State Net Capitol Journal 031212


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AZBio partners with LexisNexis and State Net to bring you all the latest updates from Washington DC and around the nation. Check out the latest in the March 12, 2012 editon.

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State Net Capitol Journal 031212

  1. 1. Volume XX, No.8More than a Trickle March 12, 2012 Budget & taxes 4 Florida judge sides against 4 state in pension case Politics & leadership 7 Western states stage second ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’ Governors 9 Christie says NYPD harming counterterrorism efforts Bird’s eye view 2 © Hot issues 12 Once around the statehouse lightly 16 The next issue of Capitol Journal will be available on March 19th. Top Story Nearly a decade ago, SNCJ Spotlight N observers claimed the Supply-side surge in states debate over supply-side early a decade ago, Wall Street Journal columnist and CNBCeconomics to be over. But “Capital Report” co-host Alan Murray declared the long-runningnow, the theory known as debate over supply-side economics to have finally come to an end —“trickle down economics” and “with a whimper.” An extensive analysis of President George W. Bush’s under President Ronald tax cut plan by the Congressional Budget Office — under the supervision of Reagan is enjoying a a supply-side economist and employing supply-side methodology no less — resurgence in the states. indicated that the proposed cuts would have only a “relatively small” effect on the economy, Murray stated. Whether the debate over supply-side economics
  2. 2. ever really ended is itselfdebatable, but its tenets and one of Bird’s eye viewits key proponents have found new WA Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, State Net * State adjourned without passing voter ID measures NHlife in the states. ME VT MT ND According to Washington lore, OR MN MA ID SD WI NYsupply-side economics got its WY MI RI PA CT IAstart in 1974 when a University of NV NE NJ OH UT IL IN CA CO WV DEChicago economics professor by KS MO VA KY MD NCthe name of Arthur Laffer, while TN AZ OK NM* AR SChaving lunch with then-White MS AL GA TX LAHouse Deputy Chief of Staff AK FLRichard Cheney, sketched a curve State that introduced new voter ID billson a cocktail napkin suggesting HI States that introduced bills to strengthen existing voter ID laws States that introduced bills amending voter ID laws passed in 2011that cutting taxes could spureconomic growth and actually Voter ID continues to be hot issue Voter ID was a hot topic in 2011, withincrease rather than shrink tax legislation related to the issue introducedrevenues. The “Laffer Curve,” in 34 states and passed in six, althoughwhich rested on the premise that three of those bills were ultimately vetoed. This year is shaping up to be little different.there was a rate of taxation that Voter ID measures have been introduced inmaximized government revenues, 32 states. Twelve of those states are looking at — and one state, New Mexico, has rejected — new voter IDand which Laffer himself admitted proposals. Eleven states are weighing proposals to strengthenwas not an original idea, went on existing voter ID laws. And nine are considering amendments to voter ID laws passed last year, such as whether to allowto inspire the economic policies of student IDs to serve as a proper form of photo identification atPresident Ronald Reagan, under the polls.whose administration the topmarginal income tax rate dropped from 70 percent to 28 percent. Reagan’s immediate successor, George H.W. Bush, famously derided Reagan’ssupply-side policies as “voodoo economics.” More recently President Obama tookaim at what he and others refer to as “trickle-down economics.” In a speech Obamagave on the economy in December he said: “there is a certain crowd in Washingtonwho, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge withthe same old tune.... If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especiallyfor the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will bewinners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity willeventually trickle down to everybody else.” Obama went on to say that it’s a theory State Net Capitol Journal®that “speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too muchgovernment.... But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.” As far as Obama and other opponents of supply-side economics are concerned,all the tax cuts of the 1980s did was create massive deficits and widen the income gapbetween the rich and poor. Laffer, however, maintains that supply-side policies tripledthe net wealth of American households and businesses between 1981 and 2007, 2
  3. 3. from $20 trillion to $60 trillion. He also says his more recent research shows stateswith lower taxes do better economically, as reflected in “Rich States, Poor States,”the report on state competitiveness he compiles each year in conjunction with theAmerican Legislative Exchange Council. And Laffer has found a receptive audience for his views in several states. He isreportedly being paid $75,000 to advise Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) — whohas said, “‘Rich, States, Poor States’ should be required reading for governors” —on how to reduce and flatten his state’s personal income tax. He is supporting a bidin Missouri by the group Let Voters Decide to hold a statewide vote on whether toreplace the individual income tax with a higher sales tax. And he contributed to areport by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs that evidently helped shape Gov.Mary Fallin’s (R) proposal to phase out that state’s income tax. He also served on thetax advisory board of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), helped Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R)abolish the estate tax last year, and actively supported Gov. Mitch Daniel’s (R) pushto make Indiana the nation’s 23rd “right-to-work” state. These efforts don’t mark Laffer’s entree into state policymaking. His involvementdates back to