Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • April 17, 2015

NE: Nebraska weighs repealing the death penalty


Amid a national shortage of lethal-injection drugs to carry out executions, Nebraska lawmakers voted to advance a bill that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment.

AZ: New Arizona law puts subsidized health insurance at risk


Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that forbids Arizona from setting up its own Affordable Care Act health exchange, which could jeopardize health insurance for more than 150,000 people if the U.S. Supreme Court rejects subsidized coverage in Arizona and 33 other states.

LA: Louisiana is $56 million short in current year's budget


Louisiana’s public schools are short $36 million, its Medicaid program needs another $12 million and sheriffs are owed $3 million more for housing state prisoners in local jails. The $56 million gap in the current budget is on top of next year’s $1.6 billion expected shortfall.

MO: Missouri lawmakers OK stricter welfare rules


The bill, which goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, lowers the lifetime limit for how long families can stay on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from five years to three years and nine months. If the bill becomes law, nearly 9,500 people — 6,300 of whom are children — would lose their access to benefits.

GA: Medical marijuana now legal in Georgia


Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation that immediately legalizes the use of marijuana cannabis oil in Georgia to treat eight serious medical conditions. Georgia is the 36th state, plus Washington, D.C., to legalize marijuana extracts to treat illnesses.

FL: Online voter registration one step closer in Florida


The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to add Florida to list of more than 20 states that allow online voter registration. The bill would create a secure Internet site by October 2017, where Floridians can register to vote. A similar bill awaits a final vote on the House floor.

VA: Virginia lawmakers work to finish a new ethics law


Legislators in both parties predicted that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe will have no trouble getting the General Assembly to go along with his plan to limit the value of gifts that lobbyists and others can give public officials to $100 a year.

MI: New program will offer Detroiters zero-down mortgages


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and major lenders are announcing a new program to help people get mortgages in a city where deeply depressed property values have made that next to impossible by creating zero-down, low-interest fixed-rate mortgages along with money for fixing up homes.

CA: Facing resistance, California’s Brown defends order to cut water use


Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown defended mandatory water restrictions, which could lead to cuts in water use of 10 percent to 35 percent in California communities.

CT: Connecticut steps up action on bootlegged cigarettes


Connecticut has established a tobacco enforcement unit to step up the fight against the trafficking of bootlegged cigarettes from low-tax states into lucrative Northeast markets through New York and Boston ports and along I-95.

TN: Bible will not become Tennessee’s official book


The Senate voted 22-9 to send the Bible bill to committee, effectively killing the measure a day after it was adopted by the House. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and Republican Attorney General Herbert Slatery opposed the bill.

VT: Vermont pot supporters file bill to ban alcohol


Frustrated by a lack of action on marijuana legalization, two Vermont lawmakers are trying a new tack: No pot, no booze. It’s sort of a joke, but the two say they are trying to further arguments that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.