Mark K. Matthews

Attorneys Generals’ Hope to Snuff ‘Little Cigars’

By: - June 5, 2006

Attorneys general from 39 states and Guam are lobbying to change federal regulations that allow tobacco manufacturers to classify cigarettes as “little cigars,” which they say allows these companies to skirt health restrictions and taxes. In two petitions sent to federal regulators in April and May, the attorneys general called on the Alcohol and Tobacco […]

NJ Rejects Self-Service Gas

By: - May 8, 2006

MARLTON, N.J. — To figure out New Jersey, head to the highway. It’s how state residents commute to New York City and Philadelphia. It’s how Jerseyites go to the shore. For better or worse, it’s part of the state’s identity. The Garden State has no hometowns, goes the lame old joke — only highway exit […]

Mumps outbreak tests pandemic plans

By: - April 21, 2006

State officials in the Midwest are using an outbreak of mumps to test emergency health plans. The real-life exercise is critical for health officials, who have struggled to ready their systems for a possible flu pandemic in the near future. So far, more than 1,000 cases of mumps have been reported in eight Midwest states, […]

Marches spark state migrant debates

By: - April 14, 2006

When pro-immigration demonstrators marched in scores of American cities this week, their hope was to influence the federal immigration debate. But the rallies could sway state elections and provide a tipping point for nearly 400 immigration measures pending in statehouses across the country. In Arizona, legislators voted Wednesday to make illegal immigration a violation of […]

States chart their own foreign policy

By: - April 12, 2006

Maine may not have a seat at the United Nations, but its state lawmakers are dealing with Caracas , Havana and Khartoum as if those foreign capitals were nearby Boston. In the past few months, Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D) has engineered a controversial oil deal with Venezuela, met with maligned Cuban dictator Fidel Castro […]

42 states foresee a surplus this fiscal year

By: and - April 10, 2006

Forty-two states project to end this fiscal year with a surplus totaling $28.9 billion, making it easier to balance budgets and reinvest in programs cut during the fiscal downturn in the first half of this decade, according to a report available April 10 from the National Conference of State Legislatures. After weathering years of budget […]

Soaring state revenues beat expectations

By: and - April 7, 2006

State revenues are soaring beyond expectations in 38 states, making it easier to balance budgets and absorb continuing cost overruns in Medicaid and other health care programs, according to the most recent figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures. After weathering years of budget shortfalls early this decade when states fell more than $235 […]

Immigration Poll: Target Work, Not Border

By: - March 31, 2006

More Americans would prefer workplace sanctions to reduce illegal immigration from Mexico rather than fences or additional border agents, according to a new national poll. But overall, Americans remain fractured about how to handle the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already living in the country, concludes a poll released by the Pew Research Center on […]

Western Governors Back Bush Guest-Worker Plan

By: - March 1, 2006

Fourteen Western governors threw their political weight behind President Bush on the issue of immigration Tuesday (Feb. 28), formally endorsing reforms including a guest-worker program that would allow thousands more immigrants to receive visas each year. The resolution comes as the U.S. Senate is expected in coming weeks to debate competing immigration bills, including a […]

Border Debate Shifts to Employers

By: - February 21, 2006

Businesses that hire undocumented workers are emerging as a new target for state lawmakers in a year already brimming with illegal immigration measures.   In Iowa, state Democratic leaders want the attorney general to investigate companies that hire undocumented workers. In Arizona, Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) is backing a bill that would impose heavy fines […]

Not Just for Men Anymore

By: - December 13, 2005

Three summers ago, Shylena Littlejohn quit job-hopping to sell drugs full-time. Life on the clock didn’t pay enough, and cooking methamphetamine offered the chance to turn $300 into a quick $5,000. So she converted her kitchen into a makeshift drug shop.    The business didn’t last long. Less than a year later, the former honor roll […]

State AGs Fight Teen Smoking—Onscreen

By: - December 1, 2005

In a bid to reduce teen smoking, more than 30 attorneys general are mounting a campaign to add anti-smoking ads to the beginning of films that feature actors lighting up.   Led by Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran , the attorneys general sent a letter to studio executives in mid-November, calling on them to add […]