Yes, government waste, fraud and abuse are the triplet children of incompetence, greed and unbridled ambition.
After being christened “one of the best states to be a transgender high school athlete” by Deadspin last year, a Nebraska school activities board has backed away from the very policy that earned it that designation.
As lawmakers continue to debate pension reform, the meter is running.
By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota Bureau
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Good luck applying for a zero percent “forgivable loan” from a bank — unless your lender happens to be Twin Cities taxpayers.
The idea of renting vacation homes for a week or two is a popular and cheap option, the cool thing to do.
By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org
Thousands more Florida students from low-income families could have access to private schools if lawmakers approve a bill to expand the state’s tax-credit scholarship program.
The bill allows the scholarship amount to increase from 72 percent to 84 percent of the state’s per-pupil education funding. It also expands eligibility to students [...]
By Ryan Ekvall | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — School districts throughout the state have some tough decisions to make about mandatory health care for their part-time employees.
By Malia Zimmerman | Watchdog.org
HONOLULU — State Rep. Bob McDermott filed an ethics complaint against Hawaii State Department of Education District Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi Thursday after she ignored his Feb. 28 letter requesting she halt the implementation of a new teacher training program.
By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — In a long-awaited decision, the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that state lawmakers created “unconstitutional” and “unreasonable wealth-based disparities” by withholding certain state aid payments to public schools.
While the legal battle leading up to the decision has been a four-year slog since the lawsuit’s initial filing [...]
Amid silence from county officials and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s small farmers are hailing new legislation that protects private property rights.
With Medicaid expansion in limbo, the Virginia Department of Social Services is already backlogged and working overtime to handle the 50,000 applications directed to the state from Healthcare.gov.
Three Republicans responded to President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. Here are the videos:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (official Republican response)
Sen. Mike Lee (tea party response)
Sen. Rand Paul (independent response)
By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog
Oregon’s public records law already includes a long list of exemptions, yet the state’s Legislature wants to add more.
By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog
Despite a $52 billion public pension debt, the Democrat-controlled New Jersey Legislature has ruled out any new reforms to the state retirement system.
“If we stay the course the pension system will be fine,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, in response to Gov. Chris Christie’s annual budget address. “It’s not [...]
Reps. Ernest Chavez, D-Albuquerque, and Phillip Archuleta, D-Las Cruces, missed the entire 30-day legislative session that wrapped up Thursday and that appeared, in the words of Robert Frost, to make all the difference.
By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND, Va. – A letter from then-Gov. Bob McDonnell to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asserts that the governor has the power to expand Medicaid in Virginia – with or without General Assembly approval.
McDonnell’s March 5, 2013, letter declared: “As governor … the decision currently rests [...]
Pennsylvania has saved almost $2 billion staving off welfare fraud, waste and abuse under Gov. Tom Corbett, said Beverly Mackereth, the secretary of the state’s Department of Public Welfare.
By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s leaders are discovering it’s pretty tough to make sound budget decisions when estimates of the money available to spend are off by a billion dollars.
State legislators meet for a constitutionally constrained 80-day session every two years. One of their responsibilities is crafting the state’s budget [...]
By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
Updated 11:32 a.m. Tuesday
LINCOLN, Neb. – Gov. Dave Heineman said he thinks Nebraska will successfully appeal a judge’s recent ruling striking down the state’s oil pipeline siting law.
Last week, Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy declared unconstitutional a 2012 law that gave the governor and state environmental regulators the authority [...]
FROM AROUND THE WEB
By John Hrabe | Cal Watchdog
Mike Gatto’s life is an open book. Last January, his daughter, Evangelina, received a $50 gift certificate from a family friend. During the summer recess, he enjoyed dinner with a star of CSI: Miami. In October, one stock in his investment portfolio took a hit. And just before Christmas, Gatto “re-gifted” [...]
By Dan Greenberg | The Arkansas Project
One of the most offensive bills that the Arkansas General Assembly passed last session was SB 821/Act 1413. This bill, which we warned the Legislature about, almost seemed designed to make it more difficult for citizens to pass laws by means of ballot initiatives.
Act 1413 created a new set of regulations [...]
By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
Nancy S. Campbell last year was hoping to land a $102,000-a-year seat on the South Carolina Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the Palmetto State.
But the veteran telecommunications analyst and Piedmont resident probably wasn’t expecting a certain line of questioning from Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Oconee and vice chairman of [...]
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter
The House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved a tax cut in Friday’s session that would benefit Maryland’s millionaires after they die.
In a 120-13 vote, the House voted to exempt more assets from the estate tax, which taxes a property of a deceased individual if it’s valued at $1 million.
If signed into [...]
By Jarrett Skorup | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Michigan residents — and their dogs — soon will benefit from actions taken in response to news stories and oversight of school officials and laws in the state.
A 95-year-old dog law that required sheriffs to kill unlicensed dogs finally is being repealed, and the secretary of state’s office said taxpayers in Traverse [...]
By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
The president of the teachers union in the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District can’t be laid off, according to the union contract, but a 2011 state law prohibits that kind of protection.
The ”Super Seniority” clause in the contract states: “The Association president and the Union chief negotiator shall not be subject to layoff.”
Inserting, or keeping [...]
By Len Lazarick | Maryland Reporter
Much or all of an annual $300 million extra payment into Maryland’s pension system is on the chopping block as Senate budgeters seek to balance Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $39 billion budget at a voting session Friday.
The governor had already used $100 million from the extra pension payment promised teachers and [...]
By John Hrabe | Cal Watchdog
Two San Diego legislators are calling on the federal government to end the practice of paying people with disabilities less than minimum wage. Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and State Sen. Ben Hueso have introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 36 to increase pressure on Congress to repeal a Depression-era law, which advocates for people with disabilities [...]
By Alex Pappas│The Daily Caller
The Senate on Wednesday voted to block Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s controversial nominee for assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, from being confirmed.
Adegbile’s nomination had been contested because of his history at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund defending notorious cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was found guilty of the [...]