By
Guest

This month is the Month of the Military Child and schools across the country will “Purple Up! for Military Kids” and wear purple as a visible way to show thanks to the military youth for their strength and sacrifice.
“Coping without a parent, and in some cases without both parents, for months at a time while they serve this country is normal in the life of a military child,” said Cherise Imai, executive director of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. “It is only fitting that we acknowledge the Month of the Military Child. We can show how much they are appreciated, and thank them for the sacrifice they face as a military child.”

On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Atlanta’s municipal computer systems fell victim to a ransomware attack. As a result, the city began executing a large proportion of its business on paper, or not at all, and postponing court dates. With customer and employee data potentially compromised, the municipal government encouraged anyone who had ever done business with the city to take precautions such as checking their bank accounts and credit reports. The ransom was approximately $51,000.

Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks...

By Samuel Gaston

On March 15, 2018 the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform marked up H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017.  This legislation amends the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, or UMRA, signed by President Bill Clinton, which sought to improve the transparency...

CSG Midwest
Bitcoin grabs the headlines, but blockchain — the distributed ledger technology underlying cryptocurrencies — is beginning to get some serious attention from Midwestern legislators for its potential to rewire state governments.
CSG Midwest

The race for governor in Kansas got off to an unusual start this election cycle — the announced candidacies of six teenagers, the editor of an alternative weekly newspaper in Oregon, and even a dog. The canine’s run was stopped, but at least as of early this year, nothing in the state’s Constitution or statutes prevented minors and out-of-state residents from seeking the governorship.

“If this isn’t changed, people in prison could run,” adds Kansas Rep. Blake Carpenter, noting the lack of a requirement that a gubernatorial candidate be a “qualified elector.”
Carpenter’s HB 2539, which as of late February had passed the House by a wide margin and was awaiting action in the Senate, adds the “qualifying elector” requirement for anyone running for statewide office. (His bill wouldn’t take effect until January 2019, thus not impacting the campaigns of teens or out-of-state residents running this year.)

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court denied Arizona’s petition for a writ of certiorari to review a 9th Circuit decision holding that the state must allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, documents to be sufficient to obtain driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

To obtain a driver’s license or state identification card...

What happens to our emails when we die? If Yahoo has its way, the Supreme Court will soon tell us.

Yahoo, under the name of Oath Holdings, Inc., filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court in January. This came on the heels of an October 2017 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Ajemian v. Yahoo!,...

If there ever was a case where the vote of only one Justice is likely to matter it is Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. All attention was focused on Justice Gorsuch this morning as the Supreme Court held oral argument in this case. And he was…silent.

The Court will decide the constitutionality of state statutes allowing public sector employers and unions to agree that employees who don’t join the union must still pay their “fair share” of collective bargaining costs. More than 20 states authorize fair share for public sector employees.

CSG Midwest
Ohio already has a plan in place that will change how the state’s legislative lines are drawn after the next U.S. census, and voters will have the chance in May to change the process for congressional districts. SJR 5 was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, culminating months of bipartisan legislative negotiations, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports.
CSG Midwest
Come election time, a South Dakota voter’s ballot can become pretty crowded — filled not just with candidates for office, but a mix of constitutional amendments, initiated measures and referendums to overturn existing state laws. In November 2016 alone, 10 such ballot questions were voted on, including measures on the minimum wage, redistricting, campaign finance and elections.
But it’s not just the sheer volume or the content of some of the proposals that concerns lawmakers such as Sen. Jim Bolin.
“This is not your neighbor coming up with an idea and trying to get it on the ballot; it’s really become an industry,” according to Bolin, who served on a task force of legislators and others this past interim to explore potential changes to South Dakota’s initiative and referendum process.
Out-of-state money and workers come to South Dakota, he says, where advertising is cheap and changing laws or the Constitution is a relatively inexpensive proposition. Sen. Ernie Otten adds that “people can come in here very easily, and then they don’t have to face the consequences of the change.”

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