in office, President Obama has deported nearly...

State Net Capitol Journal: Alaska Senate Endorses Parnell Natural Gas Proposal

The Alaska Senate approved Gov. Sean Parnell's (R) proposal to extract, develop and transport natural gas from the state's North Slope region, potentially the biggest infrastructure project in state history. The vote on SB 138 came mostly along party lines, with four Democrats and one Republican...

State Net Capitol Journal: Lack of Progress on Immigration Reform Stymies The States

With congressional efforts to repair a broken immigration system stalled by election-year politics, the Obama administration is deporting unauthorized immigrants at record rates and in the process putting pressure on the states. In five years in office, President Obama has deported nearly 2 million...

State Net Capitol Journal: Slashed Oil Estimate Threatens Fracking In California

In 2011, an energy firm hired by the state of California estimated that a 1,750-square-mile rock formation extending from Sacramento to Los Angeles could yield 13.7 billion barrels of oil, based on existing extraction technologies. That projection spurred hopes of an energy boom in the state like those...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight: Issues Old And New Catch Fire In States

By Korey Clark Last week, we took a mid-year look at several of the issues we predicted last December would see a lot of action in statehouses this year. Here are a few more of those issues, as well as a couple of others that have heated up as the year has progressed. DIGITAL REVOLUTION/SHARING ECONOMY...

State Net Capitol Journal: Gun Groups Fire Back at Gun Control Efforts in Ct. and Md.

After the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the state enacted sweeping gun control legislation (SB 1160) expanding its assault weapon ban. Gun rights advocates spent the next year holding protests and challenging the law in the courts. "You have a community...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Lawmakers Enter Annual Rush to Tackle Big Issues As Session Winds Down

By Rich Ehisen | It's August, which can only mean that lawmakers in the nation's most populous state have entered their annual sprint to weigh in on numerous measures before the session winds down at the end of the month. This year, the stack of bills awaiting them when they returned from...

State Net Capitol Journal: Congress Fails Immigrants – And The States In Which They Live

By Lou Cannon | When a do-little Congress went home without addressing the crisis caused by the flight of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America across U.S. borders, immense strains were placed on state-supervised programs that provide social services, job training and preventive...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Ponders Health Insurance Rate Regulation

By Rich Ehisen | Note: On Nov. 4, 46 states will hold legislative elections, while 36 will elect or retain a governor. Meanwhile, 41 states will also weigh in on a wide range of ballot measures addressing some of the most controversial issues of the year, including abortion, marijuana use and the...

State Net Capitol Journal: Minimum Wage, Marijuana, Gambling And Guns Dominate Ballot Measures

By Korey Clark A total of 136 measures have qualified for states' November ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Ballot Measures Database. That number is 23 percent lower than it was in 2012, when there were 176 measures on state ballots; 42 percent lower than...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Governor Signs Immigration Bill

CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 873, which allocates $3 million to pay for legal aid for thousands of immigrant children from Central America who have poured into the Golden State this year to escape violence in their home countries (CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S OFFICE). The above article is...