Judge puts brakes on new law banning foreign government spending on referendums

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge is delaying the implementation of a voter-approved law in Maine that aimed to close an election law loophole by stopping foreign government spending on state referendum races. U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday, the day before the new law was to go into effect, … Read more

Congress set to approve another short-term extension to avoid shutdown and keep agencies running

WASHINGTON — Congress is on course Thursday to pass another short-term spending measure that would keep one set of federal agencies operating through March 8 and another set through March 22, avoiding a shutdown for parts of the federal government that would otherwise kick in Saturday. The short-term extension is the fourth in recent months, … Read more

States promise to help disabled kids. Why do some families wait a decade or more?

TOPEKA, Kan. — When Lilly Miller was in elementary school, teachers told her parents they needed to immediately sign up their youngest daughter, who has Down syndrome, for a wait list so the state would pay for a day program when she grew up. The teachers predicted a six-year wait. The Millers have been waiting … Read more

US asylum restriction aimed at limiting claims has little impact given strained border budget

TUCSON, Ariz. — Inside giant white tents that house about 1,000 migrants near Tucson International Airport, Border Patrol agents demonstrate clockwork efficiency to release detainees within two days of arrest with orders to appear in immigration courts at their final destinations. Agents transmit information from the field to colleagues who prepare court papers while migrants … Read more

Proposed new Virginia ‘tech tax’ sparks backlash from business community

RICHMOND, Va. — Trade associations representing hundreds of companies that do business in Virginia have come out swinging against a proposal to expand the state sales tax to cover digital goods, something Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin proposed and Democrats endorsed in their budget legislation. Both chambers of the legislature included the new sales tax on … Read more

Effort to repeal Washington’s landmark carbon program puts budget in limbo with billions at stake

SEATTLE — A conservative-backed effort to repeal Washington state’s landmark carbon pricing program and tax on the sale of stocks and bonds is putting the budget into limbo, with billions of dollars at stake and just days left in this year’s Legislative session. Lawmakers are scrambling to finalize a trio of statewide supplemental budgets that … Read more

Illinois governor’s proposed $53B budget includes funds for migrants, quantum computing and schools

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker pitched a $52.7 billion state spending plan Wednesday with more money to address the migrant crisis, education and quantum computing, while proposing tax increases that will mostly target business, including a major sports betting tax hike. The second-term Democrat characterized the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts … Read more

Republican dissenters sink a GOP ‘flat’ tax plan in Kansas by upholding the governor’s veto

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Republican plan to cut taxes in Kansas died Tuesday in the GOP-controlled Legislature when enough members concluded that it would favor wealthy taxpayers too much and upheld the Democratic governor’s veto. The vote in the state House was 81-42, leaving GOP leaders three votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to … Read more

New Mexico Senate endorses budget bill emphasizing savings during oil sector windfall

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico would set aside well over $1 billion to guarantee tuition-free college and sustain government spending in case its oil production bonanza fades in the transition to cleaner energy sources under an annual spending plan endorsed by the state Senate on Monday. The 31-10 Senate vote sends the bill back … Read more

New Mexico budget bill would found literacy institute, propel housing construction and conservation

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s strategy for spending and investing a multibillion-dollar annual surplus linked closely to oil production came into sharper focus Saturday, as a legislative panel advanced an annual spending plan toward a Senate floor vote. Legislators are tapping the brakes on recent double-digit budget increases in the nation’s No. 2 state … Read more