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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
MD: State workers offered ,000 in voluntary separation program
More than 30,000 eligible employees received a letter Thursday detailing the offer, which includes the lump sum plus for every year of service. Those who apply and are accepted must leave their jobs by the end of April as part of a cost-saving plan to shrink the government workforce.
NC: Ideology seen as factor in closings in University of North Carolina system
A panel in North Carolina has recommended closing three academic centers, including a poverty center and one dedicated to social change, sparking outrage among liberals who believe that conservatives in control of state government are targeting ideological opponents in academia.
CO: Two federal lawsuits aim to end pot sales in Colorado
Two federal lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado Thursday against the state’s politicians, public servants and two pot businesses aim to “end the sale of recreational marijuana in this state.” Both suits claim that the businesses are causing nuisances in violation of federal anti-racketeering laws.
NY: Grand jury indicts former New York Assembly speaker
A federal grand jury indicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Thursday, nearly a month after he was accused of using his position to collect million in bribes and kickbacks disguised as legal fees.
NM: New Mexico lawmakers want to create 500-mile statewide trail
Called the Rio Grande Trail, the recreational pathway is envisioned as being similar to the Appalachian Trail or the Continental Divide Trail. It would stretch from Colorado to Texas, weaving through majestic vistas, monuments and cultural areas in the Land of Enchantment.
US: Governors jockey behind closed doors as 2016 looms
Around panel discussions on cybersecurity and education reform, several state executives will spend much of the National Governors Association’s winter meeting looking ahead at 2016. The three-day gathering that begins today comes at a critical time for ambitious Republican governors looking to make the jump into the presidential contest.
CA: California bill would end all measles vaccine loopholes except medical
In a move that could give California one of the nation’s toughest vaccine laws, two state senators introduced legislation that would eliminate most exemptions that allow parents to avoid requirements to vaccinate their children.
TX: State exams once again target of Texas lawmakers
Texas lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow high school seniors to graduate even if they fail state exams. The measure would allow districts to weigh factors like grades, college entrance exam scores and attendance to determine whether a student should graduate.
SD: Senate OKs dropping from minimum wage for minors
The South Dakota Senate has approved a measure that would create a new minimum wage of .50 an hour for minors.
LA: Higher education leaders to seek tuition authority
Higher education leaders again plan to urge state lawmakers to give schools the flexibility to set tuition prices without legislative interference. Higher education funding is facing a nearly million hit — about 40 percent of the state’s spending on colleges and universities — in the state budget that starts July 1.
NJ: Christie warns again about New Jersey public pension system
Republican Gov. Chris Christie said he had worked to make New Jersey more affordable during his tenure but warned that growing costs of retiree benefits were crowding out spending for services such as education and health care.
GA: Senate approves bill creating system for prescribing cheaper drugs
The state Senate approved legislation to set up a system for prescribing substitutions for costly biologic drugs that could help Georgia patients save money.
SC: More calls for ousting university trustees
Calls for changing the leadership at financially troubled South Carolina State University keep growing.
MO: Want a 50-cent doctor copay? Become a Missouri inmate
In an effort to teach Missouri’s 32,000 inmates to be more responsible, some state lawmakers want to subject offenders to a mandatory 50-cent copay for each nonemergency visit to the prison infirmary.
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