FL: Florida Supreme Court to hear arguments over financial liability in Parkland shooting
The Florida Supreme Court said it will hear arguments in a dispute about how much the Broward County School Board could be forced to pay to parents and victims in last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
MT: School safety bill headed to Montana governor’s desk
A school safety bill headed to the desk of Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock would let schools offer a new tax specifically for school safety costs, and to use existing funding streams for safety upgrades.
IL: Illinois governor signs bill banning local ‘right to work’ zones
The measure that Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law bars local governments from establishing so-called right-to-work zones, another rebuke to his Republican predecessor, who blocked similar legislation as he battled with Democratic lawmakers over his pro-business, union-weakening agenda.
TX: Texas can hide identity of execution drug supplier, state supreme court says
The Texas Supreme Court ruled against decisions by lower courts and said the Department of Criminal Justice can withhold the name of the compounding pharmacy that provided doses of the lethal drug used in executions in 2014. State officials say revealing the identity could endanger the pharmacy and the existence of the death penalty nationwide.
UT: Utah police department weighs discontinuing body cameras
One of Utah’s largest police departments is facing a backlash as they consider whether to discontinue body cameras because of cost concerns. Dozens of people have asked Unified Police of Salt Lake County to keep them, including some whose loved ones have been shot by police.
MA: Chaotic Massachusetts system makes job harder for foster parents
Some 2,000 families in Massachusetts have stopped accepting foster children in the past five years — almost as many as the total number of foster families currently in the system. The departures have further strained the longstanding gap between available foster homes and the thousands of abused and neglected kids who need a safe haven.
NY: New York governor cuts M in potential pork from budget
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo put the kibosh on a legislative addition to the budget that could potentially give New York lawmakers million in capital spending to dole out.
AR: Proposals on school vouchers split Arkansas GOP
For the second-straight regular legislative session, Arkansas state lawmakers, led by Republicans, rejected GOP-backed legislation to use public funds on private-school tuition.
CO: Colorado lawmakers move to revamp online sales tax
A bill that would etch rule changes to Colorado’s sales tax collection framework into law received unanimous support from the House Finance Committee. Under the proposal, online retailers would collect taxes based on the buyer’s address.
NC: North Carolina gets M for hurricane counseling
North Carolina will receive a .2 million federal grant to expand crisis counseling services to Hurricane Florence survivors in 28 counties. Hurricane Florence struck late last summer and caused extensive damage and losses.
MS: Mississippi lawmakers receive hundreds of thousands in gifts from state universities
Seven of Mississippi’s eight public universities and their private foundations spent nearly million on lobbying over the past four years, a Clarion Ledger analysis found. That amount includes money for staff lobbyists and private lobbying firms, plus wining, dining and entertaining lawmakers.
AL: Deer-baiting bill clears Alabama House
A bill to allow hunters to use bait to attract deer and feral swine passed the Alabama House of Representatives. The bill has become an annual fixture in the legislature but has never passed both chambers.
AZ: Arizona could join nine other states in shielding lottery winners
Arizona could be the next state to join at least nine others with a law that would allow the winners of big lottery jackpots to stay anonymous. Privacy concerns are increasingly trumping lottery groups’ wishes to publicize winners to boost sales and show that the games are fair.
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