Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
AK: Alaska sends layoff notices to 10,000 state employees
Layoff notices are going out to 10,000 state employees as the Alaska Legislature remains gridlocked on financing a new state budget that’s supposed to take effect July 1. Without a budget, most of state government will shut down.
ID: Federal appeals court finds Idaho abortion rules unconstitutional
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Idaho’s laws restricting abortions after 20 weeks and requiring all second-trimester abortions to take place in a hospital are unconstitutional. A unanimous three-judge panel said that the ban on abortions after 20 weeks restricted abortions of a non-viable fetus.
CT: Connecticut budget compromise on taxes up for vote
Connecticut legislators are to vote on a tentative deal with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy on a two-year, $40 billion budget that hikes corporate taxes, raises the personal income tax on the wealthy and legalizes Keno gambling.
OH: Lax enforcement of Ohio dams puts thousands at risk
The state’s failure to ensure that roughly 500 unsafe earthen dams in Ohio are repaired puts thousands of people downstream at risk of flooding.
TX: Thousands of Texas high school seniors will graduate after being exempted from exams
The Texas Education Agency reported that 72 percent of the 23,245 students who were in jeopardy of not graduating this spring have now made the grade thanks to state lawmakers and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Only 6,459 seniors — 2.2 percent of the senior class — will not receive a diploma because they failed three or more of the state exams.
KS: Kansas’ Brownback proposes sales tax hike, low-income tax break
Seeking to break a legislative logjam over Kansas’ $400 million budget deficit, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback offered a plan to increase state sales taxes while eliminating income taxes for the lowest-income taxpayers.
TN: False unemployment payments costing Tennessee millions
A surprise inspection found the state is routinely ignoring employer challenges and other red flags, and has paid out as much as $98 million in bogus unemployment claims in the last six years.
ME: Maine among highest for women minimum-wage earners
Seven out of every 10 minimum-wage workers in Maine are women, placing the state among the highest for gender inequality for low-wage workers, according to a recent study. Louisiana has the largest share of female minimum-wage workers at roughly 80 percent.
CA: California lawmakers seek to expand child care, unionize workers
Thousands of child care slots would be added in California and reimbursement rates would rise under new legislative proposals. They also would allow tens of thousands of home-based child care providers to unionize, the largest collective bargaining expansion for a service with state funding since 1999.
OR: Alarm bells sound over Oregon’s pension costs
The cost of court-ordered cost-of-living adjustments for public pensioners could reach $345 million starting in 2017. The state Supreme Court in April overturned some of the legislature’s cost savings, including cost of living adjustments for those who retired before the legislation passed in 2013.
SD: Test dodging in South Dakota: Parents refuse new math and reading exams
Some South Dakota parents are refusing to allow their children to take new math and reading exams required by the state, saying it interferes with their rights.
IL: Illinois Senate sends governor ban on gay conversion therapy for minors
Senators sent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner a measure that would ban so-called conversion therapy on minors in Illinois. It’s a controversial practice that’s supposed to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.
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