Magazine:

Latest News
One of the most embattled state health exchanges has finally been closed.  Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the bill that officially closed the exchange and moved it over to the state Department of Consumer and Business Services.  Lawmakers officially agreed to move to a federal exchange last April.  The state exchange was never able to register a single person for insurance because of problems on the website. 
Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, is urging the legislature to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour from $9 an hour. Increasing the minimum wage was a part of Governor Raimondo’s platform and pointed out that 8% of the Rhode Island population makes minimum wage.
New Hampshire became the most recent state to get approval from the federal government for their version of Medicaid expansion.  The plan will help about 35,000 people in N.H. pay for private plans available. 
While several states are moving towards repeal of Common Core, West Virginia lawmakers are pulling back.  Rather than repealing the national education standards, a bill would call for a study of Common Core for two years.  The review will be done by a committee composed of parents, teachers, administrators, lawmakers and union officials.
The Missouri Supreme Court has moved all of its Ferguson cases in the municipal court to the circuit court in an effort to restore public trust.  The move comes after a report by the U.S. Department of Justice found the police and the court system unfairly targeted African American living in the area, and executed harsher penalties. 
Sheriffs in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska have filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado demanding the federal court to strike down the marijuana law.  In the suit, the sheriffs argue that while marijuana is legalized within the Colorado constitution, it is still a violation of a federal law and that it creates a “crisis of conscience” for law enforcement officials.
As a part of its six-month investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, the Department of Justice found, in addition to several other violations, African-American residents were often arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights—including talking back to police officers, recording public police activities, and protesting.
California lawmakers are considering bills that would provide the homeless with protection from arrest from their activities.  The California Right to Rest Act would allow homeless individuals to use public space without discrimination.  Life-sustaining activities such as begging, eating in public, and living in a parked car would also be protected and considered a human right.
New Jersey is just one of many states where parents are choosing to have their children sit out standardized testing in line with Common Core standards.   Parents across the U.S. have been organized to discuss the dangers of standardized testing through documentary showings, discussions at school board meetings, even taking to social media.
In a move that opponents have called “extremely disappointing,” Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law a new measure that requires a doctor be present when a woman takes an abortion-inducing pill.  Failure to comply would result in a doctor losing their medical license.