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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
US: State lawmakers launch gun control coalition
Some 200 lawmakers from 50 states have launched a nationwide nonpartisan coalition to combat gun violence, in part because Congress has failed to reform gun laws, members said.
PA: No escape from pension math in Pennsylvania
Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has to balance his campaign promises, including more money for schools, with a billion revenue shortfall for the year that begins July 1. Only New Jersey and Virginia are struggling more than Pennsylvania to fully fund state worker retirement costs.
NY: Eyeing a raise, New York lawmakers are negotiating reforms
New York’s top lawmakers are negotiating with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo an ambitious package of ethics reforms that could pave the way for the first raise for state legislators since 1999.
MD: New governor says he will declare heroin ‘emergency’ in Maryland
Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan plans to create a task force to figure out why the number of overdoses has steadily increased.
SD: South Dakota battles over business banners at Chicago airport
A battle is brewing between South Dakota and Chicago city officials over banners at O’Hare International Airport that airport authorities say seem to conflict with TSA regulations. The economic development signs read, ‘No Government Pat Downs,’ ‘Keep Your Change in Your Pockets’ and ‘We’re Hands Off When it Comes to Business.’
VT: Defeated governor candidate wants legislature to elect him
Republican Scott Milne says he’s going to ask the Vermont Legislature to elect him governor. Because incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who won the Nov. 4 election, didn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote, state law allows the legislature to choose the governor.
RI: Governor awards million to communities for open spaces
The grants will go to protecting 1,193 acres of open space and farmland and will be matched by .75 million in federal funding and local money.
AZ: 169 state employees got unapproved raises
State officials gave raises to 169 employees over a recent 12-month period without obtaining the required approval of the Arizona Department of Administration.
MN: Lawmakers learn that past borrowing from landfill cleanup fund brings pile of debt
Custodians of the state treasury forked out million this year — and owe about million over the next few years — to repay a million loan from the state’s Closed Landfill Investment Fund in 2010 that state officials used to help dig out from a steep budget deficit.
FL: Judge allows allegations that governor intentionally violated records law
A Tallahassee judge opened the door for a new complaint that alleges Republican Gov. Rick Scott intentionally withheld public records in violation of Florida law, a charge that could result in sanctions against the governor after months of delay in the case.
SC: New million bailout for South Carolina State moves forward
Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is upset after state budget leaders agreed to use extra state tax collections for a million bailout of South Carolina State University.
LA: Facing .4 billion budget deficit, candidates propose incentive, tax reforms
With Louisiana staring down a .4 billion budget shortfall, the 2015 race for governor may focus in part on what to do about a raft of tax incentive programs and giveaways that have quintupled over the past decade and now roughly match the size of the deficit.
KS: ACLU files motion against Kansas officials on same-sex marriage dispute
The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to compel state officials to recognize same-sex marriages so that same-sex couples can file taxes jointly, change their driver’s licenses and, in the case of public employees, add their spouses to the state’s health plan – something the state has blocked while it appeals a decision striking down Kansas’ ban on gay marriage.
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