Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
TX: Texas legislators prepare obstacles to gay marriage
The Texas House is taking up legislation that would prohibit local officials from granting same-sex couples licenses to marry, as part of preemptive strike against a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision that could declare gay marriage legal. The Senate, meanwhile, gave tentative approval to protecting pastors who want to refuse to perform a same-sex ceremony.
NE: 2 dead, 6 injured in Nebraska prison riot
Officials launched an investigation into what led to the worst prison riot in Nebraska’s recent history. Two inmates were killed, and four inmates and two staffers were injured during a 10-hour melee at the state’s highest level maximum security prison.
US: Some states better than others in improving grad rates
Even as America’s high school graduation rate has reached historic highs, the gains aren’t consistent. Students with disabilities, low-income and minority students have failed to catch up with their peers, although some states are doing better than others in helping these students.
US: Mentally ill prisoners abused, report says
Mentally ill and disabled prisoners have been abused and injured by workers using excessive force in the nation’s 5,100 jails, and state and federal prisons, Human Rights Watch claims in a new report.
CA: Bill would allow beauty salons, barbershops to serve alcohol without permit
A bill making its way through the California Legislature would allow beauty salons and barbershops to serve alcohol without a liquor license. Alcohol industry watchdogs are blasting the bill, calling it a threat to public safety that would flood the state with some 20,000 businesses able to serve alcohol.
FL: Florida’s Scott wants hospitals to spread the wealth
Republican Gov. Rick Scott, contending that Florida will likely lose federal money it is now receiving to help hospitals, is calling on any hospital that receives taxpayer support to share profits with other hospitals.
IL: Illinois Supreme Court rules landmark pension law unconstitutional
The court unanimously ruled unconstitutional a law that scaled back Illinois’ government worker benefits to erase a massive $105 billion retirement system debt. The law stopped automatic, compounded yearly cost-of-living increases for retirees, extended retirement ages for current state workers and limited the amount of salary used to calculate benefits.
UT: In Republican Utah, big laws taking effect have liberal bent
Something strange is happening in the red state of Utah. Major new laws are taking effect more likely to be approved in a blue state: gay-rights protection, treatment rather than prison for drug offenders and tougher seat-belt enforcement.
GA: Georgia governor signs bill to prepare public venues for allergic reactions
Georgia was among the first states to let schools stock epinephrine, an emergency medication to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Now the state is allowing restaurants, recreation camps, youth sports leagues, theme parks, resorts, sports arenas and other public venues to stock the drug.
MT: Montana school choice bill becomes law without governor’s signature
The law will launch a pilot program to provide income-tax credits for donations of up to $150 for scholarships for private K-12 education or “innovative educational programs” at public schools.
OH: Tighter controls urged for Ohio lottery tickets
The state’s inspector general recommended tightening controls over the Ohio Lottery Commission’s ticket inventory following the theft of scratch-off, instant-winner lottery tickets.
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