Massachusetts Homeschool Families Report Being Subjected to Investigations

Six homeschooling families in Massachusetts say they are being subjected to unnecessary inquiries...

Detroit Public Schools Face Insolvency, Legislators Search for Solution

Children enrolled in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) face an uncertain future, as the system still...

Time Runs Out for Kentucky Public Pension Transparency Bill

A bill to reform Kentucky’s pensions by providing greater transparency for taxpayers was halted...

Report: California Taxpayer-Funded Internet Program Doesn’t Provide Internet

Investigations made by a local newspaper found a regional government program in California tasked...

Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis Rooted in History of Feds’ Anti-Trade Policies

Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico, has skipped out on a $422 million payment...

Florida Can Curb Doctor Shortage, in Part, by Empowering Nurses

Co-authored by: Logan Pike & Matthew Glans Decades of overregulation of the health-care labor...
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Education

Massachusetts Homeschool Families Report Being Subjected to Investigations

Six homeschooling families in Massachusetts say they are being subjected to unnecessary inquiries by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (MDCF) for alleged educational neglect. ‘Comes Up Over and Over’ Bill Heuer, a member of the board of directors for the Massachusetts Home Learning Association, says he’s not surprised by the reports. “This comes up over and over again,” Heuer...

Environment

New Rules Expected to Curtail Gulf Oil Production

The Obama administration finalized new rules it says will improve drilling safety in the Gulf of Mexico, but some experts are saying the regulations will undermine safety. The Interior Department, which is responsible for licensing and regulating oil and gas production on the U.S. outer-continental shelf, unveiled the sweeping new regulations on April 14, 2016. The centerpiece of the new...

Dramatic Global Growth Predicted for Geothermal Power

A new report from BCC Research says geothermal energy is expected to grow rapidly around the world 2015 to 2020.  Geothermal energy is generated from within the Earth, including from underground stores of molten magma, shallow grounds and hot rocks and hot water found beneath and at our planet’s surface.  Globally, in 2015, geothermal energy had a total installed capacity of 12.2 GW in...

Environmentalists, Feds Block Two Proposed LNG Export Terminals in Oregon

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application for the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas export terminal proposed for Oregon’s Jordan Cove on March 11, 2016. FERC’s decision surprised many, because it had approved the LNG terminal’s environmental impact statement in December 2015, clearing the way for the project’s long-awaited construction. Just one month prior...

Finance & Insurance

Ohio ‘Cancer Presumption’ Would Cover Treatment as Workers Comp

A bill now being considered by the Ohio House of Representatives would create a legal presumption firefighters with certain cancers became ill as a result of their work. Senate Bill 27, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), passed the upper chamber 32–1 on April 13. If the bill becomes law, Ohio’s employers will pay the cancer treatment costs of certain firefighters through the...

Louisiana Gov. Edwards Expands Medicaid by Executive Order

More than 300,000 people are being added to Louisiana’s Medicaid rolls after Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) expanded the program by executive order on his first day as Louisiana’s newly elected governor. Edwards’ January 12 order opens the state’s Medicaid rolls to 298,000 newly eligible, non-elderly adults whose income falls below 138 percent of the poverty level, according to an analysis from the...

Skipping Insurance Costs Lets Wisconsin Patients Pay Less for Better Care

A Wisconsin doctor promises to provide inexpensive, high quality health care 24 hours a day to patients by using a payment model known as direct primary care. Rather than pay for health care using a third-party health care insurer, direct primary care patients at the Platte Medical Center in Platteville, Wisconsin pay Dr. Brian Sachs a monthly fee in exchange for an agreed-upon package of...

Health

Supreme Court Protects Employers from Coercion, Fines in Insurance Mandate Case

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Zubik v. Burwell instructs multiple federal appellate courts to reconsider the constitutionality of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate, this time factoring in the federal government’s admission the mandate needlessly violates employers’ constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Had the...

HHS Requests $581 Million for Refugees’ Transitional and Medical Services

Federal money allocated to provide cash and medical assistance to refugees legally residing in the United States will top $500 million if Congress passes the Obama administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017. As part of President Barack Obama’s final budget proposal, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS...

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Law Faces Funding Hurdles

After initially falling short of the required votes, the Arkansas Senate approved funding for Arkansas Works, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law in 2013 as a hybrid “private option” Medicaid expansion program. The funding measure, Senate Bill 121, passed 27–2 on April 20 after proponents added a provision sunsetting the Medicaid expansion on December 31, 2016, with the expectation...

Taxes

Report: California Taxpayer-Funded Internet Program Doesn’t Provide Internet

Investigations made by a local newspaper found a regional government program in California tasked with the installation and operation of municipal Wi-Fi networks in cities with low-income households between Long Beach and Pasadena failed to provide Wi-Fi access after receiving nearly $500,000 in taxpayer funds from the state’s public utility regulatory agency. In March 2015, the South Bay...

Utah Lawmakers Call for Seventeenth Amendment Repeal

Utah lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling on Congress to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution repealing the Seventeenth Amendment. Ratified in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote.  Before the amendment’s ratification, senators were elected by state legislatures. The resolution,...

FCC Dials Up ‘Obamaphone’ Program Expansion to Pay for Internet Access

The nation’s top telecommunications regulatory agency voted in March to approve expanding an existing entitlement program to provide subsidies to lower-income people purchasing high-speed internet service. The program is funded by the Universal Service Fund fee, which is collected from taxpayers’ telephone bills. The entitlement expansion moves the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC)...

Tech

Google’s Omnipresent Tracking Much Harder to Leave than an ISP for Privacy

If you are online, you can’t escape Google’s myriad of ways it tracks you, but you can leave your ISP. A famous 2009 Google Blog post boasted that: “Google is not the Hotel California — you can check out any time you like and you CAN, in fact, leave!” Since Google chose that apt metaphor, and boasted about how easy Google makes it to “check out” your private data and “leave” to a...

The Trust Ramifications of an EU-Google Search Bias Conviction

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the EU is poised to fine Google an EU record ~€3b for “web search monopoly abuse” and that “Google will be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favour itself and harm rivals.” Assuming this occurs in the reported June-July timeframe, and just like the EU’s 2015 Statement of Objections charged, the long-term ramifications for...