WAGES ON THE RISE: Minimum wage will soon increase in New Jersey, and Democrats in Pennsylvania are clamoring for similar action. But economists are divided when it comes to who benefits from minimum wage increases.

Nanny of the Week: Is the minimum wage a nanny state policy?

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Devin Jerran, who works at a pizza shop in Seattle, is losing his job because of new rules from the city government.

Photo from Flickr Commons

Lift the crude oil export ban? Obama administration just doesn’t seem that into it

Energy and Environment  |  4:00 am

There are indications the Obama administration is reluctant to lift the crude oil export ban.

Lake County Photo

MN broadband project stuck in federal stimulus time warp

Minnesota  |  4:00 am

A costly government-owned broadband network in northern Minnesota is stuck in a sort of stimulus time warp.

Six years after passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the Lake Connections network remains under construction and behind schedule. It faces losing millions in Rural Utilities Service money, because the federal stimulus program ends later this year.

“I know we’ve got construction going heavy. We’re fighting hard to get on that deadline,” said Lake County Commissioner Peter Walsh. “… I’m sure things could be better, but we’ll see how things go at this point.”

Photo: State of Montana

Ohio Gov. John Kasich helps Montana expand Obamacare

National  |  4:00 am

Obamacare supporters in Montana had fallen short in their efforts to expand Medicaid — and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich came to town.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Critic derides Chattanooga mayor’s ‘Obamaphone’ program

Tennessee  |  4:00 am

Good news, those of you Chattanooga residents with a child in a school’s free and reduced lunch program: Mayor Andy Berke wants to slash your monthly Internet subscription costs by half.

That is, as long as you’re a subscriber to Chattanooga’s government-owned Internet.

Lincoln.ne.gov

Why did councilman get a $30,000 break on undercharged water bill?

Nebraska  |  May 4, 2015

Democrats have bashed Lincoln Councilman Jon Camp for cutting a deal after being undercharged $46,517 for water and sewer services in his historic downtown building for a decade, but they have not asked why the Democratic mayor’s administration first bungled the water bill and then allowed the councilman to cut a deal lopping $30,000 off the bill.

Photo via governor.nd.gov

Fuzzy math clouds picture of tax relief for North Dakotans

North Dakota  |  May 4, 2015

In the closing days of North Dakota’s 2015 legislative session, Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined with lawmakers to tout nearly $400 million worth of what his press release called “tax relief,” but citizens might not want to take that number to the bank.

Shutterstock Image

Loopholes in Pennsylvania’s Ethics Act allow family hires

Pennsylvania  |  May 4, 2015

Pennsylvania’s Ethics Act is supposed to stop conflicts of interests, but it includes several loopholes that diminish its reach.

Logo courtesy of ACLU of Virginia

McAuliffe rejects data collection compromise, ACLU will sue

Virginia  |  May 4, 2015

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is allowing police departments across the state to keep collecting and storing drivers’ license plate data as long as they wish, and the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it will sue.

MAKING A PITCH: Stephen Strasburg rehabilitated his arm with the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns. Now the minor league team wants to move to Spotsylvania, Va.

Nationals’ farm club quick-pitches Virginia county

Virginia  |  May 4, 2015

A Washington Nationals minor-league franchise wants Spotsylvania County to pony up $42 million for a stadium and parking garage — and the team is looking to score on Tuesday night.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

New Jersey pension mess to hit fan in Supreme Court

New Jersey  |  May 4, 2015

New Jersey’s $170 billion pension mess will hit the fan this week in state Supreme Court. Whatever the high court decides, the verdict could be bad news for state taxpayers, public workers or both.

SPECIAL REPORT

VIDEOS

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Jon Stewart obliterates ‘slimy’ Democrats over Gruber

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The Daily Show
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Photo by Steve Wilson

West Rankin Utility Authority wins key battle in fight to build new treatment plant

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The West Rankin Utility Authority won a key battle Tuesday in its fight to build a new wastewater treatment plant and leave Jackson’s aging facility.