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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
IA: Iowa undertaking record million in highway construction
A 10-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax increase that took effect March 1 will result in million in spending on state and interstate highway projects, and million in local repairs annually.
MD: Maryland lawmakers move to help ex-offenders
Maryland’s legislature passed a number of bills aimed at helping ex-offenders turn their lives around, including restoring full voting rights for ex-felons while still on parole and providing more opportunity to expunge criminal records.
WI: Legislative panel votes to limit use of military equipment by Wisconsin police
The Wisconsin Legislature’s joint finance committee voted unanimously to limit the ability of police departments in the state to acquire and use military vehicles and equipment.
TN: Uninsured line up for free health care as Medicaid expansion flounders in Tennessee
Some people waited overnight for help in an annual charity event in Centerville, Tennessee, over the weekend as legislation that could expand Medicaid to 280,000 state residents has been struck down by Senate committees and ignored by House committees.
US: Shipping Great Lakes water? That’s California dreaming
Talk of shipping water from the Great Lakes to the American Southwest to solve a rising water crisis is largely that. Aside from the astronomical expense, states and Canadian provinces around the lakes have come together over the last decade to form protections.
OH: Lawmaker seeks tax break to spur music production in Ohio
Ohio’s motion-picture tax credit has lured a number of high-profile movie productions to Cleveland. Now, a Cleveland-area lawmaker is proposing a 25-percent tax credit to try to do the same for music.
US: Grant will help 100 cities better use data for policymaking
Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, is going to spend million aimed at helping 100 mid-size cities make better use of data and evidence in their policymaking.
LA: Cigarette tax increase looks like a possibility in Louisiana
Five health advocacy organizations — including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association — have rallied behind a bill to raise Louisiana’s cigarette tax from 36 cents per pack to .54 per pack, the national average. Lawmakers are looking to raise new money to plug a .6 billion budget hole.
CA: California vaccine legislation spurs legal debate over right to education
A debate over California’s constitutionally guaranteed access to an education has surfaced in the most contentious legislative battle this year: Does one student’s right to an education trump another student’s right to stay healthy?
DE: Delaware bill would bar alcohol, tobacco marketing to kids online
Delaware’s attorney general has unveiled a series of bills aimed at protecting online privacy, including one that would bar companies from marketing alcohol and tobacco to children online.
TX: Texas House approves “Denton Fracking Bill”
The bill, which would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities, is the most prominent of a flurry of measures filed in response to Denton’s vote in November to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits.
HI: Supporters of requiring autism coverage in Hawaii say this is the year
This is the four straight session in which the Legislature has considered requiring insurance companies to help pay for treatment.
OR: Portland experiments with better neighborhoods for poorest residents
Acknowledging that Portland’s poorest residents have dwindling options to live in good neighborhoods, local housing officials have hatched a plan to open 500 units in so-called “opportunity” areas.
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