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Strengthening States for 40 Years

TOP NEWS  Aug. 25, 2014

States get reprieve on ratings of teachers
The New York Times
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced  that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing.

Should there be a law banning hiring bias against the unemployed?
Some states have stepped up efforts to get the unemployed back to work quickly by offering one-on-one or group counseling and training to help people with the actual mechanics of the modern day job search. But state legislation to prevent discrimination against the unemployed has often failed.

Ticket sales slump drops N.M. lottery revenue 6 percent
Albuquerque Journal
The New Mexico Lottery generated $40.9 million in the most recent budget year for a popular college scholarship program but the revenue is down about 6 percent because of a slump in ticket sales.

New Florida districts won't take effect until 2016
The Miami Herald
Florida’s flawed congressional districts may remain in place for two more years and newly drawn boundaries for seven north and central districts don’t have to take effect until 2016, a Tallahassee circuit court judge ruled late Friday.

Plastic bag ban, paid sick leave still before Calif. lawmakers
The Los Angeles Times
With one week remaining until they adjourn for the year, California legislators have saved the hardest votes for last.

Seven states may lose ability to tax Internet access
Dallas Morning News
For nearly 20 years, Texas has collected taxes on Internet access as a steady part of its state and local budgets, bringing in $358 million last year. If the U.S. House gets its way, that would stop. NCSL research cited.
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2014 Legislative Summit Online Resources
Find links to 2014 Legislative Summit session resources, such as PowerPoints, handouts, audio and video recordings.
'Game Change' authors handicap the midterms
A week of intense public policy discussion at NCSL’s Legislative Summit was topped off with a serving of pure politics when political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann offered their take on the national political scene.
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