Editor's Picks From Around the Web
KS: 'Bill of rights' for Kansas foster parents proposed
A special joint legislative committee has urged a bill of rights for Kansas foster parents, including letting them know more about a child’s fate and establishing a grievance process to object to changes in a child’s placement.
ND: Showdown looms as North Dakota legislators mull oil levy sharing
North Dakota's legislature will decide how to divvy up oil tax revenue among the state's 53 counties, and whether to waive sales taxes on materials used to build natural gas pipelines and chemical plants in a biennial session starting today.
CA: California governor takes fourth oath, targets climate change
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, sworn in Monday for a fourth and final term, called for sweeping changes to fight climate change and for renewed spending on California’s aging infrastructure.
ME: Maine food products going global
Seafood and agricultural commodities are driving much of the growth of Maine’s exports. International sales of Maine food products more than doubled between 2007 and 2013, according to federal trade data.
US: U.S. Supreme Court justices to discuss states' same-sex marriage ban
U.S. Supreme Court justices are expected to begin discussions Friday on whether to hear challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia.
OR: Oregon economy growing as hiring picks up
Employment is up, unemployment claims are down, and the economy is on track to keep growing faster than average, according to a University of Oregon report.
LA: New Orleans' smoking ban debate to spark up in council committee
The latest drive to permanently put out all cigarettes in New Orleans bars, casinos, parks and prisons heads to the City Council this week for a public debate two months in the offing.
SC: Attorney general wants more independence for State Grand Jury
Attorney General Alan Wilson wants to restrict a judge's oversight of the State Grand Jury. Defense attorneys already plan on fighting the bill.
NH: Nearly 1,000 bills await legislators
The state Senate and House of Representatives convene their two-year session Wednesday and face nearly 1,000 bills, the largest of them being the state budget bill.
VT: Milne says he's ready despite no transition period if elected
Scott Milne, the Republican candidate for governor of Vermont, says he would have an administration up and running quickly if he's elected this week. An election Thursday will allow 180 lawmakers to choose Vermont’s next governor since neither candidate won a majority in November.
TX: Elections for Central Texas seats draw crowded field
With a state senator and two state representatives pursuing other political ambitions, voters in Central Texas return to the polls today to fill three vacant posts in the legislature just a week before it convenes for the upcoming session.
CO: Colorado's 2015 legislative session will deal with tax cap
Colorado lawmakers will have to figure out how to reconcile robust tax collections with the state's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, a constitutional cap on tax revenue. The most recent fiscal forecast shows the potential for a refund for taxpayers in the 2015 tax year — a year earlier than the 2016 tax break lawmakers were expecting.