Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
TX: Federal appeals court upholds Texas’ abortion restrictions
In a blow to the state’s abortion providers, a federal appellate court upheld a state law requiring nearly all Texas facilities that perform the procedure to meet hospital-like standards. Only a handful of Texas abortion clinics in the state — all in major metropolitan areas — meet those standards.
AR: Arkansas told to honor 2014 gay marriages
A state circuit court judge ordered Arkansas state officials to recognize more than 500 same-sex marriages performed in the state last year, opening the door for the couples to file taxes jointly and enroll in health insurance plans together.
WI: Wisconsin lawmakers OK letting off-duty officers carry guns in schools
The Wisconsin Legislature has sent Republican Gov. Scott Walker a bill that would allow off-duty and retired officers to carry guns in schools. Current state law generally bans people from possessing guns on school grounds as well as within 1,000 feet of school grounds.
US: Federal appeals court rejects challenges to Obama’s climate plan
A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit by the nation’s largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block President Obama’s sweeping plan to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
MI: Final cut for Michigan’s film incentives and office?
Although the legislature approved a budget last week that included million for incentives for the film industry, lawmakers are debating ending the incentives and all funding for the Michigan Film Office.
CA: California state senators to propose overhaul of Prop. 13
Two senators are proposing an overhaul of California’s landmark restrictions on property taxes so local governments can raise more revenue from commercial and industrial properties. The measure would allow for regular reassessments of offices, factories and other buildings to ensure they are taxed at closer to current market value. Currently they’re reassessed only when there’s a change in ownership.
CO: New law removes state income tax for Coloradans in military
A new law that exempts Coloradans in the military from having to pay the state’s income tax is designed to keep the state’s active duty military members from claiming residency in some 30 other states that either don’t have an income tax or offer a similar tax break.
ME: Maine closer to enacting restrictions on ballot initiatives
The proposal advancing in the legislature could make it more difficult to get a referendum question on the Maine ballot by requiring sponsors of citizen initiatives to obtain a percentage of voter signatures in each congressional district.
ND: Housing dollars, salary boosts approved for some North Dakota state employees
The state approved nearly .86 million in salary increases and rental assistance for about 700 North Dakota state employees who live and work in areas where the oil boom has driven up the cost of living.
NJ: New Jersey lawmakers advance rules for sharing breast milk
Responding to the growing interest in the sharing of breast milk with mothers who cannot produce their own, a Senate committee approved a bill that would regulate distribution and ensure the product’s safety in New Jersey.
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