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With Feds Distracted, States Will Have Much to Ponder in 2020 | 11-22-2019

It’s the holiday season, and if most voters are thinking about politics at all they are probably pondering more about how to get through family festivities without a major blowup over differing political philosophies than they are about next year’s...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States in 2019 | 11-22-2019

As of mid-October, 26 states had introduced legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven of those states had enacted...

Budgets in Brief - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

CA Budget Surplus Could Grow to $26B by 2021 A report from CALIFORNIA’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office indicates the state’s cash reserves could reach a record $26 billion by 2021. Over a quarter of that sum would be unrestricted...

Texas, California Among Hardest Hit by Wildfires in 2018 | 11-15-2019

In 2018 Texas had the most wildfires of any state, 10,541 of them, and the sixth highest number of acres burned, at 569,811, according to data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute from the National Interagency Fire Center. California had the...

Health & Science - November 4 2019 | 11-01-2019

New York Governor Signs SB 5091 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs SB 5091 , a bill that requires pharmacies to inform patients whenever a Class 1 recall has been issued for a prescription drug they're taking. The notification, which can be made...

States Pose Roadblocks for Motor Vehicle Subscription Services | 10-11-2019

Although motor vehicle subscription services - similar to auto leases but with no long-term commitment, the ability to change vehicles periodically and insurance and maintenance bundled in - have only been around for a few years, they’ve been embraced...

Hackers Targeted WV Mobile Voting System in 2018 | 10-04-2019

A person or persons attempted to breach West Virginia’s mobile voting system for military and overseas voters during last year’s midterm election, state and federal officials announced last week. The attack is believed to have come from inside...

Over Half of States Consider Consumer Data Privacy Bills in 2019 | 10-04-2019

At least 27 states have considered legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures . Consumer data privacy bills were enacted in six of those states, while measures are still...

Rainy-Day Fund Balances Vary Widely Across States | 09-20-2019

Wyoming has the largest estimated fiscal year 2019 rainy-day fund balance as a percentage of total state expenditures, at 109 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers’ Spring 2019 Fiscal Survey of States . California...

Local Front - September 23 2019 | 09-20-2019

Arizona Supreme Court Rules in Phoenix Ordinance The ARIZONA Supreme Court rules that a PHOENIX ordinance that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination cannot be used to force artists to create custom wedding invitations...

One Third of States Allow Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

At least 18 states allow sports betting either in-person at casinos and other gambling facilities, or online via computer or mobile phone, according to the website BettingUSA.com. Eleven of those states allow both, while six allow only in-person sports...

Government Cybersecurity Bills Introduced in Nearly 3/4 of States in 2019 | 09-06-2019

At least 37 states have introduced legislation this year dealing with the cybersecurity of government agencies, 24 of which have enacted such measures, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net...

AZ Could Make Cities Pay for Increasing Minimum Wage | 08-30-2019

During the final week of this year’s legislative session in Arizona, state lawmakers passed a bill ( HB 2756 ) that, among other things, will require the state to calculate the additional state cost of any minimum wage increase above the state rate...

Education - September 3 2019 | 08-30-2019

Arizona Board of Regents Approves Proposal The ARIZONA Board of Regents unanimously approves a proposal to charge undocumented students who graduate from high school in the Grand Canyon State 150 percent of the in-state tuition rate, a 50 percent reduction...

States Still Attending to Medical Balance Billing | 08-09-2019

When SNCJ reported in August 2017 on medical balance billing - the direct charging of patients by healthcare providers for services that aren’t fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - nearly half of the states...

Payday Lenders Shift to Auto Title Loans in AZ | 08-09-2019

In 2008, Arizona voters overwhelmingly endorsed Proposition 200, which banned the practice of providing short-term, high-interest loans known as payday lending. But according to a report released this month by the Center for Economic Integrity in Tucson...

States Adding Biometrics to Data Privacy Battle | 08-02-2019

At the start of this year, many observers believed states might be lining up to duplicate California’s tough new data privacy law, set to go into effect next year. That rush didn’t quite materialize, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers completely...

