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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
AR: Arkansas governor to review road-funding options
Among the proposals for Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson: an increase in Arkansas’ fuel tax, tying the tax to the consumer or construction price index, increasing vehicle registration fees and a series of revenue-neutral changes across the state budget to direct more money to highway needs.
TN: Growing opiate overdoses plague Tennessee
A record number of people died from opioid overdoses last year in Tennessee, where the number of prescription painkillers per person ranks high despite new regulations.
MS: Auditor: Mississippi schools could save M with shared services
Mississippi school districts could save more than $200 million a year by getting rid of inefficient contracts and sharing services such as building maintenance, textbooks and transportation with other districts, a report by the state auditor’s office says.
MN: Racial disparities in income worsen in Minnesota
Black households have lost more economic ground to their white counterparts in Minnesota, a state with one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, new U.S. census data show.
IL: Illinois budget stalemate could result in power shut off at Capitol
Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White warned that money is running so low that power may be shut off at the Illinois Capitol and at more than 100 DMVs across the state.
IA: Lawsuits shadow Iowa’s would-be Medicaid providers
Recent lawsuits detail allegations of fraud and unethical or illegal medical practices against three of the four corporations in line to manage Iowa’s $4.2 billion annual Medicaid program.
TX: Dip in Texas prison population continues trend
The number of men and women being held in Texas prisons fell by more than 1 percent in 2014, a slight dip that continues a downward trend aided by new diversion programs and reluctance by state lawmakers to add more prison beds.
KS: Kansas set to cull thousands of young possible voters
A statewide list of 36,674 suspended voters will start to shrink this week, as Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach removes people who haven’t shown proof of citizenship. More than 40 percent of the people on the list are under age 30.
WA: Police killings surge in Washington state
In recent years, killings by police in the line of duty have risen to an average of 27 a year from 16, while only one case has been filed against an officer in the three decades since Washington enacted the nation’s most restrictive law on holding officers accountable for the unjustified use of deadly force.
FL: Florida superintendents question state school testing
Local school superintendents told the state education commissioner that they have lost confidence in the state’s testing system after computer glitches. The superintendents urged the state not to use last spring’s test results to evaluate students, teachers and schools.
OH: Ohio yet to recover jobs from last two recessions
Ohio has yet to recover all the jobs it lost not only to the Great Recession, but the one in 2001. That’s some 225,100 jobs, or 4 percent, from 2000 to 2015.
SC: South Carolina Senate panel approves medical marijuana proposal
The approval sends a strong signal that the South Carolina General Assembly may approve marijuana to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder.
PA: Most Pennsylvania lawmakers getting paid during budget stalemate
Although Pennsylvania has been without a budget for almost three months, almost all lawmakers have been collecting their paychecks. Those who aren’t are the ones who refuse them.
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