June 3, 2015

11 Indicted in Landfill Scheme That Robbed Baltimore of $6 Million in Revenue

One morning in March, commercial trash hauler Adam Williams Jr. sent a text message to a Baltimore Department of Public Works employee at the city-owned Quarantine Road Landfill that read, "N. The. Gum."
June 3, 2015

Efforts to Eliminate Teacher Tenure in North Carolina Struck Down

In a state where public schoolteachers have marched on the state Capitol and staged walk-ins to protest pay and policy reforms, the N.C. Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that buoyed the spirits of the rallying educators and struck a blow to the Republican education agenda in North Carolina.
June 3, 2015

How Nevada's GOP Governor Got Tax Increases Through the Legislature

The Nevada Senate concurred on a $1.5 billion omnibus tax plan the Assembly passed Sunday, sending Gov. Brian Sandoval a historic measure to bolster education funding by more than $600 million in the next two years.
June 2, 2015

Wisconsin Will Create Office of Open Government

State Attorney General Brad Schimel is creating an office to help the public obtain government records more quickly and consistently.
June 2, 2015

North Carolina Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

State senators also approved a bill restricting abortions.
June 2, 2015

Utah Lawmaker May Have Committed Fraud in Raising Money for Lands Fight

The Campaign for Accountability filed complaints with the attorney generals of Montana, Utah and Arizona alleging that Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory defrauded taxpayers funds by telling them the federal government can be forced to transfer public lands to the states.
June 2, 2015

Preparing for Shutdown, Alaska Sends 10,000 Layoff Notices

Gov. Bill Walker said Monday he's still hoping for a budget solution from the Alaska Legislature but that without one he has no choice but to move forward with planning for a shutdown of unfunded government agencies.
June 2, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Poised for Failure as Florida Begins Special Session

House and Senate committees met separately but simultaneously to discuss Medicaid expansion on the first day of the special session.
June 2, 2015

Lax Enforcement of Aging, Unsafe Dams Puts Ohioans At Risk

Hundreds of aging earthen dams in Ohio are in disrepair and many are unsafe. Thousands of people downstream could be in the path of floodwater if those dams fail.
June 2, 2015

Oregon Finds Out Pension Ruling's Big Price

Another budgetary storm is brewing in Oregon's public pension system, according to figures shared Friday with the pension system's board and the five-member citizens panel that oversees its investments.
June 2, 2015

2 Philadelphia Democrats Plead Guilty in Sting Case

A current member and former member of the state House of Representatives pleaded guilty Monday to corruption charges, bringing to three the number of Philadelphia Democrats convicted in the resurrected "sting" case.
June 1, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects Arizona's Bail Ban for Immigrants

The measure had been adopted in 2006 by the state's voters, and it said judges may not release on bail persons who have "entered or remained in the United States illegally" and were arrested for "serious felony offenses." The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law last year. The court said it would not hear the appeal.
June 1, 2015

May Was Baltimore's Deadliest Month in 40 Years

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it's time to stop finger-pointing and assigning blame for the recent violence.
June 1, 2015

Kansas Governor Proposes Yet Another Tax Cut

Gov. Sam Brownback said his plan to exempt the lowest-wage earners from the income tax and raise the sales tax would close the current $400 million budget deficit and leave a reserve of about $75 million for 2016.
June 1, 2015

Chicago Schools Chief Resigns

Amid a federal criminal investigation into a no-bid contract, Chief Executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett has announced she's leaving.
June 1, 2015

O'Malley Gets Uneven Support From Earlier Constituents for Presidential Run

Sixteen years ago, then-City Councilman Martin O'Malley chose the intersection of Harford Road and The Alameda in Clifton Park to announce his candidacy for mayor of Baltimore.
June 1, 2015

Need for Storm Aid Spotlights Texas' Complicated Relationship With the Federal Government

The world is filled with stormy relationships. North and South Korea. Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys. Texas and Washington.
June 1, 2015

Ruling on Idaho Abortion Law Could Jeopardize Other States' Laws

Three federal judges have unanimously struck down an Idaho law that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
May 29, 2015

North Carolina Governor Vetoes Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

Pat McCrory won't sign a bill that would have allowed magistrates to opt out of performing weddings if they have religious objections.
May 29, 2015

Chris Christie Rejects Common Core Education Standards

The New Jersey governor eyes developing state standards, despite two years ago saying he and other governors were "leading the change" in support of Common Core.
May 29, 2015

Obama Adjusts His Legal Strategy in Immigration Case

Lawyers for the Obama administration said Wednesday that they were refocusing their legal strategy in an effort to restart the president's plan to grant temporary legal protection to millions of illegal immigrants.
May 29, 2015

Anticipating a Government Shutdown, Alaska Freezes Hiring

The state of Alaska is instituting a hiring freeze Friday across much of state government as a result of the Legislature's inability to approve a fully funded budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
May 29, 2015

Unfazed by Boycotts, Indiana Won't Even Study LGBT Protections

Lawmakers on Thursday released some 40 topics they plan to study before the General Assembly returns to the Statehouse in 2016.
May 29, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Can't Even Agree on Texting-While-Driving

With the death of a bill that would have created a statewide texting-while-driving ban, the measure’s author said Thursday that legislators “have not done our job as lawmakers to protect the life and safety of all Texans.”
May 28, 2015

Kentucky May Comply With EPA Regulations, Accidentally

More than a quarter of the coal-fired plants in the state have already shut down, because cheap natural gas is flooding the market.
May 28, 2015

Anti-Gay Marriage Bill Goes to North Carolina Governor's Desk

In March, Gov. Pat McCrory voiced concerns about a bill to allow magistrates to opt out of performing marriages and said he won't sign it. He stopped short, however, of saying he would veto it. The governor can allow bills to become law without his signature.
May 28, 2015

George Pataki, One of New York's Few Republican Governors, Runs for President

George E. Pataki ambled his towering frame into the center of this quintessential New England town Thursday to announce he is running for president, prompting many here and around the nation to ask: "Who's he?"
May 28, 2015

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Could Soon Be Legal in California

The measure would allow motorcycles to travel between cars at speeds up to 15 mph faster than the flow of traffic, up to a speed of 50 mph.
May 28, 2015

Philadelphia School Official Accused of Giving $900,000 Contract to Associates

A Philadelphia County grand jury has recommended that Priscilla Wright be charged in connection with the contract awarded to Murphy's Transporting and several subcontractors, all who were owned by either Wright's friends or her relatives.
May 28, 2015

Former Aide to Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins Gets Prison Sentence for Bribery

Curtis Thompson, then Brookins' chief of staff, was arrested in February 2014 after prosecutors alleged he had accepted the bribe at the alderman's holiday party two months earlier from an FBI mole posing as a real estate developer in need of a liquor license for a new convenience store.
May 28, 2015

White House's New Clean Water Rule Sets Up Clash With Congress

The White House on Wednesday finalized a rule intended to strengthen and clarify the Clean Water Act, setting up a clash with Republicans in Congress and the agriculture industry.
May 28, 2015

Nebraska, the First Conservative State to Ban the Death Penalty Since '73

In a climactic political showdown, Nebraska's lawmakers overrode a veto and banned the death penalty Wednesday.
May 28, 2015

Medical Marijuana Clears Legal Hurdle in Florida

Florida regulators said they expect to provide access to a limited strain of non-euphoric marijuana for medical purposes by the end of the year after a Tallahassee judge on Wednesday dismissed the final challenge to the long-awaited rule.
May 28, 2015

Why Did Florida Release 13,000 Residents' Social Security Numbers?

For the second time in two months, Gov. Rick Scott's administration has acknowledged it inadvertently released confidential personal data of private citizens, prompting the state to offer free credit monitoring services to protect people from being victims of identity theft.
May 27, 2015

Is the Orange County Government Center Historic, or Just Ugly?

The Brutalist structure in Goshen, N.Y., was completed in 1971. Now preservationists and officials are fighting over whether or not to demolish it.
May 27, 2015

Scott Walker May Want to Be President, But He Has to Fix Wisconsin's Budget First

The governor's planned cuts to address a billion-dollar shortfall are proving unpopular, even among many Republicans.The final outcome of a struggle over the next few weeks will define the governor's image and could help determine whether he has any chance at all at the White House.
May 27, 2015

Prisoner Asks Indiana Governor for Historic Pardon

If Keith Cooper's request is granted _ and his felony record is erased _ legal experts say it will mark the first gubernatorial pardon they can recall in the state's history based on a claim of innocence.
May 27, 2015

Rick Scott Rejects Florida Senate's Budget Compromise

The state's governor stepped up his criticism of what he called the Senate's "Obamacare Expansion Plan" and accused his fellow Republicans of trying to impose higher taxes on Floridians.
May 27, 2015

The 13 Important Rulings Coming From the U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is heading into the final month of its annual term and will issue rulings on many cases important for state and local government.
May 27, 2015

Appeals Court Sides With States Against Obama's Immigration Order

The Obama administration suffered another immigration setback Tuesday, as a divided federal appeals court declined to lift a injunction imposed by a Texas-based trial judge.
May 27, 2015

Feds to Closely Monitor Cleveland Police Under Settlement

Federal monitors will begin closely watching the activities of Cleveland's beleaguered police department under a settlement announced Tuesday in response to a string of high-profile, racially inflamed incidents that have rattled the community.
May 27, 2015

Houston Begins to Recover From Fatal Storms

As the sun came up Tuesday, just hours after an overnight torrent that flooded highways and inundated neighborhoods, greater Houston faced yet one more painful recovery brought on by its occasionally lethal mix of climate and topography.
May 27, 2015

New York Taps Fired Florida Superintendent for Education Commissioner

ne month after being named Florida's "superintendent of the year" by her peers in December, MaryEllen Elia was booted from her job in a 4-3 vote that stirred debate there and nationally as education reformers rallied to her defense.
May 26, 2015

Who's Really Writing Missouri's Agricultural Laws?

Missouri legislators -- led by recipients of Smithfield Foods' political donations -- pushed through a controversial, last-minute measure to allow up to 1 percent of Missouri's agricultural land to come under foreign ownership. Now Shuanghui International of Hong Kong legally own the company's Missouri land. How did that happen?
May 26, 2015

California Drought Means Electricity Production Is Down at Many Dams

Electricity production at some hydropower plants is expected to be less than 20 percent of normal because of low water levels.
May 26, 2015

The Perils of Building a Bottled Water Plant in Drought-Stricken Oregon

Critics say Nestle shouldn't be allowed to profit from a natural resource as drought spreads across the state.
May 26, 2015

In Unprecedented Deal, California Farmers Agree to Water Cuts

When California officials struck an unprecedented conservation deal Friday with a group of farmers who have the strongest claims on the state's dwindling water supply, it showed no one was immune from the fallout of the drought.
May 26, 2015

Cleveland Strikes Deal on Police Misconduct After Officer Is Acquitted

The Justice Department and Cleveland officials have agreed to settle a case alleging widespread misconduct by the city's police, the first such agreement reached under the new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who took office last month.
May 26, 2015

Texas Governor Tours Sites of Historic Flooding

On a day that brought a new round of fierce thunderstorms and torrential rains, authorities continued a grim search Monday for 12 people still missing after being swept from riverfront homes, and property owners returned to dramatic scenes of destruction.
May 26, 2015

Millionaire Tax Question 3 Votes Shy of Passing Illinois House

Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan's effort to ask voters to approve a measure to impose higher income taxes on millionaires failed in the House on Thursday, but provides the powerful Southwest Side politician ammunition to attack Republicans in next year's legislative campaigns.
May 22, 2015

Some States Call for Bigger Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Gov. Jay Inslee has failed so far to convince state legislators to go along with his proposal to meet official state greenhouse-gas-reduction targets through a new charge on carbon emissions.
May 22, 2015

Ex-Virginia Lawmaker Vows to Marry the Teenager He Got Pregnant (and Run for Senate)

Former Del. Joe Morrissey promised Thursday to marry the mother of his latest child, which would cement a relationship that got him tossed into the jail cell that served as his nightly home during the last legislative session.
May 22, 2015

6 Baltimore Police Officers Indicted in Freddie Gray's Death

A Baltimore grand jury returned indictments against the six officers charged earlier this month in the in-custody death of Freddie Gray, State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Thursday.
May 22, 2015

Judge Legalizes Gay Marriage in Alabama, But Not Yet

The federal judge who struck down Alabama's laws banning same-sex marriage reaffirmed her decision Thursday evening, but delayed its implementation.
May 22, 2015

Hackers Shut Down Alabama Legislature's Email

The Alabama Legislature's email was hacked Thursday morning by an outside entity, causing lawmakers to briefly avoid using their accounts while the issue was addressed.
May 22, 2015

After Failed Tax Hike, Michigan Finds $400 Million for Roads

The House, Senate and Gov. Rick Snyder have agreed to inject $400 million into the states's crumbling roads in the 2015-16 budget year.
May 22, 2015

Veto of Education Bill Sets Minnesota Up for Special Session

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the state's education budget Thursday, setting up a special session of the Legislature in the coming weeks.
May 21, 2015

For the First Time in America, a Doctors Organization Drops Opposition to Assisted Suicide

The California Medical Association has become the first state medical association in the nation to drop opposition to what has long been known as "physician-assisted suicide," it said, acknowledging a shift in doctor and patient attitudes about end-of-life and aid-in-dying options.
May 21, 2015

Company Responsible for California Oil Spill Has High Rate of Safety Infractions

Plains Pipeline, the large Texas-based company responsible for the pipe that ruptured in Santa Barbara County, has accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006, according to federal records.
May 21, 2015

Conservative Nebraska Could Be Next to Abolish the Death Penalty

The death penalty may be holding on by its last thread in Nebraska.
May 21, 2015

Colorado Reduces Time Spent Taking Standardized Tests

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills Wednesday morning that will reduce the time Colorado students spend taking standardized tests by an estimated 30 hours between kindergarten and graduation.
May 21, 2015

Judge Halts New Fracking Permits in North Carolina

A Wake County judge on Wednesday barred the state commission that regulates fracking from issuing drilling permits, pending the outcome of a lawsuit between the governor and legislative leaders.
May 21, 2015

Kentucky AG Wins Democratic Nomination for Governor

In the least suspenseful contest of the night, Attorney General Jack Conway secured the Kentucky Democratic Party's gubernatorial nomination Tuesday.
May 21, 2015

GOP Primary for Kentucky Governor Too Close to Call

Republican James Comer asked Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes late Wednesday for "a full and complete check and recanvass" of Tuesday's vote in the GOP primary election for governor.
May 20, 2015

Rick Perry Would Enter the Presidental Race Still Under Indictment

The former Texas governor has set June 4 in Dallas for an announcement about his intentions to run. But unlike the more than a dozen other Republicans who are either in the presidential race already or on the verge, he is under indictment on charges of abuse of power.
May 20, 2015

Pittsburgh Pride's Iggy Azalea Problem

Many LGBT groups are angry over Pittsburgh Pride headliner Iggy Azalea because of because of tweets from the singer that they consider to be homophobic and racist.
May 20, 2015

Indiana Gov. Pence Opts to Run for Re-Election, Not President, in 2016

Gov. Mike Pence is putting aside, for now, any dreams of national office, and will announce next month he is running in 2016 for a second four-year term as Indiana's chief executive.
May 20, 2015

Los Angeles' $15 Promise Boosts Minimum-Wage Movement

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday backed a plan to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining a trend sweeping cities across the country as elected leaders seek to boost stagnating pay for workers on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder.
May 20, 2015

Republican Beats Democratic Incumbent in Jacksonville Mayor's Race

Lenny Curry, the energetic Jacksonville businessman-turned chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, defeated Mayor Alvin Brown Tuesday, only the second time in recent history a sitting mayor has lost re-election.
May 20, 2015

U.S. House Approves Short-Term Highway Funding

The U.S. House voted to keep federal money flowing for highways and mass-transit programs for two more months, through the end of July.
May 19, 2015

Kansas Governor Says He's Been Using Private Email for Official Communication for Years

It's unclear if Gov. Sam Brownback's e-mails might be subject to the open records act.
May 19, 2015

Chris Christie Wants Bigger U.S. Military

The New Jersey governor staked out the most hawkish position of all the would-be candidates for the presidency in a speech he made in New Hampshire.
May 19, 2015

Maine Governor Wants to Drug Test Every Welfare Applicant

Paul LePage is proposing a bill to require any applicant to the TANF program -- regardless of whether they have any kind of criminal record related to drugs -- to undergo a written, 93-question screening test and then, depending on the results, a urine test.
May 19, 2015

Obama Cuts Off Local Police's Supply of Some Military Equipment

President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the federal government to stop distributing a limited inventory of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country because, he said, it makes police seem like an "occupying force" instead of public servants.
May 19, 2015

Obama Lauds Camden Police's Success

Camden's recently formed police force has made headway in cutting crime and gaining the trust of the community, but still has a way to go and cannot do the job of lifting up the struggling city all by itself, President Obama said Monday.
May 19, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Adds Protections for Workers With 401(k) Plans

In a move that could brighten retirement prospects for millions of Americans, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers have a duty to keep watch over 401(k) plans to guard against high management fees that can erode retirement savings.
May 19, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Keep Political Donors' Names Private

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy dealt a speedy setback Monday to conservative advocacy groups that had sought to shield the names of their major donors in California.
May 19, 2015

Florida Joins Growing List of States Seeking Online Voter Registration

Gov. Rick Scott, citing "some hesitation," signed legislation Friday requiring Florida to create an online voter registration system by 2017.
May 19, 2015

Court Strikes Down New Hampshire's Voter Residency Law

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Friday unanimously struck down a 2012 state law that required voters be state residents, not just domiciled here, in order to vote.
May 18, 2015

How Duke Energy's Guilty Plea Could Impact States Outside North Carolina

Many environmentalists see Duke Energy's guilty plea and sentencing here last week as a potential turning point in their battle against coal ash, a turning point that could have implications well beyond North Carolina's borders.
May 18, 2015

Amtrak Resumes Service After Philadelphia Crash

Baltimore's Penn Station will be buzzing this morning and later tonight as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor reopens for full service -- enabling travelers on the nation's busiest section of commuter rail to move from New York to Washington, D.C., for the first time since a deadly crash in Philadelphia last week.
May 18, 2015

Drought Emergency Declared for All of Washington State

Washington has a statewide drought emergency that will likely lead some farmers to go without water for their crops and some small water districts to look at reductions for their customers.
May 18, 2015

Tumultuous Missouri Legislative Session Ends With House Speaker's Resignation

Pat Dougherty, a former legislator who lobbies for social welfare issues for Catholic Charities of St. Louis, left the Missouri Capitol five hours before the legislative session ended Friday.
May 18, 2015

Florida Governor Warns Agencies to Prepare for Possible Government Shutdown

Gov. Rick Scott issued dire warnings of a "government shutdown" Thursday as he ordered state agencies to draw up lists of critical services that must continue if the Florida Legislature cannot pass a budget by July 1.
May 14, 2015

California's Bullet Train Might Be One of the Cheapest in the World

The current estimate for a ticket, $86 from Los Angeles to San Francisco , would result in one of the world's cheapest high-speed rail trips on a per-mile basis.
May 14, 2015

Utah City Intervenes in Dad's Cardboard Fort, Touches Off Internet Hysteria

Jeremy Trentelman builds "a completely awesome box castle" in his front yard and gets a $125 fine from the city. Then the Internet trolls got involved.
May 14, 2015

Philadelphia Train Lacked Technology That Would Have Prevented Deadly Crash

An electronic train-control system designed to prevent the kind of accident that killed at least seven people Tuesday was not in place where Amtrak Train 188 crashed, as it was entering one of the sharpest curves on the Northeast Corridor.
May 14, 2015

White House Seeking Local Support for New Deportation Policy

As the Obama administration prepares to change the way it enforces immigration laws, top officials have been conducting weeks of shuttle diplomacy, touring the country to try to re-enlist police chiefs and mayors in the cause of deporting people convicted of crimes.
May 14, 2015

Pension Ruling Hurts Chicago Schools' Debt Rating

Chicago's beleaguered public school system faces a likely increase in borrowing costs, tough bank negotiations and even calls for emergency state oversight after a major rating agency on Wednesday lowered the school district's debt rating to junk status.
May 14, 2015

Governor's Plan to Nix Maine's Income Tax Hits Roadblock

A majority of the Legislature's Taxation Committee voted Wednesday to reject Gov. Paul LePage's plan to eliminate Maine's income tax, citing a projected $1.8 billion loss in state revenue and no plan to offset it.
May 14, 2015

Missouri House Speaker Apologizes for Sexting Intern

House Speaker John Diehl issued a statement Wednesday apologizing and seeking forgiveness for exchanging sexually charged messages with a college freshman who worked as an intern in the state Capitol.
May 13, 2015

Why Does Jeb Bush Hate High Speed Rail?

