Neb. senator files the ultimate lawsuit
By Eric Kelderman, Staff Writer
Lobbyists are sometimes accused of buying undue influence at the statehouse, but in Olympia, Wash., they are having trouble just paying rent. An association of lobbyists that has been leasing space in Washington's Capitol owes $15,000 to $20,000 in back rent because the state had forgotten to bill them since 2005, The Olympian reports. The group has now said it can no longer afford its modest Statehouse digs, but Washington won't let them rent space in another state-owned building until they come up with a repayment plan.
The Detroit Tigers baseball team isn't just battling for a spot in the playoffs this year; they're also taking on the Michigan Legislature, which is considering a tax on sports tickets to help close a $1.7 billion budget deficit. The Tigers, who are struggling for a wild card spot in the American League playoffs, are protesting a possible 6.5 percent tax that could add between $230 and $1,200 to the cost of season tickets for a family of four, according to a story in The Bay City Times .
In Oregon, your secrets really can die with you, even if that secret includes your identity. Attorney General Hardy Myers tells The Oregonian , that the state does not have to reveal the names of the deceased who are not claimed by family members and buried at state expense. A state-operated indigent burial fund is a form of public assistance, like welfare, the attorney general concluded and therefore is prohibited from releasing its records.
Illicit drug dealers can no longer be taxed on their sales in Tennessee after the state's Court of Appeals ruled the so-called "crack-tax" unconstitutional, The Tennessean points out. The court decided that the state should not be able to earn revenue on illegal activities. The law required drug dealers to buy tax stamps, similar to those purchased by cigarette wholesalers, as a way to seize property and belongings of those convicted of illegal drug or alcohol sales or possession.