Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
WI: Madison, Wisconsin bans discrimination against atheists, non-religious people
The city council in Madison, Wisconsin, gave them the same protections as those afforded to people based on race, sexual orientation and religion, in what may be the first law of its kind in the U.S.
US: Effort to end prevailing wage laws emerges in many states
Proposals to repeal laws that prescribe wages on public construction projects have been offered in more than a dozen states. Backers say it helps hold down inflated costs at a time of tight budgets, while foes say it lowers wages and weakens unions.
CT: General Assembly sends mixed signals on body cameras
Several Connecticut cities and towns are moving faster on the issue of police body cameras than the General Assembly, where lawmakers last week took conflicting actions on funding and a statewide body camera mandate.
SD: South Dakota sees drop in juvenile arrests
Juvenile arrests in South Dakota have dropped more than 10 percent for a second year, suggesting state efforts to reform the juvenile justice system may be paying off.
UT: Cars talking to cars? Utah to launch tests to help development
Imagine if cars could talk to one another or with traffic signals. The conversations could help avoid collisions, or smooth out travel to save fuel costs and cut pollution. The Utah Department of Transportation will be experimenting with such systems.
TX: Texas’ local transportation agencies spend at least billion with little to show for it
The Texas Legislature set up “regional mobility authorities” 15 years ago to use bonds to build transportation projects and pay them off with tolls. But most of the nine agencies have struggled, and some have completed no roadway projects at all while burning through at least billion in tax dollars, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found.
FL: Medicaid battle derails Florida’s legislative session
The Florida Legislature actually only has one job as far as the state constitution is concerned — it has to meet 60 days each year in order to pass a balanced budget. This year, it didn’t.
CA: California lawmakers consider statewide regulation of marijuana dispensaries
California lawmakers are wading into the sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year.
OH: Abortion clinics close in Ohio amid new restrictions
The number of abortion providers in Ohio has shrunk by half amid a flurry of restrictive new laws over the past four years, and the number of the procedures also is declining.
NE: Debate on raising Nebraska’s gas tax boils down to shortfall vs. windfall
Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and the legislature face a showdown over a proposed 6-cents-gallon gasoline tax increase, with Ricketts questioning whether the state’s transportation fund needs it for road construction and repair.
AL: Lawmakers oppose tax on streaming TV, movies
Alabama legislative leaders are asking the Department of Revenue to cancel its plan to tax digital streaming services in the state.
LA: Louisiana House committee OKs bill to strip dues deduction
The bill would bar unions from automatically collecting dues from the paychecks of firefighters, police officers and teachers. Its approval sets the stage for a legislative fight between business and organized labor interests, even as many lawmakers have said they’d rather focus on the state’s .6 billion budget shortfall.
NM: New Mexico considers proposal for cougar trapping
A proposal that would allow New Mexico hunters use traps to kill mountain lions has sparked strong opposition from environmental and animal protection groups.
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