Biometric Data Privacy Bills Considered in Over Half of States | 08-02-2019

At least 26 states have introduced bills this session dealing with the collection and use of biometric information, such as fingerprints, speech patterns or gait, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Governor Pinocchio | 08-02-2019

It used to be that getting caught in a lie was a bad thing. But with the patron saint of fibbery in the White House these days, lying is in vogue even when your lie can be easily disproved. Case in point comes from Arizona, where Gov. Doug Ducey last...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved for Nine States | 07-19-2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved waivers allowing the imposition of work requirements for Medicaid enrollees in nine states, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Approved waivers have been blocked by legal...

Local Governments Shine Light on Public Surveillance | 07-12-2019

In May the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco approved an ordinance banning the use of facial recognition technology by all city departments. It’s the only major U.S. city to have taken such action against the emerging...

Government Surveillance | 07-12-2019

Local governments in at least four states have passed ordinances in 2018 or 2019 restricting the use of surveillance technology by government entities, according to the American Civil Liberties Union’s Community Control Over Police Surveillance...

Just Don’t Do It! | 07-08-2019

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was mad, mad, mad! Angry! Perturbed! Vexed! That commie pinko lefty wussbomb Nike had crumbled to PC pressure and cancelled plans to produce sneakers bearing the iconic Betsy Ross version of the American flag. But Nike bailed after...

Independent Contractor Legislation Active in States | 06-28-2019

At least 189 bills dealing with independent contractors have been introduced in state legislatures this session, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Fifty of those measures have been passed by one or both chambers of...

Most States Considering Drug Price Control Measures | 06-14-2019

At least 40 states have introduced legislation in 2019 aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative tracking system. Fifteen of those states have enacted such measures.

Will Arizona Lead Charge for Licensing Reciprocity? | 06-07-2019

If a hair stylist learns their craft and is licensed in Las Vegas and then moves across the state line to Arizona, does what they learned in Vegas stay in Vegas? Probably not. But their ability to work might. Or at least it used to. Presumably,...

Many States Looking at Occupational Licensing Reciprocity | 06-07-2019

At least 28 states have considered legislation this session addressing reciprocity with other states in occupational licensing, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Such measures have been enacted in half of those states...

Governors in Brief - June 10 2019 | 06-07-2019

NV GOV WILL SIGN WAGE, PAID LEAVE BILLS In a statement issued last week, NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said he would sign legislation ( AB 456 ) on his desk that will incrementally raise the Silver State minimum wage to $12 per hour by July, 2024....

There Will Be Blood! | 05-17-2019

Stand back, because the Bruce Lee wannabes are on the way! Yes, as NPR reports , Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that overturns a prohibition on nunchucks, the traditional martial arts weapon that loosely translates to “chain sticks.”...

States Taking Action to Ensure Complete 2020 Census Count | 05-17-2019

Although the decennial census is a federal responsibility, with states having so much to gain from an accurate tally, 30 have established committees - either through legislation or executive order - to ensure their populations are fully counted, according...

State Lawmakers Stepping Up Fight Against Insurance Fraud | 05-10-2019

By some accounts, insurance fraud has reached epidemic proportions, costing insurance companies and their policyholders tens of billions of dollars each year. State lawmakers have taken several measures in recent years to combat the problem, but this...

Education - May 13 2019 | 05-10-2019

OR House Approves HB 3063 The OREGON House approves HB 3063 , which would remove vaccination requirements based on religious, philosophical or personal reasons. The bill would allow unvaccinated kids to attend public school until August 1, 2020, after...

Health & Science - May 13 2019 | 05-10-2019

TX House Approves HB 3703 The TEXAS House approves HB 3703 , which would add multiple sclerosis, autism, cancer and many other diseases and medical conditions to those eligible to be treated with cannabis oil. The bill, which would also allow for the...