at least 1978, when he helped draft California’s Proposition 13, thelandmark initiative that imposed strict limits on property taxes. But his recent state-level activities have also come in for criticism. The Instituteon Taxation and Economic Policy, a liberal think tank based in Washington, D.C., hascalled Laffer’s analysis for the OCPA advocating for the elimination of Oklahoma’sincome tax “flawed” and “junk economics.” ITEP Senior Analyst Carl Davis saidLaffer failed to take into account factors other than taxes that might affect economicgrowth, such as energy, in arguing that states without an income tax like Alaska,Texas and Wyoming have top-performing economies. Retired Wichita State University economist William T. Terrell, likewise,challenged Laffer’s assertion that his research showing the nine states without anindividual income tax are outperforming nine high-income-tax-rate states justifiedaltering Kansas’ income tax system, in an editorial this month in The Wichita Eagle.Terrell said other research suggested all nine no-income-tax states enjoyed revenuesources not available to Kansas. “This is what enables them to abandon personal income taxes,” Terrell argued. And some say Laffer’s entire argument is based on a faulty method of calculatingstate tax rates by combining the top marginal state and federal rate in each state. “Without this flawed regression analysis, there is not even the semblance of State Net Capitol Journal®an argument left to support the idea that eliminating the income tax will sparkthe miraculous economic benefits that Laffer claims,” David Blatt, director of theOklahoma Policy Institute, wrote in a blog post discrediting the OCPA’s income taxelimination proposal. Even moderate Democrats like Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who won a secondterm last year by defeating a Republican candidate — state Senate President David 3
  4. 4. Williams — who had pledged to eliminate the state’s individual and corporate income taxes, have In the hopper expressed skepticism about Laffer’s ideas. At any given time, State Net tracks tens of thou- sands of bills in all 50 states, the US Congress “There are a lot of economic philosophies and the District of Columbia. Here’s a snapshot out there,” says Beshear, who apparently doesn’t of what’s in the legislative works: subscribe to the one advanced by Laffer that holds Number of Prefiles last week: 943 tax rates drive economic growth. Number of Intros last week: 2,518 “By far the biggest issue for companies looking to locate is the quality of the workforce,” Number of Enacted/Adopted last week: 1277 he contends. Laffer, who counts Democrats Bill Clinton and Number of 2012 Prefiles to date: 9,292 John F. Kennedy among his favorite presidents Number of 2012 Intros to date: 59,856 because of their pro-growth policies, said he hopes Number of 2012 Session Enacted/ the interest in his research isn’t “Republican-only.” Adopted overall to date: 6,326 But that seems likely, given that the debate over Number of bills currently in State Net supply-side objectives like cutting marginal tax rates Database: 163,205 is now far more about politics than economics — if — Compiled By OWEN JARNIGAN there was ever a time when that wasn’t the case. As (measures current as of 3/7/2012) Source: State Net database the noted economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman cynically put it: “The specific set of foolish ideas that has laid claim to the name ‘supply side economics’ is a crank doctrine that would have had little influence if it did not appeal to the prejudices of editors and wealthy men.” (STATELINE.ORG, NEW YORK TIMES, INSTITUTE ON TAXATION AND ECONOMIC POLICY, OKLAHOMA COUNCIL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, OKLAHOMA POLICY INSTITUTE, WICHITA EAGLE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL, CNBC, WHITEHOUSE.GOV) — Compiled by KOREY CLARKBudget & taxes F State Net Capitol Journal® L JUDGE SIDES AGAINST STATE IN PENSION CASE: A Florida circuit court ruled last week that Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Republican legislative leaders’ decision last year to cut public employee salaries to offset the state’s contribution to their pension fund was an unconstitutional breach of contract. 4
  5. 5. “The 2011 Legislature, when faced with a budget shortfall, turned to theemployees of the State of Florida and ignored the contractual rights given to them bythe Legislature in 1974,” Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford stated inher ruling. The three percent cut to public employees’ salaries without renegotiatingtheir contracts was an “unconstitutional taking of private property without fullcompensation” that violated the employees’ right “to collectively bargain overconditions of employment,” she wrote. The ruling blows a $1 billion hole in both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 state budgets.It also puts local governments back on the hook for $600 million in retirementcontributions. The Florida Education Association, which had filed the lawsuit challenging thepay cut along with other state and local governments took the opportunity to chideScott and lawmakers. “This was a gamble that the governor and legislature made last year,” said RonMeyer, an attorney for the FEA. “They gambled taxpayer’s money that they couldbalance the budget on the backs of the hardworking employees of this state. They lostthat bet today.” Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R), in turn, criticized Fulford. “I think this is an example of judicial activism,” he told reporters. But Meyer countered that “judicial activism is when a court ignores the law” andthat Fulford, on the contrary, had based her ruling in part on a 1981 Florida SupremeCourt decision which held that although the Legislature had the authority to cut publicemployees’ salaries, it could not breach a contract it had with existing employees. “This court cannot set aside its constitutional obligations because a budget crisisexists in the State of Florida, Fulford stated. “To find otherwise would mean that acontract with our state government has no meaning, and that the citizens of our statecan place no trust in the work of our Legislature.” Nonetheless Scott promised a “swift appeal” of the case, which has already costthe state $500,000 in legal fees. (MIAMI HERALD) BUDGET COUP IN WA: Something unusual happened in Washingtonthis month, an occurrence a Seattle Times editorial said amounted to “a politicalearthquake not seen in 25 years”: The state’s Democrat-controlled Senate passed abudget written by Republicans. Three conservative Democrats, Jim Kastama, Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, State Net Capitol Journal®joined with all 22 of the chamber’s Republicans to do what Senate Majority LeaderLisa Brown had been unable to do, come up with the 25 votes needed to pass aspending plan. Democratic leaders initially vowed to ignore the GOP budget, butrelations between the two parties had reportedly thawed last week ahead of theregular session’s March 8 adjournment date and a possible special session. 5
  6. 6. “We’re talking,” said Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ed Murray (D), whonoted he had sent Sen. Joe Zarelli (R), the chief architect of the Republican budget, alist of ideas for a possible compromise with the House, which has passed its own planand where Democrats hold a 56-42 majority. “The Senate passed a budget, the House has passed a budget, we need toreconcile those differences,” Zarelli said. “The parties are going to have to worktogether or we don’t get out of here.” They have their work cut out for them. The two plans differ by $1 billion, withthe Republicans’ version making deeper cuts and the Democrats’ alternative relyingon accounting maneuvers, such as postponing a required payment to K-12 schools.(STATELINE.ORG, SEATTLE TIMES) BUDGETS IN BRIEF: A government-shrinking bill passed by the OREGONLegislature this month (OR H 4131) would require state agencies with more than100 employees to reduce their manager-to-employee ratios each year by a factorof one until they reach a ratio of 11:1. The plan still has to be approved by Gov.John Kitzhaber (D) (STATELINE.ORG). • OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) wants toimpose a new tax on the form of oil and gas drilling known as horizontal frackingto give Ohioans a personal income tax cut (CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER). •Also in OHIO, Gov. Kasich turned down federal disaster assistance for the seriesof deadly tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest over the weekend. Democratsaccused him of playing to his base, but Kasich said he would not rule out askingfor federal help later if the situation warrants it. (STATELINE.ORG, CINCINNATIENQUIRER). • A $36 million tax cut for IDAHO’s top earners is sailing throughthe state Legislature. The measure — HB 563 — is co-sponsored by a majorityof the members of the House and also has the backing of Gov. Butch Otter (R)(SPOKESMAN-REVIEW [SPOKANE]). • FLORIDA legislative leaders reached adeal on a nearly $70 billion budget last week (HB 5001), highlighted by the creationof the Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland (MIAMI HERALD). • Democratswho control the MARYLAND Senate are reportedly rallying around a plan toabandon Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed tax hike on residents making $100,000 ormore and instead seek a quarter-of-a-percent, across-the-board income tax increase.Members of the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee, said O’Malley’s plan hasdrawn too much public resistance (WASHINGTON POST). • Corporate tax creditscost LOUISIANA $3 billion between 2005 and 2010, according to a legislative State Net Capitol Journal®auditor’s report that raises questions about the lack of accountability in such incentiveprograms. According to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, agencies that administerthe programs aren’t required to track their performance, making it impossible todetermine whether a particular credit is a good investment for the state (TIMES-PICAYUNE [NEW ORLEANS]). — Compiled by KOREY CLARK 6
  7. 7. Politics & leadership W ESTERN STATES STAGE SECOND SAGEBRUSH REBELLION: When Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in 1976, declaring that hundreds of millions of acres of land in the West would be held in federal ownership unless disposing of it served the national interest, a group of Western states joined together to try to force the federal government to divest itself of those holdings. The uprising, which came to be known as the Sagebrush Rebellion, ultimately didn’t amount to much, and after the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 — a former California governor who was sympathetic to the plight of the Western states — the rebellion died down. But the Sagebrush Rebels are on the march again. Last week the Utah Legislature passed a bill (HB 148) setting a 2014 deadline for the federal government to cede control of lands within the state’s borders that aren’t national parks, military installations or designated wilderness areas and establishing a mechanism to sue if it does not. Similar legislation (HCM 2002) is also working its way through the Arizona statehouse. And with the American Legislative Exchange Council supportive of the idea, the same could soon be happening in other Western states. But legal experts say the efforts aren’t likely to get any further than they did in the 1970s because only Congress has the power to dispose of federal land. “That’s not really open to dispute,” said Joseph Feller, a professor of natural resources law at Arizona State University. “The states have absolutely no power to take over the federal public land. They’ve tried it before.” John Leshy, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law agrees. “Legally, it’s a ridiculous claim. It would be thrown out in federal court in five seconds.” Environmentalists also argue that state officials lack the resources to care for such large tracts of land. “How in the world do they think they could manage these federal public lands?” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club. And some say its just election-year saber-rattling by Republicans. “It’s mostly about saying, ‘Give us back our land. We’re mad as hell about it,’” State Net Capitol Journal® said University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank. But the states do have legitimate grievances. The federal government controls about 40 percent of the land in Arizona and about 70 percent of the land in Utah, far more than the amount of land it controls in Eastern states. Utah lawmakers also say the federal government made an agreement with the state when it received statehood in 1896 that it would sell the public lands it held there with 5 percent of the proceeds going to public education. 7
