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State lawmakers are in a mood to try something different. That view is explored in the top story of the April 22, 2013, edition of State Net® Capitol Journal, a weekly collection of “news and views from the 50 states” that’s published on the State Net website and also available in various formats via email through a free subscription.
Recalling a famous dissenting opinion in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann in 1932, in which Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis cited the benefits derived from states willing and able to “try novel social and economic experiments” to meet changing social needs, Capitol Journal columnist Lou Cannon notes that during the year’s first quarter, legislatures across the country have been “experimenting avidly in all directions.”
Improved fiscal health at the state level partly explains the rash of creative lawmaking, says Cannon in his article. Another factor, he writes, is that “lawmakers want to make up for lagging federal efforts in reforming education and rebuilding infrastructure.” Cannon also notes that state and local officials are generally more popular than their federal counterparts, which allows more room for experimentation. Finally, he gives examples of potential legislation that would signal a continuing rightward turn by many states.
The same issue explores current state tax policies in its “Bird’s Eye View” column. It also provides the latest news in its Politics and Leadership, Governors, and Hot Issues sections, each of which (according to the Capitol Journal itself) is written in a “breezy yet informative style.”
Just a week earlier, the Capitol Journal focused its attention more closely on some of the themes examined from a high-level perspective in the current issue. The top story for the April 15 edition looks at why states, including some that are controlled by usually tax-averse Republicans, are opting to increase gas taxes and other fees to provide funding for transportation projects. Gasoline taxes are the subject of the edition’s Bird’s Eye View.
States pondering whether to broaden health-care scopes of practice to offer patients more access to services is the top story for the April 8 edition, along with the regular Capitol Journal columns providing news and updates.
For the April 1 edition, the Capitol Journal reflects on what’s at stake in the Supreme Court’s recent hearing of arguments in two cases related to same-sex marriage. Accompanying the edition’s top story is the usual overview of issues, decisions, scandals and politics from state capitols across the country.
It’s all compiled by State Net’s expert editorial staff, and free to read.
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