Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
NH: Budget deal reached in New Hampshire
Business tax cuts touted by Republicans as a way to improve New Hampshire’s business climate would have to reach revenue thresholds or lawmakers would intervene under a compromise reached on the state’s $11.35 billion, two-year budget.
OH: Charter schools operator owns state-bought equipment, Ohio Supreme Court rules
The justices ruled that a charter school operator—not the now-defunct schools they operated—owns the desks, computers and other equipment purchased with state tax dollars. The court said it’s up to Ohio lawmakers to decide whether to prevent private operators from keeping property bought with public money in the future.
IA: Highest Iowa lottery ticket sales in lower income neighborhoods
Seven of the top 10 places where Iowans bought lottery tickets in fiscal 2015 are in areas where the median household income is below the state median, an IowaWatch analysis of Iowa Lottery and census data revealed.
MN: Minnesota cities apply to make police body camera videos private
Sixteen Minnesota cities have asked Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to order that police body camera videos be kept private until legislators can settle the issue.
TX: Group wants Texas secession on primary ballot
The Texas Nationalist Movement is circulating a petition aimed at getting a nonbinding vote onto the March 2016 Republican primary ballot over whether “the state of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.” The group disputes the consensus among legal experts that Texas cannot legally secede from the Union.
WV: West Virginia lawmakers look at state’s reliance on ‘sin taxes’
West Virginia ranks third in the nation in the percentage of state revenue that comes from so-called “sin taxes” on gambling, alcohol and tobacco, a joint legislative committee on tax reform was told. Most of that money comes from casino and video lottery revenue.
AR: Unmanned drones banned from Arkansas Capitol grounds
The Arkansas Capitol Police announced a new ban on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, including model aircraft or drones on the state Capitol grounds. The ban includes aircraft for hobby or recreational use, commercial use or any other purpose.
MI: Michigan prepares to collect city income taxes for Detroit
People who live and work in Detroit will be able to pay their individual city income taxes electronically starting with the next tax season. The Michigan Treasury Department is taking over Detroit income tax collection as part of the city’s post-bankruptcy efforts to improve its bottom line.
LA: Louisiana health agency notifies Planned Parenthood of termination of Medicaid funding
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals cites a $4.3 million whistleblower lawsuit brought against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast under the Federal False Claims Act in Texas. It’s considered a violation of DHH rules if a Medicaid provider has been found liable in a False Claims Act case, even if it’s in another state.
NY: New York mayor to announce 10-year deadline to offer computer science to all students
To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students.
MD: Governor cuts Maryland agency fees by $10 million a year
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans to cut dozens of Maryland agency fees by a combined $10 million a year. Hogan said none of the cuts require legislative approval, but called on state lawmakers to make further reductions in areas where their approval is needed.
OR: Sponsor may drop Oregon ‘right-to-work’ initiative
The sponsor of a proposed Oregon ballot measure aimed at making union dues voluntary for public employees may well drop the initiative after receiving a ballot description that she said will make the measure harder to sell to voters.
NM: New Mexico secretary of state pleads not guilty to charges
New Mexico’s embattled secretary of state, Republican Dianna Duran, entered a not guilty plea to charges of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and other crimes for allegedly using campaign contributions to cover personal spending at casinos.
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