A dozen states are trying to keep children in school longer, from making kindergarten mandatory to raising the legal drop-out age. But it's not an easy sell.
Under the hybrid plan under consideration by Pennsylvania lawmakers, about half of workers’ pensions would remain in a taxpayer-backed guaranteed plan. The other half would go into a corporate-style 401(k) plan that goes up and down with the market, reducing taxpayer exposure by more than 50 percent.
Supporters say the five criminal justice measures would reduce Louisiana’s inmate population by 10 percent over the next decade, saving the state $262 million. The Legislature would pledge to reinvest $184 million of those savings in programs to support crime victims and to rehabilitate inmates so they wouldn’t return to prison after their release.
In an online video launched by California community colleges, state legislators and educators encourage undocumented students to apply for financial aid. Fewer students submitted applications in the first few months of this year than during the same period last year.
South Carolina law says the state flag should be blue, with a white palmetto tree and crescent on it. But the law doesn’t set specifications for their exact placement or design and, as a result, some variations have found themselves into the flags produced by competing flag makers.
State revenue officials are working on the rollout of a gross sales tax that Montana’s medical marijuana providers will start putting on the books July 1. Because the burgeoning industry relies heavily on cash, revenue department officials say they might need to set up cash counters to handle the new tax payments.
The measure, which is awaiting the signature of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, would essentially turn Texas nursing homes and similar facilities into temporary polling places during early voting to discourage facility staffers, political operatives or others from trying to manipulate residents’ votes, a well-documented threat surrounding such vulnerable voters.
A bill that passed the Ohio Senate and now heads to the House would allow victims of human trafficking to apply to have their records expunged of nearly any offense that can be connected to trafficking. It would also allow for past victims to retroactively apply for expungement.
The budget now on Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' desk effectively eliminates funding for sobriety checkpoints for the fiscal year that begins in July. Some Missouri police agencies have already cancelled checkpoints planned for the summer, when more motorists are on the road and drunken driving is more common.
Iowa's medical marijuana oil program will start in weeks, but there is no immediate supplier of the oil in the state and manufacturers in other states question whether enough people will enroll in the limited program to make it self-sustaining.
Critics say the fledgling Wisconsin Ethics Commission is hindered by a state law barring it from conducting some of its most vital functions in public view — and restricting its ability to probe alleged wrongdoing.
The new law allows victims of sexual assault and stalking to break their residential rental agreements, if they provide one of three documents to confirm their status. Under previous Colorado law, only victims of domestic abuse were allowed to end their leases while under duress.