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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,261

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Lawmakers consider changing LSU class times to ease traffic

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Prohibiting Louisiana State University classes from starting before 10 a.m. would be one option studied to reduce traffic issues in a city under legislation that a state House of Representatives panel has approved.

News outlets report the measure cleared the House Transportation Committee without objection Tuesday and now goes to the full House. Under it, staggered work hours for major Baton Rouge employers, including state agencies, and encouraging businesses to allow employees to work from home would also be studied.

The proposal would create a study group including LSU, state and other officials.

The Advocate couldn't reach the resolution's sponsor, Sen. Dale Erdey, for comment. Social media criticism of his proposal included that delaying classes would hamper students with jobs, and lawmakers are unwilling to find financial solutions to road problems.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article209773239.html

I always felt fortunate if I didn't have an 8 a.m. class so starting at 10 a.m. would have been a luxury.

Illinois past-due fees since 2015 top $1B

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois state comptroller reports that the amount of late charges the state has incurred on billions of dollars in debt outstrips the amount accrued in the previous two decades.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in a report obtained by The Associated Press Monday that Illinois has run up late-pay fees of $1.14 billion since mid-2015. That's $100 million more than in the previous 18 years combined.

Illinois must pay 12 percent annual interest on bills not paid within 90 days. The backlog ballooned to $16 billion last summer after a two-year budget stalemate between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly.

Democrat Mendoza will release the report Tuesday. It's the first full accounting of debt and interest charges since she was successful in getting a law requiring state agencies to report their accrued bills monthly.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/news/business/article209661214.html

As time in statehouse winds down, Daniel Biss says 'we're not there yet' on Pritzker endorsement

After his gubernatorial hopes were dashed in the March primary, state Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, says he doesn’t really know his next career move but he plans to continue his push for the state adopting a progressive income tax structure – and he could throw his full support behind his former billionaire opponent J.B. Pritzker.

“I’m so proud of the decision to run and the way we ran, and I’m proud of the impact it had on Illinois politics,” Biss said. “I don’t know what my next job is going to be, but I’m not walking away from these fights.”

The Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology grad was first elected to the state House in 2010. After one term there, he successfully ran for the Senate in 2012. Then in 2017, he launched his bid for governor.

Biss earned just over 353,000 votes statewide – about 27 percent – in the March 20 primary and finished second behind Pritzker, who captured 45 percent of the vote, according to results from the State Board of Elections.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/evanston/news/ct-evr-whats-next-for-biss-tl-0426-story.html

State Child Services busts budget

INDIANAPOLIS – The Department of Child Services has already spent $284 million more than was budgeted for this fiscal year in its attempts to keep up with an exploding child welfare system.

Lawmakers gave the agency $125 million more for fiscal year 2018 than its previous budget. And the Indiana Office of Management and Budget had identified $324 million in excess dollars that could be shifted to DCS if needed.

The State Budget Committee heard Tuesday that DCS has already gone through all of its appropriation and most of the excess with two months left in the fiscal year.

State Budget Director Jason Dudich said the excess dollars have mainly come from the Family and Social Services Administration and Medicaid reserves.

The agency is struggling with high numbers of abused and neglected children and not enough family case managers. It is also in the middle of an outside review brought on by the abrupt departure of its former director who criticized Gov. Eric Holcomb's administration for pushing policy changes that would ultimately hurt children.

Read more: http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/indiana/20180425/state-child-services-busts-budget

Portage lawyer sentenced for charges on defrauding elderly couple

CHICAGO — A Portage lawyer licensed to practice in Illinois who was convicted on federal fraud charges for scheming to provide falsified documents to prevent foreclosure on a nearly $2 million parcel of land in Aurora, Illinois, was given a prison sentence of one day.

The fraud Robert Jon Schlyer, 47, was convicted of resulted in an elderly couple losing $300,000.

U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve handed down the sentence to Schlyer last week. In addition the one day, which was time served, Schlyer was sentenced to six months of home confinement, two years probation and to pay restitution of $227,000 to the couple he was convicted of defrauding.

Schlyer's defense attorneys requested a light sentence because they said Schlyer has a young son to care for.

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/portage-lawyer-sentenced-for-charges-on-defrauding-elderly-couple/article_22f32292-177d-503b-a836-49a2f5e1dae6.html

That seems like a light sentence in regards to the crime that was committed.

