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NE: Nebraska lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty; governor has promised a veto
Conservative lawmakers who voted for repeal cited the higher costs of carrying out a death sentence versus life in prison. Some said they have come to oppose the death penalty for religious reasons, while others said it’s pointless to keep a punishment on the books that’s rarely implemented.
US: Credit errors should be fixed faster under an agreement with 31 states
National credit-reporting agencies have agreed with 31 states to change the way they do business so consumers aren’t harmed by costly errors. Three private companies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — have been under investigation since 2012 because they have mistakenly tangled credit information among consumers, corrupting the credit reports of those with good payment histories by inaccurately assigning someone else’s bad credit history to them.
CT: passes affirmative consent bill
“Yes means yes,” not “no means no” would be the standard in sexual assault cases on college and university campuses under a bill that cleared the state Senate. The bill requires all public and private universities and colleges in the state to establish “affirmative consent” as the threshold in sexual assault cases.
IL: Illinois gay conversion therapy ban passes House, moves to Senate
Following a series of big wins during the past decade that culminated in the approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois, the new cause for gay rights supporters at the Capitol is banning conversion therapy on minors — a controversial practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.
NY: ‘Opt Out’ becomes anti-test rallying cry in New York
Across New York state, a small if vocal movement urging a rejection of standardized exams took off this year, maturing from scattered displays of disobedience into a widespread rebuke of state testing policies.
TX: Texas hospitals steel themselves for uncertain future
Currently, Texas providers rely on a five-year federal waiver that reimburses them for the care they provide to people who cannot afford health insurance. But the Obama administration has indicated that “uncompensated care” money could be discontinued if Texas doesn’t expand Medicaid, the joint state-federal insurer of last resort, to include the poorest adults.
MI: House, Senate, Gov. Snyder agree on million for roads
In the wake of the overwhelming defeat of a ballot proposal to, in part, fix Michigan’s crumbling roads — it failed by an 80 percent to 20 percent margin — legislators recognize that something needed to be done quickly to inject some cash into making roads and bridges safer.
WA: Governor boosts climate goals despite carbon setbacks
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has failed so far to convince state legislators to go along with his proposal to meet official state greenhouse-gas-reduction targets through a new charge on carbon emissions. But that hasn’t stopped him from committing to even tougher climate goals.
MN: Minnesota funding dispute forces education layoff notices
Gov. Mark Dayton said he regrets the need to upset workers’ lives, but state law requires that workers who could be laid off receive a month’s advance notice, even though if his education funding differences with lawmakers could be settled before July 1.
NJ: Bridgegate prosecutors want to keep secret 1.5M pages of documents
Prosecutors say keeping the documents private is necessary to protect people only tied indirectly to the case. Criminal charges in the matter were filed against two associates of Republican Gov. Chris Christie earlier this month.
CA: Oil spill: Gov. Brown declares state of emergency in Santa Barbara County
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation for Santa Barbara County in response to the oil spill that a day earlier may have spilled upwards of 105,000 gallons of crude off the coast of Refugio State Beach.
WI: Pedal closer to the metal: Speed limit upped to 70 on rural Interstate in Wisconsin
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed legislation that allows some of the state’s highway speed limits to be bumped from 65 to 70 mph.
ME: Senate oks bill to cut pay for absent lawmakers
Under the bill, a lawmaker with more than five unexcused absences in the first regular session would see their salary reduced each legislative day he or she is absent.
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