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  • December 02, 2014

NY: Mayor unveiling bill to ban New York City horse-drawn carriages

nytimes.com

The administration of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is poised to introduce legislation next week that would eliminate the New York City horse-drawn carriage industry by mid-2016, fulfilling a promise to animal-rights activists who played an important role in securing his campaign victory last year.

WA: Marijuana breath test under development in Washington

washingtontimes.com

Scientists at Washington State University are working to develop a breath test, similar to a Breathalyzer, that would help law enforcement officers more quickly determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.

ID: Speeding tickets up 20 percent in Idaho since higher speed limit

boisestatepublicradio.org

Idaho State Police say troopers have issued more speeding tickets since the speed limit increased to 80 mph along stretches of Interstate 84.

TX: Texas leaders adopt spending cap for next budget

texastribune.org

State leaders, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, both Republicans, voted to set the state growth rate for the next two years at 11.68 percent, a move that will impact the budget lawmakers write in next year's session.

NM: New Mexico Senate confirmation backlog grows

abqjournal.com

As Republican Gov. Susana Martinez readies for the start of her second term, 85 of her first-term appointees are still waiting to be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled state Senate.

VA: Virginia ethics panel recommends tougher rules for gifts to public officials

washingtonpost.com

A panel examining Virginia’s ethics laws called for closing a loophole that allows public officials to accept unlimited gifts of food and travel. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe created the panel after the federal corruption conviction of his predecessor, Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, stemming from $177,000 in gifts and sweetheart loans.

FL: Florida high court to consider extension of self-defense gun law

reuters.com

An appeal before the Florida Supreme Court today could shift the burden of proof for the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, relieving gun owners of a legal duty to prove self-defense when they brandish weapons in violent confrontations.

MO: Governor backtracks on special session for Ferguson funds

stltoday.com

Under pressure from GOP leaders, Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon scrapped plans to call a special session to appropriate emergency funds to pay for security costs, now saying it isn’t necessary.

ND: North Dakota legislators to consider civics exam

bismarcktribune.com

A legislative committee chairman in North Dakota is proposing a bill that would require students to pass a 100-question U.S. citizenship test to graduate.

SD: Report: Too many teens in custody

argusleader.com

A new report has found that three-quarters of the children committed to the custody of South Dakota’s corrections department were there for low-risk probation violations or misdemeanor offenses.

KY: State panel calls for drug testing in Kentucky child abuse cases

courier-journal.com

Amid an epidemic of drug abuse in Kentucky, a state panel on child abuse is calling for parents to undergo drug tests if a child dies unexpectedly in their care.

CA: Lawmakers will try again to hike minimum wage

sacbee.com

California lawmakers will consider a minimum wage increase in 2015 under proposed legislation to move it to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. The bill also includes an escalator clause to tie future increases to inflation, a provision opposed by business groups.

VT: Governor seeks 2-cent Vermont school tax increase

burlingtonfreepress.com

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin says school spending projections are going to require an increase of 2 cents in the statewide school property tax rate. He says a report by the tax department estimates education spending is going to increase by just under 3.1 percent in fiscal year 2016.

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