Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • May 18, 2015

US: Obama to limit military-style equipment to police departments

nytimes.com

President Barack Obama will prohibit the military from providing local police departments with some surplus equipment, including armored vehicles, pyrotechnics, battering rams and riot gear. He also will order more stringent requirements for training on the equipment in an effort to ease tensions between law enforcement and minority communities.

FL: Florida’s governor reluctantly signs online voter registration law

orlandosentinel.com

Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill "with some hesitation" that will allow Floridians to register online to vote in two years, as residents in 20 other states already can. Scott stressed the need for cybersecurity to prevent fraud.

TN: Thousands apply for Tennessee’s tuition-free college plan

tennessean.com

More than 10,700 adults in Tennessee have applied to take advantage of a new state grant that would send them to technical college tuition-free, a number exceeding expectations.

CA: California proposals to cut use of foster care psych meds will cost millions

mercurynews.com

Cost estimates for a package of bills moving swiftly through the state Senate vary, but spending could reach $8 million a year—and possibly more than $22 million—to curb the child welfare system's heavy reliance on mind-altering medicine for behavior management.

NJ: Pump your own gas in New Jersey? New bill would let you

cbslocal.com

A New Jersey assemblyman wants motorists to be able to pump their own gasoline, which is forbidden under current law. If the proposal passes, the change would be phased in over three years. New Jersey and Oregon are the only states where self-service is illegal.

KS: Kansas House rejects sales tax hike to cover gaping budget hole

kansas.com

The Kansas House rejected a bill to raise state sales taxes by more than $270 million to help fill a $400-million budget hole, leaving lawmakers in a quandary over how to close the gap. The bill also would have eliminated most itemized deductions Kansans can claim on their state income tax returns and reduced others for an overall increase of $97 million.

OH: Mentally ill murderers would escape Ohio’s death penalty under new bill

cleveland.com

Bipartisan legislation in the Ohio Senate seeks to prohibit the death sentence for murderers diagnosed with an illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder that "significantly impaired" the person’s ability to exercise rational judgment, follow the law or appreciate the nature of the crime.

ME: Maine’s GOP lawmakers propose alternative to governor’s tax overhaul

pressherald.com

Republican legislators laid out a plan to lower income taxes, but rejected Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to raise the sales tax rate and broaden it to include currently exempt goods and services.

WV: West Virginia election commissioners approves rules for judicial elections

wvgazette.com

State election commissioners have approved preliminary rules for electing West Virginia judges in new, nonpartisan contests starting next year. They will be chosen in a single election that coincides with the May primary in election years. Supreme Court candidates will be eligible for $525,000 of public financing unless they run opposed.

IL: Test votes show support lacking to freeze Illinois property taxes

chicagotribune.com

House Democrats have run a series of test votes that signal there’s not enough support for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to freeze local property taxes unless voters approve of an increase.

TX: Texas House approves A-F school ratings

texastribune.org

The measure passed as a part of a bill that reduces the role student assessments play in measuring Texas’ public school performance. It would replace the state's current system of rating schools as "met standard" or "needs improvement" to A-through-F grades.

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