Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • February 02, 2015

HI: Proposed state-owned bank would help Hawaii homeowners


Hawaii lawmakers are proposing legislation with the goal of creating a state-owned bank to assist homeowners who are having trouble making mortgage payments. Only one other state, North Dakota, has a state-owned bank.

MN: Governor’s plan aimed at tax relief for Minnesota families gains traction


Because Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposals are tilted more heavily toward tax relief, they already have found some favor among the Republicans who control the House — a stark contrast from the heated battles sparked by his earlier proposals for tax hikes for the rich and business interests.

CA: California lawmakers set to tackle excessive prescribing of psych meds to children


Lawmakers will consider a major overhaul this year of how California cares for thousands of traumatized foster children, a sweeping effort to curb the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in the child welfare system.

MO: Missouri lawmakers’ steady shift to lobbying raises concerns with critics


Registered lobbyists outnumber lawmakers in Jefferson City almost 5 to 1. Over the last decade, as voter-imposed term limits began driving elected officials out of office, lobbyists’ ranks have swelled with former legislators and staff cashing in on their expertise and connections.

ID: Idaho poised to discuss Medicaid expansion


Momentum is building in the Idaho statehouse for the fullest legislative discussion to date on expanding Medicaid coverage for more than 100,000 low-income Idahoans.

VT: Vermont looks west while pondering legal pot


Progressive Senator David Zuckerman has faith that the Vermont Legislature will become the first in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana by voter referendum.

SD: South Dakota House wants end to legal abortion


The South Dakota House has voted in a symbolic gesture to encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade rulings that made abortion legal.

KY: Kentucky now taking gun permit applications online


Kentucky gun owners can obtain concealed-carry permits faster through a new online application process that critics view as dangerous but others say pays heed to Second Amendment rights.

TX: ‘Friday night football’ returns to water politics


Two years ago, in the midst of the worst drought in recent memory, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from all over the state created a new fund for water projects like pipelines and treatment plants. This legislative session, many are predicting a return to the traditional conflicts between urban, rural and suburban areas and rainy East Texas and the drier West.

ND: Three legislative bills offer tax credit to North Dakota renters


A series of bills introduced in the North Dakota legislature would give renters some form of tax credit.

AR: Pay panel backs more than doubling legislators' salaries


The panel recommended salaries of $39,400 for most and $45,000 for the leaders of the two chambers. Those are more than 148 percent and 153 percent increases from the current rates of $15,869 and $17,771.

MD: Does Maryland governor want to cut school funding?


Republican Gov. Larry Hogan went on the defensive when asked to explain why he has proposed to cut education funding by $144 million.

AK: Budget woes result in long-sought crackdown on legislative travel


As budgets tighten, top leaders in the Alaska Legislature say they’re going to be cracking down on travel and keeping legislators at work.

UT: How to help Utah college students graduate on time: Keep tuition low


More college students will stay on track to graduate on time if Utah lawmakers hold tuition bumps this year to no more than 2.5 percent.