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A bland, one-paragraph item that appeared this fall in a lightly read weekly newsletter from the city manager in Pasadena, California, has set off a firestorm in the online entertainment industry and in cities and states around the country. The issue: a plan to impose taxes on video streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Continue reading.
An Illinois law that takes effect Sunday aims to take advantage of the trusted relationship between hairstylists and their clients to prevent domestic violence. Continue reading.
Florida is a major battleground state this election -- not just in the presidential contest but also in the Sunshine State’s long-running disputes over solar power.  The latest dust-up is over a proposed constitutional amendment on next Tuesday's ballot.  Continue reading.
More than 95 percent of Ohio children have health coverage as the uninsured rate fell to historic lows in the wake of Obamacare. A new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families credits Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act for the decline in uninsured children. Continue reading.
Airbnb Inc. and New York state are in talks to resolve a lawsuit brought by the company challenging a law it says could expose it to significant penalties for advertising short-term apartment rentals, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.  The potential accord was revealed after U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan canceled a hearing that had been set for Monday. Continue reading.
Although the sale of marijuana is a federal crime, the number of U.S. banks working with pot businesses, now sanctioned in many states, is growing, up 45 percent in the last year alone.  Still, marijuana merchants say there are not nearly enough banks willing to take their cash. So many dispensaries resort to stashing cash in storage units, back offices and armored vans. Continue reading.
When Congress reformed the nation's welfare program 20 years ago, it set a new condition for eligibility: Recipients must have a job or be searching for one. But the 1996 reforms also gave states freedom to decide how to spend their federal welfare funding. As a result, many aren't spending it on programs that directly help people find employment. Continue reading.
The Green Mountain Care Board voted Wednesday morning to approve the all-payer waiver, giving the go-ahead for the state to implement a model the governor says will curb rising health care costs.  Gov. Peter Shumlin has been travelling the state in recent weeks to promote the initiative. Continue reading.
Just because an officer videotapes a controversial encounter doesn't necessarily mean you'll ever get to see it.  As of October 1, North Carolina will bar police footage from the public domain, but the state is far from alone in seeking to block access to footage of police encounters.  Continue reading.
For years, policymakers have tried to find the best ways to support ex-offenders as they re-enter society. One idea that’s gained momentum in recent years: “ban-the-box” laws, which bar employers from asking applicants about their criminal history when they first apply for a job.  Continue reading.

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