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SARL Members and Alumni News

Governor sets global warming goal to cut NC greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent

News Observer | Posted on November 1, 2018


North Carolina would cut its greenhouse  gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025 under an ambitious statewide goal set by Gov. Roy Cooper.With Cooper’s signing of the executive order, North Carolina joins states like Colorado, California and others that have set statewide targets for reducing emissions of gases that are associated with global warming and climate change. In 2006, California set a 40 percent reduction goal by 2030 from 1990 levels, while Colorado has set a goal of cutting emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels.

Pennsylvania GOP dealt 3rd redistricting loss in US courts

AP | Posted on November 1, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court is dismissing another challenge by top Republican lawmakers from Pennsylvania to the legality of new congressional district boundaries imposed by the state’s highest court in a gerrymandering case. The high court on Monday denied the case by House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. It’s the third time the nation’s highest court has rejected such a GOP effort.November’s election is being conducted on new court-drawn districts viewed as more competitive than the now-invalidated map drawn in 2011 by Republicans to help Republicans win. Under the 2011 map, Republicans won 13 of Pennsylvania’s 18 House seats in three straight elections even as Democrats dominated statewide elections.

California Voters May Force Meat And Egg Producers Across The Country To Go Cage-Free

NPR | Posted on November 1, 2018

California voters will soon decide whether to ban the sale of meat and eggs from farm animals raised in cages. A November ballot measure, Proposition 12, would require more spacious digs for pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens. It applies to animals in California and to those raised elsewhere for products sold in the Golden State. If you're experiencing a bit of déjà vu right now, it makes sense.Back in 2008, voters overwhelmingly passed a strikingly similar animal welfare law. But some farmers argued the measure's language was too vague to interpret in practical terms.Proposition 12 will require the pork industry nationwide to spend billions on new facilities, costs that will likely trickle down to pork consumers. Economists, though, say it's tough to forecast exact pork price increases.It's easier to predict the cost of egg because cage-free eggs are already on store shelves. They're usually priced at about 50 cents to a dollar more per dozen than conventional eggs."People spend $50 to $100 a year on eggs," says University of California, Davis economist Dan Sumner. "It'll go up to $100 to $150."

NJ Lawmakers seek stronger protections for animals

New Jersey Spotlight | Posted on November 1, 2018


“Nosey’s Law” would ban the use of exotic animals in traveling acts. Other measures would strengthen regulation of veterinarians and pet groomers. Three animal protection bills are on the Assembly docket today, one of which is the well-known “Nosey’s Law” aimed at barring the use of elephants as circus acts in the state. The other two are in response to dog deaths at pet groomers and kennels.“Nosey’s Law” (A-1923) would prohibit the use of elephants and other exotic animals in traveling animal acts, such as fairs, carnivals, circuses and flea markets and give New Jersey the broadest ban on animal acts in the nation. It is named for an elephant who animal rights organizations say has been mistreated for years, being forced to give rides and perform tricks despite having arthritis.The Pet Groomers Licensing Act (A-3044) would require those who groom animals — including the state’s more than 500,000 dogs — to be licensed and businesses that perform grooming be registered. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) first proposed the legislation four years ago in response to the death of Bijou, a healthy 6-year old Shih Tzu who died unexpectedly under the care of a pet groomer. The bill is also being called Bijou’s Law, in honor of the dog.

The state of the heartland factbook 2018

| Posted on November 1, 2018

Prepared to support the Walton Family Foundation’s inaugural Heartland Summit, the State of the Heartland: Factbook 2018 is intended to help Heartland leaders and citizens get on the same page about the region’s current condition and its trajectory at a crucial time. What do the indicators say about the region? Three major takeaways emerge clearly from the analysis:The Heartland economy is doing better than is sometimes portrayed.Serious deficits in the region’s human capital and innovation capacity pose the most serious challenges to improving future prosperity. The Heartland, however, is not monolithic: Its economy varies widely across place.

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf vetoes bills on debt, price gouging, ag education

Penn Live | Posted on November 1, 2018

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is vetoing bills that recently passed the Legislature dealing with public debt, price gouging during emergencies and agricultural education.The third veto was of a bill addressing federally funded agricultural education programs.