His war against Florida fast trains shows his governing style.
May 13, 2015

Housing Advocates: Fannie Mae Neglected Foreclosured Properties in Minority Neighborhoods

The National Fair Housing Alliance and 19 local fair housing organizations filed a complaint alleging the institution maintained and marketed its foreclosed houses in white areas--including in the Baltimore region--better than in minority areas.
May 13, 2015

Alaska Legislative Recess Ends With Talk of Shutdown, and Without a Budget

At an Anchorage press conference Gov. Bill Walker warned that budget inaction threatens to cause a damaging government shutdown.
May 13, 2015

Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect

Passed in February, the law, which goes into effect Wednesday, requires employers in the city with 10 or more workers to offer paid sick time.
May 13, 2015

Train Derails in Philadelphia, Killing At Least 5

At least five people were killed and more than 50 were injured when a northbound Amtrak train derailed Tuesday night in Port Richmond.
May 13, 2015

Chicago Credit Rating Plummets After Pension Ruling

Chicago took yet another hit Tuesday when a major credit rating agency downgraded much of the city's debt to junk status, making it more difficult for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fix the financial mess without a major tax increase.
May 13, 2015

Body Camera Bill Among 300 Signed by Maryland Governor

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a body camera bill Tuesday that supporters say would pave the way for equipping cops across the state with video equipment.
May 13, 2015

DA Won't Charge Wisconsin Police Officer in Fatal Shooting

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny won't face criminal charges in a fatal shooting that sparked protests in Madison and drew national attention as the country grapples with police shootings of unarmed black men.
May 12, 2015

Stress of Baltimore Unrest Is Likely to Stick Around

Sociologists liken the mental health effects of a riot to those of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a hurricane, but with the added twist of being inflicted by other humans rather than happenstance.
May 12, 2015

Florida Doesn't Have a Plan for Rising Sea Levels Yet

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting sea levels will rise as much as 2 feet by 2050 and by as much as 6.6 feet by 2100, Florida is way behind when it comes to recognizing the threat and launching efforts to combat it.
May 12, 2015

Why Reclaiming Public Lands Is So Alluring in Western States

For rural communities that have watched their economic fortunes tumble and now struggle to pay for basic services including law enforcement, roads and schools, public lands look like a way out of economic problems.
May 12, 2015

GOP Presidential Candidates Will Have a Tough Time With State Pot Laws

If the candidates are hewing to the views of Republican voters on the question of legalization, they are running against the tide of opinion in the country overall, a conundrum the party faces on a host of social issues, including same-sex marriage.
May 12, 2015

Florida Governor May Be Hospitals' Biggest Critic and Biggest Beneficiary

The same day Gov. Rick Scott created a health care commission to probe the bottom line at Florida hospitals, his political committee collected $100,000 in contributions from one of the state's biggest hospital chains.
May 12, 2015

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Common Core Ban

Citing the state's economic competitiveness, Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a bill that would prohibit the Department of Education or the state Board of Education from implementing Common Core standards in any school in the state.
May 12, 2015

Another Top New York Politician Resigns Amid Corruption Charges

Striving to put back together a fractured Republican conference, GOP senators Monday quickly galvanized support to make Suffolk County's Sen. John Flanagan their new majority leader and a member of Albany's exclusive three-men-in-a-room system of government.
May 12, 2015

Ohio Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Its Voting System

Hillary Clinton's top campaign lawyer and others are challenging Ohio voting laws enacted by the Republican-dominated legislature and Gov. John Kasich, claiming in a lengthy federal lawsuit the measures were designed to suppress the votes of such traditional Democratic constituencies as blacks, Latinos and the young.
May 11, 2015

Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Landmark Pension Law

The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday unanimously ruled unconstitutional a landmark state pension law that aimed to scale back government worker benefits to erase a massive $105 billion retirement system debt, sending lawmakers and the new governor back to the negotiating table to try to solve the pressing financial issue.
May 11, 2015

Georgia Lawmakers Refuse to Even Study Pension Reforms for Teachers

Lawmakers effectively killed a bill Thursday that sought to overhaul Georgia teachers' pensions, refusing to allow a study of the potential financial effects.
May 11, 2015

U.S. Justice Department Opens a 3rd Investigation Into Baltimore Police

The nation's top law enforcement officials are likely to have a watchful presence over Baltimore police for the next few years, as the U.S. Department of Justice examines whether officers commonly use excessive force and violate residents' constitutional rights.
May 11, 2015

Tennessee Increases Restrictions on Abortion Providers

With little fanfare, Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday signed into law a measure that requires Tennessee abortion providers to meet stricter standards as outpatient surgical care treatment centers.
May 11, 2015

Michigan Lawmaker a Suspect in Shooting, Sources Say

State Sen. Vigil Smith is a suspect in a domestic dispute outside his Detroit home earlier Sunday in which shots were fired at a woman's vehicle, two police sources told the Free Press.
May 8, 2015

Connecticut's State Fraud Investigator Accused of Mortgage Fraud

The state employee who manages fraud investigations for the state welfare department was charged with fraud himself Wednesday for lying about his assets on an application to refinance his home mortgage.
May 8, 2015

Ohio State Freezes Tuition for First Time in Decades

For the first time in at least four decades, Ohio State University plans to freeze all of its costs -- tuition, fees, room and board -- for in-state, undergraduate students, who represent most of the university's enrollment.
May 8, 2015

Kansas in Court Over Education Funding, Again

The chief judge of the state's special-school finance court assigned the state's top education finance official some homework Tuesday:
May 7, 2015

Andrew Cuomo Bypasses Legislature to Give Fast-Food Workers Higher Wages

The New York governor's maneuver is the culmination of a fight for $15-an-hour wages for fast-food workers that started in New York City almost three years ago.
May 7, 2015

A Very Busy Last Day for the Colorado Legislature

The final day of this legislative session resulted in a compromise to reduce the amount of state-mandated student testing and rein in red-light cameras and photo radar.
May 7, 2015

How Did a Consultant Bill Atlantic City $70,000?

Kevyn Orr, the former Detroit emergency manager, got that much for about three months' work.
May 7, 2015

Days After Feds Announce New Rules, Oil Train Explosion Evacuates Town

When the Obama administration imposed new safety rules on oil trains last week, the railroad industry said its goal was to have zero accidents in the future.
May 7, 2015

Missouri's GOP Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of Welfare Cuts

Republicans used their supermajorities in the Missouri Legislature on Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto and enact a bill that the GOP says will reform welfare.
May 7, 2015

California, Suffering With a $26 Billion Deficit Not Long Ago, Now Has an $8 Billion Surplus

In the clearest sign yet that the Great California Recovery is proceeding on pace, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced Tuesday that the state's revenue has climbed as much as $8 billion in the last four months.
May 7, 2015

Justices Debate Christie's Pension Cuts

The Christie administration on Wednesday told the New Jersey Supreme Court that granting public workers a contractual right to pension funding would violate the state constitution and place a "fiscal stranglehold on the state in perpetuity."
May 6, 2015

Portland Has World's First Vegan Mini-Mall

Portland has a vegetarian pedigree that stretches back to the late 1800s, when members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who adhere to strict health and dietary rules, began to settle there.
May 6, 2015

Baltimore Mayor Asks Justice Department to Investigate Police

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also announced that Baltimore officers would have body cameras by the end of the year.
May 6, 2015

California Discovers What Nevada Already Learned: You Can't Have a Lawn in the West

The American lawn could become an ornament of the past, at least beyond the Rockies.
May 6, 2015

Michigan Voters Refuse Tax Hike for Roads

Proposal 1, likely one of the most complicated and confusing questions ever placed on a Michigan ballot, was soundly rejected Tuesday as many voters expressed anger at lawmakers and state government for failing to come up with a better solution to the sorry state of the roads.
May 6, 2015

Why Uber Is Pulling Out of Kansas

Uber halted its service in Kansas on Tuesday afternoon after state legislators overrode the governor's veto of a bill regulating on-demand transportation companies.
May 5, 2015

Drought Has Killed 12 Million California Trees

Traditionally by spring, the forest is green and lush due to a substantial rainy season. But four years of drought and warm temperatures have taken their toll.
May 5, 2015

School Rules on Junk Food Don't Improve Student Health Much

Efforts to limit sugary drinks and junk foods in California elementary schools appear to have resulted in fewer kids who are overweight or obese. The benefits were limited to children at wealthier schools, however.
May 5, 2015

Kansas and Texas Join Florida's Health-Care Lawsuit Against Obama Administration

Kansas and Texas are joining in Gov. Rick Scott's lawsuit against the Obama administration, Scott's office said Monday.
May 5, 2015

Another Top New York Politician (and His Son) Arrested for Corruption

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son were arrested Monday by federal authorities, who alleged the state's top Republican extorted bribes and campaign contributions from companies in exchange for steering key real estate legislation and rigging a lucrative Nassau County environmental contract to his son's benefit.
May 5, 2015

Christie Associates Plead Not Guilty in Bridgegate Scandal

The prosecution of Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni has just begun in the George Washington Bridge saga, but the two have already made part of their legal strategy clear: Neither is stupid enough to have closed lanes at the bridge to punish Fort Lee's mayor. And the government's key witness is a liar.
May 5, 2015

Raising Taxes for Roads Faces a Test in Michigan

Important statewide elections don't normally happen in May, but Tuesday's vote on Proposal 1 is a blockbuster -- and not just for Michigan's battered roads.
May 4, 2015

Rick Scott Absent in the Midst of Florida Budget Crisis

At a time when legislative leaders desperately needed intervention to break a budget deadlock, the governor was far from the action -- attending political fund-raisers, casting for jobs in California and dedicating a new amusement park ride in Orlando.
May 4, 2015

Feds Unveil Rules to Make Oil Trains Safer

The U.S. and Canadian governments on Friday unveiled a long-awaited new standard for the tank cars used to transport crude oil and ethanol that includes numerous safety improvements.
May 4, 2015

Baltimore Lifts Curfew

After days of demonstrations and unrest, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake lifted the 10 p.m. curfew across the city, sparking a burst of celebrations.
May 4, 2015

Court Overturns Ohio's 'Jock Tax'

Cleveland's unusual method of taxing professional athletes is illegal, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a pair of opinions released this morning.
May 4, 2015

Scott Walker Signs Statewide Standards for Uber and Lyft

Late Friday night, Gov. Scott Walker announced that he signed a bill into law that creates statewide standards for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
May 4, 2015

Missouri Governor on Welfare Cuts: I Don't Sign Bills That Hurt Kids

It's another year, and state Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, has found himself on the receiving end of an impassioned veto of one of his bills by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
May 1, 2015

6 Baltimore Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death

All six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody, will face serious criminal charges ranging from second-degree murder to assault, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said on Friday.
May 1, 2015

Christie Ally Pleads Guilty in Bridgegate Scandal

A former ally of Gov. Christie's pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiracy in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, admitting the closures were retribution against a local mayor for failing to endorse the Republican governor's 2013 reelection.
May 1, 2015

In Kansas, Legal Marijuana Faces Off Against Child Protective Services

After her state takes her child, a Kansas woman is at center of a national marijuana debate.
May 1, 2015

Governor Proposes a Plan to Eliminate Detroit Schools' Debt Problems

Rick Snyder wants to split Detroit Public Schools in two to eliminate its crippling debt but at the expense of other districts across Michigan.
May 1, 2015

Obama Signs Energy-Efficiency Bill

President Obama on Thursday signed into law the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), Mr. Portman's office announced.
May 1, 2015

Judge Reduces Sentences for 3 Educators in Atlanta Cheating Scandal

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called on the three supervising educators that he resentenced Thursday to start giving back to the community while they wait for their appeals to be heard.
May 1, 2015

Pension Reform Partially Overturned by Oregon Supreme Court

The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a key piece of the Legislature's 2013 reform work on the Public Employees Retirement System, setting the stage for a heavy financial cost to government agencies across the state while restoring lost benefits to retirees.
May 1, 2015

Georgia One of Last States to Require Autism Coverage for Kids

Georgia Republicans who have long rejected the mandates in President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul managed to find one insurance requirement they could get behind.
April 30, 2015

Detroit's Downtown Revitalization? Bring Some of That Out to the Neighborhoods.

While many in downtown and Midtown are hailing upcoming developments as things that will boost the local economy while bringing people together, man residents sees them as just more projects serving others.
April 30, 2015

House GOP Hesitates to Interfere with D.C. Abortion/Birth Control Law

The law would protect employees in Washington, D.C., from being fired for reproductive health choices. Members of Congress who want to see the law overturned say that it discriminates against employers who have religious objections to birth control and abortion. But is it worth fighting?
April 30, 2015

North Dakota Legislature Adjourns With a Budget Issue Remaining

The House and Senate were unable to reach a final agreement this week on several policy issues contained within the state's Retirement and Investment Office and Public Employees Retirement System budget, which means the governor may call a special session.
April 30, 2015

Kansas Gives Lawmakers a Way to Keep Public Business Off Public Record

Public officials in Kansas can conduct public business on private e-mails without those e-mails becoming public records, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Tuesday.
April 30, 2015

Baltimore Releases Many Arrestees Without Charges, Detains Others With 'Excessive' Bail

After arresting more than 200 people this week while bringing order to the streets of Baltimore, police said Wednesday they had to let half of them go.
April 30, 2015

Cities Across the U.S. Protest in Solidarity With Baltimore

The high-profile unrest in Baltimore triggered protests in several American cities Wednesday.
April 30, 2015

Ohio to Create Statewide Standards for When Police Can Use Deadly Force

Pledging that "we are going to heal our communities," Gov. John Kasich created an advisory board on Wednesday to develop first-ever standards for law-enforcement agencies statewide as a step toward "bridging the gap" between officers and those they serve.
April 30, 2015

California Intensifies Targets for Emissions Cuts

Gov. Jerry Brown accelerated California's effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions Wednesday, burnishing the state's reputation as a pacesetter in the battle against climate change.
April 30, 2015

Supreme Court Sharply Divided in Execution Drug Case

A sharply divided Supreme Court engaged in an hour of contentious arguments Wednesday about the effectiveness of an Oklahoma lethal injection drug and whether death penalty "abolitionists" were actually making executions more painful.
April 29, 2015

Florida Governor Sues Federal Government Over Health Care

Gov. Rick Scott filed a lawsuit claiming that the federal government tried to force Medicaid expansion on the state after federal health officials said they would be more likely to continue a $2.2 billion hospital funding program if state lawmakers voted to expand healthcare coverage to low-income Floridians.
April 29, 2015

Transportation Safety Board: Chicago Trains Need Update

An NTSB report said that a March crash near O'Hare Airport shows CTA should update and add safety systems, changes that would cost tens of millions of dollars.
April 29, 2015

Privatized Medicaid Companies in Kansas Lost $170 Million

The state privatized its Medicaid services in 2013 under the KanCare umbrella. None of the three companies awarded a state contract have turned a profit.
April 29, 2015

Under Curfew, Baltimore Is 'Stable' After Riots

With the National Guard on patrol and the city under curfew, officials struggled Tuesday to prevent a second night of rioting and appeared to succeed.
April 29, 2015

A Frustrated Obama Calls for Focus on Roots of Baltimore Riots

President Barack Obama forcefully condemned the riots in Baltimore as "counterproductive" on Tuesday, labeling the rioters as "criminals and thugs" and striking a new tone of frustration with the cycle of allegations of deadly police abuse followed by violent protests.
April 29, 2015

Kennedy Unexpectedly Expresses Doubt During Gay Marriage Arguments

Gay rights lawyers went to the Supreme Court hoping to find a majority of justices ready to support a historic ruling that would declare same-sex couples have an equal right to marry nationwide.
April 29, 2015

Execution Drug Ruling Could Impact Several States

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on Oklahoma's execution protocol, specifically whether or not the use of a particular drug in the state's lethal cocktail is constitutional.
April 29, 2015

Florida House Adjourns Early, Killing Prison Reform Bills

The House's decision to leave town Tuesday, three days earlier than scheduled, is ending the chance many bills will make it to Gov. Rick Scott's desk for his signature.
April 29, 2015

California Governor Wants to Fine Water Wasters $10,000

Waste California's water, risk a $10,000 fine.
April 28, 2015

Alaska Governor Demands Legislature Return to Finish Budget

The state legislature approves budget with funding shortfall. Gov. Bill Walker calls members back into special session to fix the problem.
April 28, 2015

Member of Atlantic City Emergency Management Team Leaving

Attorney Kevyn Orr had been a consultant after leading the Detroit bankruptcy case.
April 28, 2015

Baltimore Invokes Curfew and National Guard After Riots Erupt Throughout City

After two weeks of tension over the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore devolved into chaos Monday.
April 28, 2015

Baltimore Police Chief Has Record of Handling Police Killing Protests

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who struggled Monday to stop rioting in the city, spent most of his law enforcement career in California, confronting unrest during a rocky two-year tenure in Oakland.
April 28, 2015

Tulsa Undersheriff Resigns After Culture of Intimidation Claim

Fallout from a shooting earlier this month involving a reserve Tulsa County sheriff's deputy continued Monday with the resignation of the department's undersheriff.
April 28, 2015

Uber Regulations Fail in Kansas, Then Company Hires Within State

Ride-share giant Uber has signed several high-profile lobbyists -- including Gov. Sam Brownback's former campaign manager -- to represent it in an expected legislative fight over new regulations for the ride-share industry.
April 28, 2015

Portland, Maine, Bans E-Cigarettes in Public

The City Council voted 7-1 Monday night to prohibit people from using e-cigarettes in public places, making Portland the 275th U.S. community to restrict use of the relatively new technology.
April 28, 2015

Justice Kennedy's Long Road From Sacramento to Landmark Gay Marriage Case

Anthony M. Kennedy was a 44-year-old appeals court judge in Sacramento, Calif. _ a Republican appointee and happily married Catholic _ when he first confronted the question of whether the Constitution protected the rights of gays and lesbians.
April 27, 2015

The 45-Minute Mystery in the Death of Freddie Gray

Investigators with the city police and other agencies are still trying to recreate the events that caused Gray to sustain a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.
April 27, 2015

Police Killing Divides Albuquerque's Top Law Enforcement

The region's two top law enforcement agencies have been locked in a conflict over last year's fatal police shooting of a mentally ill homeless man--a case the officers said was self-defense, but which the city's chief prosecutor alleged was murder.
April 27, 2015

Baltimore Police Protests Turn Violent

A day of mostly peaceful demonstrations against the death of Freddie Gray turned confrontational as dark fell over Baltimore Saturday evening, as protesters blocked traffic near the Inner Harbor, smashed police car windows and shouted, "Killers!" at officers in riot gear.
April 27, 2015

New England States Shift Approach to 'Energy Crisis'

The five New England governors at a closed-door energy meeting Thursday updated their agreement to pursue major investments in natural gas pipelines and transmission wires.
April 27, 2015

As Washington's Legislative Session Ends, Medical Marijuana Changes Begin

A few hours before the gavel came down on the regular session, Gov. Jay Inslee signed one of the most-discussed laws, one that brings medical marijuana under much of the same state control and oversight as the newer recreational pot system.
April 27, 2015

Guns-in-Parks Bill Gets Tennessee Governor's Approval

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday signed into law a bill that immediately overrides city and county bans on permit-holders bringing firearms into local parks, playgrounds and ballfields.
April 27, 2015

Immigrant Tuition Bill Fails by 1 Vote in Tennessee

As the Tennessee House debated a bill Wednesday that could determine whether he can eventually afford college, 15-year-old Carlos Reyes was in the balcony.
April 24, 2015

Illinois Governor Makes Cuts to Health Care for State's Poor

Brue Rauner's budget will make roughly $106 million in cuts to the Medicaid health care program for the poor, much of which takes the form of a 16.75 percent reduction to reimbursement payments to doctors and pharmacies.
April 24, 2015

Dear Obama, This Is Why Maine's Governor Opposes a New National Park

While proponents continue their efforts to set aside 150,000 acres in northern Maine for a national park and recreation area, Gov. Paul LePage voiced his opposition to the plan in a letter addressed to President Barack Obama.
April 24, 2015

Florida House Seeks End to Budget Stalemate

The Florida House made an offer on health care funding Thursday in hopes of ending a budget stalemate with the Senate in the final day of the legislative session.
April 24, 2015

Vets' New Gig: Catching Child Predators?

