Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
VT: Vermont House approves Election Day registration
The House gave final approval to Election Day voter registration for eligible Vermonters. If signed by Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont would become the 14th state, plus the District of Columbia, to adopt such a law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
MO: Missouri lawmakers send ‘right-to-work’ measure to governor
The Missouri House gave final passage to legislation that would allow employees who aren’t members of a union to opt out of paying fees for collective bargaining and other representation services the union provides. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has signaled he’ll veto it.
NV: Nevada makes it easier for immigrants to get teaching license
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill that would make it easier for immigrants with temporary legal status to get a Nevada teaching license when a school district has a shortage of teachers.
NJ: New Jersey lawmakers may scrap controversial ‘smart gun’ law
Leading Democratic state lawmakers are seriously considering scrapping New Jersey’s longstanding but never-implemented law requiring all handguns sold in the state to feature “smart gun” technology that allows only the weapon’s owners to fire them,
FL: Florida’s banana tax is missing from billion-dollar budget flap, but it’s costing you
In Florida, if you buy a single banana at your local coffee shop and sit down to eat it at one of the tables while sipping your morning joe, it’s subject to the 6 percent state sales tax. Buy it to go, and it’s untaxed.
PA: Pennsylvania Senate approves pension overhaul
The measure would require most current state and public school workers to choose between paying a higher contribution and reducing the multiplier used to calculate their retirement benefit. It also would close Pennsylvania’s traditional defined-benefit retirement plans to future hires, enrolling them instead in a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan and an accompanying cash-balance plan.
MT: Montana Supreme Court revives health insurance discrimination lawsuit
The Montana Supreme Court has revived the case of a woman who says it’s unfair for hospitals to charge different rates to treat insured and uninsured patients. She alleges uninsured patients pay more because hospitals can negotiate agreements with insurance companies that can result in discounts for the companies’ customers.
LA: Louisiana Senate approves gender-based equal pay bill
The Louisiana Equal Pay for Women Act was adopted in 2013, but its reach was limited to state government employees. The new initiative would expand equal pay protection to local government as well as private businesses with 50 or more employees.
WV: West Virginia college tuition rises, while state funding is cut
West Virginia is one of 13 states that cut per-student funding to state colleges and universities this year. Meanwhile, it’s one of only four states — alongside Hawaii, Louisiana and Tennessee — that raised tuition for this academic year by more than 4 percent, after adjusting for inflation
KS: Kansas House committee urges sales tax hike to help cover deficit
The House tax committee adopted legislation that would raise $362 million annually to reduce Kansas’ budget deficit by raising the state’s sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.85 percent, eliminate some deductions and exemptions, impose a new fee on HMOs and offer tax amnesty to scofflaws.
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