Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed ambitious new goals that will require California to generate half its electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030, while doubling energy efficiency in homes, offices and factories.
Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing a controversial drug to be used for lethal injections in Oklahoma, states with the death penalty are finding it harder to carry out executions as they struggle to obtain and properly use limited supplies of ever-changing combinations of lethal injection drugs.
The Legislature gave final approval to “landmark upgrades” of Ohio’s much-criticized charter school laws. Failure to close poor-performing schools, mismanagement and conflict of interest issues have dogged a system that spends about $1 billion a year to educate more than 120,000 students.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said he’s not considering additional spending cuts or proposing tax increases to keep Kansas’ current budget balanced in the face of disappointing tax collections. Since July 1, the state has collected $67 million less revenue than expected.
A new law signed by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio requires New York City stores and restaurants keep their front doors closed when their air conditioning is on to save energy. Violators face fines of $250 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for an egregious violation.
Lawmakers are looking to possibly raise tobacco taxes next year in Wyoming, where smoking rates are higher and taxes lower than the national average. The additional revenue would mostly fund tobacco and substance abuse programs.
The legislation would require Wisconsin schools to designate bathrooms and locker rooms as being for one gender only, barring transgender students from using those assigned to the gender with which they identify.
Michigan law enforcement agencies would have a tougher time taking ownership of assets that are suspected of being tied to illegal activity and would be required to disclose their seizure practices under legislation being sent to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
Legislation allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs will be introduced again in Colorado, where supporters hope to capitalize on California’s recent passage of a right-to-die law.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled the state law that prohibits anyone from damaging, defacing, mutilating or burning the U.S. or Texas flag “is invalid on its face because it is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.”
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