This is the Problem You’re Worried About? | 05-10-2019

Some days it feels like this old world is about to just burn itself down. Literally, given how fast climate change is progressing. But there’s no shortage of other problems, from an epidemic of school shootings to an equally insane epidemic of measles...

Speaking of Wasting Time | 05-10-2019

The Arizona House isn’t the only legislative body with its collective head up...in the clouds. As Cleveland.com reports , a pair of lawmakers in the Ohio House have introduced legislation to adopt an official Buckeye State cookie. The measure has...

Soda Taxes Stalled in States | 05-03-2019

In his budget address in late February, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) called for a tax increase on sodas and other sugary drinks. Soda tax legislation has also been introduced this year in California, Massachusetts New York, Rhode Island and Vermont...

Social Policy - May 6 2019 | 05-03-2019

KS Supreme Court Rules The KANSAS Supreme Court rules that women in the Sunflower State have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Justices ruled that both the state and U.S. constitutions support that right. Opponents vowed to seek to amend...

Medicaid Work Requirements under Fire | 04-19-2019

The Trump administration is plunging ahead with waivers that will encourage states to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients despite a federal judge’s ruling striking down such requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky. ...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved in Nine States and Counting | 04-19-2019

Nine states have received federal approval for waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. A federal judge has struck down the requirements in two of those states, Arkansas and Kentucky. But waivers are pending in another...

Business - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

TX Supreme Court Rules The TEXAS Supreme Court rules that the state does not have to reveal the identity of the manufacturer of the drugs used to carry out executions. Doing so, the court ruled, “would create a substantial threat of physical...

Ducey Signs Historic AZ Occupational Licensing Bill | 04-12-2019

In his January State of the State address, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would make the Grand Canyon State the first to accept out-of-state professional licenses. Lawmakers responded by sending him HB 2569 last...

Business - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

CO House and Senate Give Final Approval to SB 78 The COLORADO House and Senate give final approval to SB 78 , net-neutrality legislation that would bar internet service providers from receiving state taxpayer money if they slow access to the internet...

Education - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

IN Governor Signs SB 632 INDIANA Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signs SB 632 , which requires the Hoosier State Department of Health to educate schools about how to test for radon. The law takes effect July 1 (INDYCHANNEL). ND Governor Signs HB 1332 NORTH...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States | 04-05-2019

Legislation dealing with consumer data privacy has been introduced this year in at least 25 states, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net. As of April 3, such measures had been passed by their...

Politics in Brief - March 25 2019 | 03-22-2019

WI ASSEMBLY SPEAKER SPURNS REDISTRICTING CIVIL CASE WISCONSIN Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) is refusing to turn over documents or testify in a civil case related to political boundaries drawn by the GOP-controlled Legislature eight years ago. Vos...

Most 5G Laws Enacted in Red States | 03-15-2019

As of mid-February, 21 states had passed laws streamlining regulations for the deployment of 5G or small-cell technology. In 12 of those states, Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office when the laws were...

Health & Science - March 15 2019 | 03-15-2019

FL House and Senate Approves SB 182 The FLORIDA House and Senate approve SB 182 , which would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana. It moves to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who pushed the measure and is expected to sign it right away (MIAMI HERALD)...

Politics in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

REPUBLICAN WON’T RUN IN NC CONGRESSIONAL RACE DO-OVER Republican Mark Harris said last week he will not run in NORTH CAROLINA’s new election for the 9th Congressional District due to health concerns. The GOP candidate in that race will...

Governors in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

DUCEY VOWS VETO OF ANTI-VAX BILLS Breaking a tradition of not commenting on bills that are still in the legislative process, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he is “pro-vaccine” and would veto any bills to weaken the state’s vaccination...

$1B Budget Surplus Not Enough to Help Poor in AZ | 02-22-2019

Four years ago, faced with a $1 billion budget deficit, Arizona’s GOP-controlled Legislature reduced the maximum amount of time residents could receive welfare benefits over their entire lives to 12 months, the shortest duration in the country....