NCSL predicts immigration, homeland security to be top ’07 issues
Immigration and homeland security will be red-hot issues this year, according to the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The NCSL recently released its top 10 forecast of issues that state governments will face in 2007, ranking each issue with a “heat factor.” “Growing demands on state legislatures from the public and federal government will generate tremendous pressures on state lawmakers in 2007,” says NCSL Executive Director William Pound.
In 2006, 32 states passed 84 new laws aimed at discouraging illegal immigration, and if the federal government continues to be deadlocked on the issue, NCSL expects states to pass more laws on it this year. As for homeland security, states are expected to spend at least $11 billion over the next five years to comply with the federal Real ID Act that requires strict, standardized methods for issuing drivers’ licenses and state IDs. Other hot issues include health insurance, the minimum wage, sex offenders and obesity. The entire forecast is available at www.ncsl.org.