  8. 8. “We still believe they have not agreed to live up to their side of the contract,” said Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups (R). Still, even some lawmakers who voted for Utah’s HB 148 evidently weren’t too optimistic about its chances of success. “I suspect it will take the Supreme Court less time to throw this out than it takes us to debate it,” said Rep. Evan Vickers (R). Utah Rep. Ken Ivory (R), one of the leaders of the effort, sounded much more like a rebel, however. “Are we not a state?” he said. “If sovereignty means anything, it means not having to say pretty please or mother may I to exercise our rights as a state.” (DESERET NEWS [SALT LAKE CITY], ASSOCIATED PRESS, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT) OR COMPLETES HISTORIC SHORT SESSION: Oregon lawmakers accomplished quite a bit in their first constitutionally mandated, even-year, short session last week. In the span of just 34 days, they rebalanced the state’s two-year budget, approved health insurance “Are we not a state? exchange legislation (for more on this, If sovereignty means see Governors in this issue) and passed anything, it means not measures designed to help homeowners in foreclosure. Although they failedhaving to say pretty please to achieve one of their main goals foror mother may I to exercise the session, removing barriers to job our rights as a state.” growth, most seemed satisfied with the work they did. “Look what we accomplished in four weeks,” said Sen. Alan Bates (D). “We got some good policy through. We balanced the budget. It was really a good session in a lot of ways.” Rep. Sal Esquivel (R) also gave the session high marks, but he recommended reducing the number of bills in the next short session. “Three hundred bills in 30 days is quite a few,” he said. “I would rather see us do quality, instead of quantity.” He also suggested that short sessions be limited to budget issues. “Anything that we do during this short session should have to do with budget or money,” he said. “I think [the session] was too fast, too quick and we didn’t spend State Net Capitol Journal® enough time to discuss the issues.” Others saw the same problem but proposed an alternate solution: lengthening the short session by 30 days and shortening the odd-year session by the same amount. “The five-month [odd-year session] is too long,” said Sen. Jason Atkinson (R). “The one-month [even-year session], in my mind, is too short. You get to an end day...and you see the Senate voting on policy bills that came from the budget 8
  9. 9. committee, which is not how you’re supposed to do things.” (MAIL TRIBUNE [MEDFORD], STATESMAN JOURNAL [SALEM]) POLITICS IN BRIEF: A federal court in San Antonio set May 29 as the date for TEXAS’ primary elections and July 31 for runoffs, finally settling the state’s election season, which had been upended by battles over redistricting (AUSTIN AMERICAN- STATESMAN). • A federal magistrate judge released her proposal last week for consolidating NEW YORK’s congressional districts from 29 to 27. State lawmakers said the plan, which closely follows the lines proposed by Common Cause and other good-government groups, could be enough to break their deadlock over redistricting (DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE [ROCHESTER]). • Forty-nine proposed changes to the LOUISIANA Constitution, including one that would strip lawmakers of much of their power in drawing legislative districts, have been filed for debate in the legislative session that begins on March 12. With such proposals requiring a two-thirds vote in each house — along with the approval of the state’s voters — only about 10 percent to 15 percent of those proposed each year end up passing the Legislature, according to policy analysts (TIMES-PICAYUNE [NEW ORLEANS]). — Compiled by KOREY CLARK Governors C HRISTIE SAYS NYPD HARMING COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) expressed concern last week that growing mistrust of police among the state’s Muslim community over the New York Police Department’s past surveillance of Garden State mosques and Muslim-owned businesses could be weakening the government’s ability to ward off future terrorist attacks. Christie’s comments came after the state’s top FBI agent, Newark Division Director Michael Ward, told the Newark Star-Ledger last Tuesday that the NYPD’s surveillance, which occurred in 2007, had damaged“We’re less knowledgeable, the agency’s relationship with the we have blind spots, and state’s Muslim community. Ward said there’s more risk.” the surveillance had also weakened the State Net Capitol Journal® agency’s ability to sniff out terrorist activity before it happens, saying “we’re less knowledgeable, we have blind spots, and there’s more risk.” Ward further expressed his dismay later at a news conference. “It hinders our ability to have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on around the state, and thus it causes problems and makes the job of the [FBI] Joint Terrorism Task force much, much harder,” he told reporters. 9
