Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
NE: Nebraskans will pay more at the gasoline pump, as lawmakers override veto
Nebraska’s 25.6 cents-a-gallon gasoline tax will increase 1.5 cents on Jan. 1 and 1.5 cents every January for three years to raise an additional million annually for road repair and maintenance. First-term Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts lost his first showdown with the legislature, which overrode his veto of the increase.
FL: Florida agencies told to prepare for government shutdown
Republican Gov. Rick Scott told agency heads to prepare for the worst and to prepare lists of the state’s most critical needs in the event the legislature can’t reach an agreement on a budget that doesn’t expand Medicaid health care to the poor.
CA: California Senate votes to abolish most vaccination exemptions
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a controversial bill that abolishes “personal belief exemptions” for vaccinations, bolstering supporters’ hopes that it will also clear the Assembly and be signed into law.
MI: Michigan Senate votes to repeal prevailing wage laws
The Senate narrowly passed a package of three bills that would repeal Michigan’s prevailing-wage laws, which require that union-scale wages are paid on construction projects that use state taxpayer dollars.
ME: Maine committee endorses administering medical marijuana on school grounds
Maine schoolchildren could take prescribed medical marijuana on school grounds if a parent, guardian or caregiver comes on campus to administer it, under legislation — called “carry in, carry out” — approved by the legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs committee.
AK: Medicaid expansion stalled in Alaska
In a blow to Independent Gov. Bill Walker, the House Finance Committee has put the brakes on plans to expand Medicaid coverage in Alaska this year.
US: Survey finds decline in school bullying
Fewer students say they are being bullied at school, a U.S. Education Department survey finds. Those who are bullied are more likely to be girls than boys and more likely to be white than minority students.
NJ: New Jersey police can’t add requirements to state gun permit applications, court rules
Local police departments cannot add their own requirements to applications for gun permits, an appeals court ruled. The decision maintains that gun permit applications must be created by the superintendent of state police and used throughout New Jersey.
TX: Texas lawmakers consider E-Verify mandate for state agencies
The measure, already approved by the Senate, would mandate that state agencies use E-Verify, the electronic employment verification system that certifies workers are in the country legally. A separate bill calling for a similar mandate for private companies in Texas has stalled.
WI: Wisconsin legislators to scale back Gov. Walker’s plan on long-term care
Wisconsin lawmakers moved to dramatically scale back Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to disassemble and then rebuild Wisconsin’s long-term care system that serves tens of thousands of elderly and disabled people.
MD: Maryland’s Hogan to withhold funding for high-cost school systems this year
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced he will withhold million in funding for high-cost school systems this year and direct at least part of the money to funding public employee pensions.
DE: ‘Death with Dignity’ bill to be introduced in Delaware
A Delaware legislator is introducing a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to request medication to end their own life.
ND: North Dakota deploys holograms to promote seat belt use
North Dakota transportation officials hope that four hologram displays — depicting a rollover crash in which the unbelted driver is ejected from a pickup truck but the belted passenger remains — will help motorists see the importance of using a seat belt. Driver’s education instructors will start using the displays in classes this spring and summer.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.