Capitol Comments

In April 2016, the Kentucky Lottery began selling lottery tickets and offering ‘instant play’ arcade-style lottery games all via their website, making Kentucky the fourth state that sells lottery tickets online and the third state to offer online gaming. Massachusetts is eyeing a similar path, according to the Boston Globe. Supporters...

A recently passed law will make Massachusetts the first state, as of July 2018, to prohibit employers from inquiring about prior employment compensation.

Econ Piggy

In 2016, shoppers in 17 states will have the opportunity to purchase certain items free of sales tax on what are known as sales tax holidays. Widely popular with consumers, sales tax holidays are often pitched as a win-win for everyone; spurring further local economic growth while giving taxpayers’ pocketbooks some much needed relief. Recent findings, however, suggest that these holidays are often ineffective fiscal tools.

On July 5, 2016, Hawaii became the third state to require all public and private health insurance providers to cover 12 months’ worth of contraceptives at one time. Other states introduced similar legislation in 2016. Research has shown that this change could have enormous effects.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides assistance to millions of low-income American individuals and families to help purchase groceries. As the American economy has improved over the last five years and more Americans have returned to work since the Great Recession of 2008, the monthly average of individuals participating in SNAP has largely declined.

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