  10. 10. The governor echoed Ward’s sentiments later that day at a news conference inTrenton, saying the clandestine nature of the surveillance is what irritated him the most. “I think what [Ward is] getting at really is this secrecy, it’s this unwillingness towork with New Jersey law enforcement,” he said. “I don’t have any problem withthe NYPD coming to New Jersey. But if you’re going to come, let New Jersey lawenforcement know about it so we can work effectively together.” Last Monday, Christie indicated he was reviewing a pair of executive orderssigned in 2005 by Gov. Richard Codey (D) — Nos. 43 and 44 — that granted theNYPD limited authority to conduct operations in New Jersey. Those orders allowNYPD police powers in New Jersey along railroad rights of way and in ferryterminals. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has since claimed the EOs giveNYPD legal authority to work in New Jersey without informing local officials first.Bloomberg also called Christie’s allegations “ridiculous.” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne also defended the agency’s actions, sayingplainclothes agents were merely observing people from “countries of interest”in public establishments, which he said was “perfectly within the purview of theNYPD.” Browne also noted several recent cases where NYPD worked in directconjunction with Garden State police on anti-terrorism cases. Christie said any changes to the EOs will happen only after Attorney GeneralJeffrey Chiesa has completed his investigation into the matter. (MIAMI HERALD,STAR-LEDGER [NEWARK], THE TIMES OF TRENTON) KITZHABER AGENDA SWEEPS OR LEGISLATURE: Oregon Gov.John Kitzhaber (D) appears to be the big winner in the Beaver State’s recently-wrapped legislative session (for more on this, see Politics & leadership in this issue).Kitzhaber went into the session championing two major health care reform bills andtwo equally significant education measures. Lawmakers endorsed all four, with thegovernor ceding almost nothing in return. None of the measures had an easy ride. Three of the four measures — SB 1581,which requires school districts, colleges and universities to forge achievementcompacts with the state in order to obtain state funding; HB 4165, which reorganizesthe state’s early childhood programs; and HB 4164, which creates a state healthinsurance exchange — passed last Monday, the session’s final day. The final measure,SB 1580, which creates coordinated care programs for the state’s Medicaid andMedicare patients, was approved the week before. State Net Capitol Journal® Kitzhaber celebrated the wins by inviting Senate President Peter Courtney (D)and House Co-Speakers Bruce Hanna (R) and Arnie Roblan (D) to join him insigning the bills last Monday evening. He also congratulated lawmakers for what hesaid was their willingness to “put Oregon and Oregonians first” over politics. “There were some bumps along the way and everyone was stressed in a shortsession,” he said. “I just want to take this moment to congratulate the Legislature 10
  11. 11. for a truly remarkable success.” (STATE NET,OREGONIAN [PORTLAND], REGISTER-GUARD Upcoming stories Here are some of the topics you may see[EUGENE], KVAL.COM [EUGENE]) covered in upcoming issues of the State Net Capitol Journal: SNYDER OUTLINES NEW ANTICRIME • CA redevelopment • Child protectionPROPOSAL: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) outlined • Election year politicsa new plan calling for a more concentrated effort tocombat crime in the Wolverine State’s most crime-ridden cities. Snyder’s proposal included hiring 180 new state troopers, 20 newforensic technicians in the state crime lab and re-opening the Flint city jail. Largelyas a result of budget cuts, the Wolverine State lost nearly 15 percent of its lawenforcement employees between 2001 and 2010, the steepest percentage drop in thenation, according to FBI statistics. The state is home to four cities with a populationof 50,000 or more — Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw — that rank among the top10 for violent crime. Snyder said the state’s efforts would focus on those communities(DETROIT FREE PRESS, DETROIT NEWS, LANSING STATE JOURNAL). JINDAL ED REFORM DETAILS RELEASED: Lawmakers pre-filedLouisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) education reform proposals last week. Thegovernor’s sweeping reform package would include drastically overhauling teachertenure protections and evaluation procedures (HB 974 and SB 603), expandingcharter schools and state-funded school voucher programs (HB 976 and SB 597) andchanges to the Pelican State’s early childhood education offerings (HB 933 and SB581). Lawmakers are expected to take up the proposals when the session begins onMarch 12. (TIMES-PICAYUNE [NEW ORLEANS], STATE NET) GOVERNORS IN BRIEF: Lawyers for CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P.Malloy (D) filed a court motion last week to limit disclosure of materials to a fellowDemocrat who sued him for slander in 2010. Malloy also asked for a judgment inhis favor to end the case. The plaintiff, Lisa “Lee” Whitnum, has accused Malloyof calling her anti-Semitic (HARTFORD COURANT). • SOUTH DAKOTA Gov.Dennis Daugaard (R) signed legislation that will give one-time payments to SouthDakota school districts and medical facilities that provide care to low-incomepeople (RAPID CITY JOURNAL). • NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez (R)signed SB 240, legislation that will provide funding to pay for the cost of the state’s State Net Capitol Journal®medical marijuana program. Under the measure, fees paid by medical cannabisoutlets, which range from $10,000 to $30,000 a year, will now go directly to a fundspecifically created to administer the program (DAILY TIMES [FARMINGTON]). •WISCONSIN elections officials say the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker (R) andfive others will not be held until early June. Officials said they wanted to wait untilJune to avoid conflicts with the April 3 GOP presidential primary and the May 28 11