North Carolina is the first state to consider spending money to hire graduates from a new national internship program that trains military veterans as computer forensic analysts to catch people who sexually abuse children.
April 24, 2015

A Transportation Shift in Maryland

State Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn is expected to name Paul Comfort as the new head of the Maryland Transit Administration on Friday, a day after the resignation of the head of the State Highway Administration.
April 24, 2015

Michael Brown Family's Lawsuit Calls for Police Training Reform

The parents of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in August, are suing the city of Ferguson.
April 24, 2015

Wife of Slain L.A. County Mayor Indicted on Manslaughter Charge

Since Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo was gunned down by his wife last year, she has waged a public battle with his brother over who was to blame.
April 23, 2015

Kate Brown Urges Oregon Legislature to Pass Campaign Donation Limits

The state's new governor pointed out that voters have twice since 1994 backed measures sharply limiting contributions, but this hasn't gone anywhere due to Oregon's strict protections on "free speech."
April 23, 2015

Georgia Governor Signs School Takeover Bill

Gov. Nathan Deal's plan, which must be approved by a majority of voters in November 2016, would put 100 schools deemed to be persistent failures under state control.
April 23, 2015

In Wake of Freddie Gray's Death, Baltimore Mayor Turns to Post-Ferguson Playbook She Helped Write

The morning after Freddie Gray's death, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sat at a table with two dozen clergy members, activists and community leaders she had invited to City Hall.
April 23, 2015

California Lawmakers Amend Mandatory Vaccine Bill to Satisfy Critics

A bill that would make vaccines mandatory for California schoolchildren passed its toughest committee Wednesday and now heads to a panel dominated by lawmakers who support the proposal.
April 23, 2015

Why Raisins Are the Star of a U.S. Supreme Court Case

The California raisins were back before the Supreme Court, and the justices sounded ready to rule in favor of a Fresno farmer in his long battle against a Depression-era law that allows the government to seize privately grown crops to reduce supply and prop up prices.
April 23, 2015

Michigan Police Chief Resigns After Video-Captured Cop Beating

After intense pressure from civil rights advocates, the police chief of Inkster resigned Wednesday, three months after the beating of an autoworker in her city sparked national outrage.
April 22, 2015

Scott Walker to Lay Off 57 People in State's Department of Natural Resources

Happy Earth Day. DNR staff received layoff notices from the Wisconsin governor amid talk of budget cuts.
April 22, 2015

New Jersey Teachers Union Breaks Off Pension Talks With Christie

New Jersey Education Association accuses Chris Christie of mischaracterizing its agreement for political gain. On Tuesday, it formally abandoned talks with the governor's commission.
April 22, 2015

Almost No One Recycles in Detroit, Despite Curbside Pickup

The city's shift to privatized trash pickup last March brought with it the opportunity for homeowners citywide to opt in to curbside recyling. But a year later, the recycling program remains largely unused.
April 22, 2015

Justice Department Opens Criminal Investigation Into Freddie Gray's Death

Officials and community leaders welcomed Tuesday the Justice Department's announcement that it is opening a criminal investigation into Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore police custody _ an incident that continues to spark angry demonstrations.
April 22, 2015

Feds Warn 2 More States to Expand Medicaid or Risk Hospital Funds

Add Tennessee and Kansas to the list of states that have been warned by the Obama administration that failing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize special funding to pay hospitals and doctors for treating the poor.
April 22, 2015

Kansas' Revenue Projections Sink Again After Deep Tax Cuts

Fed new revenue forecasts Monday, Kansas lawmakers now face roughly $400 million in tax increases or budget cuts in the wake of deep income tax cuts.
April 22, 2015

Oklahoma Geologists Issue Strongest Statement Yet Linking Earthquakes to Drilling

Using some of its strongest language to date, the Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday the state's ongoing earthquake swarm is "very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process."
April 21, 2015

Aides Form Super PAC to Promote Illinois Governor's Agenda

Called "Turnaround Illinois," the fund will be able to raise an unlimited amount of money as a super political action committee to support legislative candidates who will implement Gov. Bruce Rauner's reforms.
April 21, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Sends Redistricting Maps Back to North Carolina for More Review

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that had upheld the state's Republican-drawn legislative and congressional districts.
April 21, 2015

California Governor Calls Water Ruling a 'Straitjacket' for Conservation

A state appeals court dealt a potentially serious blow Monday to local governments' attempts to encourage water conservation in drought-parched California, ruling that they cannot charge higher rates to big users simply because those customers guzzle more water.
April 21, 2015

Half of Employees Resign After Town Elects Its First Black Mayor

The drugstore is long gone. So, too, are the bank and the barbershop, the opry house and the hardware store.
April 21, 2015

Chicago Cop Acquitted in Fatal Off-Duty Shooting

In a stunning, abrupt end to the first trial in years of a Chicago police officer for a fatal off-duty shooting, a Cook County judge acquitted the veteran cop Monday on a legal fine point, drawing outrage from the black victim's family and leaders in the African-American community.
April 21, 2015

Koch Brothers Announce Their Pick for President

Gov. Scott Walker appears to have some key allies in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination: influential conservative political donors Charles and David Koch.
April 21, 2015

Uber Regulations Vetoed by Kansas Governor

Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a bill Monday that would have put new regulations on Uber and other rideshare services in Kansas, citing the importance of innovation.
April 20, 2015

In California, Addicts No Longer Need a Prescription for Anti-Overdose Drug

California pharmacists can hand out an overdose antidote to patients on powerful painkillers without requiring a prescription under new rules aimed at curbing drug-related fatalities.
April 20, 2015

Georgia Legalizes Medical Marijuana Oil But Patients Have to Move to Get It

Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday that legalizes medical marijuana in Georgia, though tremendous hurdles remain for patients who want to get the drug.
April 20, 2015

Drought Declared in Almost Half of Washington State

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency in nearly half of usually damp Washington on Friday, and officials said the entire state could be classified as drought-stricken by early May.
April 20, 2015

Baltimore Police Under Investigation After Black Man's Death

A 25-year-old Baltimore man died Sunday a week after reportedly suffering a partially severed spine during an arrest, and the mayor vowed "to find out exactly what happened" and "hold the right people accountable."
April 17, 2015

Many Red States May Consider Climate Change Gag Rules

While Wisconsin and Florida are the first states to outright ban employees from working on climate change, at least publicly, Republican legislators have long tampered with how governments address global warming.
April 17, 2015

California Residents Get Really Creative About Water Recycling

Sewer plants? Do-it-yourself water recycling takes off in the state's drought.
April 17, 2015

Federal Probe Causes Chicago Schools CEO to Take Leave of Absence

The city of Chicago put Barbara Byrd-Bennett on leave due to a federal investigation of a no-bid contract with a company she once worked for.
April 17, 2015

Obama's Climate Change Policy Appears to Survive Early Court Challenge

President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to battle climate change by forcing power plants to reduce their greenhouse gases appeared to survive its first court challenge Thursday, but only because the formal rules are still pending at the Environmental Protection Agency.
April 17, 2015

Washington State Auditor Indicted

State Auditor Troy Kelley was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of concealing stolen property, lying to federal investigators, filing false tax returns and "corrupt interference with Internal Revenue laws."
April 17, 2015

Bill to Make Bible Tennessee's Official State Book Fails

Efforts to designate the "Holy Bible" as Tennessee government's official book failed in the state Senate Thursday after the controversial bill, which had attracted national attention, was forced back to committee.
April 16, 2015

Maine Clergy Rejoice as Legislator Gives Up on 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Actual ministers support the decision of Maine Sen. David Burns to withdraw his bill, which was nearly identical in substance to the controversial religious freedom law passed in Indiana.
April 16, 2015

Sam Brownback Signs Legislation Restricting How Welfare Recipients Can Spend Money

Gov. Sam Brownback will sign a welfare reform bill that has gained national attention Thursday morning at the Department for Children and Families service center in Topeka.
April 16, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Shows Support for Trade Agreement Between U.S. and E.U.

Scott Walker backs trade deal, signs research pact on a trip Walker designed to bolster his foreign affairs credentials.
April 16, 2015

EPA Carbon-Cutting Rule Heads to Court Over Drafting Error

A congressional drafting error and clunky phrase is putting a second of President Barack Obama's signature endeavors in jeopardy. This time it's climate change.
April 16, 2015

Feds Threaten to Withhold $1 Billion If Florida Doesn't Expand Medicaid

Federal health officials turned up the pressure on Florida Tuesday, saying the future of $1.3 billion in federal funding for hospitals that treat low-income patients is tied to whether the Legislature expands Medicaid.
April 16, 2015

Anti-Vaccine Parents Stall Bill in California

A bill to prevent parents from opting their children out of school-required vaccinations could be headed for a major rewrite after lawmakers heard impassioned testimony from hundreds of parents who threatened to take their kids out of school.
April 16, 2015

Judge Rules Against Sheriff Arpaio in Racial Profiling Case

A San Francisco appeals court said it again: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies can't detain car occupants simply because they're Latino.
April 15, 2015

Jeb Bush Promises Not to Attack Marco Rubio

Bush vowed Tuesday that he would not criticize his "friend," the Florida Senator.
April 15, 2015

After Cheating Educators Reject Sentencing Deal, Atlanta Judge Teaches Them a Lesson

The longest criminal trial in Georgia history ended Tuesday with two former educators admitting guilt in the nation's largest test-cheating conspiracy and eight others proclaiming innocence as a judge ordered them to prison.
April 15, 2015

Chris Christie Pitches Overhauling Social Security and Health Care

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent his first day in New Hampshire pitching overhauls to Social Security and federal health care, visiting a pizzeria and courting Republicans during what appeared to be a campaign trip in all but name.
April 15, 2015

Missouri Replaces State Auditor Who Committed Suicide

Nicole Galloway, a certified public accountant and the Democratic county treasurer in Boone County, was tapped by Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday to replace the late Tom Schweich as state auditor.
April 15, 2015

Missouri Medicaid May Have to Repay $34M to Feds

A new audit recommends that Missouri refund more than $34 million to the federal government because the state did not comply with Medicaid regulations.
April 14, 2015

DOJ Says Miami Isn't Working to Settle Police Shooting Cases

The head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division Special Litigation Section said two weeks ago that the city had stopped responding to phone calls and emails about an excessive force investigation.
April 14, 2015

Atlanta Judge Has Change of Heart Sentencing Cheating Educators

Ten former Atlanta educators convicted of racketeering in a test cheating scandal have been given an evening to make a life-changing decision: apologize for their crimes and waive a right to appeal or go to jail.
April 14, 2015

Tulsa Deputy Charged With Manslaughter in Unarmed Man's Death

A volunteer Oklahoma sheriff's deputy was charged with manslaughter Monday after prosecutors said he was negligent for shooting an unarmed suspect with a gun instead of a Taser during an arrest.
April 14, 2015

South Dakota Will Complete Obama's 50-State Circuit

President Barack Obama is crossing South Dakota off his list.
April 14, 2015

Indiana Hires PR Firm to Rebuild Image in Wake of Religious Freedom Controversy

Indiana's economic development and tourism agencies announced Monday they have hired global PR firm Porter Novelli to help rebuild the state's image in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act debacle.
April 13, 2015

Are Race Relations Best in California?

Nearly two-thirds of California voters say race relations in the state are better than elsewhere in America.
April 13, 2015

U.S. Pot Legalization Hinges on 2016 California Ballot Measure

Because the state is so big, the impact of a change in the law is likely to matter significantly for the rest of the nation.
April 13, 2015

Body Camera Video Shows Tulsa Police 'Accidentally' Shoot Suspect

A reserve sheriff's deputy accidentally shot an unarmed man with a gun instead of a Taser, and Oklahoma law enforcement officials berated the man as he lay dying on the ground, according to body-camera footage released this weekend.
April 13, 2015

Facing a $271 Million Budget Shortfall and $1 Billion in Back Taxes

As they scramble to balance the state budget, N.C. lawmakers could use a little help from Koren Robinson.
April 13, 2015

Tuition Increases Coming Some University of Wisconsin Students' Way

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents finalized tuition increases for nine campuses on Friday, and pushed back against a key lawmaker who blasted UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank for proposing a 35% tuition increase over four years for nonresident undergraduates.
April 10, 2015

Court Rules Christie Can't Use Low-Income Housing Funds to Stabilize Budget

The New Jersey governor wanted to take $160 million out of trust funds to build low-cost housing units for poor, disabled and elderly people.
April 10, 2015

Former Georgia Legislator Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Charges

Former Rep. Tyrone Brooks Jr. says he misappropriated almost $1 million in charitable funds.
April 10, 2015

Ex-Gov. Lincoln Chafee Could Run Against Hillary

Lincoln Chafee on Thursday became the second Republican-turned-Democrat to offer himself as an alternative to all-but declared presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
April 10, 2015

Seniority Doesn't Matter Anymore on Wisconsin's Supreme Court

Voters on Tuesday approved letting state Supreme Court justices choose who will lead them -- a change to a 126-year-old system that is likely to result in the demotion of Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
April 10, 2015

In North Charleston, Residents Say Jim Crow Lives On

To many black residents, the overt hatred and segregation that ruled this place during the Jim Crow era has morphed into something more insidious: the routine traffic stop.
April 10, 2015

Kansas AG Asks Supreme Court to Block Voter-Approved Marijuana Measure

Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking the state Supreme Court to strike down the ballot initiative Wichita voters passed Tuesday to reduce penalties for marijuana possession.
April 9, 2015

Scott Walker Will Avoid Foreign Policy Criticism While Abroad

The Wisconsin governor says he will avoid sharp foreign affairs comments on his visit to Europe.
April 9, 2015

Chris Christie's Poll Numbers Are Dropping in His Own State

Some 54 percent of registered voters in New Jersey disapprove of the governor's job performance.
April 9, 2015

Advocates Say Latest Shooting Shows Need for Major Changes in Policing

The body camera bill will get a hearing in the South Carolina Senate as soon as next week.
April 9, 2015

Teacher Pension Law Upheld in Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court, rejecting arguments from unions, has upheld a 2012 state law requiring teachers and other school employees to put more of their pay toward their pension plans or face cuts to benefits such as post-retirement health care.
April 9, 2015

Florida's Not the Only State Banning Some From Discussing Climate Change

A Wisconsin state board made up of elected officials voted 2-1 Tuesday to ban staff members of a small agency from on-the-job discussion or work related to climate change.
April 9, 2015

Obama Comes Out in Support of Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

The Obama administration spoke out Wednesday against using so-called conversion therapy on minors, saying the practice, in which mental health providers try to change a person's sexuality or gender identity, "is neither medically nor ethically appropriate."
April 9, 2015

Pennsylvania AG Fires Official Who Testified in Her Case

Attorney General Kathleen Kane fired the head of her appeals office Wednesday and had armed agents escort him from the office.
April 9, 2015

Ohio Urges Every Local Government to Post Their Spending Online

Putting the checkbooks of cities, counties, villages, townships and schools online, state Auditor Dave Yost says, could accomplish that rarest of things: restoring Ohioans faith in government.
April 8, 2015

California's Rich People Pretty Bad at Water Conservation

Wealthier Los Angeles neighborhoods consume three times more water than less affluent ones.
April 8, 2015

The North Charleston Shooting Isn't Ferguson

What will the cop's defense be? Murder charges against officers for shootings are rare.
April 8, 2015

Detroit Sues Churches and Schools Over Unpaid Light Bills

The city has filed a batch of lawsuits against various nonprofit organizations the city says are in arrears for a combined $834,000.
April 8, 2015

With Increased Turnout, Ferguson Voters Elect 3 Black Councilmembers

For the first time in Ferguson's 120-year history, the City Council will have three black members, but even so, Tuesday's election was less than a clear victory for the throngs of volunteers who poured into the city in a last-minute push to sway voters.
April 8, 2015

South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

A South Carolina police officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man after authorities obtained a video that showed him unleash a volley of gunfire while the victim ran away, officials said.
April 8, 2015

Chicago's Rahm Emanuel Wins Re-Election; Now Comes the Hard Part

With his re-election victory Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel renewed his lease on a municipal fixer-upper, one with buckling and painful-to-repair financial underpinnings caused by decades of deferred maintenance.
April 8, 2015

Judge Refuses to Lift Hold on Obama's Immigration Plan

A federal judge refused late Tuesday to lift a temporary hold on President Obama's executive action seeking to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.
April 8, 2015

What Caused the White House and Much of Washington to Lose Power

A downed power transmission line in southern Maryland caused a momentary loss of power that led to "widespread outages" in the nation's capital Tuesday afternoon, according to officials.
April 8, 2015

Voters in Kansas Approve Looser Marijuana Penalties

Now that a win for marijuana reform is in the books in Kansas' largest city, the focus shifts to Topeka, where the attorney general has called Wichita's voter-approved initiative unlawful and the Legislature could consider as many as three marijuana-related bills in the coming weeks.
April 8, 2015

Florida Governor Flip-Flops on Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Rick Scott threw more cold water Monday on the state Senate's push for expanding health insurance for low-income Floridians, saying it was too risky to rely on support from the federal government.
April 7, 2015

New Fracking Rules in Kansas Might Be Reducing Earthquakes

Since the state imposed new rules two weeks ago on the energy industry aimed at reducing suspected man-made earthquakes, people are noticing a difference. It might be a coincidence, however.
April 7, 2015

Southern California's Water Wholesaler Will Ration Water It Supplies to Cities

The cuts, which will take effect July 1, were planned well before Gov. Jerry Brown imposed a 25 percent mandatory restriction on urban water use last week.
April 7, 2015

Hawaiian Elementary School to Reopen After Volcano Closure

On Monday, the state Department of Education announced that Keonepoko Elementary will reopen in the coming school year because the threat from a nearby volcano has subsided.
April 7, 2015

Chris Christie Will Do Town Hall Events in New Hampshire

Now, with his approval rating at home at an all-time low and his rankings in presidential polls dropping, the New Jersey governor will take the events that helped him gain a reputation as a straight shooter to a key early voting state.
April 7, 2015

Jeb Bush Calls Checking Hispanic on Voter Form a 'Mistake'

Jeb Bush admitted Monday that he made a "mistake" in 2009 when he listed his ethnicity in a Miami-Dade County voter-registration form as "Hispanic."
April 7, 2015

