June 22, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Should Congress use scarce gas tax funds to try to coax states into cracking down on distracted driving? That's the question before the House, which will vote next week on whether to seek to keep $78 million in "legislative candy" out of a new transportation bill. Under the Senate transportation bill, states would receive additional funds if they outlaw texting from behind the wheel, prohibit drivers under age 18 from using cellphones of any kind while driving and take other actions to combat distracted driving.
May 24, 2012 |
Two of the states are familiar bellwethers, the third a relative newcomer to the swing-state category. For either Mitt Romney or President Obama, a clean sweep would guarantee victory on election night. And, for the moment, it's Obama with the advantage in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, according to a new round of polls from NBC News and Marist. In Florida and Virginia, Obama leads 48% to 44%. In Ohio, Obama's lead is 48% to 42%. The margin, though, has narrowed in each state since Romney essentially clinched the Republican nomination and will probably continue to fluctuate as both campaigns start honing their general election messages there.
October 12, 2013 |
PAYSON, Utah - There's a good chance that the fresh tart cherries Southern Californians find at their grocers originated from Robert McMullin's orchards at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. The third-generation farmer provides 90% of the fresh sour cherries found in Southern California. The hard-to-find fruit is prized by bakers and cooks. McMullin shook his head when he recalled how much fruit went unpicked during this year's July harvest. "We lost $300,000 on that deal because we didn't have enough guys to pick," he said.
March 12, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google has agreed to pay a $7-million fine to settle a probe by 38 states and the District of Columbia that it collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks while operating its Street View fleet. The Connecticut attorney general's office, which led an eight-state committee that investigated the data collection, made the announcement Tuesday. Word leaked Friday that Google had reached a settlement with the states . As part of the agreement, Google must educate employees about the privacy of consumer data and sponsor a public service campaign to teach people how to secure their wireless networks.
January 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has cleared what could be the final group of states to open their own health insurance exchanges this fall, advancing a key goal of the 2010 healthcare law to provide Americans with new options to shop for coverage. The conditional approvals announced for California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah mean 17 states and the District of Columbia are on track to operate their own insurance exchanges this year. Exchanges in the remaining states will be run by the federal government or by state-federal partnerships.
April 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
April 14, 2012 |
The fight against the death penalty is gaining momentum, opponents of the practice say, with Connecticut's decision this month to abolish capital punishment making it the fifth state in five years to so do. "For this to be happening in succession, and coupled with the decline in death penalty convictions, it creates a momentum that other states will at least consider to be a part of," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the independent Death...
February 1, 2012 |
President Obama's job approval rating declined in all but three states in 2011, with some of the steepest declines coming in likely battlegrounds he must win this fall to claim a second term. New state-by-state data released by Gallup on Tuesday (chart below) shows that a majority of respondents approved of the president's performance in only 10 states plus the District of Columbia, down from 13 a year earlier. Meanwhile the number of states where his approval rating was below 40% doubled in 2011, from 10 to 20. That list now includes New Hampshire, where his approval rating was 38.7% -- the lowest score in any of the states he carried in 2008.
April 11, 2012 |
The day Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination saw President Obama in Florida. He'll be back in the Sunshine State on Friday. Floridians can expect to see a lot of the president, and of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, as well as a deluge of television advertising over the next seven months. Florida is one of a handful of states - maybe as few as four or five - that likely will decide the election. Right now, Obama appears to have at least narrow leads in most of those states, judging by the most recent polls - two last month in Florida had him up by between three and seven points, for example.
September 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Colorado residents shopping for health insurance next year will be able to compare health plans using a star system that ranks insurance companies on quality. In Oregon and Maryland, consumers will save as much as 30% on some plans after state regulators forced insurers to lower 2014 premiums. Californians will get extra help selecting a health plan next year from a small army of community workers paid in part by foundations and the state. As President Obama's healthcare law rolls out next month, even supporters acknowledge there will be problems.