Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
US: Loss of health care subsidies would hit the South hardest
More than 4.1 million people, or nearly two out of three who could lose their subsidies in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging insurance exchange subsidies this year, live in 13 Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
CA: California strikes budget deal; Breaks new ground on immigrant health care
A .4 billion budget deal between Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders would make California the first state in the nation to offer state-subsidized health care to children who are in the country illegally. The health care provisions are estimated at about million in the new fiscal year and grow to million a year once fully implemented.
US: Toxic algae shutters shellfish industry along Pacific Northwest Coast
Washington’s coasts are closed to Dungeness crab and razor clamming for the first time, and California and Oregon have imposed restrictions on shellfish, anchovies and sardines in response to a massive outbreak of toxic algae caused by warm, still water.
FL: Florida’s Scott signs million tax cut package
Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed the assortment of cuts, which includes breaks on Floridians’ cellphone bills and cable TV services, a long sales tax holiday for school supplies and the elimination of the sales tax on gun club memberships.
DE: Delaware Legislature OKs letting transgender inmates change their names
The Senate gave final approval to a bill that would allow transgender inmates in Delaware prisons to seek a name change based on their gender identity. The legislation comes after two state courts blocked an inmate’s attempt to change her name because she said she identifies as a man.
AK: Alaska repeals film tax credits
Independent Gov. Bill Walker signed a bill ending the program which paid out about million in credits to television shows, movies, and documentaries filmed in the state since 2008.
NM: New Mexico extends medical tax breaks, beefs up business tax incentives
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that retains a tax deduction on out-of-pocket medical expenses that as many as 300,000 New Mexicans have used annually. The legislation also offers new or beefed-up tax incentives to investors, high-tech employers and corporations with in-state headquarters.
GA: Georgia slaughters chickens in bird flu scare
Agriculture officials in Georgia, the nation’s largest poultry producer, confiscated and slaughtered three chicken flocks over concerns some of the birds were exposed to a devastating strain of bird flu that has struck poultry flocks in at least 15 states.
MN: Minnesota approves utility rate cuts for big business
The new law allows major industrial customers in northern Minnesota to apply for a break in their electricity rates to help them compete in a global marketplace. But residential customers in northern Minnesota will have to pay more in electricity rates because of the change.
TX: Texas colleges, universities must grapple with new gun laws
Now that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that requires Texas’ public universities and colleges to allow handguns on campus buildings and in dorms, the schools must devise policies on where and where not to ban the weapons.
MI: Michigan House bill would pay wrongly convicted ,000 for each year in prison
The bill, passed unanimously by the House Criminal Justice committee, also would allow those wrongly convicted of crimes to claim damages and attorney fees. Since 1989, 55 people have been exonerated in Michigan.
LA: Louisiana budget includes .5 million for French Quarter troopers
Louisiana state troopers have had an increased presence in much of New Orleans’ French Quarter since a mass shooting on Bourbon Street last summer that left one woman dead and nine other people injured. The .5 million will pay for about 25 additional troopers on the streets.
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