Virginia Bans Criminal History Questions From State Job Applications

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Friday signed an executive order to eliminate questions about criminal history from applications for most state jobs.
April 7, 2015

Ferguson Election Offers Chance for Change

This week, Crystal Stovall will choose between two black candidates running to represent her City Council ward in Ferguson, Mo. The election is the first chance at citizen-led change in the St. Louis suburb nationally notorious for racial turmoil.
April 7, 2015

Chicago Voters Head to the Polls Again

Voters go to the polls Tuesday in the city's first mayoral runoff election, with the outcome determining not only Chicago's future but the direction of its Democratic politics.
April 6, 2015

Writer Creates Play About Pennsylvania School Funding

"School Play" is based on interviews with parents, students, teachers and state policymakers about the state's funding issues.
April 6, 2015

Emails Show Ex-Gov. Kitzhaber Cleared Way for Fiancee's Conflicting Roles

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber was more active than previously known in clearing the way for fiancée Cylvia Hayes to be active in his administration even while working as a paid consultant to outside interests, according to newly released state emails.
April 6, 2015

Kansas Becomes 6th State to Let Residents Carry Concealed Weapons Without a Permit

Kansans will be able to carry a concealed weapon without training under a bill signed by Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday.
April 6, 2015

Religious Freedom Bill Dies in Georgia

Georgia's brush with the "religious liberty" controversies engulfing Indiana and Arkansas appeared to fizzle Thursday as the end of lawmakers' annual legislative session approached without passage, putting off an issue likely to be back here next year.
April 6, 2015

Ferguson Releases Racist Emails Cited in Justice Department Report

Local police and a city official in Ferguson, Mo., sent racially charged emails comparing minority welfare recipients to dogs and made insensitive comments about Muslims, copies of the emails released by the city show.
April 3, 2015

Jerry Brown's Plan to Address California Drought Is Pretty Easy on Agriculture

The vast majority of the governor's plan is focused on urban water use--lawns, golf courses, parks and public medians--which constitute less than 25 percent of Californians' overall water use.
April 3, 2015

Arkansas, Indiana Governors Sign Amended Religious Freedom Laws

The governors of Arkansas and Indiana on Thursday quickly signed revised versions of their respective religious freedom laws, hoping to quell a national uproar that united business leaders and gay rights activists who fought the measures as potentially discriminatory.
April 3, 2015

Madison, Wis., First in Nation to Ban Discrimination Against Atheists

In what is believed to be a first in the nation, the Madison City Council has voted to amend the city's equal opportunities ordinance to make "nonreligion" a protected class.
April 3, 2015

Judge: California Must Fund Inmate's Sex-Change Operation

A federal judge Thursday ordered that a California prison inmate be allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
April 3, 2015

Judge Orders Ohio to Restore Medicaid Benefits to Some But Not All Who Lost Them

A federal court judge ordered Medicaid coverage continued or reinstated to several low-income Ohioans in a lawsuit against the state.
April 2, 2015

Gay Rights Comes to Mississippi

Gay marriage is likely coming to Mississippi, either at the hands of a New Orleans federal appeals court or when the U.S. Supreme Court takes action in June. But hostility toward homosexuality here explains why many gay families predict their problems won't end with a legal victory for same-sex marriage.
April 2, 2015

State Gambling Legalization Spurs National Effort

Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have moved forward with laws to legalize websites offering casino-type games including poker, blackjack and slot machines. Now a Texas congressman is hoping to legalize online poker with bill.
April 2, 2015

Indiana Changes Religious Freedom Law to Protect Against Gay Discrimination

The proposed amendment explicitly says the law cannot be used as a legal defense by those who deny goods and services to customers because of their sexual orientation or gender.
April 2, 2015

Californians Face New Water Restrictions, But This Time, They're Not Voluntary

Standing in a browned meadow that should have been buried in deep snow, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered California's first-ever mandatory water cutback, imposing a 25 percent reduction to force residents and businesses to significantly tighten up water use.
April 2, 2015

Why Arkansas' Governor Reversed His Stance on the Religious Freedom Bill

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday had been expected to sign his state's version of legislation billed as a religious freedom measure, despite complaints that it could lead to discrimination, especially against gays and lesbians.
April 2, 2015

John Kasich's Latest Veto Satisfies Critics

Earning praise from frequent critics, Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed language on Wednesday crafted by fellow Republicans that would have required out-of-state residents who register to vote in Ohio to obtain an Ohio driver's license and vehicle registration within 30 days.
April 2, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Reach Deal to Avoid Cuts, Freeze Tuition

Senate and House budget negotiators on Wednesday reached accord to avoid multi-million-dollar cuts to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, and to freeze tuition at all six state regents universities for the next two years.
April 1, 2015

11 Guilty in Atlanta School Cheating Case

A jury found 11 of 12 former teachers, principals and administrators guilty of conspiring to change student answers on standardized tests.
April 1, 2015

Florida Could Have For-Profit Mental Health Services

How can a chronically underfunded system have room for big companies to make profits?
April 1, 2015

Detroit Mayor Says It's Time to End Emergency Management of Schools

Mayor Mike Duggan says emergency management hasn't improve the public school system.
April 1, 2015

Tennessee Governor's Medicaid Expansion Plan Fails Again

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed Insure Tennessee plan flopped for a second time Tuesday in a Senate committee and that's thrown the House effort into confusion with two top supporters disagreeing over whether to try to move it today in a subcommittee there.
April 1, 2015

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects AG's Bid to End Criminal Probe

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's challenge to a grand jury investigation that concluded with a recommendation that she face criminal charges.
March 31, 2015

Fort Collins, Colo., Pledges to Be Carbon Neutral

Defying partisan politics, one Colorado city vows to be carbon neutral.
March 31, 2015

Who's Behind Scott Walker's Rise to Power?

The Bradley Foundation is the conservative group behind the Wisconsin governor's political success.
March 31, 2015

New Arizona Law Restricts Abortions

Gov. Doug Ducey signs a law that bars women from buying healthcare plans through the federal marketplace that include abortion coverage and requires abortion providers to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion.
March 31, 2015

Why the Execution Drug Shortage Will Likely Worsen

States searching for drugs to use in executions by lethal injection may soon find another door slammed in their face, this time by the pharmacists who are the last-ditch source for execution drugs.
March 31, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Puts States' Sex Offender Monitoring Into Question

A North Carolina program that uses GPS systems to monitor sex offenders will get scrutinized again by the state's highest court.
March 31, 2015

Indiana GOP Working to Clarify 'Religious Freedom' Law

Republican leaders in the Indiana General Assembly said Monday they are looking at options to clarify the state's controversial religious freedom law, though they don't believe the law would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians as opponents fear.
March 31, 2015

Second Suicide in 1 Month Shakes Missouri GOP

Police were working Monday to piece together the final days and hours of Robert "Spence" Jackson's life, as Missouri Republicans struggled to make sense of the second suicide of a prominent state party member in four weeks.
March 30, 2015

Navajo Nation Experiments With Junk Food Tax

The tribe begins a 2 percent tax on junk food in an attempt to curb rampant obesity, diabetes and heart disease, the first of its kind nationwide.
March 30, 2015

Maryland Overcharged Feds $28.4M for Health Exchange Launch

A year-long probe by the Department of Health and Human Services found no fraud or criminal wrongdoing, but auditors said the state lacked oversight and internal controls.
March 30, 2015

Districts Try to Block Kansas' School Funding Law

Lawyers representing Wichita and 47 other Kansas school districts petitioned a court Thursday to block a new school finance law signed by Gov. Sam Brownback.
March 30, 2015

One of Rahm Emanuel's Biggest Critics Endorses His Re-Election

Standing in the basement dining room of a West Loop Greek restaurant Sunday afternoon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel accepted the endorsement of one of his chief antagonists -- former mayoral candidate and outgoing 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti.
March 30, 2015

Indiana Governor Won't Say Whether Businesses Can Now Legally Refuse Gay Customers

It's a simple question -- but also one of the most contentious in Indiana, which is under siege by LGBT activists urging a boycott of the state.
March 30, 2015

O'Malley: Presidency Isn't a Crown to Be Passed Between 2 Families

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley sounded Sunday like someone who plans to challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton in Democratic primaries.
March 27, 2015

Fresno Deputy Police Chief Arrested on Drug Charges

Keith Foster and four others were arrested on federal drug charges, was arrested on federal charges to distribute and/or possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone, heroin and marijuana.
March 27, 2015

Chris Christie Rails Against Estate Taxes New Jersey Needs

The governor says he wants to eliminate New Jersey's very high estate taxes, but the state has no alternative revenue source to make up the difference.
March 26, 2015

New York's Fracking Ban Leads to Secession Talk

Many poor towns want the fracking money Pennsylvania has, regardless of health risks.
March 26, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Alabama's Redistricting Plan

The Supreme Court delivered a rare victory for minority voting rights Wednesday, finding that a 2012 Alabama redistricting plan appeared to violate federal law by shifting black voters into districts they already dominated to dilute their influence elsewhere.
March 26, 2015

Conservative Justices Weigh Cost and Benefit of EPA Emissions Rule

The Supreme Court's conservative justices sharply questioned the high cost of a new Obama administration environmental regulation Wednesday, raising the prospect they may block the strict emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.
March 26, 2015

Kansas Overhauls School Funding Formula

A bill that overhauls the way schools are funded in Kansas was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback in a closed ceremony Wednesday.
March 26, 2015

Medical Marijuana Measure Dies in North Carolina

A state House committee unanimously rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana after an emotional hourlong hearing that ended with a legislator saying he was assaulted by a marijuana advocate.
March 26, 2015

Chicago Gets High Early Voting Turnout

Chicago voters turned out in large numbers for the first two days of early voting ahead of the mayoral runoff, and suburban voters in the upcoming election will get newly designed stickers to show everybody they cast ballots, election officials announced.
March 25, 2015

DHS Official Offered Virginia Gov. McAuliffe Special Treatment

A top Homeland Security Department official intervened to help projects backed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Harry Reid in a program aimed at attracting foreign investments in exchange for U.S. residency, the agency's internal watchdog said.
March 25, 2015

Bankruptcy Not in the Cards for Atlantic City's Recovery Team

Warning of a liquidity crisis though 2015 and a situation "a lot more severe" than they had anticipated, Atlantic City's emergency management team has recommended $10 million in budget cuts, hundreds of layoffs and mediators appointed to negotiate with casinos and unions.
March 25, 2015

After 1 Month on the Job, Maine's Chief Health Officer Resigns

Dr. Sheila Pinette has resigned as the state's chief health officer a month after taking the job, hastening an organizational shakeup at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
March 25, 2015

'Smoothie Lady' Helps Reverse Some Marijuana Restrictions in Alaska Town

The "Smoothie Lady" can celebrate: Some of Alaska's strictest municipal regulations on marijuana got rolled back Monday night in light of concerns that they could violate state law.
March 24, 2015

Alaska Governor Appoints Environmentalist to Fisheries Board

Bill Walker appoints conservationist for a position usually held by sportfishing interests.
March 24, 2015

Ohio’s Red-Light Camera Restrictions Blocked by Toledo Judge

Columbus and Dayton both turned their traffic cameras off at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, but Dayton announced Monday it would resume issuing camera citations because of the Toledo decision.
March 24, 2015

Christie Will Decide About Running for President Later This Year

The New Jersey governor will make a decision in "late spring or early summer."
March 24, 2015

Michigan State Police Still Dominated by White Men

There are only 59 blacks among the 1,134 Michigan state troopers.
March 24, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Stand

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law, restoring the measure it had dramatically blocked ahead of last November's election but not in time for the April 7 ballot.
March 24, 2015

Utah Governor Signs Bill to Allow Firing Squad Executions

Inmates on Utah's death row can now be executed by a firing squad, under new legislation signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday.
March 24, 2015

Justice Department Makes 91 Recommendations to Reform Philadelphia's 'Deadly' Police Practices

A long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on police shootings in Philadelphia concluded Monday that there is "significant strife between the community and the department," and recommended wholesale changes in procedures and training.
March 24, 2015

Christie Sends DUI Bill Back to the Legislature

Gov. Christie on Monday conditionally vetoed legislation that would have repealed the mandatory suspension of driver's licenses for first-time drunk drivers and instead required them to install devices that would be able to detect alcohol and stop cars from starting.
March 23, 2015

Secrecy and Mistrust in Philadelphia Schools Under Arlene Ackerman

Philadelphia School District had a great fear of leaks.
March 23, 2015

Expanded Medicaid Under Obamacare Helps Poor People with Type II Diabetes

A recent diabetes study shows great benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
March 23, 2015

Abortion Doctor Requirements Ruled Unconstitutional in Wisconsin

A federal judge on Friday struck down a Wisconsin law requiring doctors performing abortions to get hospital-admitting privileges, concluding that the measure was enacted to bar women from getting abortions.
March 23, 2015

Federal Agents Search Washington Auditor's House

Eleven days before federal agents searched state Auditor Troy Kelley's Tacoma home on March 16, they demanded records related to a state employee and longtime business partner of Kelley's whose name appears in an acrimonious lawsuit tied to Kelley's past business dealings.
March 23, 2015

Less-Strict Gun Laws Take Effect in Ohio

A new state law effective today will allow hunters to use suppressors on guns; permit Ohioans to buy rifles, shotguns and ammunition from any state; and implement a more-rigorous background check for concealed-carry permits.
March 20, 2015

The Company Getting the Most State and Local Tax Breaks

Boeing is the biggest winner of state and local tax incentives, receiving more than $13 billion of them, according to a nonprofit watchdog group that tracks the subsidies.
March 20, 2015

Standardized Testing Had Major Problems in Colorado Springs

A computer attack during testing delayed some exams in the Colorado Springs school district.
March 20, 2015

People of Oregon Are Responsible for the Legal Fees of John Kitzhaber's Girlfriend

Cylvia Hayes is now being represented by two federal public defenders in the influence-peddling investigation by the FBI and the IRS.
March 20, 2015

Tesla Can Now Sell Cars Directly to Consumers in New Jersey

Tesla Motors can go back to selling its luxury electric cars directly to consumers in New Jersey as Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday signed legislation that allows the car maker to do so at up to four locatio
March 20, 2015

Judge Lets Wisconsin's Right-to-Work Law Proceed

A Dane County judge declined to issue a temporary injunction Thursday that would have put Wisconsin's new right-to-work law on hold, finding that there wasn't adequate proof that unions would suffer irreparable harm without the injunction.
March 19, 2015

Joe Arpaio Admits Violating Judge's Orders

The controversial sheriff ignored a federal judge’s orders to stop detaining people simply because of a suspicion they may be in the country illegally.
March 19, 2015

California Imposes More Water Restrictions on Lawns, Hotels and Restaurants

Acknowledging that California's water conservation efforts are falling short as the state descends into a fourth year of punishing drought, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday imposed new mandatory water conservation rules that will affect millions of people -- from how homeowners water their lawns to how restaurants and hotels serve their guests.
March 19, 2015

Court: Seattle's Rejection of Anti-Israel Ads Not a Free Speech Violation

Ads attacking U.S. military aid to Israel were posted on Muni buses in San Francisco this year without incident. But Seattle's public transit line rejected the ads after threats of violence, and on Wednesday a divided federal appeals court upheld its decision.
March 19, 2015

Governor Orders Inquiry After Black UVA Student Is Arrested and Bloodied

Virginia's governor has ordered an investigation into a black University of Virginia student's arrest after photos and video of the student's bloodied face went viral on social media.
March 19, 2015

Feds Warned Premera About IT Issues Before Hackers Hit 11 Million

Three weeks before hackers infiltrated Premera Blue Cross, federal auditors warned the company that its network security procedures were inadequate.
March 18, 2015

'Alaska, Inc.' and the Rise of the State's Permanent Fund

One of the most successful investments in the history of the Alaska Permanent Fund grew out of a chance conversation by two men waiting in line at Boston's Logan Airport for a flight to Seattle. A friend introduced the president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to a portfolio manager for the Alaska Permanent Fund.
March 18, 2015

Oregon Becomes First State to Automatically Register People to Vote

Americans are required to register if they want to vote; as of this week, Oregonians will have to register not to.
March 18, 2015

San Diego Fails to Hold Police Accountable

Failures in the hiring and supervision of San Diego police led to a series of misconduct cases, but the Police Department remains "progressive, sound and very effective," according to a federal review released Tuesday.
March 18, 2015

Georgia Supreme Court Clears Last Hurdle for Falcons Stadium Funding

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the city of Atlanta's plans to help finance the new $1.4 billion Falcons stadium, allowing the city to move forward with issuing $200 million in bonds toward the project.
March 17, 2015

A Big Federal Fight Over One Urban School District's Voucher Program

Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to protect the Washington, D.C., school voucher system, a GOP pet program championed by Speaker John A. Boehner and others with no impact on the rest of the country.
March 17, 2015

Alaska's Reserve Funds Are Earning More Money Than Oil

The state now expects that earnings from the Constitutional Budget Reserve in 2016 will be about $357 million. How long the account might last after that will depend on oil prices, state spending and tax policy.
March 17, 2015

Unclaimed Property up for Auction in Illinois

People can type in their names at illinoistreasurer.gov to see what they may have lost. Starting Monday and ending Friday, anyone can click on the "Unclaimed Property Auction" link on the website to bid on the forgotten items.
March 17, 2015

Obamacare Ruling Could Devastate Hospitals

As the nation's largest private health care provider, Hospital Corporation of America owns 155 hospitals, 112 surgery centers and three psychiatric facilities across the country.
March 17, 2015

Health Law Has Helped Insure 16.4 Million

A total of 16.4 million non-elderly adults have gained health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law five years ago this month – a “historic” reduction in the number of uninsured, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.
March 17, 2015

In Case on Governor's Power, Judges Rule in Favor of McCrory

In what Gov. Pat McCrory hailed as a historic decision, a three-judge panel Monday unanimously ruled in his favor in a landmark challenge to the General Assembly.
March 17, 2015

Emanuel, Garcia Spar Over Chicago Finances in First Debate

Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia engaged in a contentious first debate Monday night, as the mayor accused his challenger of having no plans to deal with the city's financial problems while Garcia contended Emanuel served only "the rich and powerful."
March 16, 2015

Missouri's Really Troubled Municipal Court System

Sheltered from the scrutiny of the state courts, the municipal courts are a system run by municipalities and lawyers that often serve to enrich municipalities and lawyers.
March 16, 2015

Alaska's Financial Foundation Is Built on Oil. That's a Huge Problem.

