Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
UT: Massive Utah cyberattacks may be aimed at NSA facility
This year, there have been as many as 300 million cyberattacks every day against the Utah government computer systems, compared with 25,000 to 30,000 five years ago. Officials said this is probably because Utah is home to the new National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems.
AZ: Arizona sued over foster care conditions
Arizona’s neglect of children in foster care “shocks the conscience” and amounts to an official shrug to the plight of nearly 17,000 children, a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges.
OH: Ohio governor’s proposed tax hikes get a cool reception
Republican Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to increase sales, commercial activity, tobacco and fracking taxes to pay for income and business tax cuts received a cool reception from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
MD: Maryland Democrats rally around education funding
Democratic senior members of the House and the Senate joined the state’s largest teachers union to protest a budget proposal by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that would cut funding to counties for K-12 schools by $144 million next year.
GA: Bill would shorten early voting, open polls on Sunday
Legislation in the Georgia House would reduce the number of early voting days but for the first time mandate that polls be open one Sunday before an election.
WV: House bill would make West Virginia judicial elections nonpartisan
The GOP-led House will vote on a bill that would set nonpartisan elections for the state Supreme Court, circuit courts, family law courts and magistrates during May primaries—a change that has long been advocated by Republican legislators who, until this year, lacked the votes for passage.
ME: Governor calls for overhaul of tax code
Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s complex plan, part of a $6.3 billion budget proposal, would increase and broaden the state’s sales tax to pay for an income tax cut.
WI: Walker’s Wisconsin budget has a national message
Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed a new spending plan for Wisconsin that relies on borrowing and spending cuts, including deep reductions to state universities, and steers clear of tax increases. He called his measures “common-sense reforms to create a government that is limited in scope and ultimately more effective, more efficient and more accountable.”
MA: Governor outlines cuts, tweaks to balance Massachusetts budget
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to bridge the state’s urgent mid-year budget gap used cuts, tax law tweaks, and other measures to fix a problem his administration now pegs at $768 million. The plan, which does not include tax or fee increases, relies on about a half-billion dollars in cuts of one kind or another, Baker said.
CA: California meets goal to cut water use
State officials said residents in drought-stricken California met Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to slash water use by 20 percent for the first time in December, when water use fell by 22 percent compared to December 2013.
FL: Florida lawmakers eye “sin tax” for strip clubs, roll-your-own shops
Patrons of strip clubs and adult theaters would have to pay a state surcharge before going in, under a proposal being looked at by state lawmakers who also want to close a tax loophole enjoyed by roll-your-own cigarette shops.
HI: Energy bills would raise ‘green’ goal for state power grid
Several bills have been introduced as some lawmakers say now is the time for Hawaii to commit to increased renewable energy generation, tax credits for renewable energy batteries and community solar projects before the sale of Hawaiian Electric Co. is finalized.
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