Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • July 02, 2015

MO: Missouri rejects ‘Grain Belt Express’ transmission line for wind power


State officials rejected a plan for a $2.2 billion, 780-mile “Grain Belt Express” transmission line to carry wind power from Kansas across Missouri to eastern power grids. Backers had pushed the first-of-its kind project as a major step in the fight for renewable energy against coal-fired power plants.

AL: Federal courts order roadblocks to same-sex marriage cleared


A federal judge in Alabama ordered a handful of counties still refusing to issue gay-marriage licenses to abide by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court instructed judges in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to wrap up gay marriage cases in their states in line with the high court’s decision.

CA: Repairing California’s freeways, roads will cost billions


The state has calculated repair costs at $59 billion, and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a special legislative session on the issue — which could force lawmakers to consider controversial new fees and taxes.

ME: Maine lawmakers seek $100 million in transportation, housing bonds


The House and Senate agreed to ask voters to authorize $85 million in borrowing for road and bridge projects, and $15 million to help pay for affordable housing for senior citizens across Maine.

IN: Church of Cannabis tests Indiana’s new religious freedom law


A church was created with the thinking that if Indiana’s new law protected religious practices, then it should also permit marijuana use — which remains illegal in the state  — as part of a broader spiritual philosophy.

OK: Constitutional change sought after Oklahoma Ten Commandments ruling


Some legislative leaders say they may ask voters to repeal a section of Oklahoma’s Constitution that prohibits the use of public property to benefit any religion after the state Supreme Court, citing that section, ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from statehouse grounds.

WI: More than half of Wisconsin's school districts will get less state aid next year


Of Wisconsin’s 424 school districts, 55 percent — or 234 districts — are projected to receive less aid in the 2015-16 school year, while 44 percent — or 188 districts — are expected to receive more, according to the Department of Public Instruction.

IA: Iowa’s new state worker mandate: Report your ailments


Iowa state employees have been told they must report their prescriptions and medical services to a private company that will monitor their absences. Three unions have complained.

UT: FBI blocks new Utah background checks on immigrant drivers


The FBI won’t allow Utah to use its criminal database as long as the state plans to share results with other agencies, effectively blocking a new state law that aimed for more robust background checks on immigrants in the country illegally seeking driving privileges.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers working to fast-track medical marijuana bill


A legislative task force is working to craft a medical marijuana bill than can quickly pass the House of Representatives. Nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvania residents support access to medical marijuana.

RI: Rhode Island commission scraps utility charge


The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission eliminated a “billing adjustment” charge and ordered refunds for electricity customers who switched from National Grid, the state’s dominant utility, to competitors who offered lower rates.

TX: At majority-minority schools in Texas, Confederate names remain


Twenty-eight Texas public schools are named after Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Albert Sidney Johnston. Of those, five have a majority of white students.