Alaska is staring down a $3.5 billion deficit. Investment income from state savings has shown remarkable resiliency and has overtaken oil-production taxes in their value to the state. But the deficits will require the Legislature to spend down those savings accounts.
March 16, 2015

Handful of Ohio Sheriffs Have Misspent Public Funds

Two former county sheriffs convicted of misspending public money are cited as examples of what not to do in a state training manual for sheriffs.
March 13, 2015

San Quentin's Inmate-Run Media Enterprise Earns Praise

The prison radio program and a partner newspaper, the San Quentin News, represent a burgeoning media enterprise produced by inmates in the home of California's death row.
March 13, 2015

Why 14 States Want Obama's Immigration Program

Fourteen states are joining in the push to salvage President Barack Obama's plan to grant legal protection to millions of people in the U.S. illegally _ even if it's only revived in their parts of the country.
March 13, 2015

In Missouri, Democratic Governor Endorses Medicaid Work Requirement

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday said he was willing to work with Republicans on a plan to expand the state's Medicaid program and even offered endorsements for conservative ideas that have drawn reproach from some health advocates.
March 13, 2015

Right-to-Work Bills Likely Dead in New Mexico

Two bills that New Mexico Republicans call their "right-to-work" package are probably dead after a Senate panel blocked them Tuesday night.
March 13, 2015

Illinois Democrats Seek Tax Hikes to Offset Rauner's Budget Cuts

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's opposition to raising the income tax and proposal to slash the state budget have Democratic lawmakers pushing more than a dozen other tax hikes as they try to bring in more money to save social service programs that are on the chopping block.
March 12, 2015

Maine's Complicated Struggle Over Obamacare and the AG's Role

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that if the attorney general is in active opposition to the state, as Janet Mills is over health care policy, she loses her right to oversee the use of outside counsel. But it's a limited victory for Gov. Paul LePage
March 12, 2015

Pennsylvania AG Hopeful After Positive State Supreme Court Decision

Here's the latest chapter in the complicated tale of Kathleen Kane's legal problems.
March 12, 2015

Police Chief the Latest Ferguson Official to Fall

Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned Wednesday, saying he always wanted to do what's best for his community and realized that now meant leaving it.
March 12, 2015

2 Ferguson Officers Shot During Protest

Two St. Louis County police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department during another night of protests in the troubled Missouri city, police confirmed early Thursday.
March 12, 2015

Ex-CIA Officer Picked to Lead Illinois Health Exchange

The new executive director of Get Covered Illinois is Karin Zosel, a former CIA intelligence officer and college director, the group said Tuesday.
March 12, 2015

Illinois Pension Law Greeted with Court Skepticism

A lawyer for the state faced skeptical questioning from Illinois Supreme Court justices Wednesday as she defended a landmark pension reform law by arguing that benefit cuts to public workers were a response to a financial emergency tied to the Great Recession.
March 11, 2015

New Jersey Courts Will Now Supervise Affordable Housing

The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the governor's Council on Affordable Housing wasn't effective.
March 11, 2015

Ferguson City Manager Resigns

Ferguson city manager John Shaw, the city's most powerful official, resigned Tuesday night.
March 11, 2015

West Virginia Drops Common Core Repeal

Legislators have approved removing from a bill a mandatory repeal of the state's Common Core standards -- following great opposition from state education officials, who said the legislation could disrupt West Virginia's entire K-12 system, cost more than $100 million and threaten federal funding.
March 11, 2015

Utah Could Become Only State with Executions by Firing Squad

Utah will be able to use a firing squad to execute death row inmates when lethal-injection drugs are unavailable, as long as the governor signs a bill that cleared the state Senate on Tuesday.
March 11, 2015

Medical Marijuana Gets a Bipartisan Boost in Congress

Marijuana legalization got a boost on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as a trio of rising stars in the Senate launched an effort to rewrite federal drug laws.
March 10, 2015

Tiny Town Opens First Government-Owned Pot Shop

Of all the steps taken since Washington legalized marijuana, North Bonneville's might be boldest.
March 10, 2015

Florida Discovers the Big Problem with Online Standardized Testing

State officials says the problems with tests last week were due to a cyber attack.
March 10, 2015

Missouri Supreme Court Takes Over Ferguson Cases

The Missouri Supreme Court announced Monday that it will take the "extraordinary action" of reassigning all Ferguson municipal court cases to the circuit court, starting next week.
March 10, 2015

Florida Governor Denies Environmental Agency Banned Term 'Climate Change'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday denied that administrators in his Department of Environmental Protection were banned from using the terms "global warming" or "climate change."
March 10, 2015

Suicide Rate Highest Among Rural Youths

Rural youths are nearly twice as likely to commit suicide as their urban counterparts, according to a study by Ohio State University researchers.
March 9, 2015

Scott Walker Makes Wisconsin the 25th Right-to-Work State

Gov. Scott Walker on Monday signed the contentious right-to-work bill at a factory in Brown Deer, making Wisconsin the 25th state with such a law.
March 9, 2015

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Address Questionable Actions by State AG

The justices will consider a case crucial to Kathleen Kane's political future. After a seven-month investigation a grand jury concluded the attorney general had illegally leaked confidential information to embarrass a political foe and then lied about it to the jury.
March 9, 2015

Wisconsin Cop Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Black Man Had Prior Shooting

A Madison, Wis., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 19-year-old African American man Friday had been exonerated in a previous fatal shooting, officials disclosed Saturday.
March 9, 2015

Florida Officials Reportedly Banned from Using the Term 'Climate Change'

Florida's government may have figured out a way to beat climate change: ignore it.
March 9, 2015

Oregon Abolishes State Health Exchange

A bill dissolving Cover Oregon, the state's dysfunctional health insurance exchange, has been signed by Gov. Kate Brown.
March 9, 2015

University of Oklahoma Disbands Fraternity Over Racist Videos

The University of Oklahoma became a trending topic Sunday night on Twitter as videos allegedly showing members of one of the school's fraternities shouting a racist chant made their way across the Internet on YouTube and Instagram.
March 6, 2015

Wisconsin's Right-to-Work Bill Heads to Scott Walker

In a powerful illustration of the state's increasingly polarized politics, the Wisconsin Assembly passed so-called right-to-work legislation Friday on a strictly party-line vote, with two Republicans who had previously sided with unions now lining up against them.
March 6, 2015

Ferguson Fires Bureaucrat Over Racist Emails

Two veteran police commanders have resigned and a city court clerk has been fired over racist emails cited this week in a Justice Department report critical of the city of Ferguson's law enforcement
March 6, 2015

Illinois Governor's Budget Would Hit Foster Kids Hard

Under Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed cuts to the Department of Children and Family Services, thousands of older state wards for whom Illinois failed to find permanent placement before they aged out of foster care will be forced to fend for themselves.
March 6, 2015

Colorado Legislature Introduces Job Training and Education Bills

Democrats and Republicans unveiled six bills designed to help create pathways to jobs in construction, information technology and health care.
March 6, 2015

Christie's Involvement in Lower-Than-Expected Exxon Settlement Questioned

New Jersey announced Thursday that it has settled an environmental damage claim against Exxon Mobil Corp. for $225 million, $25 million less than originally reported last week and far less than the $8.9 billion it had originally sought.
March 6, 2015

Feds Add UW-Madison to Schools in Campus Sexual Violence Probe

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is now under investigation as part of a growing federal probe into the handling of sexual violence complaints.
March 6, 2015

Record-Breaking Snow Strands Thousands on Kentucky Highway

A record-breaking snowstorm slammed Kentucky on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, stranding thousands of motorists on interstates and prompting a statewide emergency declaration for the second time in 21/2 weeks.
March 5, 2015

Philadelphia Mayor Proposes 9.3% Property Tax Hike

Currently, the tax bill for a house assessed at $113,000 is $1,112. If Nutter's proposal is approved, it would go up to $1,216.
March 5, 2015

Maine Governor Will Now Focus Only on Tax Reform

Paul LePage vows to spend the "rest of my days" fighting opponents of his plan to cut income taxes and hike sales taxes.
March 5, 2015

No One Likes the Governor of Ohio's Tax Plan

Gov. John Kasich's tax plan takes fire from both the left and right.
March 5, 2015

Justice Dept. Won't Charge Ferguson Officer in Michael Brown's Shooting

It was reasonable for police Officer Darren Wilson to be afraid of Michael Brown in their encounter last summer, a Justice Department investigation concluded, and thus he cannot be prosecuted for fatally shooting the unarmed 18-year-old.
March 5, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Scrutinizes the Meaning of 'Legislature'

Supreme Court justices raised tough questions Monday about Arizona's use of an independent commission to draw legislative maps, in a case crucial for political operators and reformers in California and beyond.
March 5, 2015

Florida's Redistricting Maps on Trial

Florida's congressional redistricting maps should be rejected because they are the product of a shadowy process infiltrated by Republican political operatives in violation of the law against partisan gerrymandering, lawyers argued before the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday.
March 5, 2015

Cleveland, Tenn., Police Department Gets 3rd Leader in 4 Days

The Cleveland Police Department got its third leader in four days Wednesday after Tennessee's police regulatory agency told City Manager Janice Casteel she couldn't serve in that position.
March 5, 2015

Kansas Considers Tax Incentives for Artists

When the 1951 flood swept through north Topeka, the business district never quite recovered.
March 4, 2015

Justice Kennedy Invites Another Lawsuit in Online Tax Case

The Supreme Court justice's view could open a revisitation of question about web sales taxes.
March 4, 2015

Democratic Party Schism Reflected in Chicago Mayoral Race

Rahm Emanuel's dilemma echoes that of Hillary Clinton, widely expected to run for the Democratic presidential nomination: how much should progressives matter in the party?
March 4, 2015

Not Just Ferguson: Many Places Facing Federal Policing Reforms

Some about two dozen American law enforcement agencies are under investigation by the Justice Department.
March 4, 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Dramatic Changes to How Education Is Funded

Gov. Tom Wolf today proposed an expansive plan for Pennsylvania state government that would shift the burden of education funding from the property tax toward the personal income tax while drawing on natural gas drilling to increase money for schools.
March 4, 2015

Alabama Governor Defends Abandoning No-New-Taxes Pledge

Gov. Robert Bentley defended his proposed $541 million tax increase in his State of the State address Tuesday.
March 4, 2015

Rick Scott Calls for Cutting Taxes, Spending More on Schools and Jobs

The 2015 session of the Legislature began Tuesday with two starkly different visions of Florida, as Republicans and Democrats used the opening day to mark their political territory and set contrasting priorities for the next two months.
March 4, 2015

Feds to Fault Ferguson Police and Courts for Violating the Constitution

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce Wednesday that a Department of Justice investigation found patterns of racial bias in Ferguson's police and municipal court that violate the Constitution and federal law.
March 4, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court Defies Federal Judge's Gay Marriage Ruling

Alabama's highest court once again ordered judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying a federal judge who struck down the state's ban on such unions as unconstitutional and ignoring the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to intervene.
March 4, 2015

West Virginia Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed legislation Tuesday that would ban abortions at 20 weeks' pregnancy, noting that the law would not pass constitutional muster.
March 3, 2015

Indianapolis Comes Closer to Passing a Homeless Bill of Rights

The ordinance, modeled after similar laws in Rhode Island and Illinois, establishes specific protections that would make it more difficult to displace homeless people from public property.
March 3, 2015

Head of North Carolina Court System Retires After Gay Marriage Battle

John W. Smith, who has worked in the court system for more than 40 years. will retire as director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts effective May 1.
March 3, 2015

New Jersey Mayor Forbids Questions at Town Council Meetings

Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown provokes an outcry after he decides that residents would not be permitted to question council members during public meetings,
March 3, 2015

Massachusetts Governor Says Early Retirement Plan Will Save Money

Gov. Charlie Baker hopes to convince about 4,500 state workers to take early retirement. It'll cost the state $50 million, but his administration says the overall budget savings will more than make up for it.
March 3, 2015

Obama's Policing Task Force Releases Recommendations

A national policing commission set up by President Barack Obama after the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson is recommending independent investigations of police-involved deaths.
March 3, 2015

Sex Offender Housing Restrictions Overturned in California

The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that blanket statewide restrictions on where sex offenders may live violate the constitutional rights of parolees in San Diego County -- and potentially those in other counties.
March 3, 2015

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Retirement Creates Rare Opening in Maryland

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's startling announcement Monday that she will not seek re-election in 2016 after more than four decades in elected office set off a political free-for-all as Maryland's most powerful politicians began to position themselves for the opportunity to run for a rare open seat.
March 3, 2015

Ex-Superintendent in Atlanta Cheating Scandal Dies Facing Criminal Charges

Beverly L. Hall, the former Atlanta schools superintendent whose renown as an education reformer dissolved amid the ignominy of the nation's largest test-cheating scandal, died Monday of breast cancer. She was 68.
March 3, 2015

Nebraska's Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

A federal judge on Monday blocked Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, though the ruling will not take effect immediately.
March 2, 2015

Trouble for Some States, Lower Gas Prices Bring Relief to Mississippi

Few places in the U.S. are benefiting from lower gas prices as much as Mississippi. Residents spend about 6 percent of their after-tax income on gasoline, more than any other state.
March 2, 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Fires Philadelphia School Reform Commissioner

Tom Wolf called Bill Green yesterday to inform him that he was removing him as chairman of the city's School Reform Commission.
March 2, 2015

Florida's Privatized Prison System Is Chronically Underfunded

The festering troubles at the state’s prison system have emerged as a problem that won’t go away.
March 2, 2015

Christie Quietly Reaps Obamacare's Budget Benefits

Gov. Christie's proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 assumes hundreds of millions of dollars in savings achieved through the expansion of Medicaid under President Obama's health-care law.
March 2, 2015

GOP Governors Carry Their States' Fiscal Baggage to CPAC

After bolting to national prominence on a record of bringing public employee unions to heel and taming runaway pension costs like those that have challenged state governments across the country, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hit a very large hurdle recently.
March 2, 2015

Thousands Rally Against Right-to-Work in Wisconsin

Their numbers may pale in comparison to the peak protest rallies of 2011, but the passion was much the same for those who showed up Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin.
February 27, 2015

Missouri Auditor Dies in 'Apparent Suicide'

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich _ a lifelong high achiever who appeared poised to make a strong run to be the state's next governor _ died Thursday in St. Louis in an apparent suicide.
February 27, 2015

Border Surge Hampering Policing in Other Parts of Texas

The deployment of additional state police and Texas National Guard troops to the southern border last June has reduced illegal border crossings but cost more than $100 million and compromised the Department of Public Safety's ability to combat crimes elsewhere, according to an internal DPS assessment prepared for Gov. Greg Abbott and lawmakers.
February 27, 2015

81,000 Ohioans to Lose Medicaid Coverage

About 61,000 Ohioans will lose their tax-funded health coverage at the end of this week.
February 27, 2015

Scott Walker Says Union Protesters Prepared Him for Fighting Islamic Terrorists

Gov. Scott Walker told thousands of conservative activists Thursday that his experience standing up to 100,000 protesters in 2011 has prepared him to face the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists
February 26, 2015

FCC Kills State Laws Blocking Municipal Broadband

People living and working near the Western Hemisphere's first location to get gigabit-per-second Internet service should soon have access to the same speedy broadband their neighbors
February 26, 2015

West Virginia Legislature Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

Federal judges have stopped similar pre-viability abortion bans in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Arkansas and North Dakota.
February 26, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Restricts State Licensing Boards' Power

The Supreme Court on Tuesday cut back on the power of state licensing boards to restrict competitors from offering low-cost services, a victory for consumers that could prove significant in industries as disparate as taxicabs, funerals and cosmetology.
February 26, 2015

D.C. Legalizes Marijuana Despite Congress' Threats

The city that brought America government shutdowns and all-night filibusters is set to make pot legal on Thursday. But by the time the chaos over implementing the law is settled, most everyone in the District of Columbia might wish they were smoking some.
February 26, 2015

Obamacare Architect Among Those Ousted from Massachusetts Health Board

Gov. Charlie Baker moved to seize control of the state's Health Connector board yesterday forcing out four members -- including MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, the controversial architect of Obamacare
February 26, 2015

Iowa's GOP Governor Reluctantly Raises the Gas Tax

With little fanfare Wednesday, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a fuel tax increase that would hike prices at Iowa pumps for gasoline and diesel by 10 cents per gallon beginning on Sunday.
February 26, 2015

Right-to-Work Bill Passes Wisconsin Senate

With echoes of 2011's labor battle, Republican state senators approved so-called right-to-work legislation Wednesday, less than a week after they announced they were fast-tracking the measure.
February 26, 2015

What Hurt Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

When President Barack Obama dropped into his hometown a few days before the city election to designate the historic Pullman district a national monument and heap praise on Rahm Emanuel, rivals decried the move as pure politics aimed at pumping up African-American support for the mayor.
February 25, 2015

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Running for U.S. Senate

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will seek to challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman next year, launching what could become one of the top-tier Senate races of 2016.
February 25, 2015

Michigan's Fighting a Cyber Battle Government Will 'Never Win'

The number of daily attacks on the state government's computer systems is staggering and growing in both incidents and cost.
February 25, 2015

Rahm Emanuel Forced into Chicago's First Mayoral Runoff

Rahm Emanuel failed to win a second term Tuesday, suffering a national political embarrassment as little-known, lesser-funded challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia forced the mayor into the uncharted waters of an April runoff election.
February 25, 2015

Teachers Union Denies Christie's Claim of Pension Deal

Gov. Christie said today that a plan has been outlined to fix the state's chronically underfunded pension system, claiming an "unprecedented accord" with the state's largest teachers' union on the issue.
February 25, 2015

California Wants an Embassy in Washington

A California lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow the most populous U.S. state to establish an embassy in Washington.
February 25, 2015

Ohio's John Kasich Pushes Tax Reform in State Address

Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday used a small southwest Ohio town to demonstrate that a resilient state is back on its feet even as he challenged lawmakers to have the courage to "follow the plan" to continue the progress.
February 24, 2015

Obama Vetoes Keystone Pipeline Bill

President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the first veto of a year that seems likely to feature repeated such moves as the Democratic president confronts the Republican-led Congress.
February 24, 2015

Alaska's Minimum Wage Increase Takes Effect

Alaska's minimum wage will rise Tuesday to $8.75, a $1-per-hour increase that will affect thousands of workers' paychecks, according to the state's Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
February 24, 2015

Ohio Judge Who Banned Local Fracking Regulations Backed by Oil Industry

An Ohio Supreme Court justice lamented last week that "the oil and gas industry has gotten its way" in a decision that says local governments can't regulate drilling.
February 24, 2015

Christie's Pension Cuts Ruled Unconstitutional

A New Jersey judge ruled Monday that Gov. Christie violated public-sector unions' contractual rights when he cut the state's payment to the pension system for public workers in June, and she ordered him to work with the Legislature to find a solution.
February 24, 2015

With Ex-Mayor in Prison, Charlotte Tightens Ethics Rules

The Charlotte City Council tightened its ethics rules for elected officials Monday, requiring council members to tell the public more about their business dealings and forbidding many gifts.
February 24, 2015

Chicago Voters Head to Polls to Decide Rahm Emanuel's Fate

Chicago voters head to the polls Tuesday and will decide whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel collects a majority and quickly wins a second term or faces six more weeks of campaigning and a politically risky runoff election.
February 23, 2015

Obama Administration Argues States Lack Legal Standing to Challenge Immigration Order

The Obama administration is seeking to block a federal judge's ruling last week that halted programs intended to grant deportation waivers to up to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
February 23, 2015

Repealing Common Core Would Cost $4 Million in Tennessee

A bill requiring Tennessee's State Board of Education to drop Common Core education standards and develop new requirements has a math problem: It's projected to cost $4.14 million over a three-year period.
February 23, 2015

Philadelphia Enters a Litigious Era in Charter Schools

Late Wednesday night, after the Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved five of 39 charter applications, KIPP Philadelphia CEO Marc Mannella gave his assessment of the decisions.
February 23, 2015

Maryland Offers State Employees $15,000 to Retire Early

Maryland is offering state workers $15,000 to leave their jobs, part of a cost-saving plan to shrink the government workforce and save millions.
February 23, 2015

A Fire Chief and a Police Chief: One Marriage, Two Resignations

City officials announced the resignation and retirement of longtime Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen Friday, three days after criminal charges were filed against his wife, the former Greensburg Chief of Police.
February 23, 2015

Ohio Governor Wants to Nearly Triple E-Cigarette Taxes

This plan might take a smoker's breath away: The price to use electronic cigarettes could almost triple under a tax proposed by Gov. John Kasich.
February 23, 2015

Scott Walker Abandons His Re-Election Pledge to Unions

After saying in his re-election bid that he wouldn't push so-called right-to-work legislation, Gov. Scott Walker committed Friday to signing it, acting after GOP leaders fast-tracked the proposal for a Senate vote next week.
February 23, 2015

Why Boston Is Probably Jealous of Anchorage, Alaska

Less snow in Anchorage is bad for skiing, but a boon for the city's maintenance budget.
February 20, 2015

