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More paying Obamacare fines as subsidies go to people who don’t exist

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The IRS fined more than 7.5 million Americans for not having health insurance in 2014, even as Obamacare subsidies were flowing to people who did not exist.

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Wastewater injects controversy over earthquakes in Oklahoma

Energy and Environment  |  4:00 am

“We believe that in 12 months we would see a clear decline in the earthquake activity” if a moratorium is put in place, said Johnson Bridgwater, director of Oklahoma Sierra Club. “We are not saying it would completely stop, we are not saying they would go away, but we do believe that a 12-month window would show a steady decline in earthquake activity in the area.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

New Tennessee law scrutinizes how volunteer firefighters spend taxpayer money

Tennessee  |  4:00 am

The Tennessee comptroller alleges an Overton County volunteer fire chief stole $37,000, but a new law will place volunteer firefighters and how they spend taxpayer money under greater scrutiny.

Photo By Arthur Kane

Lawmakers to take on receivership, probate abuse

Colorado  |  4:00 am

Abuses by court-appointed receivers and overseers of probate are a growing problem that one state lawmaker wants to address next year.

Missing political operative has ties to Philadelphia mayoral campaign

Pennsylvania  |  12:13 pm

Why did Jim Kenney’s campaign pay $14,000 to a political operative who is now missing and linked to an FBI investigation?

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Some Texas open records now closed in wake of state Supreme Court ruling

Texas  |  4:00 am

By Steve Miller | Texas Watchdog
An economic development group in Fort Bend County is no longer subject to the state’s open records law in the wake of a game-changing state Supreme Court ruling in June.
The Texas Attorney General Office’s open records division has ruled the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council is not a public body, reversing […]

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Vermont to pay up to $2.7 million for faulty fix to state health exchange

Vermont  |  4:00 am

An independent report on Vermont Health Connect shows Vermonters will pay up to $2.7 million for June’s faulty technology fix, a fact not disclosed by the Shumlin administration’s report.


Ousted council member wins court hearing, keeps seat for now

Texas  |  4:00 am

It’s a game of minutes; at that council meeting after being sworn in, her fate was debated in closed session by her colleagues, who voted the following week to remove her.

AP file photo

Ron Johnson has backing of powerful free-market Club in battle with Russ Feingold

Wisconsin  |  11:39 am

“Russ Feingold has been out of the state and people haven’t focused on what he’s been doing. They’ve forgotten why they fired him six years ago. We’re going to remind them of that,”


State Patrol goes over budget on overtime, doesn’t say why

Nebraska  |  12:16 pm

The Nebraska State Patrol exceeded its overtime budget by about $400,000 in the fiscal year that ended last month, but it’s not clear why.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

New Jersey looking for feds to bailout state pensions

New Jersey  |  12:04 am

The federal government should rescue troubled state pension plans with billions of dollars in long-term loans, proposed New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney. The trillion-dollar question is whether it would save public pensions or sink states deeper in debt.


Green-energy CEO: Vermonters must abandon the car

Photo by Bruce Parker

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“We got to get people to live where they work and get into the community. They can’t be living everywhere.”

Tesla got $295M in subsidies for technology it didn’t offer

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“This isn’t a science fair. We should be paying for results,” said a California lawmaker of the Tesla Motors subsidies.

Situation critical: Obamacare costs set to pummel state budgets

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As Obamacare costs rocket past projections, will Washington D.C. rescue the states?

Nanny State of the Week: Town officials mandate mowing


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Local officials in St. Alban’s Township, Ohio, want residents to destroy two years’ worth of work on a small-scale nature preserve.

Houston’s debt passes Detroit’s

Houstonians know all about foundations that crack.

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According to a key measure of fiscal health, Houston’s situation is nearly as bad as that of Chicago, which is starting to collapse under its debt burdens.

Nanny State of the Week: Lawsuit challenges Seattle trash snooping

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Seattle officials have deputized trashmen as a sort of secret police who are ordered to rat on residents’ trash habits to the nannies at the Seattle Public Utilities.


Governor's Office/ Mykwain Gainey

New Jersey pensions sue Christie for $4 billion in missed payments

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New Jersey’s three largest public pension plans are taking Gov. Chris Christie to court in a renewed effort to force the state to pay more than $4 billion in missed payments to retirement funds.

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Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes

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Even as it was careening towards bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, okayed $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.

Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers, and they were handed out without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released this week.

These two lawmakers could pocket more than $1 million in pension payments each.

Idaho governor gives two lawmakers million-dollar pensions — at taxpayer expense

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Gov. Butch Otter knows how to raise income levels — at least for a few lucky and connected former legislators.