Tag:  State legislature

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National

Mo. State Fair bans rodeo clown who mocked Obama [VIDEO]

This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull,” according to a spectator. “So then everybody screamed. … They just went wild,” said Perry Beam, who attended the rodeo at the State Fair in Sedalia on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Jameson Hsieh) by David LiebAssociated Press Writer JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Fair on Monday imposed a lifetime ban on a rodeo clown whose depiction of President Barack Obama getting charged by a bull was widely criticized by Democratic and Republican officials alike.

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National

Miss. law requires cord blood from some teen moms

Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson addresses the House chamber during debate over a Medicaid reauthorization bill at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. Wooten voted against a cord blood bill that says if a girl younger than 16 gives birth in Mississippi and won’t name the father authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If a girl younger than 16 gives birth and won’t name the father, a new Mississippi law — likely the first of its kind in the country — says authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity as a step toward prosecuting statutory rape cases. Supporters say the law is intended to chip away at Mississippi’s teen pregnancy rate, which has long been one of the highest in the nation. But critics say that though the procedure is painless, it invades the medical privacy of the mother, father and baby. And questions abound: At roughly $1,000 a pop, who will pay for the DNA tests in the country’s poorest state? Even after test results arrive, can prosecutors compel a potential father to submit his own DNA and possibly implicate himself in a crime? How long will the state keep the DNA on file?

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National

States promise quick action on election laws

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus express disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision on Shelby County v. Holder that invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, June 25, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lewis, a prominent activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, recalled being attacked and beaten trying to help people in Mississippi to register and vote in the 1960’s. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) by Bill Barrow ATLANTA (AP) — Across the South, Republicans are working to take advantage of a new political landscape after a divided U.S. Supreme Court freed all or part of 15 states, many of them in the old Confederacy, from having to ask Washington’s permission before changing election procedures in jurisdictions with histories of discrimination.

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Metro

Ex-Pa. Justice Melvin gets house arrest, probation

JOAN ORIE MELVIN (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) by Joe Mandak PITTSBURGH (AP) — Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister avoided prison time for their corruption convictions but were sentenced Tuesday to house arrest for what a judge called crimes of “arrogance.”

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National

Landmark gun bills signed in Colorado

HARD FOUGHT VICTORY–Rep. Rhonda Fields, left, D-Aurora, and Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, embrace after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed gun control bills into law at the Capitol in Denver on March 20. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, Pool) by Ivan Moreno Associated Press Writer DENVER (AP) — The governor of Colorado signed bills Wednesday that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.

Opinion

Right to work laws: Will they conquer America?

by Nelson LichtensteinSpecial to CNN (CNN) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s stunning decision to sign a right-to-work law poses the question: Are these anti-union statutes, which make illegal any union contract that requires union membership or payment of dues a condition of employment, the future? During the last two years Indiana and Wisconsin have also passed laws that curb union strength and slash dues income. NELSON LICHTENSTEIN