Maureen McDonnell Sentenced to a Year in Prison

Virginia former first lady gets a prison term for corruption.
February 20, 2015

Sheldon Silver Indicted on 3, Instead of 5, Charges

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Sheldon Silver, the powerful former leader of New York's state assembly, on charges that the legislator used his position and state funds to earn millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks for himself.
February 20, 2015

UMass Reverses Ban on Iranians in Science Grad Programs

The University of Massachusetts, under pressure for a policy that barred Iranian nationals from seeking admission to certain graduate science courses, reversed itself on Wednesday and announced it will now accept the students.
February 19, 2015

Critics Say Illinois' Governor's 'Turnaround Budget' Is a Wrong Turn

Bruce Rauner's new budget has cuts his opponents call "reckless."
February 19, 2015

Alaska Governor Saves Money on Medicaid, Finds More for Ferries and the Homeless

Bill Walker's proposal was his last chance to tweak his budget before the state Legislature begins reviewing and adjusting it.
February 19, 2015

Why Scott Walker Still Has Some Union Support

Unions that backed the Wisconsin governor are faring better than others in the state.
February 19, 2015

California Congresswoman Retiring to Run for Local Office

Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., will forgo a congressional re-election campaign next year and instead run for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, where her populist father, the late Kenneth Hahn, served for four decades.
February 19, 2015

Oregon's New Governor, Kate Brown, Stresses Restoring Faith in Government

Kate Brown made history in more ways than one Wednesday, when she was sworn in as Oregon's new governor while her mother and husband stood proudly by.
February 19, 2015

Robert Taylor Replaces Kate Brown as Oregon Secretary of State

Kate Brown's deputy, Robert Taylor, took over as Oregon's acting secretary of state when Brown was sworn in as governor Wednesday.
February 19, 2015

Scott Walker Refuses Federal Funding for Medicaid Expansion, Again

The state would stay the course and turn down federal money to expand Wisconsin's health programs for the needy, under Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal.
February 18, 2015

After 15 Years of Rick Perry, Greg Abbott Lays Out His Plans for Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas should reorder its fiscal priorities to do more for education, roads and border security -- and hand out $4.5 billion in tax cuts -- even as it clamps down on spending for many programs.
February 18, 2015

Why GOP Governors Call Medicaid Expansion Medicaid "Reform"

There's an awkward political dance that's being performed nationwide as more Republican governors push for Medicaid expansion, despite tepid support from GOP state lawmakers and a continuing assault on the health care law by Republicans in Congress.
February 18, 2015

Japanese Interment Camp in Hawaii Will Be a National Monument

President Barack Obama will designate the plot of land in western Oahu that was the site of the World War II Honouliuli camp as a national monument.
February 18, 2015

Obama Vows to Fight Courts, Congress and States on Immigration Ruling

The Obama administration promised Tuesday to fight against opposition from both the courts and Congress to keep in place its expansive new programs to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, a key piece of the president's effort to shape his legacy in his final years in office.
February 18, 2015

Obamacare Enrollment Expected to Exceed Last Year's

Approximately 11.4 million people have signed up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act this year, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday, signaling a strong conclusion to the federal health law's second enrollment period.
February 18, 2015

New York's Top Judge Calls for Grand Jury Reform in Police Shootings

In the wake of polarizing grand jury decisions in the police-related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, New York's top judge wants judges to oversee the grand jury process in cases involving deadly and near-deadly incidents involving police and civilians.
February 18, 2015

Texas Judge Rules State's Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

A Travis County judge ruled Tuesday that the Texas ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but there was no rush to the altar after county officials _ scrambling to assess the effect of the judge's 3 p.m. order _ declined to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, at least for now.
February 17, 2015

Time to End Longevity Pay in Tennessee?

Gov. Bill Haslam is seeking to end a benefit under which state workers get pay for years of service.
February 17, 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Facing Battle over Proposed Police Commissioner

Tom Wolf will likely have a hard time getting acting State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown.confirmed.
February 17, 2015

Judge Halts Obama's Executive Order on Immigration

A federal judge in south Texas issued an injunction Monday temporarily blocking a program President Obama announced in November that would defer deportation for about 5 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
February 17, 2015

Now That Kate Brown Is Oregon's Governor, Who Will Be Secretary of State?

Speculation is brewing over who will succeed Kate Brown as Oregon's next secretary of state when she becomes governor next week, replacing John Kitzhaber.
February 17, 2015

Oil Train Derailment in West Virginia Renews Safety Questions

The derailments this week of two trains carrying crude oil have raised new questions about the adequacy of federal efforts to improve the safety of moving oil on tank cars from new North American wells to distant refineries.
February 17, 2015

Maryland and Maine Join Multistate Task Force to Combat Heroin

Calling heroin a crisis that crosses state boundaries, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said Thursday that his office will join counterparts in the Northeast to share information and jointly prosecute drug traffickers.
February 17, 2015

At Least 30 Days Til Boston's Transit Is Back on Track

The blizzard-battered commuter rail and subway will not be back to normal for "at least" another 30 days, the transit authority's embattled general manager admitted yesterday, forecasting a bleak month of long, expensive slogs for hundreds of thousands of commuters -- as another storm looms.
February 13, 2015

$106 Million Cuts to Michigan Budget

State appropriations committees approved the cuts recently proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
February 13, 2015

Tennessee Bill Would Let Undocumented Immigrants Pay In-State Tuition

As many as 25,000 Tennessee high school graduates could benefit.
February 13, 2015

University of California System Leads Israel Divestment Push

It is primarily at UC campuses where student leaders have voted to condemn Israeli actions and ask that billions of dollars in endowment funds be removed from companies with identifiable ties to the country's military.
February 13, 2015

Athens, Ohio, Sheriff Sent Immediately to Jail Following Corruption Conviction

Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove revoked Pat Kelly bond, saying he posed a flight risk.
February 13, 2015

'Megadroughts' Predicted to Ravage the Southwest

The Southwest, including California, along with the Great Plains states, will endure long-lasting “megadroughts” in the second half of this century, worse by far than anything seen in the past 1,000 years, a team of climate experts said Thursday.
February 13, 2015

After Several Vetoes, Philadelphia Mayor Signs Paid Sick Leave Law

Mayor Nutter signed mandatory paid sick leave into law Thursday, the same day City Council passed the legislation before a crowd of cheering workers.
February 13, 2015

Nebraska Judge Halts Keystone Pipeline

In a temporary victory for opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Nebraska state judge sided with landowners seeking to stop Canadian energy firm TransCanada from taking land from dozens of properties in the northern half of the state.
February 13, 2015

Rand Paul Asks Kentucky GOP for Presidential Caucus in 2016

Looking for a greater voice for his state — and an advantage for his own likely campaign — Sen. Rand Paul is asking the Republican Party of Kentucky to create a presidential caucus in 2016 that would go earlier than its May primary.
February 12, 2015

Oregon Secretary of State Calls Kitzhaber's Behavior 'Bizarre, Unprecedented'

The governor of Oregon ordered his secretary of state, Kate Brown, to come back to Oregon, but then didn't resign and asked her why she returned early.
February 12, 2015

U.S. Judge Orders Alabama County to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

Moments after a federal judge ruled Thursday that gay marriage licenses must be issued, Robert Povilat and his husband-to-be, Milton Persinger, were proudly the first in line at the Mobile County Probate Court and started filling out their paperwork.
February 12, 2015

Philadelphia to Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

The city edged out Columbus, Ohio, and New York City.
February 12, 2015

Gavin Newsom Wants to Run for Governor of California Again

The lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor will open a campaign account in preparation for the governor's race in 2018.
February 12, 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Makes Surprise Visits to State Legislators

Gov. Tom Wolfe has visited the offices of about 50 lawmakers and plans to continue his rounds as well as invite all lawmakers to the governor's mansion a mile from the Capitol.
February 12, 2015

4 of Oregon's Governors Have Resigned

None of them have left amid controversy before.
February 12, 2015

Like Scott Walker, These Possible 2016 Candidates Won't Endorse Evolution

As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker showed on Wednesday, the theory of evolution continues to trip up presidential aspirants. Over the past few election cycles, Democratic candidates often voiced their unabashed support of Darwin's scientific breakthrough, while Republicans offered up views ranging from outright denial to complex hedging to less than full-throated support.
February 12, 2015

Amid Boston's Battle with Snow, MBTA Leader Quits

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott jetted off at taxpayer expense nearly every month during her two-plus-year tenure -- sometimes several times a month -- to conferences and meetings around the country, even as the troubled transit system was collapsing around her, a Herald review shows.
February 12, 2015

New York Police Officer Indicted in Killing of Unarmed Man

A rookie cop who shot and killed an unarmed man in a Brooklyn housing project stairwell was indicted Tuesday on criminal charges stemming from the case, which fueled protests over policing tactics.
February 12, 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Proposes 5% Tax on Natural Gas Drilling to Help Fund Education

Gov. Tom Wolf toured an elementary school on Wednesday morning where students were writing about love for Valentine's Day. Then the new governor proposed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for education with a 5 percent natural gas extraction tax that has not earned him much affection from the drilling industry.
February 11, 2015

Los Angeles Is Trying to Put an End to Immigration Scams

L.A. city and county officials formed a task force formed last fall after President Barack Obama announced the expansion of his deferred action program.
February 11, 2015

Halfway Through Winter, Boston Used Almost Double Its Snow Removal Budget

The succession of mega-snowstorms that have buried Boston's streets have also obliterated the city's snow removal budget by more than $11 million and now wiped out two holidays for Boston school kids, City Hall announced yesterday.
February 11, 2015

Kansas Governor Removes Protections for LGBT Employees

In a move that shocked progressive advocates in Kansas, the state's Republican governor on Tuesday issued an executive order to remove discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender state employees.
February 10, 2015

Richard Daley Endorses Rahm Emanuel for Chicago Mayor

Despite Emanuel's criticism of Daley's impact on Chicago finances, he got his predecessor's endorsement.
February 10, 2015

Maine Considers 'Right to Try' Law for Terminal Patients

Maine lawmaker Thomas Longstaff wants to dying patients the right to try experimental drugs.
February 10, 2015

Oregon AG Launches Criminal Investigation of Gov. Kitzhaber and His Fiancee

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Monday that she has opened an investigation into the allegations of public corruption against Gov. John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes.
February 10, 2015

Illinois Governor Exempts State Workers from Union Fees

Moving beyond rhetoric, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday issued an executive order that aims at absolving state workers who don't want to join a union from paying fees that support collective bargaining.
February 10, 2015

Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Scraps GOP Predecessor's Medicaid Plan

Gov. Wolf on Monday said he is dismantling his predecessor's alternative to Medicaid expansion and will move forward with the transition to traditional Medicaid insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians.
February 10, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Rejected by Wyoming Lawmakers

Medicaid expansion was once again rejected by the Wyoming Legislature on Friday.
February 10, 2015

Alabama Gay Marriage Order Seen as Sign of U.S. Supreme Court's Direction

For legal commentators both for and against same-sex marriage -- and, apparently, for two of the Supreme Court's most conservative justices -- the court's refusal Monday to block same-sex marriages in Alabama foreshadowed a likely ruling within months to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians nationwide.
February 9, 2015

Tennessee Governor Proposes Pay Raise for Teachers and New Construction Projects

Gov. Bill Haslam pitches about $500 million in new state spending in his State of the State address.
February 9, 2015

Former Philadelphia Prosecutor Walter M. Phillips Jr., Has Died

His career as a city, state, and federal prosecutor pitted him against New York mobsters and politicians such as former Pennsylvania State Sen. Henry J. "Buddy" Cianfrani.
February 9, 2015

Pennsylvania's Community Colleges Offering Credit for Life Experience

Using "prior learning assessment," it's Pennsylvania's first effort to standardize the process of giving credit for life, and comes as other states are looking at their systems.
February 9, 2015

Alabama Judge Defies Federal Ruling on Gay Marriage

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore late Sunday distributed a ruling intended to bar the state's probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday.
February 6, 2015

Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins Has Died

Collins was taken off life support and died today, city officials say.
February 5, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Drops Plan to Change Higher Education Mission to Focus Only on 'Workforce Development'

Scott Walker changes would have struck pieces about state outreach, improving the human condition and pursuing truth in favor of more narrowly defining state campuses as agents of workforce development.
February 5, 2015

Pat McCrory Focuses on Jobs, Schools, and Transportation in 2015 State

North Carolina's governor announced plans to create jobs, raise both expectations and rewards for educators, undertake ambitious transportation improvements.
February 5, 2015

Newspapers File Lawsuit Against Florida Governor for Violating State's Open Meeting Law

Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet face a case alleging that they broke the state's Sunshine Law when they fired Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey.
February 5, 2015

Oregon Governor Says His Fiancee Will Have No Policy Role, But It Might Be Too Late

Gov.John Kitzhaber is already enacting policies Cylvia Hayes was paid to promote.
February 5, 2015

Anthem Cyberattack Exposes Millions of Health Data

Health insurance giant Anthem Inc. said late Wednesday that hackers had breached its computer system and the personal information of tens of millions of customers and employees was possibly at risk.
February 5, 2015

Illinois May Be the Next State to Let Municipalities File for Bankruptcy

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to give cities, towns and counties the authority to file for bankruptcy protection, a move that could give local governments a stronger foothold when negotiating with local police and fire officials over costly pension obligations.
February 5, 2015

In State of the State, Illinois Governor Pledges to Weaken Unions

Declaring it's "make or break time," Gov. Bruce Rauner used his first State of the State speech Wednesday to lay out a comprehensive conservative agenda aimed at repairing the state by helping businesses while putting the brakes on the power of organized labor.
February 5, 2015

Maryland's New GOP Governor Pushes Tax Relief in State of the State

Gov. Larry Hogan used his first State of the State address to follow through on a campaign promise, vowing Wednesday to push for tax relief for small businesses, motorists and some retirees, and to seek repeal of a controversial stormwater fee.
February 5, 2015

After Tamir Rice Shooting, Cleveland Cops Begin Wearing Body Cameras

Cleveland police have begun wearing body cameras as part of a program to outfit 1,500 officers with the devices, the department announced Wednesday, nearly 10 weeks after a city police officer shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was holding a toy gun.
February 5, 2015

Michigan to Recognize 300 Gay Marriages

In 1993, Lisa Bashert's partner proposed to her by phone, popping the question while she was at work.
February 4, 2015

Tennessee Medicaid Expansion Fails

Tennessee lawmakers ended the special legislative session called by Gov. Bill Haslam to consider his health insurance plan for the working poor Wednesday afternoon after a Senate committee killed the plan on a 4-7 vote.
February 4, 2015

Paul LePage Promotes Tax Reform in Maine's State of the State

His idea is to eliminate the estate tax and cut the Maine income tax by more than half a billion dollars annually by 2019.
February 4, 2015

Former Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Indicted for Voter Fraud

Patrick Cannon, now serving 44 months at a federal prison camp in West Virginia, was indicted this week for an illegal vote he cast last fall.
February 4, 2015

Ohio Governor's Going to Have to Get More Outside Support If He Wants to Be President

Outside of the state Gov. John Kasich barely registers in presidential polls.
February 4, 2015

Florida Governor Proposes Changing Funding Structure for Hospitals

Gov. Rick Scott wants to repeal a controversial hospital funding law under which counties that use local dollars to attract federal matching funds have to share the money with counties that don't raise local funds.
February 4, 2015

Cowboy Hats Out at One Wyoming County Sheriff's Department

New Sublette County Sheriff Stephen Haskell will require all deputies to wear black trousers, a tan shirt, black boots and a black ball cap.
February 4, 2015

No Ethics Reform, No Budget, Says New York Governor

That is the message that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is delivering as he tours the state with his budget proposal, laying on the line what may be his proudest accomplishment of more than four years in office -- on-time passage of the state budget.
February 4, 2015

UW President Picked to Lead Texas A&M

Michael K. Young has built a reputation for making sure that research done at the universities he led could find its way to the market.
February 4, 2015

Lawsuit: Arizona Foster Kids' Treatment 'Shocks the Conscience'

Arizona's treatment of foster children is so bad it actually puts kids at risk of greater harm, says a federal class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against the directors of the Arizona Department of Child Safety and the Department of Health Services.
February 4, 2015

Amid Low Oil Prices, EPA Requests New Review of Keystone's Environmental Impact

The Environmental Protection Agency is calling on the State Department to rethink its conclusion that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would have minimal impact on climate change, saying the pipeline could significantly increase greenhouse gases.
February 4, 2015

House Votes to Repeal Obamacare

Pledging anew to replace the federal health law that President Barack Obama signed five years ago, House Republicans passed yet another bill Tuesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
February 3, 2015

Vermont Considers Finally Just Legalizing Marijuana

Will Vermont become the East Coast hub of marijuana tourism?
February 3, 2015

Christie's Controversial Comments on Vaccines

Two leading Republican presidential hopefuls waded into the argument over childhood vaccinations Monday, with Sen. Rand Paul declaring that he had heard of "many tragic cases" of children suffering harm after receiving shots and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie saying parents should be given a choice on the issue.
February 3, 2015

Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Charged with Extortion

When raising campaign cash last year, prosecutors say, former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord had a simple and crude message:
February 3, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Keep Emails About Public Business Private

Voting mostly along party lines, the state House rejected an amendment that would have made private e-mails by public officials about official state business open to public scrutiny.
February 3, 2015

Tennessee Convenes Special Session on Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Bill Haslam urged skeptical state Republican lawmakers Monday night to set aside the "easy political argument" against his Insure Tennessee proposal and embrace it as conservatives' opportunity to improve people's lives while attacking soaring health care costs.
February 3, 2015

Feds On Board with Sacramento Streetcar

Federal transportation officials have preliminarily agreed to help fund a $150 million downtown Sacramento streetcar project this year, as long as Sacramento can come up with local matching funds in the next few months, according to local officials with knowledge of the federal plans.
February 3, 2015

In State of the State, Oklahoma Governor Pushes Performance-Based Budgeting

Gov. Mary Fallin, in her annual state of the state speech, urged lawmakers to improve the way the state budget is drawn up so that priority areas of education, public safety and health can be adequately funded.
February 2, 2015

Brian Sandoval Begins New Term with a Tax Hike for Nevada

The popular GOP governor wants to increase taxes to pay for schools and other improvements, after 80 percent of voters rejected a tax hike on the ballot in November.
February 2, 2015

Pittsburgh Zoo Can't Use Dogs to Control Elephants

USDA orders zoo to stop the practice, which may cause elephant anxiety.
February 2, 2015

After Years of Layoffs, Philadelphia to Hire Hundreds of Teachers

The Philadelphia School District plans to hire at least 400 teachers for the 2015-16 school yea
February 2, 2015

Day-Care Funding Drought Tests Illinois Gov. Rauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner faces an immediate test of his ability to work through the challenges of running cash-strapped Illinois now that the state has run out of money for a popular subsidized day care program.
February 2, 2015

Toledo Mayor Michael Collins in Critical Condition After Heart Attack

Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins remains heavily sedated and in critical condition at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, following his hospitalization for cardiac arrest, a city official said tonight.
January 30, 2015

LAPD Criticized for Arranging Private Meeting for Mexican Murderer

Rene "Boxer" Enriquez was taken downtown to be the featured speaker at a meeting _ arranged by police _ with a private group of prominent business leaders and local law enforcement officials.
January 30, 2015

Carl Heastie Will Be New York Assembly's Next Speaker

The former budget analyst is set to lead assembly as its first black speaker.
January 30, 2015

John Kerry Fined for Not Shoveling Snow at His Boston House

The U.S. Secretary of State will have to pay $50 for failing to shovel snow around his Beacon Hill mansion.
January 30, 2015

Pennsylvania Treasurer Resigns

State Treasurer Rob McCord steps down amid signs of federal probe.
January 30, 2015

Arizona Copes with Measles Outbreak as Super Bowl Nears

At least seven cases of measles connected to the Disneyland outbreak have been confirmed around Phoenix.
January 30, 2015

