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  • February 10, 2015

IL: Governor moves to exempt Illinois public workers from paying union fees

chicagotribune.com

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an executive order that aims to absolve state workers who don’t want to join a union from paying fees that support collective bargaining. Anticipating a strong pushback from organized labor, Rauner filed a preemptive federal lawsuit seeking to have his decision declared legal.

LA: LSU outlines dire budget scenarios, layoffs and course cuts

theadvocate.com

Widespread layoffs, hundreds of classes eliminated, academic programs jettisoned and a flagship university that can’t compete with its peers around the nation — those are among the grim scenarios LSU leaders outlined as Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration considers budget cuts to higher education to help close a $1.6 billion shortfall.

ME: Report says Maine needs to do more for hungry children

pressherald.com

A new report on child hunger in Maine says the state should do more to raise awareness of free lunch programs to the 20,000 Maine children who qualify but don’t take advantage of them, and provide more resources to help hungry students.

WI: Wisconsin governor’s cuts to SeniorCare could leave some struggling

lacrossetribune.com

Wisconsin seniors say that Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to cut funding for a state-funded prescription drug program for the elderly could leave them struggling financially.

CT: Tax department keeps close eye on Connecticut rich

courant.com

Connecticut, home to some of the richest Americans, has a big stake in the billions of dollars in revenue their income taxes generate. State tax officials track quarterly estimated payments of 100 high net-worth taxpayers and can tell when payments are down.

KY: Turnover among Kentucky social workers leads to high caseloads

courier-journal.com

The rate of turnover among state social workers, especially in urban areas, has soared. In 2014, nearly half of the workers in northern Kentucky walked away from their jobs because of pay and caseloads.

CA: High-speed rail opponents challenge federal ruling

reuters.com

California's high-speed rail project faces another challenge after a group of counties and activists filed a lawsuit to overturn a decision they said fails to apply state environmental law to a segment of the train's route.

FL: State asks judge to throw out tax credit scholarship lawsuit

wusf.usf.edu

Lawyers for the state and parents whose children use Florida's de facto school-voucher program argued that groups, including the state's largest teachers union, don't have the right to challenge the program in court.

NC: Senate plan would cut North Carolina gas tax

newsobserver.com

Senate Republicans proposed Monday to make a quick 2.5-cent cut in the state’s chief source of transportation money, the gas tax, but to add a new minimum rate that would keep it from falling even lower.

IA: Iowa revenue falls $100 million below estimates

desmoinesregister.com

The revenue shortfall could have a significant impact on state spending, including less money for state aid to public schools and universities, public safety, natural resources and a host of other government programs, state officials said. 

OK: Governor announces hiring freeze for Oklahoma agencies

newsok.com

The freeze, which also applies to raises and bonuses, is intended to help plug a $300 million budget gap.

AR: Governor to seek funding to address jail overcrowding

arkansasonline.com

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a group of county judges that any plan addressing prison overcrowding must include additional space, but said he wanted to avoid constructing the 1,000-bed prison corrections officials have said they need.

MD: Maryland Latino lawmakers launch caucus

washingtonpost.com 

Six state lawmakers announced the formation of the Maryland Latino Legislative Caucus, vowing to bring a Hispanic perspective to the State House that will benefit Maryland’s fastest-growing demographic group.

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