Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
IN: Indiana’s Pence says he’ll back clarification of ‘religious freedom’ act
Republican Gov. Mike Pence, scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm, defended Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act but said he will support the introduction of legislation to “clarify” that it does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians.
UT: Utah’s Herbert signs bills hiking gasoline, property taxes
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed an increase In Utah’s motor fuel tax, which will soon cost motorists a nickel more a gallon for gasoline. He also signed a million increase in property taxes, designed to help bring funding for rural schools up to par with those in more affluent, urban areas.
NM: New Mexico inmates could enroll in Medicaid under bill
Lawmakers have sent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez legislation that would help thousands of inmates in New Mexico enroll in Medicaid and make them eligible for services upon release.
AL: Alabama’s Bentley to takes tax increase pitch to the public
Saying Alabama’s budget problems aren’t going away, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley is taking proposed million package of tax increases directly to voters with a series of speeches.
MS: Purse-packing gun law passes Mississippi House
The Mississippi House has passed a measure that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in purses, handbags or briefcases.
KY: Kentucky lawmakers tap employees’ health fund to cover ‘rainy day’ appropriations
Kentucky lawmakers transferred .5 million from the public employee health insurance fund to the government’s “rainy day” fund, where it will ensure the state has money to pay for a few special appropriations made this session.
MO: Missouri has crumbling roads and a reluctance to pay for repair
If the legislature is unable to come up with a solution to a million shortfall, the state transportation budget will shrink so much next year that only a quarter of Missouri’s 34,000 miles of roads will get proper upkeep.
WI: Wisconsin to pay .1 million to ACLU for gay marriage battle
Wisconsin officials have agreed to pay the ACLU .1 million after the state lost its court battle to prevent gay marriage in the state.
OR: Skyrocketing drug costs stump insurers, Oregon lawmakers
Oregonians are appealing to state lawmakers to do something about the rising costs of prescription drugs. Pending bills would cap drug co-pays and require high-cost drug manufacturers to report associated costs to the state health authority.
KS: Kansas Senate picks winners, losers of college financial aid
A Senate budget bill cuts .3 million in financial aid to Kansas’ public universities and awards it to independent colleges in the state, making winners of 1,500 private college students and generating 3,500 losers at public universities.
FL: Florida lawmakers strip dollars from state jobs incentive program
Lawmakers are demanding sweeping changes to the taxpayer-funded programs Republican Gov. Rick Scott uses to attract jobs to Florida, citing the need for more openness and better accountability.
CA: California state leaders routinely use private email
A survey of how California’s four legislative leaders and eight top elected officers use email finds a loose patchwork of practices under which private electronic conversations while on the job are alternately commonplace, infrequent or discouraged.
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