MT: ‘New rebels’ out West seek state control of federal land
A growing movement to transfer federal land to state control in the West is being debated in Montana and other states. Conservation and sportsmen groups are concerned about the control of millions of acres managed by federal agencies and whether the land should be developed. More than 40 bills related to a transfer have been introduced in state legislatures in the West this year.
HI: Hawaii poised to be first state to raise smoking age to 21
Hawaii is just a step away from becoming the first state to ban people under 21 from being able to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, or smoke them in public.
TN: Tennessee at fore in Supreme Court gay marriage case
Three couples living in Tennessee who were legally married in other states are part of the case being heard by the Supreme Court. Tennessee’s law, which was supported by a majority of voters less than a decade ago, does not recognize their marriages. Whatever the justices rule will immediately affect Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.
OH: Police training on use of force should be more rigorous, Ohio task force says
Following a number of high-profile, police-related deaths, an Ohio task force recommended imposing new training standards for law enforcement on when and how to use force, and overhauling the state’s police academy system.
WV: Drug companies want West Virginia pill records kept sealed
Eleven out-of-state drug companies don’t want the public to know the number of prescription painkillers they’ve shipped to “pill mill” pharmacies in West Virginia. The drug distributors are fighting a request to unseal a lawsuit that would reveal details about the pain pill shipments from 2007 to 2012.
FL: Budget gridlock grips Florida Legislature
Heading into the final week of the session, no budget deal is in sight. A billion gap separates the Senate and the House. The impasse is over whether to accept some form of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which the Senate supports and the House and Republican Gov. Rick Scott oppose.
IL: Illinois House votes to decriminalize marijuana possession
Under the measure, getting caught with a small amount of marijuana would go from a crime with fines of up to ,500 and up to a year in jail to something like a traffic ticket: no court time and a fine of up to .
MN: Another Minnesota government shutdown? At this rate, maybe
Lawmakers are so far apart on how to spend nearly billion on health care, education, energy programs and tax plans that there is talk of a special session—or perhaps even a government shutdown.
NC: North Carolina bill would limit cities’ say on home designs
The Senate bill would prevent North Carolina’s cities and towns from regulating home designs – a change homebuilders have sought for years, saying it can drive up housing costs. But cities say it would harm homeowners who rely on regulations to prevent substandard new construction in their neighborhoods.
LA: Louisiana budget concerns prompt LSU to halt borrowing plans for new facilities
Louisiana State University has put a hold on plans to borrow .5 million, after investors in the university’s bonds announced they might pull out of a large portion of the deal. The money was supposed to help build a family housing complex, student health center and residence halls on campus.
TX: Heated debate surrounds push for deep fryers in Texas schools
The Texas agriculture commissioner is looking to buck a decade-old statewide ban on deep fat fryers in public schools, putting decision-making about food in schools back in the hands of Texas school districts.
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