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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has urged federal officials to reconsider their denial for funds to help deal with the crisis caused by lead-contaminated water in the city of Flint, his office said on Thursday. Continue reading.

All workers in Minnesota would have access to paid family and medical leave under a new proposal unveiled by a group of Democratic state legislators.  Sen. Katie Sieben and other legislators announced the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act on Monday morning flanked by advocates from around the state. Continue reading.

Nebraskans no longer would have to get a cosmetology license to charge for hair-braiding services, under a bill the Legislature passed Thursday. Legislative Bill 898 would exempt natural hair braiding — including the use of hair extensions and topical agents such as conditioners, gels and shampoos — from state licensing requirements. Continue reading.

In the final hours of their 2016 session, Oregon lawmakers on Thursday approved the last pieces of a bipartisan housing package, including a landmark bill lifting the state's 17-year-old ban on affordable housing mandates. Continue reading.

State lawmakers Tuesday signed off on a measure intended to cure Florida's death penalty system, but defense lawyers say the proposed fix is flawed and will be challenged in court.  Gov. Rick Scott's aides said he will sign the bill, approved by the Senate in a 35-5 vote after earlier passing the House. Continue reading.

Facing a six-year barrage of increasingly large earthquakes, Oklahoma regulators are effectively ordering the state’s powerful oil-and-gas industry to substantially cut back the underground disposal of industry wastes that have caused the tremors across the state. Continue reading.
As sales tax collections slow and the nation becomes a service-based economy, many states are considering expanding the universe of goods and, especially, services that are subject to the sales tax. Continue reading.

Florida lawmakers handed yet another defeat to Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday when they agreed to use state tax money and not local property taxes to pay for higher school spending next year. Continue reading.
Drivers in Kansas who are suspected of being intoxicated can no longer be punished for refusing to take a blood alcohol test, and police may no longer warn drivers that such refusals can result in stiffer criminal penalties, the Kansas Supreme Court said Friday. Continue reading.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order directing state agencies to eliminate questions about prior felony convictions from state job applications.  Fallin says the order issued Wednesday will give applicants for state jobs who have criminal records at least an initial opportunity to be considered for employment without the stigma of a conviction record. Continue reading.