Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
US: Lobbying industry expands rapidly in the states
Lobbyists aren’t having much luck in a gridlocked nation’s capital, so they’re increasingly opening their wallets in state capitals. Not keeping pace, watchdog groups say, are disclosure laws that are supposed to keep the influence industry in check.
US: States put up a flurry of roadblocks to abortion
Legislatures in 11 states have passed 37 new restrictions on access to abortion so far this year. More than 200 such laws have passed in the last four years.
WA: Washington proposal would ‘swap’ property tax levies for schools
Property taxes would increase in Washington’s wealthy school districts and decrease in poorer ones, under a Republican school finance proposal opposed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
MT: Montana’s Bullock vetoes third tax-cut bill
Montana Republicans touted tax cuts as a high priority for the 2015 session, but every major tax initiative passed by the GOP-controlled legislature has been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
AZ: Arizona lawmakers enjoy prime health-care benefits
Arizona legislators serve the public in a part-time role, but the vast majority of them take year-round health-insurance plans that are among the most generous state-funded benefits in the nation.
NH: Bill to ban Common Core in New Hampshire vetoed
Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a bill that would have prohibited Common Core standards in any school in the state. She said the measure would undermine New Hampshire’s commitment to preparing students for a 21st century workforce.
NV: Bill would allow more concealed guns in Nevada’s public buildings
Nevada senators are reviewing a bill that would make it easier to carry a concealed firearm in a public building. The bill already has passed the state Assembly.
DE: Delaware House passes legislation to let students opt out of tests
The measure would allow parents to stop their children from taking standardized tests in public schools.
CA: California’s Brown expected to propose boost in education spending
With a growing billion surplus, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown later this week is expected to suggest spending more on public schools and community colleges, while asking for more money to be set aside for a rainy day.
CO: Legislative promises for Colorado’s middle class largely not kept
At the start of the General Assembly, legislators from both parties talked about working together to help out Colorado’s middle class. The end result was toned-down rhetoric about doing the best they could.
LA: Louisiana religious freedom bill draws more business opposition
The legislation, which would carve out protections for Louisiana business owners who oppose same-sex marriage, has sparked concern among some company executives, including IBM, who worry that it could encourage discrimination against gay people.
TX: Texas legislators likely to end college scholarship program
A state-funded college scholarship program designed to keep top students in Texas may soon be axed. Currently, all students who finish in the top 10 percent of their public high school class qualify for the scholarship if they can show that their expected family contribution is at least a dollar less than the cost of attending school.
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