  12. 12. Memorial Day holiday (POST CRESCENT [APPLETON]). • NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced a bipartisan legislative fix to save the Garden State’s anti-bullying law. In January, the state Council on Local Mandates declared the law to be an unfunded mandate and gave lawmakers 60 days to change the statute or have it invalidated. The proposed fix will provide $1 million in funding to be awarded as grants through New Jersey’s Department of Education to help districts with programming, approaches and personnel issues. A seven-member taskforce will also be created to draw up guidance for school districts to follow in implementing the law. Lawmakers must approve the changes (RECORD OF BERGEN COUNTY). — Compiled By RICH EHISENHot issues B USINESS: The OREGON House and Senate approve SB 1552, which requires banks and homeowners behind on their mortgage to jointly attend mediation to attempt to avoid foreclosure. The measure, which also bars lenders from beginning foreclosure proceedings while simultaneously agreeing to a loan modification plan, moves to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) for review (GAZETTE TIMES [CORVALLIS]). • NEBRASKA lawmakers give first round approval to LB 863, which would make film, television and commercial ventures eligible to receive tax breaks for moving their productions to the Cornhusker State. It faces additional votes (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR). • The IOWA Senate approves SB 2277, a bill that allows businesses to make mixed drinks that can take up to 72 hours of sitting before consumed. The measure, which specifically bars caffeine, stimulants and hallucinogens in the drinks, moves to the House (DES MOINES REGISTER). • Still in IOWA, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) signs HF 589, which makes it a crime to obtain access to an agricultural facility under false pretenses or to lie on a job application to obtain that access (DES MOINES REGISTER). CRIME & PUNISHMENT: The ARIZONA Senate approves SB 1318, which would require anyone who processes photo-enforcement tickets for a company to be licensed as a private investigator. It has moved to the House (ARIZONA State Net Capitol Journal® REPUBLIC [PHOENIX]). • MINNESOTA Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoes HF 1467, legislation that would have expanded the Gopher State’s so-called “Castle Doctrine” to allow residents to use deadly force to defend themselves wherever they have a legal right to be. Dayton cited opposition from law enforcement for his veto (MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE). • Still in MINNESOTA, Gov. Dayton signs SF 12
  13. 13. 1371, which allows police to sell confiscated firearmsto federally licensed firearms dealers (MINNESOTA The week in sessionGOVERNOR’S OFFICE). • The HAWAII House States in Regular Session: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID,approves HB 2751, which would make disorderly IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO,and contemptuous behavior at the Aloha State MS, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, SD, TN, US, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WYLegislature a petty misdemeanor. It moves to the Senate(HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN). States in Recess: NC, SD Special Sessions in Recess: DE “b” EDUCATION: The OREGON Senate approves States Currently Prefiling or DraftingHB 4077, which requires Beaver State school districts for 2012: LAto develop programs to educate students about States Projected to Adjourn: AR, FL,dating violence. It moves to Gov. John Kitzhaber UT, VA, WV, WY(D) for review (OREGONIAN [PORTLAND]). States Adjourned in 2012: OR, NM, WA• Still in OREGON, the state Higher Education Letters indicate special/extraordinary sessionsBoard unanimously adopts an internal policy that — Compiled By OWEN JARNAGIN(sessionprohibits anyone who has signed a contract with the information current as of 3/8/2012) Source: State Net databaseuniversity from carrying a gun on campus. The bangoes into effect immediately (GAZETTE TIMES[CORVALLIS]). • Staying in OREGON, Gov. Kitzhaber signs HB 4165, whichreorganizes the state’s early childhood development programs in an effort to betterprepare children for kindergarten. Gov. Kitzhaber also signs HB 1580, which requiresschool districts, colleges and universities to forge achievement compacts with theBeaver State government (OREGONIAN [PORTLAND]). • The COLORADOSupreme Court upholds a lower court’s ruling that overturned a Centennial Statelaw barring guns on University of Colorado campuses. The Court said CU regentshad overstepped their authority by implementing a rule that was in conflict with astate law allowing properly permitted weapons owners to carry their weapons “in allareas of the state” (DENVER POST). • The UTAH Senate approves HB 363, whichdefines sex education as abstinence-only and bans instruction in sexual intercourse,homosexuality, contraceptive methods and sexual activity outside of marriage.It moves to Gov. Gary Herbert (R) for review (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE). • Alsoin UTAH, the House and Senate approve SB 64, which would implement annualevaluations and performance-based pay for public school administrators. It movesto Gov. Herbert for review (SALK LAKE TRIBUNE). • The WYOMING Houseapproves SB 52, which would require Equality State public schools to screen students State Net Capitol Journal®for dyslexia. The measure is now on its way to Gov. Matt Mead (R) for review(ASSOCIATED PRESS). ENERGY: NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez (R) signs HB 201, legislationthat will, in certain cases, expedite or eliminate some parts of the permitting processfor geothermal energy companies operating in the Land of Enchantment (NEWMEXICO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE). 13
