Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • June 18, 2015

CA: California regulators declare Uber driver an 'employee'

washingtonpost.com

California's Labor Commission ruled that an Uber driver was an employee, not a contractor — a potentially costly precedent for the ride-sharing company that operates in 150 cities. If the precedent is upheld, Uber could eventually have to pay employee health benefits, worker’s compensation and payroll taxes and other obligations.

MN: Federal judge tells Minnesota to fix program or sex offenders may be released

duluthnewstribune.com

A U.S. District Court judge said the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, which allows people to be held indefinitely, is unconstitutional. Unless the state makes changes, the judge indicated he could close the program or release sex offenders.

NM: New Mexico’s Martinez signs $294 million infrastructure bill

abqjournal.com

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill that will pave the way for about 1,000 construction and improvement projects in New Mexico, including $45 million for highway repair. Once bonds are sold, senior centers, state buildings, libraries and several University of New Mexico sports facilities will be built or upgraded.

NJ: New Jersey universities’ credit ratings downgraded

nj.com

Credit ratings for several of New Jersey’s public universities have been downgraded, potentially increasing the borrowing costs for the institutions. The drops were attributed to the ongoing uncertainty over state funding and potential for a continued decline in state support.

KS: No charges against Kansas governor after ethics inquiry

cjonline.com

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback will not face charges over $1.5 million in loans made to his 2014 re-election campaign by his lieutenant governor, a U.S. attorney in Kansas says.

TX: Texas governor signs bill for state notifications of police shootings

dallasnews.com

Texas police agencies will have to notify the attorney general every time an officer shoots someone or gets shot. Departments will have to report the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the person shot and the officers who fired. They also will have to indicate whether the person who was shot had a weapon, the reason the officer encountered the person, and how many officers were present at the time of the shooting.

NE: Nebraska recalculates prison sentences, which could worsen overcrowding

omaha.com

Nebraska corrections officials are reviewing 2,000 sentences after discovering some inmates receive too much “good time” that cuts their prison stays. The recalculation could result in adding up to four months to some prisoners’ time behind bars and exacerbate an overcrowding problem.

WA: Washington lawmakers stop talk of spending $15 billion on roads

seattletimes.com

Lawmakers have halted negotiations on a $15 billion transportation package that would have built, widened and repaired Washington’s highways and bridges. The state budget is due July 1, and it faces court orders to improve education, mental health and social service funding, plus more raises for state employees and teachers.

PA: Pennsylvania expands drought watch

pennlive.com

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is now watching for drought conditions in more than half of the counties in the state. Officials added 10 counties to the watch list, after the state identified low ground and surface water levels for 27 counties.

SD: South Dakota law enforcement worried about legalized marijuana on reservation

argusleader.com

Law enforcement officials say they are concerned that the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s decision to legalize marijuana will mean more impaired driving and drug trafficking in the rest of the state.

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