Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin supports the bill, which would require employers in Vermont to provide workers three paid sick days a year for the first two years after the law takes effect and five days thereafter. It would not cover employees working fewer than 18 hours a week or 21 weeks a year.
Under the deal, a Florida jury could no longer recommend a death sentence by a simple majority; at least 10 of 12 jurors would have to agree. The move is designed to avoid more legal attacks and allow executions to resume in a state with nearly 400 Death Row inmates.
Lawmakers sent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback a budget bill that closes a projected $200 million revenue shortfall in the upcoming budget year that begins July 1. But it makes no changes to state funding for public schools, despite a Kansas Supreme Court ruling declaring the current method of distributing aid to school districts inequitable and unconstitutional.
Save for some narrow exceptions, guns will be allowed in classrooms but not in dorms at the University of Texas at Austin next school year. A new state law allows the concealed carrying of weapons in public university buildings, but gives universities the power to create limited rules that designate some “gun-free zones.”
House members narrowly passed a bill that would allow Girl Scouts to keep the sales tax on the thousands of boxes of cookies sold each year. The bill also would exempt the Boy Scouts from paying the tax on food sales.
Iowa employers could no longer ask most prospective employees if they have a criminal record until after the applicant was deemed qualified for a job opening, under the bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Nineteen states and 100 cities and counties have adopted the so-called ban-the-box policies.
Authorities across Montana have more than 1,400 rape kits — some dating to 1995 — that remain unprocessed because they have not been submitted to the state's crime lab for testing. A state task force will devise guidelines for how to handle them.
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he wants to redesign high school in Virginia to put more emphasis on preparing teens for the workforce and creating more opportunities for them to get college credit while in high school.
With gasoline prices low, some Mississippi lawmakers say the time is right to consider a tax increase or other methods to raise an estimated $526 million a year needed to repair state roads and bridges.
Senate Finance Committee members advanced a bill that would increase the state’s cigarette tax by $1 to $1.55 a pack to help pay for public employees’ health insurance. If approved, West Virginia’s tax would still be lower than neighboring Maryland, Ohio or Pennsylvania.
Maine’s K-12 teachers would earn at least $40,000 a year under the bill endorsed by the Legislature’s Education Committee. The average salary for a teacher in Maine with no experience and a bachelor’s degree is $32,528.
Lawmakers need to come up with a new source of money for New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund before the money runs out in June. Republican Gov. Chris Christie did not address the issue in his 2017 budget address this week.