Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • August 07, 2015

ID: US Justice Department weighs in on homeless law in Idaho

idahostatesman.com

The U.S. Justice Department is opposing a law in Idaho’s largest city that makes it a crime for homeless people to sleep in public places, arguing that Boise’s law unconstitutionally punishes people for being homeless when there is insufficient shelter in the city.

MD: Maryland governor wants to change redistricting of congressional seats

baltimoresun.com

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan created a commission to recommend that Maryland change how it draws its congressional districts. Hogan said he would ask the commission to draft an amendment to the state’s constitution that would turn the process over to a nonpartisan panel.

NH: New Hampshire governor says no to heroin emergency

unionleader.com

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan declined a request from Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas that she declare a public health state of emergency over the heroin epidemic—not just in his city but across New Hampshire.

CA: California’s pension debt hole deepened, despite strong returns

sacbee.com

Although investment returns in California’s public retirement funds rose in 2013, so did its debt, census figures show. The state’s largest-in-the-nation pension debt of $610.3 billion translates to an obligation of $4,425 for every man, woman and child in the state.

MA: Massachusetts governor signs tax holiday bill, saying he may buy a TV

bostonglobe.com

Consumers in Massachusetts will get to skip the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on Aug. 15 and 16 when they buy most retail items costing $2,500 or less now that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed the two-day reprieve into law. Baker said he may just buy a flat-screen TV and avoid the tax.

ME: Maine Supreme Court says governor’s vetoes came too late

pressherald.com

Justices ruled against Republican Gov. Paul LePage in his dispute with the legislature over whether he had more time to veto 65 bills that already were processed into law. The court said LePage misread the Maine Constitution when he failed to veto the 65 bills within the 10-day period prescribed by law.

IL: Illinois governor signs bill to let four-time DUI offenders get restricted permit

chicagotribune.com

The measure signed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner would let someone who had their Illinois driver’s license automatically revoked for four DUI convictions apply for a restricted permit after five years.

WI: Wisconsin appeals court upholds gun ban on Madison city buses

madison.com

A state appellate court has upheld a policy of banning guns on local buses in Wisconsin’s capital city, saying the city policy does not violate the state’s law that allows people to carry concealed guns.

TX: In Texas, Obamacare health plans get a special label

texastribune.org

More than a million Texans who purchased an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act soon will have a special label on their insurance cards—"QHP," for "qualified health plan." The point of the law, which takes effect Sept. 1, is to help physicians remind their patients to continue making monthly payments toward their health insurance premiums. Critics worry it will open the door to discrimination.

KS: Kansas secretary of state says he’s ready to prosecute voter fraud cases

kansas.com

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach of Kansas says he will begin prosecuting cases of voter fraud next month by focusing on what he says were instances of double voting in the 2010 elections. Kobach was given prosecution powers by the legislature earlier this year.

UT: Utah business leaders to campaign for hike in sales taxes

sltrib.com

Business leaders in Utah say they’ll raise money and campaign for a sales tax increase to pay for state and local roads and public transportation Utah.

MN: Minnesota Legislature getting grayer

twincities.com

This year, the median age in the Minnesota House is 54. In the Senate, it’s 55. Twenty years ago, the median age for both was nearly a decade younger, raising the question of whether lawmakers are in step with the state they represent.

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