Posted by 24 June 2016
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine could be Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president. He is seen as a “safe” pick – a mainstream Democrat who is from a potential swing state. Do you think Sen. Kaine would make a good vice president? Or should Clinton choose someone else? https
Posted by 23 June 2016
Sen. Tammy Baldwin and other members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation joined the gun control “sit in” on the House floor recently. Do you support more restrictions on gun ownership? Do you think this kind of event is a good way to bring attention to an issue?
Posted by 23 June 2016
According to Capitol reporter Tim Skubick writing for Mlive, last November the Michigan lottery quietly began letting individuals buy lottery tickets online. The number of online users has grown 300 percent, from 86,000 the first month to 322,000 now, with sales of $147 million.
Elsewhere in the Capitol, a Senate committee has advanced Senate Bills 889 and 890 to the full body for consideration. The bills would allow casinos in the state to enter the internet gambling market, subject to a 10 percent tax. A fiscal analysis suggests the move may or may not increase state revenues, because it could divert sales from the lottery.
None of the above addresses the ethical concerns surrounding state governments not just being in the gambling business but advertising heavily to entice individuals to gamble.
Research suggests that low-income and minority individuals disproportionately spend money on lottery gambling, where even more than casinos “the house” is the only real winner. In other words, government lotteries prey upon those least able to afford them.
Posted by 21 June 2016
One limited government group is urging Congress not to enact individual spending bills this year. Instead, it proposes funding the government at current spending levels for the next two years and working on a plan to cut spending in 2018. This would end the threat of a government shutdown and give Congress time to find ways to trim spending. What do you think?
Posted by 19 June 2016
In Pennsylvania, legislators are looking to expand gambling and increase tobacco taxes in order to balance the budget. Do you think it’s right to single out gamblers and smokers to pay for government services enjoyed by all Pennsylvanians?
Posted by 13 June 2016
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and other politicians have called for reinstating the “assault weapons” ban first imposed during Bill Clinton’s term as president. This ban targeted guns based on certain cosmetic features of a firearm, such as a pistol grip or a folding stock. Do you think this type of law will have an effect on mass shootings in this country?
Posted by 13 June 2016
Even with recent reforms, Pennsylvania still has complicated laws governing the sale of alcohol. These laws include mandating that all liquor sales take place at state-run stores to limiting the number of bottles of wine you can buy at grocery stores. Is this the proper role of state government? Or should Pennsylvania legislators reduce restrictions and allow private businesses to sell alcohol?
Posted by 12 June 2016
House Speaker Paul Ryan has outlined ways that he would like to reform U.S. anti-poverty efforts. His focus is on re-orienting poverty programs to encourage and support work. Do you think these types of proposals are the way to reduce poverty? Or is there a better way to help low-income Americans?
Posted by 09 June 2016
In North Carolina, there are questions about whether the state treasurer relied too much on risky investments for the state’s pension fund. With the private sector increasingly using retirement funds such as 401(k)s, some in the legislature are re-examining whether the state should continue offering pensions. How do you think the state government should fund employees’ retirement? http://www.wbtv.com/story/32186828/future-of-state-pension-fund-could-be-at-risk-group-says
Posted by 07 June 2016
In producing a documentary on gun control, Katie Couric edited the comments of Virginia gun rights supporters in a way they claimed was misleading. Was this artistic license, or was it deceptive editing to promote a political agenda?
Posted by 26 May 2016
The conflict actually arrived in March, when Democrats on a state Board of Education (an entity that has limited authority) proposed “guidance” that would require public schools to let students “use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity.”
See Memorandum from State of Michigan Department of Education here.
This week a bill was introduced in the state Senate that was described by MichiganVotes.org as follows:
2016 Senate Bill 993: Ban boys in public school girl’s restroom and vice versa
Introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R) on May 25, 2016, to prohibit public schools from allowing boys to use the girl’s restroom or girls to use the boy’s rest room, plus locker rooms, showers, etc. when students of the opposite sex are present. However, if a student asserts having a gender is different from their biological sex, and a parent or legal guardian consents in writing, the school would have provided an accommodation that does not violate the prohibition described above. This could include a single-occupancy or unisex restroom or the “controlled use” of faculty facilities.
Posted by 25 May 2016
In North Carolina, legislators are advancing a plan to increase teacher pay. Is it a good idea to increase teacher pay across-the-board? Or should teacher pay be tied to performance?
Posted by 24 May 2016
In Philadelphia, “there are now more retirees collecting pensions than active employees contributing to the fund.” What do you think should be done to fix this city’s pension problems?
Posted by 21 May 2016
The city of Charlottesville is weighing in on the debate over federal gun control laws. Is it useful for local politicians to pass symbolic resolutions on national issues? Or should city council members focus on city issues, leaving national issues up to members of Congress?