Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • February 11, 2015

CA: California lawmakers introduce sweeping new measures on renewable energy, fossil fuel use


If enacted, the legislation would trigger in the decades ahead fundamental shifts in the kind of cars Californians drive and the way they power their homes and businesses.

PA: Back on tap: Push to privatize Pennsylvania liquor sales


A Republican leader said lawmakers will again introduce a bill to sell off the 600 state-run liquor stores similar to one that passed last session in the GOP-led House. That measure was opposed by unions and died in the Senate.

KS: Kansas governor cancels protection for gay state employees


Republican Gov. Sam Brownback rescinded an executive order that offered protections to Kansas state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The order was issued in 2007 by former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

US: Complicated politics of Medicaid expansion playing out state by state


New developments in several states on whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act underscore just how complicated the politics of the issue have become — and just how different the results of seeking an expansion have been from state to state.

AL: Alabama driver's license fees increased by 54 percent


Alabama motorists should be prepared for a little sticker shock the next time they renew their driver's licenses.

WI: Wisconsin teachers attacked at highest rate


Wisconsin had the highest percentage of public school teachers physically attacked by students in the nation during the 2011-2012 school year, according to a federal report.

AK: As Alaska warms, climate change an awkward subject for lawmakers


The last time legislation specifically focused on climate change was in 2006. There have since been energy efficiency bills, air quality bills, and resolutions pushing back on air quality regulations, but nothing that gets at the massive, complicated issue of climate change.

MN: Minnesota says cigarette smuggling is a growing problem


State Department of Revenue officials seized or assessed untaxed tobacco products in more than 40 percent of the 374 retail inspections conducted through the first three quarters of last year. Before the cigarette tax jumped by $1.60 per pack, or 130 percent, retail inspections found untaxed tobacco products only 8 percent of the time.

VT: In gun-loving Vermont, new restrictions face fight


One of the most liberal states in the country also is one of the most passionate about defending the right to bear arms, a fact that is evident following proposed legislation to expand background checks and add other gun regulations. Gun defenders were gearing up to flood a public hearing on the new proposed regulations.

CT: GOP legislators unveil 30-year transportation plan


State Republican legislators unveiled a 30-year, $37.4 billion transportation plan that they said can be covered with no tolls and no tax increases. The Republicans said the state should spend at least $1 billion each year for the next three decades.

TX: Lieutenant governor wants $12 million to keep National Guard on border


Saying that drug cartels are “ramping up” their efforts as the Texas National Guard prepares to leave the Rio Grande Valley next month, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced he’s seeking an additional $12 million to keep the troops there through May.

AR: Senate panel advances bill to abolish lottery commission


A proposal to abolish the independent commission running Arkansas' lottery and put the games under a state agency's control is heading to the Senate for a vote. Supporters say the change is needed to stabilize the lottery, which has seen sluggish ticket sales.

MI: Struggling Michigan schools could get reprieve


Educators in schools with grave academic struggles might be able to breathe a sigh of relief this year thanks to the state's shifting testing system.

NC: State has spent over $100,000 in marriage fight


Outside lawyers have billed the state of North Carolina more than $107,000 to appeal federal court rulings that have legalized gay marriage in the state, a cost the Democratic state attorney general calls a waste and one that even some Republicans question.