Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • March 23, 2015

US: Supreme Court hears free-speech case on Confederate license plates


U.S. Supreme Court justices are hearing arguments on whether the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board was right to refuse the Sons of Confederate Veterans a specialty license plate that features the Confederate flag. Nine states let drivers choose specialty license plates featuring the flag.

WI: Wisconsin moves quickly to appeal abortion law ruling


Wisconsin's attorney general plans to appeal a federal court ruling that struck down a state law that requires doctors who perform abortions get hospital-admitting privileges.

OH: New Ohio law opens adoption files for 400,000


A new law unseals the adoption files of some 400,000 adoptees whose Ohio adoptions were finalized between Jan. 1, 1964, and Sept. 18, 1996. Such records usually contain the adoptee’s original birth certificate.

TX: Texas ready to dump high school steroids testing program


In 2007, Texas officials launched a massive public high school steroids testing program over fears of rampant doping from the football fields to the tennis courts. After spending $10 million testing more than 63,000 students to catch just a handful of cheaters, Texas lawmakers appear likely to defund the program this summer.

ME: Governor erroneously says author Stephen King doesn’t pay taxes in Maine


The horror-story author says he wants Republican Gov. Paul LePage to apologize for saying that King, who owns property in Florida, had moved to the Sunshine State, presumably to avoid paying income taxes to Maine. King, a legal resident of Maine, says that isn’t true.

WA: Land-use rules slow to change a year after deadly Washington landslide


A year after the deadliest landslide in American history, building regulations across Washington largely remain unchanged. But some of the major recommendations from a state commission, including hazard mapping and emergency response improvements, are on the way.

SD: Governor signs lower wage for South Dakota youths


Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a measure that lowers the minimum wage for workers under age 18 in South Dakota.

MI: Diversity disappearing from Michigan State Police ranks


Twenty-two years after it was freed from federal oversight for failing to hire enough blacks, women and other minorities, the Michigan State Police has relapsed into a department overwhelmingly dominated by white males.

OR: Oregon lands commission battling homeless camps


Officials have cleared some large encampments of homeless people from Oregon public lands. With a mild winter, many homeless people have decided to stay outside instead of seeking shelter indoors with outreach organizations.

MA: Governor wants to phase out Massachusetts film tax credits


While Massachusetts’ tax credit has helped boost locally filmed productions, years of state Department of Revenue reports indicate the credit costs the state too much money with little financial reward. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed phasing it out to partly finance the doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit that benefits low-income workers.

KS: Kansas lawmakers seek to expand fingerprinting of school employees


The legislature is moving a bill that would require more than 60,000 public school district employees in direct contact with students to undergo fingerprint and criminal background checks every five years. Kansas began fingerprinting new hires in 2002. The new measure would require it of veteran employees.

MT: Bills to liberalize gun laws cruise through Montana’s legislature


From allowing firearms on Montana college campuses to getting rid of the requirement that a carrier of a concealed weapon needs a permit, bills liberalizing state gun laws are marching through the 2015 legislature.