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Legislative Updates:

State Issues

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  • Preserving Life and Liberty for All

    WHEREAS, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) recognizes the agony, suffering, and outrage of communities of color across the country that have witnessed too many lives robbed;

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  • Open Letter to Senate Judiciary Chair and Ranking Member on VRAA The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) applauds the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for taking action on S. 1945, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA). When the Supreme Court ruled Section 4 unconstitutional in Shelby County v. Holder, it delivered a debilitating blow to voting rights. Congress is now positioned to heal the damage done by restoring the Voting Rights Act to its full power with the VRAA.
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  • Open Letter to House Judiciary Chair and Ranking Member on VRAA The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is calling on the United States House of Representatives to take swift action on H.R.3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA).
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  • NBCSL Sends An Open Letter to the President of the United States Regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 On June 25, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder and struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In a 5-4 decision, the court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. With Section 4 struck down, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires preclearance of changes in voting laws, has been neutralized. Congress now has the ability to rewrite Section 4. NBCSL sent an Open Letter to the President of the United States urging them to move swiftly and thoughtfully in developing a new formula under the Voting Rights Act.
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  • NBCSL Sends Open Letter to the United States Congress Regarding Voting Rights Act of 1965 On June 25, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder and struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In a 5-4 decision, the court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. With Section 4 struck down, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires preclearance of changes in voting laws, has been neutralized. Congress now has the ability to rewrite Section 4. NBCSL sent an Open Letter to the United States Congress urging them to move swiftly and thoughtfully in developing a new formula under the Voting Rights Act.
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  • Press Release
    Statement on the Official Ruling of the United States Supreme Court Case Of Fisher V. University Of Texas and Affirmative Action On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right for colleges and universities to use race as one of many factors in admission decisions.

    Download PDF: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Press Release
    Click Here to View Press Release
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  • Monday, August 18, 2014 Lawyers: NC Voting Suits Continue Despite Ruling
    Lawyers: NC Voting Suits Continue Despite Ruling A U.S. District Court judge declined to halt the continued implementation of voting changes while the changes are being litigated in the courts.  The changes which include elimination of same day voting, a shortened early voting period, and other provisions, are being challenged by several groups including the National Association…
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  • Monday, August 18, 2014 Florida Lawmakers OK New Voting Map for Congress
    Florida Lawmakers OK New Voting Map for Congress Florida legislators agreed on new lines for congressional districts after a Circuit court judge ruled the map used in the 2012 elections was illegal.  Redrawing the map will alter seven of the State’s 27 electoral districts, but it is currently unclear whether it will change the Congressional representation.
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  • Monday, August 18, 2014 Judge: No More Ohio Executions this Year
    Judge: No More Ohio Executions this Year Ohio Federal judge Gregory Frost has extended the State’s death penalty moratorium into next year after probes into Ohio’s “lethal injection cocktail.”  Earlier this month when an inmate was executed using the cocktail, he was observed choking and gasping for air.  The moratorium will allow for further investigation into the…
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  • Monday, August 18, 2014 Cities, States Face Off On Municipal Broadband
    Cities, States Face Off On Municipal Broadband Localities such as Wilson, North Carolina desire to fill the digital divide by providing their communities with broadband access.  Cities interested in bringing internet service where private companies cannot are looking towards municipal broadband, high speed broadband delivered via fiber optic networks, to accomplish that goal.
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  • Monday, August 18, 2014 Christie Signs Bail Reform Measure, Lauds Lawmakers for Bipartisanship
    Christie Signs Bail Reform Measure, Lauds Lawmakers for Bipartisanship New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bail reform measure that would create an alternative pre-trial release which will prevent indigent defendants from being stuck in jail because they cannot afford bail.  The measure comes after a special session was convened for the legislature by Christie.  The measure…
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  • Wednesday, August 6, 2014 State Supreme Court Backs Police in Cellphone Tracking
    State Supreme Court Backs Police in Cellphone Tracking The State Supreme Court in Wisconsin recently ruled that police could track suspects through their cellphones without a warrant.  The court noted the growing issue of privacy and technology but stated that same technology was imperative in solving crimes at a rapid speed.
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  • NBCSL Members Fighting for Safer School Environments
    NBCSL Members Fighting for Safer School Environments Representative Greg Porter (IN) attends signing of his anti-bullying legislation by Governor Mike Pence. Background Once cast off as a rite of passage or common behavior, the act of bullying can have lasting effects on a student’s academic achievement and emotional and physical health. Bullying can also lead to long-term…
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  • Justice for the Scottsboro Boys
    Justice for the Scottsboro Boys Background In March of 1931, nine Black teens aged 13 to 19 boarded a train in Scottsboro, Alabama. Their names were Olen Montgomery, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Charlie Weems, Eugene Williams, Andy Wright and Roy Wright. When a fight broke out, these young boys were arrested…
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  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 ASPiRE TV: NBCSL's 37th Annual Legislative Conference
    ASPiRE TV: NBCSL's 37th Annual Legislative Conference See ASPiRE TV coverage of NBCSL's 37th Annual Legislative Conference in Memphis, TN. Many states were represented and over 300 legislators, corporate partners, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders were in attendance.
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  • Thursday, January 23, 2014 C-SPAN VIDEO: 37th Annual Legislative Conference, Closing Plenary Session, December 2013
    C-SPAN VIDEO: 37th Annual Legislative Conference, Closing Plenary Session, December 2013 See video from the closing plenary session of NBCSL's 37th Annual Legislative Conference. Titled, "Galvanizing State Action on Civil Rights," this session featured speakers offering different perspectives on how legislators can improve the social status of all Americans in the next century.
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  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Black legislators from across the country to meet in Memphis
    Upward of 700 state legislators, their families, legislative staffers, other government officials, policy advocates and corporate executives gathered in Memphis Dec. 11-14 for the 37th annual conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. The meeting of lawmakers from across the country is one of the largest gatherings of black officials every year since its founding in 1977. The NBCSL represents more than 600 Black lawmakers from 45 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.
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  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Voting rights issues are critical to Black elected officials, Caucus leader says
    Voting rights issues are critical to Black elected officials, Caucus leader says For Joe Armstrong, the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the next few days will be filled with discussions about voting rights, the struggle of historically Black colleges and the Affordable Care Act. The group of elected officials from a wide array of states is convening in Memphis and, according to Armstrong, they are deeply concerned about legislation in some states that they say are designed to erode gains made by African-Americans.
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  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Black legislators want your voting rights back
    Black legislators want your voting rights back There are at least 24 states where voter-I.D. laws have already been introduced, at least seven are trying to end same-day [voting and] registration and eight are trying to limit existing opportunities to vote early,” said Maryland State Sen. Catherine Pugh, a Democrat representing Baltimore and president elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013 Singer Jennifer Holliday shares her fight with depression with Indianapolis audience
    Singer Jennifer Holliday shares her fight with depression with Indianapolis audience Despite her success on Broadway, as a recording artist and later on prime-time television, Jennifer Holliday fought clinical depression for 20 years and tried to commit suicide on her 30th birthday in 1990. The 52-year-old singer shared her poignant life story on Friday — then belted out three songs to everyone's delight — during a conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Indianapolis.
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