  14. 14. ENVIRONMENT: The WYOMING House Upcoming electionsand Senate approve SB 41, which would allow (3/8/2012 - 3/29/2012)trophy hunting for wolves in a flexible zone around 03/13/2012Yellowstone National Park beginning this fall. Alabama Primary Election US House (All)The measure, which would also classify wolves aspredators that could be shot on sight in the rest of Mississippi Primary Election US House (All)the state, moves to Gov. Matt Mead (R) for review US Senate(IDAHO STATESMAN [BOISE]). • KANSAS Gov.Sam Brownback (R) signs HB 2451, which eliminates 03/20/2012 Illinois Primary Electionthe state’s “use it or lose it” water policy that required House (All)water rights holders to use a certain amount of water Senate (All) US House (All)each year (LAWRENCE JOURNAL WORLD). •CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) signs New York Special Election Assembly Districts 93, 100, 103 and 145HB 5302, a bill that allows local municipalities to Senate District 27regulate solid waste facilities in the Constitution State(STATE NET). HEALTH & SCIENCE: The UTAH Senate approves SB 40, which wouldincrease state oversight of cosmetic medical procedures, including requiringbusinesses that represent themselves as “medical spas” to have a physician, nursepractitioner or osteopathic physician on the premises. It has moved to the House(DESERET NEWS [SALT LAKE CITY]). Still in UTAH, the House approves SB208, which would bar the Beehive State from creating a health insurance exchangeas called for in the federal Affordable Care Act. The measure has returned to theSenate for concurrence (STATE NET, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE). • OREGON, Gov.John Kitzhaber (D) signs SB 1580, which overhauls the state’s Medicaid programby creating new provider groups called coordinated care organizations designedto emphasize prevention and integrate medical, dental and mental health care(OREGONIAN [PORTLAND]). • Also in OREGON, the House and Senate approveHB 4164, which would create a state health insurance exchange where residentsand small businesses can shop for health insurance. It now goes to Gov. Kitzhaber(D), who has pledged to sign it into law (MAIL TRIBUNE [MEDFORD]). • TheGEORGIA House approves HB 972, which would require pain management clinicsto be licensed by the state. The measure, which would also establish minimumstandards for prescribing pain medications, moves to the Senate (STATE NET). • The State Net Capitol Journal®ARIZONA Senate approves SB 1359, which would prevent Grand Canyon Statedoctors from being sued for so-called “wrongful births,” those in which a physiciandoes not inform a pregnant woman of prenatal problems that could lead her to havean abortion. The bill moves to the House (ARIZONA DAILY SUN [FLAGSTAFF]). 14
  15. 15. IMMIGRATION: The GEORGIA Senate In case you missed itapproves SB 458, which would bar undocumented The Obama administration is about toimmigrants from attending any of the state’s 60 public finalize rules for another program designed to help millions of struggling homeownerscolleges and universities. The measure moves to the refinance into lower interest mortgages. Whether it is more successful than previousHouse. If it eventually becomes law, the Peach State efforts is yet to be determined.would join SOUTH CAROLINA and ALABAMA In case you missed it, the article can be found on our website atas the only states to bar undocumented immigrants public colleges (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION). • The UTAH Senate approves SB 144, which would requirenon-attorney immigration consultants to register with the state Division of ConsumerProtection, undergo criminal background checks and post bonds. The bill moves nowto Gov. Gary Herbert (R) for review (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, STATE NET). SOCIAL ISSUES: The WYOMING Senate rejects HB 82, which wouldhave required people receiving welfare benefits to undergo random drug screening(LARAMIE BOOMERANG). • The ARIZONA Senate approves SB 1495, a billthat requires unemployment-insurance applicants to take a drug test at their ownexpense before they start receiving benefits. The measure, which also sets up randomdrug testing for those already getting benefits, moves to the House (ARIZONAREPUBLIC [PHOENIX]). • The KENTUCKY House approves HB 237, a bill thatwould require all social workers hired in the Bluegrass State after July 1, 2013 to belicensed by a national accrediting organization. Current social workers would havethree years to obtain the license. The measure moves to the Senate (COURIER-JOURNAL [LOUISVILLE]). • The UTAH House approves HB 461, which wouldrequire women seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours before having the procedure. It isnow in the Senate (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE). • The OKLAHOMA Senate approvesSB 1274, legislation that would require doctors to tell women seeking an abortionthat they have a right to hear a fetus’ heartbeat before having the procedure. It movesnow to the Sooner State House (STATE NET, REUTERS). • VIRGINIA Gov. RobertMcDonnell (R) signs HB 462, legislation that requires Old Dominion women seekingan abortion to first undergo an ultrasound. Doctors must also offer to allow thewoman to view the image (REUTERS). POTPOURRI: The COLORADO Senate rejects SB 137, which would havegiven residents the option to trade in U.S. minted gold and silver if the value of the State Net Capitol Journal®dollar falls. Under current Centennial State law, people who want to spend goldand silver coins must convert them to paper dollars first (DENVER POST). • AnILLINOIS judge overturns a Prairie State law that makes it a felony to record aconversation without the consent of all the parties involved. Cook County JudgeStanley Sacks declared the law unconstitutional, saying it was too broad. Stateofficials are considering an appeal (DAILY HERALD [ARLINGTON HEIGHTS]). 15
