Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
TN: Executions halted in Tennessee as legal challenges continue
The Tennessee Supreme Court postponed execution dates for four inmates, which effectively halted all executions, while the courts decide whether current methods for carrying out the death penalty—lethal injection and its backup, the electric chair—are constitutional.
OK: Oklahoma bans mid-term abortion procedure
Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill banning the procedure known as dilation and evacuation that is used in the second trimester of pregnancy. The new law to halt what abortion foes call “dismemberment abortion” takes effect Nov. 1. Kansas became the first state to ban the procedure earlier this month.
OH: Ohio board eliminates state minimum for school nurses, librarians, arts teachers
The state school board voted to eliminate the state-set minimum number of school nurses, librarians, counselors and arts teachers that Ohio school districts must have, leaving it to local school boards to decide. Critics say it dooms those positions during tight budget times.
TX: Texas House takes step to patch up pension fund hole
The Texas House gave preliminary approval to a measure that would increase state employee contributions to the Employees Retirement System pension fund to 9.5 percent — a 2 percent increase. The state also would start chipping in 2 percent more to a system that is underfunded by about .2 billion.
CA: California to announce ‘Google Maps for health’ initiative
By weaving together patient and clinical data, and socioeconomic, environmental and health patterns, California officials hope to deliver a “Google Maps for health” that would help deliver the right therapies to the right people at the right time.
LA: Jindal, at times sentimental, opens Louisiana legislative session
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal kicked off the legislature’s two-month session with a speech that touched on the state budget crisis, Jindal’s opposition to Common Core and strong support for a proposed “religious freedom” bill.
GA: Georgia attorney general warns immigration case could drag on
Republican Attorney General Sam Olens predicted the legal case brought by Georgia and 25 other states against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration could drag on for another two years and reach all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
MN: Minnesota transportation bill clears first hurdle
The House transportation committee approved a billion transportation bill that shifts existing taxes to a new transportation fund, while borrowing billions in coming years to pay for Minnesota road and bridge projects.
ID: Child support funding at risk in Idaho after legislative action
Idaho is at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal child support funding after lawmakers killed a measure that would have brought the state into compliance with federal rules. Lawmakers were concerned the legislation could force the state to uphold child support rulings in other countries living under Sharia law.
HI: Future of Hawaii’s health insurance exchange in limbo
The federal government is poised to seize some or all operations of Hawaii’s nonprofit insurance marketplace within the next couple of months and is requesting a contingency plan from the state.
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