Arizona cancels vaccine program after backlash from parents who don't vaccinate

Arizona Central | Posted on November 1, 2018

The state of Arizona has canceled a vaccine education program after receiving complaints from parents who don't immunize their school-age children. The pilot online course, modeled after programs in Oregon and Michigan, was created in response to the rising number of Arizona schoolchildren skipping school-required immunizations against diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough because of their parents' beliefs.But some parents, who were worried the optional course was going to become mandatory, complained to the Governor's Regulatory Review Council, which reviews regulations to ensure they are necessary and do not adversely affect the public. The six-member council cancelled the program after 20 parents complained.

Colorado cracks a billion in annual marijuana sales in record time, generating $200M in tax revenue

The Denver Post | Posted on November 1, 2018

Marijuana sales in Colorado exceeded $1 billion as of August of this year, with tax revenue from those sales coming in at $200 million, according to a report from the Colorado Department of Revenue and its Marijuana Enforcement Division. It’s the earliest point in any of the four years Colorado has had legal recreational marijuana that combined medical and rec sales have cracked the billion-dollar mark.Total combined recreational and medical marijuana sales through August hit $1,022,245,511, according to the MED, setting the state on a trajectory to break last year’s record of more than $1.5 billion in sales.State officials highlighted the industry’s growth in a news release. The quarterly report found Denver, Boulder, El Paso and Pueblo counties are the industry’s hot spots, growing 80 percent of all plants in the state as of June.It also found that while sales of marijuana flower remained relatively steady, sales of edible products and concentrates like hash oil and live resin grew significantly. Between January and June, edibles sales shot up 13.8 percent over the first six months of last year, and concentrates sales skyrocketed, growing 94.6 percent over the same period.

California Votes on More Space for Farm Animals ... Again

KQED | Posted on October 25, 2018

California voters will soon decide whether to ban the sale of meat and eggs from farm animals raised in cages. A November ballot measure, Proposition 12, would require more spacious digs for pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens.If you're experiencing a bit of déjà vu right now, it makes sense.Back in 2008, voters overwhelmingly passed a strikingly similar animal welfare law. It won by 63-47 percent, losing in Central Valley farm counties, but passing in Los Angeles and Bay Area urban communities by as much as 70 percent or more.After the 2008 law took effect, state agriculture officials ruled that farmers could comply with the law without getting rid of their cages as long as they provided more space within them.Hilliker met the law's requirements by moving half of his chickens out of cages, which increased the net space for those remaining.To end confinement altogether, the Human Society sponsored Proposition 12.Proposition 12 requires each farm animal to have a specific amount of floor space beginning in 2020: 43 square feet for a veal calf; 24 square feet for a breeding pig; and 1 square foot for an egg-laying hen. Cage-free conditions will be mandatory for hens by 2022. 

Ohio SARL member working on Ohio school funding fix

The Columbus Dispatch | Posted on October 25, 2018

Ohio’s lowest-performing districts, with a performance index score under 70, had eight times as many low-income students on average as districts with scores over 100. Low income is defined as “economically disadvantaged” students with family income below 185 percent of the federal poverty level — $38,443 for a family of three. “There is stuff we know to do, and it takes money,” Fleeter said, pointing to universal preschool, summer programs and extended school days. “We need to get outside the box that school is six hours a day for 180 days of the year and it starts when you turn 5. If we keep trying that, we should not be surprised when, year after year, we find this (achievement gap).”But undertaking such a substantive revamp in most districts likely means a change in the way Ohio funds schools. An informal workgroup of school superintendents and treasurers, led by Reps. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, and John Patterson, D-Jefferson, has been meeting for nearly a year trying to craft changes to the state funding formula.The group plans to roll out recommendations in late November, in time for consideration in the next two-year budget.Asked what the major problem is with the current formula, developed by Gov. John Kasich and modified by lawmakers over six years, Cupp said, “What isn’t the problem with it?”“This is a recession-era formula when the legislature was struggling to figure out how to keep things going with a lot less money,” Cupp said. “It’s sort of been patched ever since. It’s almost more patch than formula.”  Cupp and Patterson agree that a main flaw is base funding that isn’t tied to anything. Kasich never tried to determine the cost of an education, arguing that there was no magic number.