Penalized Virginia drivers file class-action lawsuit against Express Lanes operator

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  News, State Government, Transparency, transportation, Virginia  /  No Comments

Transurban

A private company is operating many of Virginia’s thoroughfares, but that doesn’t mean it can charge drivers thousands of dollars in unexpected fines and penalties.

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State owes Minnesotans millions, if they only knew it

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  Legislature, Minnesota, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Watchdog Photo

It’s like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. But, odds are, you may never see the payout.

The Minnesota Commerce Department holds a $650 million jackpot of unclaimed property — mainly lost funds held by the state — waiting for tens of thousands of Minnesotans to redeem.

It’s not the government’s money. State law requires the unclaimed cash to be kept in perpetuity for the rightful owner. The state contracts with the Missing Money website to connect people with their unclaimed money, but few Minnesotans hear about it.

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Disgraced Illinois congressman still costing taxpayers

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  Illinois, News, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

461562331-1-320x196

Add an election that could cost in the millions to the taxpayer tab from Aaron Schock’s fall from grace.

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Christie keeps $95K expense account secret

By   /  April 16, 2015  /  Ethics, New Jersey, News, Open Records, State Government, Transparency  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his failure to report any of his $95,000 annual entertainment allowance on tax returns, arguing the money isn’t income because he has accounted for it. Just don’t ask him to make those records available to the public.

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Mo’ money, mo’ problems? Illinois schools prefer flexibility and fewer mandates

By   /  April 15, 2015  /  Education, Illinois, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Benjamin Yount

By Benjamin Yount
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — As Illinois schools look to absorb a $150 million budget cut, local districts are asking for two things: flexibility and a break from state mandates.
“I personally wish they would just stop throwing things at school districts,” El Paso-Gridley Superintendent Mike Lindy said.
Lindy’s schools, and the nearly 900 other school districts […]

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Signed, sealed and sold: Controversial legislative fix gone with the wind

By   /  April 15, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Government Regulation, Legislature, Lobbying, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

US Dept of Energy Photo

After signing most — but not all — landowners to new leases, Geronimo Energy has dropped a controversial move over a state deadline, which threatened construction of the Black Oak Getty wind farm.

The breakthrough with leaseholders coincides with an announcement the wind and solar energy developer has sold the $135 million venture to a California company — Sempra U.S. Gas and Power.

“Geronimo has formally withdrawn the legislation on leases because we have achieved our goal of signing the critical landowners in the project to new leases,” said Betsy Engelking, vice president of Geronimo Wind Energy, in an email.

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