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Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Sports Wagering Not a Sure Bet for States | 06-01-2018

The Supreme Court’s May 14 decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling may well turn out to be the financial boon many observers believe it can be. But getting there is going to be easier in some states than in others, and state...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

IRS Warns States Against Dodging SALT Deduction | 06-01-2018

After Congress imposed a $10,000 limit on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction with the federal tax overhaul it passed last year, high-tax states like California and New York began strategizing ways for their taxpaying residents to get around the...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Supreme Court Okays Sports Betting | 05-18-2018

In a landmark decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a quarter-century-old law barring states from legalizing wagering on professional and amateur sports. New Jersey argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Politics in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

NY AG SEEKS AUTHORITY TO PROSECUTE PRESIDENTIAL PARDONEES: NEW YORK Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking to change the state’s double jeopardy law to exempt cases involving presidential pardons. The change, if approved by the state’s...

Business - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

TN House Rejects SB 1086 The TENNESSEE House rejects SB 1086 , a Senate-endorsed bill that would strip local municipalities of the ability to ban short term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. The measure is expected to go to a joint conference committee...

Governors In Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

BROWN AGREES TO SEND CA TROOPS TO BORDER In a somewhat surprising move, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) agreed last week to President Donald Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. But in a letter to Sect. of...

Sports Wagering Getting Play in States This Year | 04-05-2018

Fourteen states have introduced over 40 bills dealing with sports betting this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Four states - Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia - account for more than half of the...

Many States Considering Bans on Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ | 03-30-2018

As of March 22, at least 27 states had introduced bills this year prohibiting pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) or health insurer contracts that prevent pharmacists from informing customers about alternatives to medications they’ve been prescribed...

States Consider Taxing Drug Companies to End Opioid Epidemic | 03-30-2018

Last month, President Trump proposed several policies to fight the opioid crisis, including making drug dealers subject to the death penalty . A few states are advocating going after the drug makers instead and imposing a somewhat milder sentence: a tax...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

States Seek To Chart Their Own Course on Net Neutrality | 03-02-2018

Whether you are reading this in Olympia or Atlanta, Boston or Sacramento, the rules for how this story – or the collection of bytes of data that comprise it - travels from the Capitol Journal to your laptop, tablet or phone, are the same. ...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Govs Form Multistate Gun Task Force | 03-02-2018

Decrying a lack of federal action, several Northeastern governors have formed a multi-state partnership to address gun violence. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition is the brainchild of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who was joined by...

Three States Challenging Federal Tax Overhaul | 02-02-2018

The Democratic governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York said last week they intend to file a joint lawsuit challenging the Republican tax overhaul plan signed into law last month. The governors allege that elements of the plan, particularly its...

Some States Act on Gun Control | 01-19-2018

Although there appears to be broad public support for some gun control measures , federal action on any of them seems unlikely in the current political climate. “The possibility of evidence-based firearm laws has become so politically toxic...

Environment - January 22 2018 | 01-19-2018

NJ GOvernor Vetoes SB3317 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) pocket vetoes SB 3317 , which would have compelled the state to join the U.S. CA, WA, and NY Climate Alliance Climate Alliance, a coalition of states led by CALIFORNIA , WASHINGTON...

States With Most to Lose by Elimination of SALT Deduction | 12-15-2017

Taxpayers in nine high-income, high-tax states claimed more than 60 percent of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions on federal tax returns nationwide in 2014, according to the Tax Foundation. Seven of those states, which include California, where...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Governors in Brief - December 11 2017 | 12-08-2017

EDWARDS TO CREATE LA HARASSMENT ASK FORCE : Weeks after his chief of staff resigned amidst sexual harassment allegations, LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he would soon issue an executive order directing executive branch state agencies to review...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

Pension Problems Worsen in Most States | 11-17-2017

As of 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, states had only 71.1 percent of the assets they needed to cover future pension payments to retirees, down from 74.5 percent in 2015. New Jersey was in the worst shape, with a pension funding...

States Preparing for Legal Sports Betting | 11-10-2017

Thirteen states have introduced and three have passed legislation this year dealing with the legalization of sports betting, currently prohibited in all but a handful of states by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) passed by Congress...

Another Slow Year for Ballot Measures | 11-03-2017

On Nov. 7 voters in 7 states will consider a total of 22 statewide ballot measures, bringing the count for the year - with measures on the ballot last month in two states - to 27. That continues a downward trend in the number of measures on the ballot...

Governors In Brief - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Cuomo, NY Lawmakers Reach ‘Buy American’ Deal After previous failures, NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has reached a deal with Empire State legislative leaders on a bill that would require that certain state agencies require the use of American...

NJ Casinos Get Big Boost From Online Gambling | 06-09-2017

For the last several years, New Jersey casino revenue has been declining by an average of 7.6 percent a year. But through April of this year, total casino gambling revenue was up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. The reason for the change of...

Politics In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Congress Blocks State Retirement Plans Congress voted to eliminate an Obama-administration rule removing regulatory hurdles obstructing states from creating retirement programs for workers who don’t have access to retirement plans through their...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Social Policy - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

New Jersey Signs SB 1266 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs SB 1266 , which allows any Garden State municipality to operate its own needle exchange program (NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE). Social Policy In New York NEW YORK Attorney...

Potpourri - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

California Approves SB 1062 The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 1062 , which would ban the use of bull hooks, baseball bats and other instruments meant to cause pain in the training of elephants. Violators face fines up to $10,000. The...

Value Of $1 Relative In States | 08-12-2016

The value of a dollar varies by 30 percent between some states, according to the Regional Price Parities (RPPs) - measures of how much the price of goods and services in states and metropolitan areas differs from the national average in a given year ...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Business - July 5 2016 | 07-01-2016

Business In NJ The NEW JERSEY Supreme Court rules that employers may not terminate or discriminate against workers simply for getting divorced or separated from their spouse. The suit stemmed from the case of an employee who was terminated after revealing...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Potpourri - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

Potpourri In NY & NJ The NEW YORK Assembly approves AB 2510, which would bar the transport of game trophies of threatened or endangered species through airports and facilities controlled by the Port Authority of New York and NEW JERSEY. It moves...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Only A Handful of States Considering "Assault Weapon" Bills | 12-11-2015

Eight states introduced legislation this year aimed at imposing or tightening restrictions on “assault weapons” specifically, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative database. Four of those states also introduced legislation...

Environment - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

The U.S. House of Representatives approves HR 1321, a bill that would ban the use of microbeads, small bits of plastic found in a variety of personal products like soap and toothpaste. At least eight states, including ILLINOIS, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT,...

Potpourri - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to an ILLINOIS city’s ban on semiautomatic, high-capacity assault weapons. The city, Highland Park, is a suburb of Chicago. Seven states — MARYLAND, CALIFORNIA, CONNECTICUT, HAWAII, MASSACHUSETTS...

Flurry of Statehouse Action On Daily Fantasy Sports | 11-13-2015

Legislation related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) has been drafted or introduced this year in 16 states, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which covers the legal online sports wagering industry. The bills generally seek to legalize DFS in states that...

Health & Science - November 16 2015 | 11-13-2015

Health & Science In NJ NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs AB 4587, legislation that allows parents or educators to administer edible medical marijuana products to sick and disabled children on school grounds without fear of arrest [JURIST...