Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
WA: Governor proposes making polluters pay for transportation costs
After two years of watching proposals for a gas tax increase tank in the legislature, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a new approach: charge major polluters for the right to emit carbon.
NM: New Mexico agency overwhelmed by relief requests
Internal reports, emails, audits and interviews show relief aid for New Mexico communities affected by fires and flooding was slowed by dysfunction within the state Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.
NY: Death in Bronx facility shows vulnerability of state’s nursing home residents
The nursing home death last week, which was ruled a homicide, underscores the vulnerability of frail nursing home residents in New York state, where rates of substandard care, neglect and abuse are high, according to national studies.
RI: Governor-elect names first Rhode Island commerce secretary
Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo has reached outside Rhode Island to name a key new leader in her administration—Stefan Pryor, currently Connecticut’s commissioner of education—as the state’s first commerce secretary.
TX: Dissecting Denton: How a Texas city banned fracking
State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and, now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
OK: Oklahoma Supreme Court upholds Gov. Fallin’s executive privilege claim
The state Supreme Court ruled Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has the power to withhold the release of certain Obamacare documents because of executive privilege, but that power is not absolute.
OR: Record .1 million verdict against Oregon in molestation case
In the wake of the largest ever jury verdict last week against the state division charged with protecting 8,000-plus foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services is refusing to answer any questions about what happened.
WI: State phone problems blocked callers about jobless benefits
A legislative audit found that unemployed workers in Wisconsin had more than 3 million calls for help blocked or dropped by the state in the past three years.
MI: Ban on college athlete unions heads to governor
A bill banning college student athletes from forming unions is on its way to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder after receiving final passage in the Michigan Senate.
KS: Kansas’ largest city wants state to issue driver’s permits to illegal immigrants
The Wichita City Council wants the state legislature to approve letting illegal immigrants obtain driver’s permits for the purpose of buying car insurance.
CA: California governor plans to target cost of retiree health care
The price tag for retiree health care in California was million in the 2002 fiscal year and is expected to be .8 billion in the current fiscal year.
FL: Expected billion budget surplus draws attention of lawmakers, special interests
The surplus has been welcome news, but some lawmakers believe they must send a message to special interest groups and state agencies that pet projects aren’t guaranteed money.
MN: Department members pan capitol security panel
A departing state lawmaker who pushed for tougher security measures inside the state capitol building, including tighter restrictions on guns, offered a harsh assessment of the special committee designed to address those sensitive topics.
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