Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
AL: Alabama Legislature ends special session without a budget
The Alabama Legislature ended a special session without a budget as lawmakers remained unable to agree on taxes or cuts to address a looming budget shortfall. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said he will call lawmakers back for a second special session to try to persuade them to approve $300 million in tax increases to avoid a reduction in state services.
CA: California law bans grand juries in police cases of deadly force
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prohibits taking cases involving excessive or deadly police force before secret grand juries and another affirming the public’s right to take audio or video recordings of police officers. The measures are aimed at improving police accountability in California following incidents of police shootings nationally.
ME: Maine’s governor says he would use National Guard to fight drugs
Republican Gov. Paul LePage said he would deploy the Maine National Guard to combat a surge in drug trafficking and deaths in the state if the legislature refuses his requests to hire more state drug agents.
NC: North Carolina Legislature looks to new, two-week deadline for budget talks
The House and Senate, still hundreds of millions of dollars apart on agreeing to a state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, have rolled out another extension to keep North Carolina government running through Aug. 31.
MD: Maryland governor leaves hospital at midway point in chemotherapy
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan left the University of Maryland hospital Tuesday after a stay that brought him to the midway point of his chemotherapy treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He has completed round three of six treatments.
KS: Kansas’ proposed pension bonds draw low rating
Moody’s Investors Service says that Kansas’ plan to issue $1 billion in pension obligation bonds will do little to solve financial problems of the state’s public employees retirement system, and that it could create additional budget problems for the state in years to come. The Wall Street rating firm gave the proposed bonds an Aa3 rating, one notch below the state’s overall rating.
US: Data on use of force by police across the country proves almost worthless
A U.S. Justice Department survey of police departments nationwide has returned incomplete, inconsistent or no real data on how their officers use force, making it impossible to determine where and against whom police force is used and whether it affects crime rates.
NJ: New Jersey judge denies teen’s request to take medical marijuana at school
An administrative law judge ruled that a 16-year-old girl cannot have access to medical marijuana in school to help control her seizures. Taking cannabis oil during the school day would violate New Jersey’s Drug Free School Zone Act, the judge said.
WI: Wisconsin lawmakers push fetal tissue ban that medical groups oppose
Republican legislators who are sponsoring a measure to ban research on aborted fetal tissue, which is opposed by medical groups, say they are working on changes to protect research at the University of Wisconsin that uses existing stem cell lines.
AK: Alaska governor launches review of state prisons
Independent Gov. Bill Walker says his administration will review corrections department policies and its safety measures following a rash of inmate deaths last year in Alaska jails and prisons.
AR: Arkansas cities get smart with technology
Several Arkansas cities and towns are using smart technology to help residents track their electricity use, shorten the wait at stoplights or find water leaks. City leaders hope the features will attract younger, more technologically savvy residents interested in the benefits of living in a “smart city.”
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