Justices agreed to hear a constitutional attack on the mandatory representation fees that nearly all California teachers pay in a case with implications for public-sector unions across the country. It’s an appeal from teachers who say their First Amendment rights are violated when they have to pay fees even when they disagree with a union’s position and don’t want to join it.
On the eve of recreational marijuana's legalization in Oregon, the Legislature passed a package of bills to administer the cultivation, distribution and sale of the drug. One measure would tax recreational pot less than in Colorado and Washington in an effort to keep small growers in the market.
Pennsylvania faces a potential shutdown of much of its state government after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a $30.1 billion budget. Wolf said the budget would have worsened the state’s finances, failed to properly fund education and didn’t provide property-tax relief to homeowners.
Lawmakers avoided a midnight shutdown of state government by overriding Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the state’s two-year $6.7 billion budget. It contains modest cuts to property and income taxes.
Among the new laws taking effect July 1: Controversial new protections for religious freedom in Indiana, a new ban on revenge porn ban in Colorado, legal fireworks in Georgia and paid sick-leave in California.
Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a two-year state spending plan after striking provisions that would have allowed electronic keno in Ohio bars and restaurants and imposed limitations on the board that cleared the way for Medicaid expansion. He left intact new restrictions on the state's seven abortion clinics.
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed Connecticut’s two-year, $40 billion state budget after adjusting several controversial business taxes that had sparked an outcry from industry.
The Senate Government Operations Committee passed bills that would raise the tax on gasoline by 15 cents over the next three years and tie the rate to inflation to provide $1.4 billion for Michigan’s dilapidated roads. The bills also would provide some tax relief to residents if the economy is growing and eliminate a tax credit for working poor families.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage, family law attorneys in Texas are gearing up to make sure same-sex couples who adopt children get full parental rights. Before the court's decision, gay couples in Texas faced a labyrinth of legal obstacles when they had or adopted children.
Following a federal investigation of the handling of reports of sexual assault in Montana, an interim legislative committee began looking at changing the legal definition of “consent” and “incapacitated,” two terms at the heart of many rape cases.