CA: California launches traffic ticket amnesty program
Californians who have old, unpaid traffic tickets can receive a 50 to 80 percent discount on them under the amnesty plan that starts Thursday. And people who lost their driver’s licenses because of unpaid fines will be eligible to have them reinstated.
US: High cost of calls by prison, jail inmates may end
The Federal Communications Commission will decide next month whether to limit rates and service fees for phone calls made by inmates. Calls from prisons and jails can cost as much as a minute, and service fees often add another 40 percent.
HI: Hawaii recovers millions from online travel companies
Thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling, Hawaii has recovered .1 million of general excise taxes, penalties and interest from companies such as Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz that sold hotel rooms and rental cars over the Internet.
SD: South Dakota proposes plan to expand Medicaid
Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard met with the nation’s top health official to outline a plan that would allow South Dakota to expand Medicaid coverage to as many as 48,500 more people.
MI: Traffic stops in Michigan could become a bit easier
The Michigan Senate gave final approval to a bill that would allow drivers to present proof of insurance electronically over their smartphones if they get stopped by police for a traffic violation. Police, however, couldn’t look at anything else in phone.
TX: Texas county sues VW for million over emissions scandal
The suit by Harris County (Houston)—the first by a local government—alleges Volkswagen violated seven environmental-related health and safety codes by rigging its diesel cars to avoid emissions standards.
IA: Syrian refugees could soon begin arriving in Iowa
Small numbers of Syrian refugees could begin trickling into Iowa for the first time toward the latter half of the federal fiscal year that begins Thursday. But many more could follow the following year.
MO: Missouri’s juvenile sex offender registry challenged as unconstitutional
A 14-year-old boy’s sexual assault of his adult sister landed him in the juvenile justice system. But should it land him on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life? That’s the question the Missouri Supreme Court is being asked to answer.
OH: Ohio governor opposes indefinite freeze on renewable energy standards
Republican Gov. John Kasich said an indefinite freeze in renewable energy standards, as proposed by a state study committee, is unacceptable. Ohio last year temporarily froze the standards that require utilities to meet escalating annual benchmarks.
US: Federal judge blocks fracking rules
A U.S. District judge in Wyoming issued a preliminary injunction against the rules, which banned fracking on federal and tribal lands to ensure water supplies weren’t contaminated.
KS: Number of Kansas state workers without Civil Service protection on the rise
The number has risen since July, when new rules giving Kansas agencies more flexibility on workers’ classifications went into effect. Classified employees covered by the Civil Service Act can only be fired with cause. Unclassified employees can be fired for any reason.
FL: Florida lawmakers living on the minimum wage
At least 18 Florida state lawmakers, mostly Democrats, plan to live on the minimum wage this week to draw attention to efforts to raise the wage floor. They’ll be living on a day, which is what’s left over for a minimum-wage worker after the costs of childcare, taxes and housing are deducted.
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