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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
US: Voter ID laws struck down in Wisconsin, Texas
The Supreme Court Thursday night blocked Wisconsin from implementing a controversial voter ID law in next month’s election. At the same time, a federal judge in Texas struck down that state’s voter ID law, saying it amounted to an “unconstitutional poll tax.”
ME: CDC says smoking ban in Maine public housing saves $1 million annually
Maine is the only state that prohibits smokers from lighting up in all of its public housing units, which saves the state $1.09 million annually, mostly in health care costs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AZ: Arizona’s financial picture dims
Arizona could run a budget deficit this year of more than half a billion dollars and up to $1 billion in fiscal 2016, as the state’s sluggish economy produces lower-than-expected tax revenue.
LA: Former state worker admits $1 million theft from Louisiana Medicaid program
A former state health agency accountant admitted in a Baton Rouge courtroom that she stole more than $1 million from Louisiana’s Medicaid program which she used to feed her severe gambling addiction.
NJ: Christie faces need for tax with New Jersey roads fund empty
Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has opposed raising New Jersey’s gasoline tax even as the roadwork fund runs dry, says he’s now open to all options for replenishing the pool.
MN: Dayton pitches gas sales tax
After saying up until this point in his re-election campaign that he had no plans to raise taxes in a second term, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said he would propose putting a sales tax on gasoline to raise money for road and bridge projects.
US: Same-sex marriage ruling echoes as West Virginia relents and South Carolina persists
A U.S. Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriage in five states reverberated further Thursday, with the attorney general of West Virginia conceding that its ban on same-sex marriage was no longer defensible but South Carolina officials vowing to keep fighting to restrict marriage to a man and a woman.
KS: Kansas’ job growth lags, report says
Kansas job growth is lagging well behind the national average, but the state’s employment outlook for next year has improved, a new economic forecast says.
PA: Pennsylvania permits unlikely this year for Uber, Lyft
No new laws are likely to be passed this year to permit “ride-share” companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate in Pennsylvania, although a House committee chairman said he would support efforts to remove Philadelphia from any statewide restriction since it regulates taxis and limousines in the city.
GA: State to sign agreement to deepen Savannah harbor
Georgia and the federal government plan to sign a final deal to deepen the Savannah harbor after more than 15 years of studies, planning and bureaucratic delays.
WA: Auditor raps state on accounting gaps
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission must better account for money spent on fuel and for its Discover Passes and other park revenues, state auditors said.
OR: Governor’s fiancée admits past sham marriage for cash
Less than 24 hours after news broke of a secret marriage, Cylvia Hayes tearfully apologized to Oregonians and to her fiancé, Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, for accepting $5,000 to illegally marry an 18-year-old Ethiopian in need of a green card 17 years ago.
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