  16. 16. • U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg rules that a MARYLAND law requiring residents to show a “good and substantial reason” to get a handgun permit is unconstitutional. State officials are expected to appeal the ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (THE CAPITAL [ANNAPOLIS]). — Compiled by RICH EHISENOnce around thestatehouse lightly J UST TRYING TO BE HELPFUL: Alabama Rep. Daniel Boman clearly does not think much of Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposed jobs creation plan. As State Net notes, Boman has introduced HR 204, a resolution he says is “basically identical” to Bentley’s, but with more “clear, straightforward” language. Examples include mocking references to jobs being important “unless they are the jobs of teachers” and other school personnel, an assertion that in the future government scientists will “almost certainly be able to grow money on trees” and that children should be working at real jobs instead of wasting time learning “useless skills like reading, writing and arithmetic that are completely unessential in today’s economy.” While Boman’s sarcasm was meant to make a point, House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Blaine Galliher was not so amused. As the Birmingham News reports, Galliher called the resolution “inappropriate and unprofessional” and said it would be “going nowhere. JUST A SNIP HERE AND THERE: Bowman isn’t the only lawmaker who went over-the-top last week. As CNN reports, Georgia Rep. Yasmin Neal introduced HB 116, legislation to bar Peach State men from having vasectomies unless they are facing death or serious harm otherwise. Neal’s measure further notes that vasectomies “leave thousands of children deprived of birth” and that it is “patently unfair” for the fellas to “avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood.” Neal says she isn’t serious about ridding the state of vasectomies, but she is deadly serious about making her colleagues recognize a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Neal State Net Capitol Journal® and Bowman were joined in sarcasm by Virginia Sen. Janet Howell, who addressed a controversial Old Dominion bill that would have forced women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before having an abortion by pushing to require men to have rectal exams and cardiac stress tests before obtaining prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication. Touché. 16
  17. 17. NOW THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL POOR TIMING: Love him or loath him,Rush Limbaugh is undoubtedly famous. As the Kansas City Star reports, Limbaughis in fact so well known that House Speaker Steve Tilley is inducting him into theHall of Famous Missourians later this year, which entails placing a bronze bust ofLimbaugh in the Statehouse’s Capitol Rotunda alongside other notable Show MeState natives like Mark Twain and Harry Truman. While that might seem politicallytone deaf given current events, Tilley says the decision to honor Limbaugh was madelong before the radio blatherer ignited a universal uproar by calling a GeorgetownUniversity student a “slut” and a “prostitute.” And while Dems and others are afterhim to call the whole thing off, Tilley has resisted, saying, ““It’s not the ‘Hall ofUniversally Loved Missourians.’ It’s the ‘Hall of Famous Missourians.’” Good thing,because he sure as heck wouldn’t make it into the former. SPEAKING OF TONE DEAF: Whether it’s fighting over the budget, socialissues or even just the time of day, Virginia lawmakers haven’t found a lot they agreeon during this session. There is, however, at least one area where some Old Dominionlawmakers found common ground last week: a pay raise. As the Washington Postreports, Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment and Senate Minority LeaderRichard L. Saslaw took their respective floors last week to urge the Senate to tie theirsalaries to any future pay raises granted to state employees. Alas, spoilsport Sen.Jeffrey L. McWaters countered by chewing out his colleagues for even discussingcranking up its own pay when it can’t seem to even pass a state budget. Thuschastened, the Senate soundly rejected the measure. JUST ANOTHER HICKENBLOOPER: It seemed simple enough: ColoradoGov. John Hickenlooper had only to introduce Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia to a group ofschool children. But as the Denver Post reports, such things rarely come easy toHickenlooper, who somehow managed to fete Garcia as a “rising sex star.” Realizinghis error, the flustered gov corrected himself, saying he meant to call Garcia a “sexsymbol.” Whether either moniker was appropriate is debatable at best, but thoseclose to him have apparently become used to the governor’s frequent gaffes, knownaround the Capitol as “Hickenbloopers.” If her husband’s miscues bother First LadyHelen Thorpe, she hides it well. “John is a dork sometimes, which is of course whyI love him,” she says. But after still another awkward introductory gaffe last week— something about Michelle Obama in the shower — Thorpe warned him that “he State Net Capitol Journal®better not go for a trifecta.” — By RICH EHISEN 17
  18. 18. Editor: Rich Ehisen — Associate Editor: Korey Clark — State Net Contributing Editors: Virginia Nelson, Art Zimmerman Editorial Advisor: Lou Cannon ® Correspondents: Richard Cox (CA), Steve Karas (CA), James Ross (CA), Lauren Davis (MA) and A LexisNexis® Company Ben Livingood (PA) Graphic Design: Vanessa Perez State Net ISSN: 1521-8449 Youve just read State Net Capitol For a FREE subscription, Journal, the insiders source for visit our Website at political and legislative news in the 50 states. and click on the State Net Capitol Journal is "Register Now" icon. published 40 times annually and Or call us at delivered over the Web or email. 916.444.0840 A publication of State Net — Information and Intelligence on the 50 States & Congress The Power to Know. Act. Connect. Unique State Net tools, methods and expertise overcome the challenge of managing government affairs information. We help minimize your risks and empower your team for success. State Net Capitol Journal® State Net: the service you can trust when you need to be right. Learn more about our issue-based reporting solutions today: or • 800.726.4566LexisNexis is a registered trademark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. State Net is a registered trademark of LexisNexis,a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright 2011 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. 18