By: - December 22, 2014 12:00 am

CA: California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out whether “driverless” vehicles are safe.

WA: Critics see danger as police around Washington state gain military firepower

Police in Grandview, where there is little crime, are among scores of law-enforcement agencies in Washington state that have received more than $21 million worth of military hardware.

VT: Single payer collapse in Vermont means tough times ahead for governor

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is in for a rough legislative session following his decision to scrap plans for single-payer health care. The challenge before the governor is to show he can still lead even from a position diminished by political realities.

SD: States trying to lure lawyers into rural practice

South Dakota is among of handful of states leading the way in an effort to attract lawyers to sparsely populated rural areas. The South Dakota program is similar to decades-old federal programs that offer grants to doctors, nurses and dentists willing to relocate to rural regions.

MS: Mississippi awards billions in no-bid contracts

Mississippi state government spent nearly $6.5 billion in the last four years on no-bid contracts, with little oversight or transparency, according to a newspaper review.

KY: Kentucky legislative proposal would let local communities raise sales taxes

Kentucky communities would be able to raise their own sales taxes under legislation House leaders are prioritizing entering next year’s legislative session.

DC: Faith groups pressure new mayor to act against DC’s surge in homelessness

With shelters at capacity or filling fast, organizers warned District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser that more must be done to address the growing need.

WI: Wisconsin’s combat sports regulations lag behind states with toughest rules

Wisconsin legislators are drafting a bill that would regulate kickboxing matches, after the death of a fighter.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers back governor’s plan to close $170 million deficit

State lawmakers approved Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to use a mix of patchwork financing and modest cuts to close a budget deficit topping $170 million, avoiding a special session to rebalance the budget.

TX: As statewide smoking ban stalls, cities go it alone

Next year will mark the fifth legislative session in a row in which Texas lawmakers have considered a statewide ban on smoking in public places. More than 100 Texas cities haven’t waited for them, despite pushback from some businesses.

MA: Governor leaves imprint on state judiciary

In his two terms, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick appointed nearly half of the state’s 411 judges — putting child support disputes, murder trials, and questions of constitutional law in the hands of a substantially more diverse bench for decades to come. But nine of his picks for the bench failed to win confirmation or withdrew – more scotched nominations than any recent governor.

KS: Brownback administration hints at privatizing Kansas state retirement system

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director says lawmakers should consider privatizing Kansas’ public employment retirement system, among other options.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.