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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
UT: Utah passes LGBT anti-discrimination legislation
With the backing of Mormon Church leaders, the House gave final approval to enact Utah’s first statewide nondiscrimination protections for the gay and transgender community, while providing safeguards for religious institutions that object to homosexuality. It goes to Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who is expected to sign it.
CT: Support grows for legal marijuana in Connecticut
The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows support building for recreational marijuana. Sixty-three percent of Connecticut voters say they support legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The poll shows an increase in support from last May, when 52 percent favored it.
NM: Right-to-work bill stalled in New Mexico
A New Mexico right-to-work bill that has reignited old economic arguments and fanned partisan flames has been shot down in a Senate committee, leaving its path to final approval blocked with less than two weeks left in the 60-day legislative session.
OH: Powdered alcohol now legal in U.S.; But Ohio may ban it
A powdered alcohol maker hopes to start selling the product this summer after winning approval from federal officials. But maybe not in Ohio. The Ohio House last month voted unanimously to ban its sale, and the Senate is debating it.
AK: Senate passes bill to kill Daylight Saving Time
The Alaska Senate passed a bill to kill Daylight Saving Time Wednesday, voting 16-4 to send the measure to the House. The bill passed shortly after noon Alaska Daylight Time.
IL: Illinois Democrats push more than a dozen tax hikes to offset governor’s cuts
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s opposition to raising the income tax and proposal to slash the state budget have Democratic lawmakers pushing more than a dozen other tax hikes as they try to bring in more money to save social service programs that are on the chopping block.
NV: Bill would allow carrying concealed gun without permit
Republicans are proposing a bill that would allow any Nevadan who legally owns a gun to carry it concealed without having a permit, which they must have now.
TX: Perry is gone, but travel costs still being tallied
Texas taxpayers paid about million a year to transport, feed and house former Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s security detail from the time Perry began running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2011 until he left office earlier this year. Now a GOP legislator is pushing legislation that would require elected officials to reimburse the treasury for any out-of-state travel costs unrelated to official state business.
CO: Bill to pilot bonuses for top Colorado teachers advances
The bill, which won approval in House committee, seeks million from the state to set up grants for districts wanting to award cash bonuses to highly effective teachers working in low-performing schools.
DE: Delaware death penalty repeal bill returns next week
A Delaware senator plans to re-file a measure next week that would repeal the death penalty in the state, a move police groups already have vowed to oppose.
KS: Bill would require financial prospectus for all Kansas college degree programs
The Senate’s budget committee endorsed legislation requiring public universities and colleges in Kansas to compile and publish uniform financial information related to the cost of a degree and real-world earnings of graduates.
MS: Mississippi House puts open hospital meetings and records back on track
The Mississippi House has voted to send a measure to the Senate that would open some now-closed public hospital board meetings and expand access to hospital records.
LA: Tobacco tax increase wouldn’t just be about cigarettes
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to raise the tobacco tax wouldn’t necessarily be limited to cigarettes. The head of the department of revenue said Louisiana officials have talked about raising taxes on a range of tobacco products—including cigars, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other vaping commodities.
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