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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...

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...

States Weigh More Bans on Vaping | 11-08-2019

As public health officials confront an outbreak of lung injuries linked to vaping from e-cigarettes, a patchwork of state and local responses have cropped up in lieu of federal regulation. But with a developing and not yet fully understood problem...

Eight States Have Passed Insurance Industry Data Security Law | 11-01-2019

Eight states have enacted some version of the Data Security Model Law adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2017, according to the National Law Review. Three of the states did so in 2018, with the other five enacting...

Politics in Brief - October 21 2019 | 10-18-2019

NY TAKES AIM AT TRUMP’S PARDON POWERS NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation amending the state’s double jeopardy laws to allow state and local prosecutors to pursue cases involving individuals pardoned by the president. The...

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...

KS Eying Healthcare Cost Controls | 09-20-2019

A special committee in Kansas is looking into ways to control the rising cost of healthcare in the state. This month the members of the House and Senate Special Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance got a crash course on healthcare cost control...

Online Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

There was a time when, if you weren’t in Las Vegas and you wanted to put some money down on a football game – say $100 that the Rams would cover the spread on Sunday – you needed to talk to a bookie. So, you picked up your phone. ...

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...

Big Tech Quashes State Data Privacy Bills | 08-30-2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and executives of other big tech companies have been saying recently that they want a federal data privacy law. But this year the companies and their lobbyists helped kill data privacy bills introduced in at least 13 states...

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...

Balance Billing Measures Introduced in 32 States in 2019 | 08-09-2019

Legislation dealing with medical balance billing - the charging of patients by healthcare providers for services not fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - has been introduced in 32 states this year, according to...

Politics in Brief - July 15 2019 | 07-12-2019

NY ENACTS LAW ALLOWING ACCESS TO TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS NEW YORK Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (R) signed a bill last week that will allow the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation to access...

California Bill Highlights Worker Misclassification Debate | 06-28-2019

When San Francisco-based Lyft driver Roosevelt Thomas recently got a message from the company urging him to sign a petition opposing California Assembly Bill 5 – which would turn rideshare drivers from independent contractors into employees –...

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.

Business - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

RI Senate Approves SB 509 The RHODE ISLAND Senate approves SB 509 , which would bar employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. It is now in the House (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL). NV Governor Signs AB 466 NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak...

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...

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

LA VOTERS TO WEIGH ABORTION RIGHTS IN 2020 LOUISIANA lawmakers gave final approval last week for a proposed constitutional amendment that would stipulate there is no right to an abortion in the state. The action, part of a wave of recent anti-abortion...

Mills Signs Strict ME Data Privacy Bill | 06-07-2019

Saying that “Maine people value their privacy, online and off,” Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed one of the toughest data privacy measures in the nation last week. Under SB 275 , which Mills signed last Thursday, Pine Tree State Internet...

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....

The Local Front - June 10 2019 | 06-07-2019

Beverly Hills City Council Approves an Ordinance The BEVERLY HILLS City Council approves an ordinance making it the fist city in America to fully ban the sale of all tobacco products. The measure, which takes effect in 2021, allows cigar lounges to...

Over Half of States Have Passed Private-Sector Data Security Laws | 05-31-2019

As of the start of this year, at least 25 states had passed laws requiring businesses that handle personal data to implement security procedures to protect that information from unauthorized access, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures...

Governors in Brief - May 20 2019 | 05-17-2019

SISOLAK SIGNS SWEEPING HEALTH MEASURES NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed two significant health care measures last week: AB 170 , which codifies into Silver State law a prohibition on health insurers from denying patient coverage due to pre-existing...

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...

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...

The Local Front - May 6 2019 | 05-03-2019

NY City Bans Alcohol Advertising on City Property Citing health risks associated with consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, NEW YORK CITY bans alcohol advertising on city property. The ban takes effect immediately, but ads already in place will be...

Energy - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

NV Senate Unanimously Approves SB 358 The NEVADA Senate unanimously approves SB 358 , which would raise the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent by 2030. It moves to the Assembly (NEVADA INDEPENDENT).

Social Policy - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

US Supreme Court Declines The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to a NEW JERSEY law that bans the use of so-called “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation, on minors (NJ.COM). NJ...

NV Considering Doing Away with Judicial Elections | 04-12-2019

All district, appellate and Supreme Court judges in Nevada are currently elected by voters. But that would change under a proposed constitutional amendment in the state’s Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. Under the proposed...

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 - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

NV BILL WOULD RESTORE FORMER FELONS’ VOTING RIGHTS NEVADA lawmakers are considering legislation ( AB 431 ) that would restore full voting rights to felons upon being released from prison. If the bill is enacted, the state would become the 15th...

Dozen States Adopted ‘California Rule’ on Pensions | 03-22-2019

In 1955 the California Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. City of Long Beach (1955) that workers enter a contract with their employers from their first day on the job, and their pension benefits can’t be reduced unless they’re replaced with comparable...

Pendulum Swing on Voting Rights? | 03-15-2019

Over the past decade, many states, citing concerns about voter fraud, have enacted voting restrictions, such as photo ID requirements and early voting reductions. It looked as though voter purges would be the next phase of that movement, after the U.S...

States Claim Trump Violated U.S. Constitution | 02-22-2019

Sixteen states led by California sued President Donald Trump on President’s Day, alleging that his proclamation of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexican border was unconstitutional. Trump proclaimed the emergency a week earlier after expressing...

Social Policy - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

AR Governor Signs SB 149 ARKANSAS Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signs SB 149 , so-called “trigger legislation” that would ban abortion in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing the procedure nationwide...

Politics in Brief - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

TX FLAGS 95,000 VOTERS FOR CITIZENSHIP VERIFICATION The TEXAS secretary of state’s office announced last month that it had flagged 95,000 registered voters for citizenship checks. The individuals were flagged because they had provided a form of...

Budgets in Brief - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

CT APPROVES BANK LOANS FOR UNPAID FEDERAL WORKERS CONNECTICUT’s Democrat-led General Assembly overwhelmingly approved and Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed legislation providing state-backed, zero-interest loans for federal workers who aren’t...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

More States Ready for Moderate Recession Than Not | 01-18-2019

As of September 2018, 23 states had enough rainy day and other reserve funds to weather a moderate recession, while 17 states lacked such reserves, according to Moody’s Analytics. The other 10 states had reserve balances that were within 5 percentage...

DOJ Issues Bombshell Opinion on Internet Gambling | 01-18-2019

The U.S. Department of Justice dropped a bombshell on the online gambling industry last week when it announced a legal opinion it issued in November saying the federal Wire Act of 1961 - prohibiting the use of wire communication facilities to conduct...

Governors in Brief - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

CUOMO CALLS FOR NY ABORTION AMENDMENT With Democrats now in control of both legislative chambers, NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on Empire State lawmakers last week to pass a constitutional amendment codifying a woman’s right to legal...

Opportunities and Challenges for States in 2019 | 12-14-2018

In the third and final of our annual three-part series looking ahead to the coming legislative year, SNCJ Senior Advisor Lou Cannon takes a look at some of the challenges and opportunities that await lawmakers in 2019. This is also our final issue...

More States Under Unified One-Party Control in 2019 | 12-14-2018

As a result of the November elections, in 2019 Republicans will control both the legislature and the governor’s office in 23 states, three less than the number of states under unified GOP control this year. Democrats will control the legislative...

Governors in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

NORTHAM WINS NC GOV BALANCE OF POWER BATTLE A NORTH CAROLINA court ruled last week that the GOP-controlled General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to pick the leadership of the state Industrial Commission before he...