NY lawmakers call on Cuomo to embrace wealth tax as governor warns of billionaire exodus
ALBANY, N.Y. — A growing number of New York lawmakers are open to increasing taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents to help alleviate budget woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic — even if Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t on board with the plan.A group of like-minded legislators is hoping to close the state’s current $13 billion budget gap by raising revenue through new income tax rates on the ultra-rich, ending the state rebates on stock transfers and new taxes on high-end second homes and earners with $1 billion or more in assets.“It would be unconscionable to place the burden of the current eco...
New York Daily News
'Murder hornet' captured in trap for first time in Washington state
Nearly two months after the “murder hornet” invaded Washington, state officials have managed to capture one of the massive insects in a trap for the very first time.Scientists have been working to capture the invasive Asian giant hornets, which measure more than 2 inches long, in a bid to prevent a full-on infestation.The Washington State Department of Agriculture on Friday revealed it successfully captured its first giant hornet in a bottle trap on July 13, near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. The insect was confirmed to be part of the invasive species just more than two weeks later, on July 29....
New York Daily News
Washington state officials slam Navy's changes to military testing program that would harm more orcas
SEATTLE — A Navy military testing program that appeared headed to routine approval has hit a wall of opposition from Washington’s governor, attorney general and state agencies because of potential harm to endangered orcas in Washington waters.The program is being assessed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has determined impacts from the Navy’s proposed testing to be “negligible” and is drafting a final rule for implementation of the program.The Navy is working with its regulators to make changes in the program — though what those may be is far from clear.Planned mil...
The Seattle Times
'Into the Wild' bus to be kept in Alaska museum
It will stay Out of the Wild.The Alaskan bus where explorer Chris McCandless died in 1992 will likely be displayed in a Fairbanks museum, state officials announced Thursday.McCandless’ journey and death were the subject of the 1996 book and 2007 movie “Into the Wild,” leading to worldwide fascination with the bus.Since then, two more people have died making the journey and dozens more have been rescued.Last month, the bus was airlifted out of the Alaskan wilderness and into an undisclosed location. Thursday, officials disclosed the future location of the bus as the University of Alaska’s Museu...
New York Daily News
Financially stretched homeowners might skimp on insurance. And hurricane season is here.
South Carolina state Rep. Wendell Gilliard says he’s “getting calls day in and day out” from financially strapped constituents in the hurricane-prone Lowcountry. Hurricane season is here, and they are worried about keeping up with their homeowners insurance payments.“If you don’t have a job, surely you can’t pay your insurance premiums. You can forget about that,” said Gilliard, a Democrat from Charleston. “And it couldn’t come at a worse time.”The callers want South Carolina lawmakers to help them cover their insurance premiums or force insurers to temporarily waive them. But Gilliard said hi...
As monuments tumble, are we 'erasing' history? Historians say no
ATLANTA — Last month, dozens of protesters squared off against 50 police officers in riot gear at the Georgia Capitol and began to chant.“Tear down Gordon! Tear down Gordon!”The target of their ire was the regal figure of Confederate Gen. John Brown Gordon, a former Georgia governor, senator and a white supremacist who is generally regarded as a state leader of the Ku Klux Klan in the years following the Civil War.The statue depicts Gordon in his Confederate uniform astride his horse, and has held a prominent spot on the statehouse lawn since its unveiling 113 years ago to a throng of white At...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
With record 10,000 in Texas hospitals, Gov. Abbott warns: 'Things will get worse'
AUSTIN, Texas — With a record 10,002 coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott again warned that he expects hospitalizations and deaths to continue to rise.In a series of television interviews Friday, Abbott urged Texans to follow his statewide mask order and said more restrictions will be needed if it’s ignored.“We will not have to lock down if people follow the simple requirement of wearing a face mask,” Abbott said in an interview with KSAT.Abbott extended his coronavirus-related disaster declaration for all Texas counties Friday, hours before state health officials r...
Senate Republicans seek to join defense in Minnesota abortion case
MINNEAPOLIS — Days after the United States Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana abortion law, Minnesota Senate Republicans moved to get involved in a legal battle over the state’s own measures on abortion access.In a party-line vote Thursday evening, the Senate Rules Committee voted to hire outside counsel to defend a slate of state abortion restrictions against an ongoing lawsuit.Backers of the lawsuit are seeking to strike down a number of longstanding laws, including state’s 24-hour waiting period, two-parent parental notification for patients under 18, and a burial or cremation requiremen...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Missouri Supreme Court strikes down ban on Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Missouri law prohibiting Medicaid payments to abortion providers was unconstitutional.Planned Parenthood sued the state two years ago after Missouri lawmakers changed the state budget to exclude abortion providers and any related affiliates from Medicaid. It is the sole abortion provider in the state, with a clinic in St. Louis.In a 6-1 ruling, the court found that the Missouri Constitution does not allow for bills to cover more than one subject, and that including what the state should — as well as what it should not — fund...
The Kansas City Star
Nation and world news briefs
Unanimous vote to remove Confederate monument in SC townCOLUMBIA, S.C. — A Confederate monument in South Carolina could be taken down after the Orangeburg City Council voted unanimously to remove the statue.At a special meeting Tuesday, the city council returned from executive session and announced the result of the vote in the meeting that was streamed live.But the monument won’t be pulled down overnight. City Council’s vote must be approved by South Carolina lawmakers at the State House as the statue is protected by the Heritage Act.The Heritage Act, passed in 2000, requires a two-thirds maj...
Tribune News Service