Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • July 20, 2015

US: At least six states move to arm National Guard offices

reuters.com

The governors of Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana ordered National Guard members at recruitment centers to be armed after deadly shootings at two Chattanooga, Tennessee, facilities raised questions about troops’ safety on home soil.

CA: California Medicaid enrollment triples state expectations

sanluisobispo.com

Medicaid now covers about a third of California residents, as 2.3 million people have enrolled after the state expanded the program. A record number of people who would have previously qualified for the health insurance program for low-income residents also have signed up.

ND: North Dakota studies state takeover of county social services

bismarcktribune.com

North Dakota already is set to assume the duties and costs of some counties' social services programs, but the legislature is now looking at expanding the concept statewide as part of an effort to reduce property taxes, which normally fund such programs.

WA: Washington law bans ‘open containers’ of pot

theolympian.com

Smoking pot while driving a car has been legal in Washington for more than two years. That changes this fall when a new state law banning loose joints, open bags and food made with marijuana goes into effect.

FL: Three out of five Floridians fail new driver’s license test

tampabay.com

Since Florida changed its written driver’s license test in January, just 41 percent of test-takers have passed it — with failure rates as high as 80 percent in some counties. Lawmakers approved the new, hourlong test in 2014 because the accident rate for teen drivers in the state had been getting worse.

IL: Chicago will have nation's highest big-city sales tax come January

chicagotribune.com

Chicago will have the highest sales tax of any major U.S. city once a Cook County, Illinois, penny-on-the-dollar increase goes into effect Jan. 1. That will push Chicago above four Alabama cities, including Montgomery, where the rate is 10 percent, and Seattle, where the rate is 9.5 percent.

MD: How many Maryland prisoners are in isolated confinement? It’s hard to say

washingtonpost.com

States such as Virginia have begun to examine their use of solitary confinement in state prisons. But in Maryland, advocates are stumbling in the dark. They don’t have solid information on how often prisoners are isolated, and bills that would require the prison system to report such data have gone nowhere in the General Assembly.

OH: Ohio to sell 20 state properties, including an office tower for $1

dispatch.com

Ohio has put “for sale” signs on 20 properties it no longer needs, including a prison on 100 acres, a mental-health facility and a 22-story office tower in Toledo.

UT:  Utah high-tech industry says state owes it better highway, train line

sltrib.com

The City of Lehi and its high-tech industry want to jump to the front of the line for transportation projects, arguing the state is reneging on promised work used to lure companies to Utah’s “silicon slopes.”

WI: Wisconsin’s new home-school sports law 'just confusing'

jsonline.com

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association, which oversees high school and middle school athletics, says a new law that lets home-schoolers play on district student sports teams is confusing and conflicts with the membership requirements.

PA: Registry of Pennsylvania adult entertainment workers sought

philly.com

A proposed Pennsylvania law would require strip clubs and other adult entertainment venues to register their employees’ personal information and would ban the sale of liquor in the clubs. Supporters say the measure helps prevent human trafficking and protect women, but opponents argue it violates employees’ privacy and is a veiled attempt to stamp out adult establishments.

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