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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
CA: California sees higher minority, youth sign-ups for health plan
California’s health insurance marketplace Covered California released enrollment figures showing the percentage of Latinos and African-American enrollees increased from last year. The state also reported a younger mix of new enrollees, which ensures a good risk pool for insurers.
US: States weigh legislation to let businesses refuse to serve gay couples
With conservatives anxious that the U.S. Supreme Court will legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, states are taking up bills that would allow businesses to opt out of serving gay couples.
NV: Bill suspends prevailing wage in Nevada
Nevada legislators passed a bill that would allow school districts to build or repair buildings without paying construction workers the prevailing wage.
TX: Rising local debt draws attention of Texas legislature
State legislators have filed more than a dozen bills aimed at how cities, counties and school districts can borrow money. Between September 2013 and August 2014, local governments in Texas borrowed more than $5 billion, bringing the total local debt statewide to $205 billion, according to the Texas Bond Review Board.
MN: House lawmakers approve Minnesota teacher layoffs bill
The Minnesota House voted largely along party lines in favor of its top education policy bill of the session. The measure makes changes in teacher seniority and licensing rules.
HI: Hawaii marijuana dispensary bill moves to full House
A bill to authorize the first legal medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii cleared a critical hurdle at the legislature by winning approval from the powerful House Finance Committee. The bill is now positioned for a vote by the full House.
FL: Legislature rushes to get Florida school testing overhaul in place
The move is a response to widespread criticism of Florida’s new standardized testing infrastructure, and comes as school districts continue reporting problems with the new exams.
MA: Governor’s budget includes $100,000 for foreign entrepreneurs program
A month after cutting a $1 million program that would help foreign entrepreneurs grow new businesses in Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has earmarked $100,000 to resurrect the effort, as part of the budget for the next fiscal year. The administration is inviting the private sector to match the rest.
KY: Bill to let NRA provide concealed weapon training advances
Legislation that would allow the National Rifle Association to provide required training for gun owners seeking concealed-carry permits is moving closer to passage in the Kentucky General Assembly.
OH: Boost in cigarette taxes could hurt poor Ohioans
Tax increases on cigarettes and other consumable items will hit poor Ohioans harder and make it harder for them to climb out of poverty, according to a new study from a free-market institute. Republican Gov. John Kasich wants to boost cigarette taxes by a dollar, to $2.25 a pack, to help offset income tax cuts.
WV: Police, gun rights advocates face off at West Virginia Capitol
Gun rights supporters and law enforcement officers converged on the state Capitol Thursday, as they argued on opposite sides of a bill that would allow West Virginians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
OR: Oregon clean-fuels bill passes narrowly
The Oregon House approved controversial legislation to extend the clean-fuels program, a decision that could shape the state’s environmental policy for decades to come.
WA: Washington state medical marijuana industry fears new regulation
Preoccupied with a thriving black market and medical products that aren’t subject to state-mandated testing, lawmakers want to fold the state’s medical marijuana patients into the highly regulated recreational system.
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