Pennsylvania's New Governor Reinstates Fracking Ban in State Parkland

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Gov. Wolf on Thursday reinstated a moratorium on natural gas drilling on state parklands. It came less than a year after his predecessor lifted the ban.
January 30, 2015

Senate Approves Keystone Pipeline Despite Veto Threat

After three weeks and nearly 50 amendment votes, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation to expedite construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
January 29, 2015

San Francisco Working to Provide Homeless with Good Public Bathrooms

The city's port-a-potty program offers the homeless privacy and cleanliness.
January 29, 2015

Poll: Rahm Emanuel Leads Challengers But May Face Runoff

Mayor Rahm Emanuel still has a ways to go to persuade city voters to give him a second term next month and allow him to avoid a politically risky runoff contest in April, according to a new Chicago Tribune poll.
January 28, 2015

Montana Governor Wants a State 'Where We Help Others, While We Succeed'

From expanding health coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans to a $400 million infrastructure plan Gov. Steve Bullock said will create 4,000 jobs, the first-term Democrat urged the GOP-controlled Legislature to overlook partisanship and adopt his wide-ranging agenda.
January 28, 2015

Motorola Gets (Another) No-Bid Contract with Texas County

The Houston-Galveston contract also was used by Fort Worth and Washington, D.C., to award Motorola deals worth tens of millions of dollars without taking bids from other vendors.
January 28, 2015

Georgia Executes Warren Lee Hill, a Man with a 70 IQ

In Georgia, to prove that a death row inmate has an intellectual disability, the inmate's attorneys must show that he is disabled "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is the toughest standard of proof in the nation.
January 28, 2015

Ohio AG Sues Feds over Obamacare Fee

A fee charged to states, some local governments and universities under Obamacare is unconstitutional, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday.
January 28, 2015

Sheldon Silver to Be Replaced

Assembly Democrats on Tuesday night settled on a plan to oust Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver next week, ending the political career of the longtime state government power broker whose rapid fall came just days after his arrest on federal corruption charges.
January 28, 2015

Indiana Governor Clarifies State-Run Media Plan

Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday he soon will be "clarifying" what his Just IN news site will be doing and called reports on the plan an "understandable misunderstanding."
January 27, 2015

Pennsylvania GOP Demands Governor Reinstate Open Records Director

Senate Republicans announced they had filed suit in Commonwealth Court against the governor over his decision to fire the director of the office of open records.
January 27, 2015

Chicago's Mayor Endorsed by Obama

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's former boss endorses him in a radio ad.
January 27, 2015

Hawaii's New Governor Stresses Doing Things "the Right Way for the Right Reasons"

Gov. David Ige touched on a number of priority areas -- from taxes and spending to education -- but offered few specific proposals in his first State of the State before the Legislature Monday.
January 27, 2015

Indiana Governor Starts Publicly Funded State-Run News Outlet

Gov. Mike Pence is starting a state-run taxpayer-funded news outlet that will make pre-written news stories available to Indiana media, as well as sometimes break news about his administration, according to documents obtained by The Indianapolis Star.
January 27, 2015

Former Gov. McDonnell Free on Bail Pending Appeal

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will not have to report to a federal prison in two weeks, a federal appeals court said Monday, in a move that bodes well for McDonnell's appeal of his conviction on public corruption charges.
January 27, 2015

Exonerations Hit Record High in 2014

Criminal exonerations often make big news because of the agonizing years that those falsely convicted have spent behind bars -- sometimes under the specter of a death sentence -- but for those who keep track of them, it was a slew of low-level cases from Harris County that proved to be the most interesting among those recorded in 2014.
January 27, 2015

Police Officers Shot Outside Minnesota City Council Meeting

Two police officers were injured by a gunman outside a New Hope City Council meeting on Monday night. The gunman was fatally shot by police, authorities said.
January 26, 2015

Wisconsin Treasurer Fulfills Campaign Pledge, Lays Off All Staff

Newly elected state Treasurer Matt Adamczyk would really like to just eliminate his office altogether.
January 26, 2015

Why Illinois Keeps So Many Prisoners Incarcerated Beyond Release Dates

State prison officials hold hundreds of inmates in prison every year because they can't find places for paroled people to live.
January 26, 2015

Michigan County Debuts Text-to-911 System

Oakland County, Michigan, residents will soon be able to text 911 to get emergency help.
January 26, 2015

After Arrest, New York Speaker Temporarily Relinquishes Duties

Embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his allies crafted a deal Sunday night to let the Manhattan Democrat "temporarily" cede responsibilities of running the chamber to five colleagues while he fights federal corruption charges against him.
January 26, 2015

Scott Walker Pushes Drug Testing for Government Aid

With federal approval in doubt, Gov. Scott Walker is moving ahead with his campaign pledge to ensure that drug users aren't getting public health care, food stamp or jobless benefits.
January 26, 2015

Alaska Leaders Irate over Obama's Plan to Ban Drilling in Wildlife Refuge

President Barack Obama said Sunday that he planned to ask Congress to declare much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, including its 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, an area on Alaska's North Slope suspected to contain vast reserves of oil and gas.
January 23, 2015

Are Californians Getting Over Their Vaccination Fears?

Personal-belief exemptions from vaccinations have dropped in the state.
January 23, 2015

In Effort to Gain Notice, Cities Build Increasingly Strange-Looking Buildings

Miami backs a $430 million hairpin tower. Is it too ugly?
January 23, 2015

Chris Christie Got a Lot of Presents as Governor

New Jersey's governor has received more than 1,100 gifts since he took office in 2010,
January 23, 2015

Colorado GOP Cuts Funding for Immigrant Driver's Licenses

A Colorado law that allows immigrants in the country illegally to get driver's licenses was heralded as historic for its bipartisan support and an ingenious way to make driving safer because it required mandatory driving tests and insurance.
January 23, 2015

On His Second Day, Tom Wolf Recalls Former Governor's Last-Minute Appointments

On his second day in office, Gov. Wolf rescinded more than two dozen 11th-hour appointments by his predecessor -- firing the state's new open records officer, canceling judicial nominations and effectively booting the former lieutenant governor from Temple University's board of trustees.
January 23, 2015

Democratic Icon of Kentucky, Wendell Ford, Dies

Wendell Ford, the patriarch of Kentucky Democratic politics in the latter part of the 20th century, died Thursday morning in his hometown of Owensboro. He was 90.
January 22, 2015

Rick Snyder Promises Improved Programs, Focuses on State's 'River of Opportunity'

The Michigan governor proposed new programs for job training, reorganizing departments and creating "regional prosperity teams."
January 22, 2015

California's November 2016 Ballot Will Have an Awful Lot of Propositions

Record low voter turnout and a change in state law means the fall 2016 ballot will be really, really long.
January 22, 2015

It's Hard to Find an Impartial Jury for the Boston Bombing Case

The Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial is delayed as jury selection bogs down.
January 22, 2015

New Jersey to Take Over Atlantic City

Chris Christie has appointed an emergency management team for the city where 12 casinos closed last year.
January 22, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Debates Fair Housing Act

Supreme Court justices treated Texas' arguments harshly Wednesday that the Fair Housing Act should allow lawsuits for discrimination only when the plaintiffs can prove the policies that harm them were intentionally racist.
January 22, 2015

New York Governor Proposes Big Education Reforms in Annual Address

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signaled his second term will be guided by the same issues as his first four years: changes to the public schools, holding to the left on social issues, controlling property taxes, expanding the economy, promoting big capital spending projects and making more strides to improve ethics in Albany.
January 22, 2015

Kansas Delays $300 Million in Road Projects

Kansas drivers could be among the first to feel the pinch from efforts to patch a massive hole in the Kansas budget.
January 21, 2015

Jay Nixon Calls for Increased Spending on Education, Agriculture and Mental Health

The Missouri governor promised to work with both parties in his Nixon's seventh annual State of the State address.
January 21, 2015

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Recommends Charging Attorney General with Perjury and Other Crimes

The jury recommended multiple criminal charges against Kathleen Kane could face charges of perjury and other crimes for allegedly leaking confidential information to the media.
January 21, 2015

Illinois Community College Will Create Fracking Degree Program

Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., will enroll its first fracking students this fall.
January 21, 2015

As President, Obama Has Visited Almost All U.S. States

With his trip to Idaho on Wednesday, he's only got three left to go.
January 21, 2015

Supreme Court Debates Judges' Rights to Campaign

In a clash between the First Amendment and judicial ethics code, the Supreme Court debated Tuesday whether to free elected judges to personally ask for campaign contributions from voters, including lawyers and others who might one day find themselves in their courtroom.
January 21, 2015

Florida's New Prison Boss Vows to Change the Culture

In an unprecedented moment of candor, Florida's newly installed prisons chief told a Senate committee that private contractors have provided inadequate medical care to Florida's inmates while crumbling infrastructure and years of staffing cuts have fostered "culture" problems in the massive agency.
January 21, 2015

Judge Rejects Bid to Keep Stockton in Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy judge Tuesday dismissed an effort to keep Stockton mired in bankruptcy while a creditor challenges a decision that lets the city pay its CalPERS pension bills in full.
January 21, 2015

Yellowstone Oil Spill Contaminates Water Supply for Thousands

More than 5,000 people in the rural Montana city of Glendive have been told not to use municipal water because elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene were found downstream from a weekend crude oil spill into the Yellowstone River.
January 21, 2015

Repealing Immigrant Driver's License Law Among New Mexico Governor's 2015 Goals

In her annual State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Susana Martinez outlined her wish list for the 2015 legislative session, including higher pay for new teachers, a large highway spending package, more money to help lure businesses to the state and more funds for job-training programs.
January 21, 2015

Mississippi Governor Focuses on Job Creation in State of the State

Gov. Phil Bryant touted the Mississippi economy during his annual State of the State address Wednesday night, but also announced programs that he said would help the state move to "a new level."
January 20, 2015

Georgia Police Ticket Man for Eating While Driving

Madison Turner told Atlanta's Channel 2 Action News he had no idea he could be ticketed for eating a hamburger.
January 20, 2015

Supreme Court Rules to Protect Religious Freedom for Muslim Prisoners

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a Muslim prisoner has a religious-freedom right to grow a half-inch beard.
January 20, 2015

Andrew Cuomo Proposes Bill of Rights to Protect Ebola Workers Against Discrimination

New York's governor proposals would expand and codify into law policies he laid out in October after a New York City emergency-room doctor who had been treating Ebola was diagnosed with the virus after returning home.
January 19, 2015

Los Angeles Skid Row Doctor Helps Patients Find Places to Live

An $18 million LA County program called Housing for Health uses county Department of Health Services money to subsidize rents for the very sick among the county's 39,000 homeless people.
January 19, 2015

There's Another Stand Your Ground Case in Florida

The law gives wide latitude for a self defense justification. Many in Florida think that's unjust and dangerous.
January 19, 2015

CMS Leader Marilyn Tavenner Steps Down

Marilyn Tavenner, who oversees the nation's Medicare and Medicaid programs and played a central role in implementing the Affordable Care Act, is stepping down.
January 19, 2015

Rick Perry and Scott Walker: Prospective Presidential Candidates with Different GOP Messages

In less than a day's time, Republican Party leaders who are gathered here heard two prospective presidential candidates' versions of an argument that will persist through next year's primaries: whether breaking the party's losing streak when it comes to the White House requires a candidate from outside of Washington or inside, and whether that face needs to be fresh or familiar.
January 16, 2015

Nevada Governor Proposes New Business Fee to Generate $882 Million for Education

In his State of the State speech, Brian Sandoval called upon the Legislature to pass a new business license fee estimated to raise $430 million during the next two years.
January 16, 2015

Colorado's GOP Lawmakers Praise Democratic Governor's Balanced State of the State Speech

Gov. John Hickenlooper discussed creating a statewide water plan and budget issues facing education, retail marijuana sales, oil and gas development and a Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.
January 16, 2015

Michigan to Start Mandating Collection of Online Sales Taxes

Retailers on Thursday praised Gov. Rick Snyder for signing legislation they said would help put them on a level playing field by requiring large online retailers such as Amazon to collect and remit the state's 6% sales tax.
January 16, 2015

Scott Walker Tells the GOP Why Someone Like Him Is the Perfect Presidential Candidate

A year before Republican voters begin winnowing an expansive field of presidential candidates, well-funded potential contenders such as 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are battling over donors and supporters as they edge toward a decision to run, overshadowing the also-rans even before they enter the race.
January 16, 2015

Kansas Governor Proposes Major Changes to Education Funding, Elections and Supreme Court Selections

Gov. Sam Brownback endorsed remaking how the state funds public schools and putting the state's creditors at the front of the line for payments from state coffers in an ambitious State of the State speech Thursday night.
January 15, 2015

West Hollywood Switches to Gender-Neutral Restrooms

It is the first city in California to adopt gender-neutral restrooms, joining a small number of cities across the country.
January 15, 2015

Judge: Michigan Must Recognize 300 Existing Gay Marriages

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled that the state must honor the marriages that were performed last year after a different federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
January 15, 2015

Lawyers Begin Difficult Search for Impartial Boston Jury for Tsarnaev Trial

Can impartial jury be found in Boston for the bombing trial? The search begins.
January 15, 2015

Flagstaff Cop Killing Stirs Debate about Body Cameras

The graphic video altered the usual conversation about body cameras and police accountability by capturing _ up close _ a polite conversation that instantly turned into a deadly encounter in which the officer had little chance to react.
January 15, 2015

Republican Governor Matt Mead Touts Medicaid Expansion in State of the State

Mead additionally proposed more spending for University of Wyoming programs and construction projects; $25 million for cities, towns and counties; and $21 million to add passing lanes on some state highways.
January 15, 2015

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Says West Virginia's Business Climate Is Improving

Governor touts business improvements and workforce training in speech.
January 15, 2015

Obama Urges FCC to Bring Down Barriers to Municipal Broadband

U.S. President Barack Obama said laws that impede local governments from bringing competitively priced, high-speed Internet to their residents hold back businesses and raise prices for consumers.
January 15, 2015

Virginia Governor Pushes Failed Gun, Medicaid Measures Again

In a 5,500-word State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday night that was bullish on Virginia and absent partisan criticism, Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged the Republican-controlled General Assembly to work with him on bolstering the economy and creating jobs.
January 14, 2015

Washington Governor Calls for New Taxes in State of the State Address

Gov. Jay Inslee urged legislators to "reinvest in Washington" by spending more on education, the environment, the homeless, health care, mental health facilities and public services.
January 14, 2015

Chicago Neighborhood Group Under Fire for Giving Strip Cleanliness Award

Albany Park Neighbors decided this month to give its "Block Star Business" award to the Admiral Theatre at 3940 W. Lawrence Ave for "keeping the neighborhood clean and presentable."
January 14, 2015

What's Causing Texas Earthquakes?

Scientists are investigating whether oil and gas drilling is causing the quakes.
January 14, 2015

Oklahoma Death Row Inmates Plead for Supreme Court to Block Executions

The prisoners argue existing drug protocols lead to constitutionally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment.
January 14, 2015

Price of Marijuana Plunges 40 Percent in Washington State

The shortage that began the state's controversial legalization policy appears to have eased.
January 14, 2015

Iowa Gov. Branstad Focuses on Balanced Budget in 2015 Condition of the State

Branstad seeks $7.3 billion budget for fiscal 2016.
January 14, 2015

Christie's National Intentions Clearer in State of the State

Gov. Christie pledged his commitment to New Jersey during his annual State of the State speech Tuesday, but to many observers, he made clear he had an eye on the national stage.
January 14, 2015

Walker Calls for Consolidating Agencies in State of the State

Gov. Scott Walker called for combining government agencies in the first State of the State address of his second term Tuesday.
January 14, 2015

Indiana Governor Focuses on Balanced Budgets and Education Funding in Annual Address

Gov. Mike Pence proposed a balanced budget amendment to Indiana's constitution during his State of the State address Tuesday night.
January 14, 2015

Another Emergency Manager Appointed to Lead Detroit Schools

Gov. Rick Snyder picked Flint's emergency manager Tuesday to be the next leader of Detroit Public Schools, a move that sparked criticism from people who believe the district should be returned to local control.
January 13, 2015

King, North Carolina, Will Remove Statue of Soldier Kneeling Before a Cross

The town also agreed to pay $500,000 to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the suit in 2012, to cover legal fees and costs.
January 13, 2015

Vernal, Utah: An Oil Town with an Infant Mortality Problem

Residents confront difficult questions after a midwife asks about infant deaths.
January 13, 2015

Sandy Hook Families Sue Town and School

At least two families are suing Newtown, saying that lax security led to shooting deaths.
January 13, 2015

D.C. Metro Smoke Incident Was Due to Electrical Problem

An incident at L'Enfant Plaza Monday killed one person and hospitalized dozens more.
January 13, 2015

Idaho Governor Proposes Tax Cuts, More Money for Education

Education, economy, transportation were all highlights in the governor's 2015 State of the State speech.
January 13, 2015

Inequality the Focus of Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber's Final Annual Address

Gov. John Kitzhaber stood before a full House chamber at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday morning as he was sworn in for a historic fourth term, following the inauguration of new and veteran legislators.
January 13, 2015

Mistrial Declared in Case of Police Chief Killing Unarmed Black Man

A mistrial was declared nearly 12 hours after the jury of nine women and three men started deliberating in the murder trial of a white former police chief charged in the killing of an unarmed black man.
January 13, 2015

On Inauguration Day, New Illinois Governor Orders Spending Freeze

Bruce Rauner took over as Illinois governor Monday and asked for shared sacrifice to help him restore a state he described as in decline, beset by financial, moral and ethical crises.
January 13, 2015

Obama Calls for National Standard in Reporting Data Breaches

In the wake of high-profile data breaches, President Obama proposed legislation to require companies to notify customers within 30 days of discovering that their personal information was exposed to hackers.
January 13, 2015

One Dead, Dozens Hurt After Smoke Fills D.C. Metro Station

One person died and dozens more were taken to hospitals after smoke filled a subway tunnel and a major Metro station in Washington, D.C., on Monday afternoon and forced evacuations, officials said.
January 12, 2015

Uber, Lyft, Airbnb Try to Get Customers to Lobby for Them

And they’ve had remarkable success in mobilizing users to work for them.
January 12, 2015

Rural America Doesn't Have Enough Hospitals

Rural hospitals have long struggled financially. But threats to their survival have intensified in recent years _ falling patient volumes, aging populations, and payment cuts by government programs and commercial insurers.
January 12, 2015

Pennsylvania AG Awaits Decision on Criminal Charges

Now it is Risa Vetri Ferman's time to decide whether a case against a public official is good enough to prosecute.
January 12, 2015

Before Leaving Office, Illinois Governor Pardons 232 People

With just days left before he leaves office, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn granted 232 clemency requests Friday -- including his first-ever pardon based on innocence.
January 9, 2015

Health Costs a Big Problem for California Budget

Medical bills threaten to undermine Gov. Jerry Brown's efforts to strengthen state finances--his central promise of the past four years.
January 9, 2015

Golden Gate Bridge Closed for Safety Upgrades

The ironic bridge will close for the weekend for upgrades. The 52-hour closure is the longest for the Golden Gate bridge since it opened in 1937.
January 9, 2015

Nebraska Supreme Court Gives Keystone Pipeline a Win

The court rules that Gov. Dave Heineman has the authority to approve the project’s route without review by a state agency.
January 9, 2015

Inspired by Tennessee, Obama Proposes Plan to Make Community College Free

President Barack Obama rolled out a new plan Thursday to make two years of community college free, or nearly so, for millions of students across the country, a major investment that the White House cast as changing the face of higher education.
January 9, 2015

