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President Obama last week signed House Joint Resolution 124, a continuing resolution for the 2015 fiscal year that will continue funding the government until Dec. 11, 2014. Despite delays and intense discussions over particular provisions in the bill, Congress was eager to avoid a government shutdown in order to start campaigning for the upcoming midterm elections.

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While the Supreme Court’s next term officially begins Oct. 6, its long conference is Sept. 29. The court will review a backlog of petitions that have been piling up over the summer. SCOTUSblog compiles a list of petitions it believes have a reasonable chance of being granted. Looking at long conference petitions and petitions that haven't yet been set for conference, four stand out as having a particularly significant impact on the states, if the court accepts them.

In certain cities across the United States, there is a battle for broadband brewing in the halls of municipal and state legislatures. Currently, 19 states have laws in place that make it difficult for municipal governments to provide broadband service via public power utilities. Cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina are petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to preempt state laws that restrict the right to offer broadband.

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The Supreme Court held 6-2 in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that voters may by ballot prohibit affirmative action in public university admission decisions.  In 2006, Michigan voters adopted a constitutional amendment that prohibited preferential treatment in admissions to public universities on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or...

On July 24, 2014, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, introduced a discussion draft outlining a plan to reform federal anti-poverty programs. Ryan’s Expanding Opportunity in America proposal aims to consolidate federal programs to reduce redundancy while also granting states more authority in the administration of federal programs in order to improve overall efficiency.

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