CA: Sweeping clean energy legislation moves forward in California
California lawmakers, the governor’s office and electrical utilities are nearing agreement on legislation that would require the state to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, an increase from the current target of 33 percent in 2020.
VA: Federal court begins revamp of Virginia congressional districts
A U.S. District Court in Virginia is moving forward with plans to redraw the state’s congressional districts after finding that a previous map unconstitutionally packed African-American voters into a single district, restricting their influence elsewhere.
CO: Activists plan to pull Denver pot consumption initiative from ballot
Activists behind a proposed Denver ballot initiative to allow some marijuana use in bars and other businesses say they will pull the measure. Their new goal: crafting a compromise measure with city and business leaders. The plan averts a public vote in November—one that might have allowed more extensive pot consumption in publicly accessible places than officials and some business leaders in the Colorado city were comfortable with.
IA: New care organizations saved million, Iowa insurer says
Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Iowa’s largest health insurer, said eight “accountable care organizations” saved a total of more than million in 2014. Under the arrangements, hospital and clinic systems agree to be paid partly based on how their patients fare.
TN: Tennessee to try again on anti-DUI campaign
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will launch a new marketing effort after a controversial anti-DUI campaign was shut down over the summer. The earlier campaign drew heavy criticism for slogans that referred to girls looking “hotter” to guys under the influence and being “chatty” or “clingy.”
IL: Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to call for a record property tax increase to raise enough money to make a major pension payment for police and firefighters next year. He also plans to push a new garbage collection tax and a new tax on electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.
TX: Judge will hear Texas birth certificate case next month
A coalition of undocumented immigrants whose U.S. citizen children have been denied birth certificates in Texas will have its case heard in federal court early next month. The families allege that the state health department violated the children’s constitutional rights.
WY: Affordable Care Act outreach in Wyoming gets long-term funding
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said two agencies in Wyoming will continue to receive federal funds to help people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The outreach funding had previously been provided in one-year increments, but has now been approved for three years.
WA: Detentions of mentally ill on the rise in Washington
More than a year ago, a Washington state Supreme Court ruling spurred a full-court press by state government to find space for patients with mental illness, and detentions outside the psychiatric units intended to treat those patients decreased. Now such detentions are back on the rise.
NV: Tesla responds to angst from Nevada lawmakers over lithium plans
After lawmakers expressed frustration that Tesla, the recipient of a .3 billion tax incentive that helped bring its battery factory to the state, was planning to source an important metal for its batteries from a Mexican mine, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company was “definitely” pursuing sources of lithium in Nevada.
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