Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • November 03, 2015

IL: Illinois district violated transgender student’s rights, U.S. says

nytimes.com

Federal education authorities, staking out their firmest position yet on an increasingly contentious issue, found that an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to use the girls’ locker room without restrictions.

TX: In Texas, local battles brewing over sanctuary cities

texastribune.org

Battles over “sanctuary cities,” or municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, are currently brewing in a handful of Texas counties. In cities across Texas, police officers do not have a practice of asking the immigration status of people they arrest.

MA: Massachusetts governor signs supplemental budget; boosts Medicaid, rainy day fund

bostonglobe.com

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $326 million spending bill into law, boosting funding for the Massachusetts Medicaid program, the troubled Department of Children and Families, and programs to address opioid overdoses. The bill also deposits $120 million toward the state’s rainy day fund and another $113 million to help pay some debts early.

WY: Wyoming supports forest thinning project

billingsgazette.com

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is supporting a U.S. Forest Service plan to thin and burn 20 square miles of national forest in the northwest part of the state. But state officials also urged the Forest Service to make some changes in order to protect wildlife. 

NC: Looser alcohol laws benefit North Carolina distilleries, retailers

newsobserver.com

For the first time since Prohibition, liquor bottles are being sold outside of North Carolina’s Alcoholic Beverage Control system.

IA: Iowa agrees to settle suit over state juvenile home

desmoinesregister.com

Iowa agreed to pay $235,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was locked in isolation cells for more than nine months as a juvenile. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad ordered the Iowa Juvenile Home closed last year after reports that it used long-term isolation and failed to comply with federal special-education laws.

LA: Louisiana’s tax amnesty period begins Nov. 16

nola.com

Delinquent Louisiana taxpayers have one last shot to pay what they owe with lessened penalties and interest charges. Louisiana's latest tax amnesty period, which runs through Dec. 15, will be the last amnesty allowed for a decade.

PA: Pennsylvania higher education plan could save millions on employee insurance

post-gazette.com

Modifications to employee health insurance could save the Pennsylvania higher education system $3.5 million. The system’s finances are under stress with lowered enrollments and budget cuts.

UT: Utah could get more—and bigger—state parks

sltrib.com

The director of Utah Parks and Recreation is telling lawmakers that his agency has righted its finances and is attracting more visitors with new amenities and activities, and is now planning to expand several state parks.

MN: New Minnesota law for violent felons could make prison overcrowding worse

duluthnewstribune.com

Even as officials search for long-term solutions to Minnesota’s prison overcrowding, a new law is projected to make the problem significantly worse. The law requires a minimum five-year prison term for felons with histories of violent crimes caught possessing bullets or other ammunition—the same sentence the offenders would receive if they were caught with a firearm.

WI: Wisconsin governor’s campaign failed to report thousands of donors’ employers

madison.com

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign did not submit required employer information for nearly 6,000 contributors in last year’s gubernatorial campaign, according to Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board.

NJ: New Jersey lawmaker wants to apply online gambling rules to fantasy sports

nj.com

A state senator in New Jersey is proposing rules that would regulate daily fantasy sports and casino fantasy sports similarly to online gambling.

NE: Nebraska prison riot was protest that got out of control

netnebraska.org

A report from the Nebraska ombudsman said last May’s riot at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, in which two inmates were killed, stemmed from a planned protest of inmate grievances that got out of control.

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