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Transportation policy experts expect transportation funding to be high on the agenda in many state capitols when legislators around the country convene for their 2015 legislative sessions. Some states are long past due for addressing the transportation funding issue. Others have been hard at work this summer and fall in legislative study committees and other venues trying to come up with potential funding solutions. State lawmakers and others will have an opportunity in November to hear about past legislative successes, what lies ahead for 2015, innovative funding mechanisms from around the country, lessons learned from funding campaigns, and ways to develop messages and build coalitions for success in their own states. The Washington, D.C.-based organization Transportation for America is hosting a forum Nov. 13-14 in Denver.

North Carolina has exceeded the limits on emissions for ground-level ozone only once in the past two years. That could change under a proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is preparing to release a new rule lowering the ground-level ozone standard from 75 parts per billion, where it’s been since 2008, to an expected range of 70 to 60 parts per billion. The Council of State Governments will hold an eCademy session, “How Clean is Clean Enough: A Look at EPA’s Upcoming Ozone Regulations,” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST Nov. 19.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932 that a “single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Brandeis’ “laboratory of democracy” concept is very relevant to Alaska’s successful online ballot delivery and return voting system. Alaska is the only state that will allow its registered voters to receive and cast their ballots electronically for the Nov. 4 midterm election.

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, nearly 60 percent of registered stateside voters cast their ballots successfully. In the same election, only 18 percent of registered U.S. military and overseas voters requested ballots and slightly fewer than 13 percent of those voters actually returned ballots. This is not a new problem, according to Kamanzi Kalisa, director of the new Overseas Voting Initiative at The Council of State Governments. “For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents have experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process—from registering to vote and requesting or receiving absentee ballots to returning those absentee ballots,” said Kalisa.

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 ruled portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act related to voter IDs were outdated and unconstitutional, states took action. But laws in several states that have imposed strict new photo identification requirements for voters are in limbo, with courts questioning whether concerns over voter fraud outweigh individuals exercising their right to vote.

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