Editor's Picks From Around the Web
OR: Oregon governor signs bill to curb police profiling
The bill, signed by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, defines profiling as targeting someone for a violation based solely on race, age, national origin or other characteristics. It requires Oregon police agencies to ban profiling by January, and grants Portland State University $250,000 to track data on profiling.
AZ: Arizona sheriffs to governor: 'We want to house state inmates'
In a letter to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona sheriffs complained that the state is favoring private prisons over county jails in the bidding process to provide the state with more prison beds.
VA: Virginia posts $553 million surplus; Governor warns of federal spending cuts
Less than a year after facing a $2.4 billion budget shortfall, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced higher-than-expected revenue for Virginia. But he warned of the financial repercussions that looming federal spending cuts known as sequestration could have on his state.
CO: Racketeering lawsuits target Colorado pot industry
An anti-crime group in Washington, D.C., is using federal racketeering law to attack Colorado’s expanding marijuana industry in lawsuits aimed not just at pot shops, but landlords and accountants. Although marijuana is legal in Colorado, federal drug law considers any marijuana business organized crime.
ME: In Maine, what’s a law and what isn’t?
Democratic lawmakers claim 51 bills are now law in Maine after Republican Gov. Paul LePage missed a deadline for acting on them. LePage argues that because lawmakers adjourned last month, a requirement that he must act on a bill within 10 days doesn’t apply. But lawmakers say they “recessed,” rather than adjourned, keeping the requirement in place.
WA: Tuition cuts in Washington may prompt refunds
Parents who prepaid for state colleges and universities may get refunds after the Washington Legislature rolled back tuition by as much as 20 percent. Washington is the only state to cut tuition this year, and one of the few to offer prepaid tuition plans.
KS: Lawmakers question Kansas law that masks tax credits, recipients
Kansas handed out more than $622 million in tax credits in 2013 — but how much more is confidential under a state law that masks the identity and amount of credits many tax filers get. Some lawmakers say the secrecy makes it difficult to investigate the effectiveness of certain credits.
AR: Arkansas lottery proceeds down by $9 million
This is the third consecutive year of decline in revenue and net proceeds, which pay for more than 30,000 college scholarships annually. The Arkansas Legislature already has cut the size of the scholarship for some future recipients three times, in part because the lottery's proceeds fell short of projections.
MT: Montana Supreme Court to consider medical marijuana commercial sales
Advocates are asking the Montana Supreme Court to reject the state's push to end commercial sales of medical marijuana, saying that elderly and disabled patients' access would be cut off if they can't buy the drug.
TX: Texas schools, courts worry about new truancy law
Juvenile justice advocates applauded when the Texas Legislature decided this year that repeated school truancy will no longer be a crime. But school and court officials now worry they are losing tools that have actually worked at keeping children in school.
CA: California regaining control of prison health care
The state has regained control of Folsom State Prison a decade after a federal judge gave the federal government control over health care in California’s prisons. Since the decision, California has spent billions of dollars building new prison medical facilities and investing in health care.
IL: Illinois state workers' paychecks to go out as court fight continues
Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger is forging ahead with plans to send full paychecks to Illinois state workers, despite an ongoing court battle over whether — and how much — public employees can be paid while state government operates without a budget.