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    PNS Daily News - July 7, 20150 

    A variety of issues on today's nationwide rundown including; Kentucky getting feedback on updated fracking regulations, while activists are arrested in California protesting oil trains; a U-S District Judge being asked to intervene in the Illinois budget mess to protect vulnerable children; and a wild ride for Washington State workers comes to a happy ending.

Budget Policy & Priorities

PHOTO: On Monday, just a week after a state budget impasse almost prompted a mass layoff of state workers, Gov. Jay Inslee signed new employee contracts in a ceremony at the State Capitol. Photo credit: Laura Reisdorph/Wash. Federation of State Employees.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It was quite a different scene at the State Capitol Monday afternoon than many state employees had envisioned just a week ago, when they were told not to come to work starting July 1. A smiling Gov. Jay Inslee signed the contracts their unions had negotiated with the state la ...Read More

PHOTO: Bill Lueders, who heads the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, says he will sue if necessary to find out who was behind an attempt to gut Wisconsin's Open Records Law. The provision was withdrawn after negative public pushback. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin FOIC.

MADISON, Wis. – Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, says his organization wants to know exactly who was behind last week's move to gut the state's Open Records law – something he will aggressively pursue. Lueders says the measure, inserted in the st ...Read More

GRAPHIC: A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing is increasing. An average horizontal gas well consumed over five million gallons of water in 2014, up from around 177,000 gallons in 2000. Graphic courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

DENVER – A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows water used for hydraulic fracturing, better known as "fracking," is on the rise across the nation. The study found water use in horizontal drilling at gas wells was 28 times higher in 2014 than in 2000, and each gas well now ta ...Read More

PHOTO: Nevadans struggling to stay in their homes may have an easier go of it, thanks to the Legislature's update of the Foreclosure Mediation Program. Photo courtesy of the office of Congressman Matt Cartwright.

CARSON CITY, Nev. – A successful update to Nevada's Foreclosure Mediation Program, which gives distressed homeowners an option supporters say could dramatically reduce the number of foreclosures in the state, was part of this year's legislative session. Venicia Considine, a consumer rights at ...Read More

PHOTO: As the Illinois budget impasse continues, the ACLU is asking a U.S. District Court in Chicago to enforce a consent decree guaranteeing an adequate level of services for abused children. Photo credit: Sharon Mollerus/Flickr.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois budget debacle is not only putting state workers' pay in limbo, it is also threatening funding that helps some of the state's most vulnerable children. The ACLU of Illinois is asking a U.S. District Court to enforce a consent decree to ensure continued payment ...Read More

PHOTO: Activists are gathering signatures for a state constitutional amendment authorizing third-party sales of electricity to encourage more solar power. Photo courtesy Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Floridians for Solar Choice constitutional amendment effort is moving quickly to get on the 2016 ballot. Backers say they've gathered more than 100,000 signatures, exceeding the 10 percent necessary to submit the language to the state Supreme Court. Stephen Smith, boar ...Read More

PHOTO: This summer an Indiana General Assembly interim study committee will examine policies regarding smoking bans, and other tobacco-related matters impacting Hoosiers' health. Photo credit: Pedro J. Perez/Morguefile.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana's public smoking ban has been on the books for three years, and this summer legislators will explore the law's benefits to determine whether it can be expanded. When the law was passed, it exempted certain bars, taverns, private clubs and casinos. Brianna Herndon, India ...Read More

PHOTO: Same-sex couples who marry are eligible for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act outside of the open enrollment periods, but they need to act within 60 days of their marriage. Photo courtesy of Alpine County, Calif.

PHOENIX - The U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage has far-reaching impacts in Arizona and across the country, including triggering a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. Montserrat Caballero, state director with the nonprofit Enroll America, which helps peopl ...Read More

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Budget Policy & Priorities by State