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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
NC: North Carolina Legislature approves Medicaid privatization
North Carolina began moving toward managed care for Medicaid recipients despite a persistent group of dissenters who argue the plan rejects a system run by doctors that for years has helped hold down costs.
NY: Judge strikes down New York City’s ban on foam food containers
New York City’s ban on plastic-foam food containers has been overturned, rejecting a signature environmental initiative of two mayors and clearing the way for an industry-backed plan to buy and recycle the items.
ME: Maine governor stops making appointments to boards
Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he’s suspending appointments to Maine boards and commissions charged with handling an array of state business, because of his continuing dissatisfaction with the Legislature. Democrats say he’s abdicating his responsibilities.
FL: Fewer than 1 in 8 unemployed in Florida receives benefits
Florida has made it more difficult for unemployed workers to apply and qualify for benefits than almost any other state, according to a National Employment Law Project study. Only 12 percent of Florida’s unemployed receive benefits; the national average is 27 percent.
WY: Wyoming debates refugee resettlement
It’s unclear where thousands of Syrian refugees will go when they arrive in the United States. But we do know one place they won’t be heading: Wyoming. It’s the only state without a resettlement program to screen and sponsor refugees.
AK: Alaska governor to call special session on gas pipeline
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, plans to call a special legislative session that will focus on developing a new natural gas pipeline. The session would address aspects of the project like property taxes.
CA: Los Angeles to declare ‘state of emergency’ on homelessness
Acknowledging their failure to stem a surge in homelessness, Los Angeles’ elected leaders said they would declare a “state of emergency” and devote up to $100 million to the problem.
TX: In Texas, confusion over reach of state E-Verify use
Texas state agencies are now required by law to screen potential hires through the federal E-Verify system to ensure they can legally work in the United States. But it is unclear whether the rule requires the same for state contractors.
HI: Lawyers can’t help clients apply to open Hawaii marijuana dispensaries
Hawaii lawyers have been warned not to help clients open medical marijuana dispensaries, although a new state law permits such businesses. Providing legal services would constitute a federal crime, according to the Hawaii Supreme Court.
NJ: Audit delay angers New Jersey pension fund trustees
Trustees of one of New Jersey’s largest public employee pension funds were told they have no power to request an audit of their $80 billion in investments. Only the State Investment Council and the Division of Investment have authority to request such reviews, according to a legal opinion from a deputy state attorney general.
AZ: Arizona environmental agency opens records to online public access
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality launched a search function on its website that gives consumers unprecedented access to the agency’s public records on environmental matters.
KY: Kentuckians will be able to register to vote online for next year’s presidential election
Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Kentuckians will be able to register online in time to vote in next year’s presidential elections. They will also be able to change their information, such as political party affiliation, on their own computers without having to do it by mail.
IN: Local LGBT anti-discrimination laws vary in Indiana
Since the backlash over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, several Indiana cities and towns have taken actions to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But without a statewide law, gaps still exist in most of Indiana’s midsize and smaller cities.
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