House Republicans Redefine Obamacare's Definition of Full-Time Work

Congressional Republicans renewed their assault Thursday on the Affordable Care Act, as the House passed legislation to redefine the law's definition of full-time work, a key detail that would affect how employers must provide health benefits to workers.
January 9, 2015

Boston's Olympic Bidding Win Sets Up Financing War

The group opposed to Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Games is vowing to launch a ballot initiative or push for state legislation to prevent Bay State taxpayers from having to foot the bill for the Olympics.
January 9, 2015

Add NYC to the List of Cities Banning Plastic Foam Containers

Take-out food packaging will look a little different in New York City after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday a ban on plastic foam containers and packing peanuts.
January 9, 2015

Ohio Drops Problematic Execution Drug

Ohio will switch its lethal injection protocol, adding thiopental sodium, a drug used previously, and dropping the two-drug regimen of midazolam and hydromorphone that caused problems in the last execution a year ago.
January 8, 2015

Forced Chemotherapy on Trial in Connecticut

The state supreme court hears arguments in one teen's battle over forced medial treatment.
January 8, 2015

In Final State of the Commonwealth, Kentucky Governor Focuses on Jobs, Health

The governor characterized the state as "back with a vengeance."
January 8, 2015

If States Don't Make Carbon-Cutting Plans, the Feds Will Do It for Them

The Obama administration is delaying rules aimed at curbing carbon emissions from power plants and will write a separate implementation plan for states that have threatened to refuse to submit their own.
January 8, 2015

Councilman Apologizes for Threatening Newspaper

Kirby Delauter, a Frederick County councilman, issued an apology Wednesday after he wrote on social media earlier this week threatening to sue The Frederick News-Post for publishing his name without permission, garnering national attention.
January 8, 2015

Connecticut Governor Focuses on Transportation in Annual Address

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, giving his State of the State address that opened his second term Wednesday, said the state's traffic congestion is "unacceptable" and demands a bold new approach toward improving roads and railroad lines.
January 7, 2015

Alaska Gets Too Hot

The state's record-warm year in 2014 worries observers.
January 7, 2015

43 States Have 'Widespread' Flu Problems

At least 601 people in the U.S. died of influenza or pneumonia during the last week of 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
January 7, 2015

Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

After hearing impassioned pleas for leniency, a federal judge on Tuesday sentenced former Gov. Bob McDonnell to two years in prison for public corruption -- considerably less time than federal guidelines advised but not the community service sought by the defendant's legal team.
January 7, 2015

Study: Fracking Triggered 77 Earthquakes in Ohio

Hydraulic fracturing at two well pads in Mahoning County caused 77 small earthquakes last March along a previously unknown geologic fault, a new scientific study says.
January 7, 2015

Earthquakes Rattle North Texas

They weren't the Big Ones -- but a couple of the earthquakes that hit Tuesday were the biggest in a cluster that's been rocking North Texas since last fall. And by the end of the day, eight had been reported.
January 6, 2015

Many Exiles in Miami Worry about Deportation

Fears rise as the country revives relations with Havana.
January 6, 2015

Gay Marriages Begin in Florida

The state rings in a new era as clerks' offices in South Florida staged same-sex marriages midnight Monday and early Tuesday morning.
January 6, 2015

Florida Faulted for Failing Sick Foster and Poor Children

A child welfare judge in Miami has accused the state of denying necessary psychiatric treatment to abused and neglected children in its care, and has ordered Florida social service administrators to appear before him and explain why they have "no duty" to help sick foster kids.
January 6, 2015

Jerry Brown Announces Major New Goals in Historic State of the State

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday unveiled two major long-term initiatives for California that he intends to open during his historic fourth term in the governor's office: mapping out the fight against climate change beyond 2030 and tackling the enormous $59 billion problem of deferred highway and bridge maintenance.
January 6, 2015

Ferguson Front and Center in Missouri's Upcoming Legislative Session

Ferguson is likely to be a key theme during the Missouri Legislature's 4 1/2 -month session that opens this week.
January 6, 2015

Gilead Sciences Strikes Deal with CVS on Hepatitis C Drugs

CVS Health announced Monday that it plans to make Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drugs the exclusive option for most of its consumers starting Wednesday.
January 6, 2015

Judge Blocks Arizona Law Targeting Job-Seeking Immigrants

Bit by bit, the federal judiciary is tearing out the legal ground from under "America's toughest sheriff."
January 5, 2015

Court Rules Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry Unfairly Treats Teens Like Adults

The 5-1 decision stokes a growing nationwide debate over keeping track of children who have committed sex crimes.
January 5, 2015

Poor People Can't Afford California

The state's high cost of living has pushed hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income workers to other states,
January 5, 2015

Instagram Helps Miami Police Make Arrests

Instagram is quietly fueling or aiding sever police investigations in Miami-Dade.
January 5, 2015

Exonerated Prisoners Have Serious Financial Problems

What is the price of lost years?
January 5, 2015

Chicago Public Schools Employee Responsible for $870K in Billing Fraud

The organization's inspector general says the alleged scheme involved a half-dozen former CPS employees involved in fake invoices.
January 5, 2015

After 2-Year Delay, California to Start Building Bullet Train

California's bullet-train agency will officially start construction in Fresno this week on the first 29-mile segment of the system, a symbol of the significant progress the $68-billion project has made against persistent political and legal opposition.
January 5, 2015

Illinois Joins Growing Movement to Mandate Small-Business Worker Retirement Plans

Most businesses in Illinois will soon be required by law to adopt a retirement savings plan for employees, under a bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Sunday.
January 5, 2015

NYPD Cops Stage Silent Protest at Officer's Funeral

For years, Wenjian Liu called his father each day to assure him he was safe and had survived another day as a New York City police officer.
January 5, 2015

Mike Huckabee Ends Fox Show to Ponder Presidential Run

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pulled the plug on his Fox News Channel talk show on Saturday in order to "gauge support" for a second presidential run.
January 5, 2015

Mario Cuomo, 3-Time Governor of New York, Dies at 82

Mario M. Cuomo, who forged extraordinary oratorical skills, a potent immigrant's story and an intellectual liberalism to win three terms as governor of New York, died Thursday at 82 in his Manhattan apartment.
December 31, 2014

Jerry Brown Considers Legacy in California

Heading into a fourth term, California's governor has been talking about both his mortality and his family's historic ties to the state.
December 31, 2014

New Documentary Addresses Stress, Suicide Among Police Officers

About a year ago, Philadelphia Police Chaplain Luis Centeno was approached by Stephen McWilliams, who teaches a social documentary film class at Villanova University.
December 31, 2014

NYC Mayor Meets with Police Union Leaders

Undoubtedly hoping to quell criticism from the police force, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio met with police union leaders Tuesday as the city prepared to bury a second slain officer this weekend.
December 31, 2014

Court: Kansas Failing to Adequately Fund Schools

Kansas public schools remain under-funded, a three-judge panel said Tuesday, moving the state closer to a budget and constitutional crisis over taxes and state spending.
December 30, 2014

California High School Students Allowed to Wear 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirts

Mendocino High School rescinded its ban on a group of high school basketball players who had planned to wear "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts during warm-ups in a tournament.
December 30, 2014

Court Rules Missouri Town Can Prohibit KKK Pamphlet Distribution

The Ku Klux Klan loses an appeal on handing pamphlets to drivers in Desloge, Mo.
December 30, 2014

Cops Killed by Firearms up 56 Percent in 2014

Police officers killed by firearms accounted for 50 deaths in the last 12 months.
December 30, 2014

Dianne Feinstein's Water Problems

Radical environmentalist or agriculture industry shill? The only thing consistent about the politician's role as California's water referee is that the fights have left bruises on the exacting and thick-skinned senator over the years.
December 24, 2014

Another Missouri Shooting, Another Set of Questions About Law Enforcement

The parents of Antonio Martin say his fatal shooting "doesn't make any sense."
December 24, 2014

The Great Big Drill Causing Seattle Great Big Problems

The city is unsettled by a massive drill tunneling through downtown.
December 24, 2014

Wrongfully Convicted Inmates Struggle to Get State Compensation

In dozens of cases people convicted and later cleared by DNA or new evidence never received state compensation. Some never even file a claim because they can't afford a lawyer or find one willing to take the case.
December 22, 2014

Nobody in New Hampshire Cares about Jeb Bush

So far there is no evidence of any spontaneous activity on the former Florida governor's behalf in the New England state.
December 22, 2014

California Finds Collecting Rainwater Can Mitigate Drought's Impact

Rain-catching is generally a seasonal hobby and not practical enough to eliminate dependency on snowmelt, reservoirs and groundwater but a growing number find rainwater systems are enough to weaken drought's fierce grip.
December 19, 2014

Will Florida Gay Couples Really Be Able to Marry on January 6?

Uncertainty is facing Central Florida gay, lesbian couples preparing for Jan. weddings.
December 19, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Arizona Must Issue Driver's Licenses to Immigrants

For now, Carla Chavarria plans to keep taking the bus. And Julio Zuniga will remain cautious every time he drives past a police car.
December 19, 2014

The Woman Obama Picked to Improve Police Relationships with the Public

Sue Rahr, who steered Washington state's police academy away from traditional military training, was named Thursday to President Obama's task force on building trust between police and communities throughout the country.
December 19, 2014

Ferguson's Inequality Fight Moves into the Courtroom

The St. Louis area first faced outrage in the streets after the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Now, discontent has moved to the courts -- and the issues have little to do with the police use of force.
December 19, 2014

Days After Suing Uber, Portland Drops Lawsuit

Just 10 days after the city of Portland, Ore., sued ride-sharing giant Uber, saying it was illegally operating in the city, the San Francisco company has agreed to cease operations there until the spring.
December 19, 2014

If Low Oil Prices Persist, North Dakota Could Lose Billions

The state stands to lose billions in revenue if oil prices continue to slip, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said Tuesday at a meeting of the Highway 2 West Manufacturers' Association in Grand Forks.
December 18, 2014

California Works Harder to Teach English Language Learners

Students are receiving more attention under a new state law and initiatives by Los Angeles Unified and other school districts. The law requires the state to define and identify a "long-term English learner," the first effort in the nation to do so.
December 18, 2014

Philadelphia Police Union Chief Decries Shooting Protests

John McNesby, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said protests are an example of "media-fueled mob rule."
December 18, 2014

Oklahoma Supreme Court: Governor Allowed to Withhold Documents from Public

The governor of Oklahoma has the authority to withhold the release of certain documents from the public because of executive privilege, but that power is not absolute, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
December 18, 2014

Facing Lawsuits, Uber Pledges to Start Screening Drivers

Uber, recently sued for allegedly making false claims about the safety of its ride-hailing service, Wednesday announced it had started a "global review" of its safety measures in November and says it plans to roll out new safety programs in 2015. But it's unclear what those programs will be.
December 17, 2014

Earthquakes a Danger to Los Angeles Water Supply

A big earthquake on the San Andreas Fault could destroy key sections of the aqueducts, cutting off the water supply for more than 22 million people in Southern California.
December 17, 2014

Miami Exile Community Reacts to U.S.-Cuba Policy Overhaul

Miami, the heart of the Cuban exile community, reacted with a collective shock. Hardline opponents of the Castro regime lambasted the president for what they called a betrayal.
December 17, 2014

Court-Appointed Oversight Follows Era of Abuse in L.A. County Jails

A court-appointed panel will now be asked to monitor the use of force by sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County jails, part of a far-reaching settlement to a lawsuit alleging brutal beatings of inmates.
December 17, 2014

Los Angeles Announces Major Body Camera Initiative

Los Angeles will purchase 7,000 cameras for police officers to wear while on patrol, making the city a laboratory in the use of devices that bring the promise of more transparent policing but also concerns about civilian privacy.
December 16, 2014

The Navajo Community's Coal Problem

In Navajo country, coal gives life — and takes it, some say.
December 16, 2014

Techies to Help Seattle Police on Sensitive Video Issues

With police videos increasingly becoming subject to public disclosure, Seattle police are anxious to develop a fast _ and inexpensive _ way to go through a growing mountain of material and redact sensitive images. They're getting help from local talent.
December 16, 2014

Oil-Dependent Alaska Faces a Massive Budget Shortfall

Gov. Bill Walker submitted a proposed $106 million capital budget to the Legislature on Monday, a spending plan designed to help the state weather a $3.5 billion deficit and one that's a fraction of what the state has spent on capital projects in recent years.
December 16, 2014

Police Allowed to Make 'Reasonable Mistakes,' Rules U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a North Carolina car search, in an 8-1 decision that provides more wiggle room for law enforcement officers who make a "reasonable" mistake about the law.
December 16, 2014

California Prepares for Millions of Immigrants Applying for Driver's Licenses

The powerful storm lashing Sacramento kept many people home last Thursday, but Rosario Aguilar was not among them. After eight years of living and driving unlawfully in California, the chance to get a legitimate license led him through sheets of rain to an information session held at a community services center tucked behind an Autozone on Fruitridge Road.
December 16, 2014

Tennessee's GOP Governor Unveils Alternative to Medicaid Expansion

Tennesseans who make too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford their own health insurance could be eligible for a new health-coverage plan proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam, if the state legislature approves it in early 2015.
December 15, 2014

Low Gas Prices May Kill Keystone Pipeline Project

Plunging oil prices have industry analysts questioning whether the plan to link Canadian tar sands with Gulf Coast refineries still makes economic sense.
December 15, 2014

Utah's Deadly Speed Limit Increase

Safety officials say rising speed limits in Utah and beyond will bring more, and more ghastly, fatal accidents.
December 15, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects Arizona State Abortion Restrictions

The justices in an unsigned order dismissed an appeal from Arizona state lawyers and let stand a lower court ruling that blocked the abortion regulation from taking effect.
December 15, 2014

More States Join Lawsuit against Obama's Immigration Order

Seven more states signed on to a lawsuit challenging President Obama's executive action halting the deportation of as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, bringing the total to 24 states, Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.
December 15, 2014

U.S. Spending Bill Includes Funding for California's Early-Warning Earthquake System

California has received congressional funding to begin rolling out an earthquake early-warning system next year, capping nearly a decade of planning, setbacks and technological breakthroughs, officials said Sunday.
December 15, 2014

Transit System Sues Maker of $1,000-a-Day Hepatitis C Pill

Philadelphia's transit system is taking on Gilead Sciences Inc. over its sky-high pricing of the breakthrough hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
December 15, 2014

Feds Probe Florida Prison Deaths Involving Excessive Force

Bernadette Gregory was getting out of prison in eight months and planning her wedding when she was found hanging in a cell at Florida's Lowell Correctional Institution.
December 12, 2014

Santa Fe Judge Won't Shut Down Lyft

Chief First District Judge Raymond Ortiz says the Public Regulation Commission's authority is unclear here.
December 12, 2014

Panthers Attack Florida Farms

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed 32 incidents of fatal panther attacks on animals such as goats, sheep, calves, dogs and cats, with more than 50 animals killed.
December 12, 2014

DOJ: Native Americans Allowed to Grow, Sell Marijuana on Reservations

Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department on Thursday will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice.
December 12, 2014

Bill Requiring States to Report Police Killings Heads to Obama

Spurred by the Ferguson shooting and other recent cases of deadly encounters involving police, Congress in its final hours of work for the year passed legislation requiring states to report deaths of people arrested or detained by police to the attorney general.
December 12, 2014

Study: Only 20% of Student Rape Victims Go to the Police

A Department of Justice study released Thursday found that student victims of sexual assault are far less likely to report instances of rape to police than nonstudents and that one in five victims fear reprisal if they report the attack.
December 12, 2014

Oregon's Solitary Confinement Project Named One of '25 Best Inventions of 2014'

An innovative project inside the solitary confinement wing of Oregon's biggest prison has been named one of Time magazine's "25 Best Inventions of 2014," the state prison system announced Tuesday.
December 12, 2014

A Legal Win for Making Public Employees Pay More of Their Pensions

The state Supreme Court has sided with lawmakers who revamped the state retirement system in 2011, requiring public employees to increase their retirement contributions.
December 12, 2014

Undercover Cop Points Gun at Protesters

The California Highway Patrol detective who aimed his firearm at a crowd of Bay Area protesters on Wednesday night was protecting another plainclothes officer who had been attacked only seconds earlier, and was trying to stop an advancing crowd of at least 30 people, a CHP commander said Thursday afternoon.
December 11, 2014

Climate Change Won't Make California Any Drier

A new report indicates that although California will grow hotter with global warming _ turning more mountain snow to rain _ most of the state will not be appreciably worse off.
December 11, 2014

Seattle Tries to Crack Down on Pot Delivery

Mayor Ed Murray says he wants to shut down businesses that delivery marijuana to customers.
December 11, 2014

As Detroit Exits Historic Bankruptcy, the Future Still Worries Leaders

With Detroit officially out of bankruptcy, now-former emergency manager Kevyn Orr said it's not the next couple of years he's worried about for the city, or even five years out.
December 11, 2014

Police Chief Joins Protesters against Police Violence in California

Amid the nationwide tumult over recent instances of police officers using deadly force against unarmed people, Bay Area cities like Berkeley and Oakland have been rived by impassioned protests that have at times turned violent.
December 11, 2014

As Oregon Recounts Ballots, GMO Labeling Supporters Slap State with Lawsuit

Backers of Oregon's Measure 92 to require labeling of genetically altered foods filed a lawsuit Monday claiming that the failure to count about 4,600 ballots disenfranchised voters.
December 10, 2014

Marion Barry Versus Congress

A look back at the longtime Washington, D.C. mayor's battles with Congress.
December 10, 2014

Gov. Snyder Gives Detroit Control of City Back

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed off on ending Detroit's emergency status, signaling the end of the city's financial crisis and positioning it to officially come out of bankruptcy as early as this week.
December 10, 2014

Civilians Will Oversee the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. After All

Faced with a series of scandals that have roiled the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to create a civilian oversight system to provide greater accountability for the agency.
December 10, 2014

2 California Cities Join Legal Battle against Uber

Los Angeles and San Francisco district attorneys filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Uber on Tuesday, alleging that the popular ride-hailing company misleads consumers about the service's safety, overcharges them and thumbs its nose at the law.
December 10, 2014

Judge Lets Lawsuit Allege Florida Governor Intentionally Violated Law

A Tallahassee judge opened the door Monday for a new complaint against Gov. Rick Scott that alleges the governor intentionally withheld public records in violation of state law.
December 9, 2014

Oregon Will Drop Expensive Health Insurance Technology, Go with Kentucky Exchange

Oregon will transition away from using the Oracle systems that it spent $240 million in federal funds to obtain and build.
December 9, 2014

Following New Racial Profiling Rules Up to State and Local Police's Discretion

Amid heightened national attention to police behavior, Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled new federal guidelines Monday restricting the use of profiling by federal law enforcement officers.
December 9, 2014

N.Y. AG Seeks Power to Investigate Police Killings to Eliminate Local Bias

New York state's top law enforcement official asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant him the power to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians after a pair of grand jury decisions in New York City and Ferguson, Mo., led to violence, protests and caused many to question the way police-involved slayings are reviewed.
December 9, 2014

Portland Sues Uber

Ride-sharing service Uber has expanded quickly by rallying public support for its service before city regulators could catch up. It became so popular in places such as San Francisco that politicians would have paid a big political price had they tried to slow it down.
December 9, 2014

The Federal Investigation of Bridgegate Is Limiting the State's Investigation

State lawmakers in New Jersey investigating last year's scheme to snarl traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge say they've yet to turn up evidence that Gov. Chris Christie knew anything about it.
December 8, 2014

When the Feds Try to Reform Local Police

Federal oversight can promote progress, but it's usually a rocky process.
December 8, 2014

City Police Departments Examining Policies to Avoid Federal Oversight

The U.S. Department of Justice civil rights division announced it found a pattern of "unreasonable and unnecessary use of force" in Cleveland police. Other cities are pursuing reforms on their own in response to criticism that police use force too often.