State Legislatures

This magazine covers policy and politics through articles on trends, legislative in the United States, best practices, the legislative process and institution and leadership and federal initiatives that affect the states.

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 9, October-November

A Dedicated Dentist: One Lawmaker's Passion for Dentistry Brought Nationwide Attention to Kids' Oral Health Woes
When Ray Rawson first ran for the Senate in the mid-1980s, his opponent called him "Root Canal" Rawson, poking fun at him and his profession. But he won the race (by a mere 680 votes) and became the first dentist to serve in the Nevada Legislature....
Are Poisons Lurking in Human Bodies? (on First Reading)
Did you ever wonder what toxic pollutants might be flowing through your veins? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) answers this question with the release of its first "National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals."...
Encouraging Young Citizenship: The Virginia House of Delegates Faced the Challenge of Getting Young People Involved in the Political Process in a First-Ever Bipartisan Conference
If recent trends hold, only about 15 percent of citizens aged 18 to 25 will vote in November. Politicians cite this to justify why they typically pay little attention to young people. In a sad corollary, most young people cite being ignored by politicians...
Letters
THERE ARE OTHER VIEWS ON TAX FREEDOM DAYS Dear Editor: Your September Statestats "Tax Freedom Days" uncritically exhibits the tax freedom day data issued by the Tax Foundation. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, you should be aware...
More Adoptions out of Foster Care. (Statestats)
Unprecedented numbers of children have been adopted from foster care since Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. The law requires states to expedite the permanent placement of children and offers them financial incentives...
NCSL 2002 Annual Meeting: Summit for America; Nation's State Legislators Launch Campaign to Strengthen Democracy
America's state legislators concluded their national meeting this summer resolving to address economic issues, protect democracy and engage citizens in the legislative process. The National Conference of State Legislatures' five-day Annual Meeting...
Roller Coaster Budgets: The Astonishing Revenue Boom of the Late 1990s Gave Lawmakers an Exhilarating Ride. the Recent Bust Now Has Policymakers Seeing Red
State lawmakers have been mired in budget misery for nearly a year now. The fiscal boom of the late 1990s that started sputtering in early 2001 came to a screeching halt by the end of the year. National economic woes, exacerbated by the Sept. 11...
Special Sessions Take Up Death Sentencing: High Court Ruling Vacates Some Death Sentences and Prompts Review in Several States
Legislatures in Colorado and Arizona hastened into special session to revise their laws after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that a death sentence imposed by a judge, rather than a jury, was unconstitutional. The high court stated June...
States Tackle the Nursing Shortage: The Lack of Qualified Nurses Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions. States, Universities and Hospitals All Are Trying to Do Something about It
It's an impending disaster that may, ultimately, touch the lives of everyone. The growing shortage of qualified nurses has already hit some states and threatens just about everyone in the coming years. Today, America's hospitals have 126,000 unfilled...
Talking about Sex: Sex Can Be Hard to Talk about with Children. but with U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rates the Highest in the Developed World, Sex Education Can't Be Ignored
Teaching children about sex and its consequences has never been simple. It's a challenge that Maryland Senator Paula C. Hollinger, a former school nurse, knows firsthand. Assigned to help teach family life to a class of fifth graders, Hollinger...