WASHINGTON, D.C. — Contrary to a media mantra of supposed military cutbacks, defense-related spending is on track surpass $1 trillion.
But $1 trillion doesn’t go as far as it used to.
“At the $1 trillion spending level our national security leaders say they are in the poorhouse. The truth is that while they squander, they have already sent our [...]
It is fitting that Sunshine Week originated in Florida, the Sunshine State.
But as in every time and in every state, Florida politicians would prefer that the sun didn’t shine so brightly, or much at all. Given their choice, most politicians would rather do the public’s business out of the blinding light of public view.
By Jon Street | Vermont Watchdog
BURLINGTON, Vt. – In 2011, while the rest of America argued the merits of the president’s Affordable Care Act, Vermont jumped the progressive curve, promising to launch the nation’s first health single-payer system, in which state government pays providers to care for all residents.
Now, even Democrats say that plan, called Green [...]
By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org
More than a thousand Tennessee parents trekked to Nashville in January to rally in favor of school choice.
Lawmakers there are listening.
The state is likely to pass a school voucher law, which would allow students in Tennessee’s worst schools access to private schools, according to those watching the Legislature. Vouchers would [...]
When it comes to Obamacare sign-ups, Florida is tops among the 34 states with federally run health exchanges.
By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
LINCOLN, Neb. — How would you like to have a million-dollar Panasonic LED TV screen? Better yet, paid for with tax dollars?
That’s the situation for the developers of the Railyard, a block of restaurants and bars across the street from Lincoln’s new Pinnacle Bank Arena. The private developers at WRK put [...]
Economists and the Obama administration have been talking about the economic recovery for more than four years, but for millions of Americans, it sure doesn’t feel like much of a recovery.
Its members may be in the liquor business, but the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association might as well be a teetotaler when it comes to increased competition, says one player entering the Twin Cities market.
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — Some attorneys are blasting a proposed piece of legislation in Tennessee’s General Assembly that would take away the state Supreme Court’s administrative powers and give them to the state comptroller’s office.
While taxpayers were picking up the tab for intensive, outpatient care for mentally ill patients, those patients were playing games and watching movies.
By Paul Brennan | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES, Iowa — According to reports from the Iowa Department of Revenue, an obscure tax break, the Research Activities Credit, has allowed major corporations to receive millions in tax refunds from the state without paying a dime in state corporate income tax.
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)
It comes down to trust.
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.
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 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 [...]
With no debate and a nearly party-line vote, the state House passed a bill that eliminates a loophole in the law state defining the crime of stalking.
By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
State public utilities regulators are calling for an easy way for consumers to compare complaints against the nation’s phone companies.
Currently, consumers can file complaints about their telecommunications service with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, but those complaints aren’t publicly available in an online format for consumers.
On Wednesday, Chris [...]
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 [...]
FROM AROUND THE WEB
By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell – arguably South Carolina’s most powerful lawmaker – was visibly angry after state Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that an ethics investigation of Harrell had been referred to the state grand jury.
“I believe it was intended to inflict political damage to me,” the Charleston [...]
By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
While proponents of mandating a higher minimum wage claim it would help Michigan residents get off food stamps, the evidence from past increases shows this not to be true.
In 2007, the minimum wage in Michigan increased from $5.15 an hour to $6.95 an hour. That year, the number of people on food [...]
By Jami Lund | Freedom Foundation
Among the highest priorities of government unions is to shield government employees from accountability.
Teachers’ union officials collect roughly $80 million per year to pursue employees’ self-interest, and they do it very well.
In the legislative session just concluded, the issue of teacher evaluation provides a clear example.
Currently, Washington’s system of teacher [...]
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter
As legislatures around the country have renewed efforts to restrict abortions, an Anne Arundel County Republican has proposed a Maryland law that would impose a deadline on when a woman could receive an abortion during the course of her pregnancy. But even he doesn’t think the proposal will make it [...]
By John Seiler | Cal Watchdog
California’s economic recovery remains anemic and a two-year projection put forth in the March forecast of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at Cal Lutheran predicts more of the same.
That growth the next two years will average only about 3 percent, when at least 4 percent is needed to begin making [...]
By Robert Arial and Ashley Landess | The Nerve
How does South Carolina’s energy market work? In a nutshell, it doesn’t. While other states are moving toward more open markets, South Carolina remains stubbornly lacking in competition. And as usual in our state, oversight of the utilities is controlled by legislators who appoint the board that [...]
By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
A list of workers that was posted at Hurley Medical Center and named people who opted out of their union has been reposted at the hospital less than three weeks after it had been taken down.
And it has a fifth name on it now.
The list, which was posted by the American Federation [...]
By Kathy Hamilton | Cal Watchdog
Monday marks the next critical date in legal action surrounding California’s high-speed rail project. By that date, the office of California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, which represents the High-Speed Rail Authority, is expected to file a new appeal.
At issue before the Court of Appeal will be a March 4 ruling [...]
By Peter Suderman | Reason
Perhaps the biggest frustration with the administration’s Obamacare enrollment reports is that they’re not really enrollment reports.
Instead, the reports count the number of people who have “picked a plan.” But not all of those people have paid, which means not all of them are truly enrolled in health coverage.
How many haven’t paid? [...]