Editors' Picks From Around the Web

AR: Arkansas report details ways to reduce recidivism rate

A state report says hiring additional probation officers, creating a tax credit for businesses that hire offenders and expanded training programs can help Arkansas reduce the number of former inmates who go back behind bars.

FL: Judge tells Florida city to stop enforcing homeless feeding law restrictions

A Circuit Court judge has ordered Fort Lauderdale to temporarily stop enforcing a new law that restricts the feeding of homeless people, intervening in a controversy that has brought the city a storm of negative international attention.

RI: Rhode Island pension case to be decided by jury

The legality of Rhode Island lawmakers' sweeping 2011 overhaul of its public employee pension system was sent to a jury to decide. A Superior Court judge said the state constitution gives her the authority to decide whether she should rule on the case alone or send it to a jury.

CA: Even with subsidies, some San Francisco residents can’t afford premiums

With the high cost of living in San Francisco, many low-income residents who qualify for federally subsidized health insurance under Covered California still can’t afford it.

MD: Maryland lawmakers consider yelling ‘cut’ on film tax-credit program

Maryland has given or promised more than $62 million in tax credits to producers since 2012, which analysts said amounted to the state essentially paying $14,000 for each job of thousands of jobs created — much more than is spent on other job-creating tax credits, including those targeting biotech and cybersecurity jobs.

LA: Louisiana’s film tax incentives popular, but major money-loser

Louisiana’s film tax incentive program has helped the Pelican State eclipse Hollywood as the feature film production capital of the nation. But it’s also one of the state’s least effective incentive programs, according to economists.

AL: University of Alabama at Birmingham terminates football program

This is the first Division I football team to be shuttered since 1995. “Killing football was not what we set out to do,” said university President Ray Watts, but the more the school analyzed its finances, he said, the clearer the situation became: Football was just not sustainable. 

NJ: Christie Heads to Canada on Energy Mission

In his second trip outside the U.S. in three months, New Jersey  Republican Gov. Chris Christie is headed to Canada on a trade mission to discuss energy, an issue central to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest. He plans to press for expanded North American energy ties, as he did during a September visit to Mexico.

OH: Bill would shield Ohio doctors who admit fault

Doctors could talk privately to patients or families and acknowledge a mistake after a medical mishap without that conversation being used against them later in court under a bill in the Ohio Legislature pushed by physicians.

TN: State lawmakers get raise in pay, allowances

Tennessee lawmakers can look forward to a nearly $700 increase in their annual salaries and $10 bump in their daily allowance for expenses under a state law that ties their salaries to state employee compensation over the last two years.

ND: Lawmakers, educators call for $6 million to expand early childhood programs

A group of Republican legislators and state education officials in North Dakota are supporting the bill that would provide grant dollars to fund as many as 6,000 preschool children.

AZ: Governor fails to meet balanced-budget promise

A year ago, Gov. Jan Brewer promised she would leave office with a structurally balanced budget. Instead, she'll hand incoming fellow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey a budget shortfall that could top $1 billion.

ME: Revenues expected to rise

Maine officials say the state will collect $67.5 million more in revenues over the next two fiscal years than was expected, as Republican Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers gear up to craft a budget for the next two fiscal years, which begin July 1.

TX: Texas lawmakers poised for pay bump

In the first raise for legislators in years, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, both Republicans, have given their blessing to increase the daily stipend for living expenses during the session from $150 to $190, amounting to a $5,600 raise for lawmakers over the course of a 140-day session.

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