Planned Parenthood sues Indiana over new abortion rules

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new Indiana law that requires medical providers who treat women for complications arising from abortions to report detailed patient information to the state "imposes unique and burdensome obligations" that are unconstitutional, Planned Parenthood said in lawsuit filed Monday that seeks to block two of the law's provisions.

The federal suit — the latest of several filed in recent years challenging abortion restrictions passed by Indiana lawmakers — contends that the reporting rules and a separate provision requiring annual inspections of abortion clinics are both unconstitutional because they target only abortions and abortion providers and not other procedures or clinics.

The complaint asks a federal judge to block those provisions, which are set to take effect July 1.

"Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room with irrational demands and intrusive requirements," said Jane Henegar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which filed the suit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/04/23/planned-parenthood-sues-indiana-over-new-abortion-rules/543811002/

Gov. Holcomb calls lawmakers back for special session on May 14

Members of the public won't have the chance to testify on bills when lawmakers reconvene for a special session on May 14.

Gov. Eric Holcomb officially called legislators back to the Statehouse for a special session in the middle of May, after a rushed end to the regular session let several of his priorities die without a vote.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate Pro Tempore David Long will only allow four bills to be addressed, which would provide additional funding for school security grants, allow Ball State to take over control of Muncie schools and conform the state's tax code to the federal changes.

Some of those measures, at the end of the regular legislative session, included a number of items important to certain special interests, including a tax break for hot mix asphalt companies and a tax carve out for large corporations that would cost the state $185 million potential revenue.

Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/20/gov-holcomb-calls-lawmakers-back-special-session-may-14/535595002/

Walkerton pizzeria that refused to cater a gay wedding has now closed

WALKERTON — Memories Pizza, the shop that became embroiled in the national debate over religious and civil rights and touched off a national media firestorm in 2015, has closed.

A sign in the front window of the pizza shop says it was shuttered last month.

Owners Kevin and Crystal O’Connor were the focus of intense criticism and media attention in April 2015 after they told an ABC 57 reporter that they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs, although they added that they would not deny service to any customer in the restaurant.

Indiana at the time was already in the national spotlight for its controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The pizza shop owners’ comments soon went viral, and media outlets such as the Washington Post, CNN and Fox News descended on Walkerton, using Memories Pizza as a focal point for the controversy over Indiana’s law. Supporters of the law said it would protect the religious rights of business owners while critics said it would be used to discriminate against gay people and others.

Read more: https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/business/walkerton-pizzeria-once-at-center-of-national-controversy-has-now/article_83b23989-40ef-554f-b4ab-d4657cf0a150.html

Employees of conservative television network and website The Blaze created a GoFundMe account for the restaurant, saying it hopes to raise money to recoup the profit losses the owners are experiencing. The page went on to raise more than $842,000.

More at https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/04/23/indiana-pizzeria-backed-rfra-and-declined-cater-same-sex-weddings-closes-good/542975002/

Police: Teen sold weed-infused cereal to students

A 17-year-old alternative high school student has been charged with allegedly selling marijuana edibles to classmates, Wayne police said.

Officers were dispatched to Tinkham Educational Center on April 18 on a report that drugs were being sold on campus, authorities said in a statement.

They learned Rawn Emanuel Williams was giving out cannabis-infused Fruity Pebbles and arrested him, according to the release.

Williams was arraigned Friday at Wayne’s 29th District Court on a charge of controlled substance – deliver / manufacture marijuana.

Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2018/04/24/wayne-teen-weed-cereal/34223753/

Weedies! The breakfast of champions.

Prevailing wage repeal, pro-pot petitions clear hurdle

Lansing — A group seeking to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage construction law submitted enough valid signatures to advance its measure to the state Legislature this year after failing to do so in 2015, according to elections staff.

A report released Monday shows the Bureau of Elections is recommending the Board of State Canvassers approve the petitions, which faced extra scrutiny after an initial review revealed a significant — but not disqualifying — number of invalid signatures.

Elections staff is also recommending board approval of a measure seeking to legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana. Canvassers are set to meet Thursday morning at the Michigan Capitol.

If certified, both measures would head to lawmakers, who would have 40 days to approve the initiatives themselves or allow them to go to the statewide ballot in November for voters to decide.

Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/23/michigan-prevailing-wage-pot-petitions/34177855/
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