Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • April 29, 2015

CA: California’s Brown proposes fines of $10,000 for wasting water

mercurynews.com

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said his proposal, which would boost maximum fines 20-fold from the current $500, is aimed at the most flagrant scofflaws who flout water conservation restrictions during California’s ongoing drought.

OK: U.S. Supreme Court hears Oklahoma’s lethal injection case

nytimes.com

A year after a botched execution in Oklahoma drew attention to the mounting problems surrounding lethal injections, the Supreme Court justices are hearing arguments on whether a sedative involved in the procedure should be used in executions. Oklahoma and 14 other states argue that when properly administered, the drug puts prisoners into a deep coma and doesn’t cause undue suffering.

MD: Maryland’s governor promises more than 1,000 additional troops for Baltimore

baltimoresun.com

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan vowed to bring peace to the streets of Baltimore and announced more than 1,000 additional National Guard troops would arrive in the city to quell unrest following the death of a black man in the custody of police.

VT: Judge lets Vermont’s genetically modified food labeling law stand

burlingtonfreepress.com

A Vermont law that could make the state the first in the nation to require labeling of genetically modified food has been allowed by a U.S. District Court judge to stand for now despite opposition by food industry groups.

KS: Public business conducted via private email can be kept secret, Kansas’ attorney general rules

kansas.com

Public officials in Kansas can conduct public business on private emails without those emails becoming public records, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in an opinion. About half of the states consider private emails by public officials to be public if they deal with public business.

FL: Florida Legislature passes bill to let dying patients try experimental drugs

wusf.usf.edu

The bill, which goes to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, would allow terminally ill patients in Florida to use experimental drugs that are in at least the first phase of testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

TX: Texas House passes $4.9 billion tax cut

texastribune.org

The measure would cut the state sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent—the first such cut in Texas history. Sponsors say cutting sales taxes would provide greater tax relief than the Senate’s proposal to increase homestead exemptions to lower local school property taxes.

MN: Minnesota House rejects Sunday liquor sales

mprnews.org

The House voted to keep Minnesota’s longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales by defeating a measure that would let municipalities decide whether to let liquor stores open. Minnesota is among 12 states that still ban Sunday sales.

WI: Wisconsin lawmakers push requirements to receive food stamps

madison.com

Wisconsin legislators have introduced bills that would mandate food stamp users to buy healthy food and require applicants for a state job training program to undergo drug screening.

AL: Alabama’s Bentley says gambling not a solution to budget problem

al.com

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley went to the House to push his proposed package of $541 million in tax increases to stabilize the budget, and told lawmakers that lottery and casino gambling aren’t an alternative.

LA: House committee favors capping Louisiana’s film tax credits

theadvocate.com

The Ways and Means Committee’s vote to cap, but not eliminate, the credits suggests the program is likely to survive, despite mounting criticism that it provides too little return on investment at a time Louisiana is facing a huge budget deficit.

AR: More Arkansas local governments push for LGBT protections

arkansasonline.com

Officials in Arkansas' most populous county and in one of its most popular tourist destinations are considering prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, expanding the pushback against a new state law criticized as anti-gay.

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