As he prepared to kick off his presidential campaign, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a two-year $72.7 billion budget that doesn’t raise taxes, freezes University of Wisconsin tuition, cuts university funding $250 million and puts off a lasting solution for funding highways. Before signing the budget, Walker vetoed 104 items, including a provision that would have given payday lenders authority to issue insurance and annuities.
Opening Monday, a U.S. District Court trial will determine whether North Carolina’s recent changes in election laws — reducing early voting days, ending same-day registration and mandatory high school registration programs — discriminate against black voters.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s finance department says a bill that would raise California’s minimum wage from $9 to $11 an hour would negatively affect the budget and the economy. The office’s opposition to the bill could be a prelude to a gubernatorial veto should the proposal reach his desk.
More than two-thirds of the 36 Republican lawmakers who sued to overturn Medicaid coverage for low-income Arizonans took state-sponsored health-insurance plans that offer more-robust medical benefits than what the average Arizonan gets from private employers.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has called for removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader, from the state Capitol. But a state law forced Haslam to dedicate a proclamation to Forrest anyway.
Without a signed budget, Pennsylvania is running on reserve funds that may not suffice to pay legislative staff. Majority Republican lawmakers say they have enough of reserve funds to get through early September, while Democrats say they may be able to operate through the summer.
The University of Texas System announced it would accept up to $2.4 million per year from the pharmaceutical company Sanofi to fund biomedical research. As government research money dwindles, private funds are playing a larger role, something watchdogs say comes with worries.
Kentucky ended its fiscal year with $9.9 billion in general fund revenue, representing a 5.3 percent growth over the 12 months before. However, money for the state’s road fund that pays for highways fell 2.2 percent.
As organizers push a plan to legalize marijuana in Ohio, police continue to go after a thriving underground market. Finding that market, however, has become much more difficult.
Florida legislators have to redraw the state’s congressional districts by Oct. 17, after the state Supreme Court ruled the lines invalid. And legislative leaders aren’t certain how to proceed.