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    • Stateline Story
    August 17, 2005
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    A well-educated workforce, not tax breaks, is the key to luring high tech-business to a state, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates told state policy-makers Wednesday. His remarks to a standing-room-only crowd at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures coincided with the release of an NCSL report showing that state fiscal conditions are the brightest they've been in at least five years. more

    • Stateline Story
    July 26, 2005
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    In recent years, while the federal government has focused on terrorism and the war in Iraq, governors and state legislators have been tackling pressing domestic policy issues ranging from soaring prescription drug prices to environmental concerns. But as states plunge ahead, President George W. Bush and a Republican Congress often do not support the very activism that GOP leaders have encouraged for decades.
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    • Stateline Story
    July 8, 2005
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    A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling may make it easier for residents of New York state to buy a California pinot noir online. But Michiganders may have a harder time ordering a chardonnay from within their own state. In the wake of the ruling, states must choose to allow both intra and interstate wine sales on the Internet or restrict both entirely.
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    • Stateline Story
    June 1, 2005
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    Laws against abusive mortgage lending in more than half the states would be overridden by a congressional proposal that is the latest federal attempt to preempt state authority over financial services. States' rights and consumer advocates favor a competing proposal that would set a nationwide floor of regulation to combat mortgage "loan sharks," while leaving stronger state laws intact.
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    • Stateline Story
    May 17, 2005
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    Sixteen states have set minimum wages exceeding the federal minimum, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for eight years. New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland and Minnesota legislatures passed increases this year.
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    • Stateline Story
    May 3, 2005
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    Bargain seekers buying cheap cigarettes on the Internet are getting a nasty surprise in a number of a states: bills for sometimes thousands of dollars in unpaid sales and cigarette taxes. States scrounging for tax revenues are prying loose the identities of smokers who bought online and dodged state taxes.
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    • Stateline Story
    April 12, 2005
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    If you could register your children for a state-sponsored list that really stopped unwanted, inappropriate e-mail, how fast would you do it? Anti-spam registries to protect children take effect in Michigan and Utah in July and are on the cutting edge of state efforts to begin blocking unwanted spam. more

    • Stateline Story
    April 6, 2005
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    States with the toughest smoking bans huddle in the Northeast the way smokers huddle outside entrances of office buildings. But this year smoking bans are being considered in the unlikeliest of places -- on Tobacco Road.
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    • Stateline Story
    March 24, 2005
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    States expected multitudes of eager customers when, with great fanfare, they launched Web sites to help people buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. It hasn't worked out quite that way, and now states are trying new strategies to boost interest in their sites.
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    • Stateline Story
    March 10, 2005
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    State-paid aides to the elderly make less than the $5.15-an-hour federal minimum wage in Maryland and haven't had a raise in 19 years. This year Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) is proposing a pay raise, though it isn't enough to pull workers above the poverty line. A handful of states this year are considering "living wage" bills to promote a higher-than-minimum pay rate for employees on state contracts, but no state has ever passed one. more

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