US: Red tape slows U.S. help for children fleeing Central America
President Obama vowed a year ago to give Central American children fleeing violence a new, legal way into the U.S. by allowing them to apply for refugee status while in their own countries. But not a single child has entered the U.S. through that program since its establishment in December.
FL: Florida redistricting to be decided by courts
Florida senators voted down a House plan for drawing state Senate districts, ending any hope that the Legislature would be able to decide the new boundaries. Now the issue will be taken up by a circuit judge.
WA, AZ, OK, NC, MI, NY, OR, ID: Tribes get access to crime databases for background checks
Ten American Indian tribes in eight states are gaining access to national criminal databases after a deadly shooting in Washington state helped reveal flaws in the way federal authorities and tribal governments share information.
CA: California governor had state workers research oil on his family ranch
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown directed California oil and gas regulators to research, map and report back on any mining and oil drilling potential and history at his family’s private land in Northern California. Regulators said the work was a legal and proper use of public resources—and no more than the general public would get.
CO: Ballot questions filed to change Colorado’s liquor law
A group that wants Colorado grocery stores to sell wine and full-strength beer submitted ballot proposals to ask voters next year to make it happen. Colorado is among a handful of states where gas stations, grocery stores and convenience stores can only sell beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent.
AL: Alabama governor clears path for casinos to reopen
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley issued an executive order removing control of Alabama’s gambling enforcement from Attorney General Luther Strange and directing that all gambling laws be enforced by county sheriffs and local district attorneys.
TX: University of Texas System to require interviews with minority candidates
The chancellor of the University of Texas System said he will require that a woman or minority candidate be interviewed for every high-level position at the system’s 14 universities and medical schools. The rule will pertain to all hires at the dean level or higher.
PA: Pennsylvania departments propose stronger school immunization requirements
Health and education officials in Pennsylvania want to cut the time that students can go to school without being fully immunized and add additional vaccines to the list of required immunizations.
ME: Maine governor wants more drug agents
Republican Gov. Paul LePage told legislative budget writers that Maine’s drug epidemic requires a swifter, more robust law enforcement response that, if unmet, will require him to deploy the Maine National Guard.
AZ: Arizona says no to state employee payroll gifts to Planned Parenthood
Arizona state employees can no longer direct a portion of their paychecks to Planned Parenthood or the Clinton Foundation, after a state panel decided to remove the groups from the state’s charitable giving program.
HI: Hawaii effort to divert some drug offenders to treatment in limbo
Last year, Hawaii was supposed to launch a two-year pilot program that would have diverted up to 100 low-risk drug offenders from prison into treatment. But bureaucratic red tape held up initial funding, and the Legislature hasn’t set aside money for the program’s second year.
UT: Group abandons effort to limit terms for Utah governor’s appointees
A group hoping to limit terms for appointees to Utah boards and commissions abandoned efforts to put that issue on the 2016 ballot.
OK: Oklahoma collects more than .8 million in past-due taxes
The Oklahoma Tax Commission has collected more than .8 million in past-due taxes over the past two months with the help of a new program to forgive additional costs and penalties.
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