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Gov. Tom Wolf, Pittsburgh-area officials want $11.4M fine on Uber cut

The state government recently fined Uber $11.4 million for operating in the state without approval from the Public Utility Commission. Even Gov. Wolf contends this fine is too high. Is it fair for the state to impose such a heavy penalty on Uber when the state’s rules are ambiguous and the company is now operating legally in Pennsylvania?

“Common Core” Curriculum Repeal Advances to Full Senate

The state Senate Education Committee has reported-out Senate Bill 826 to replace the “Common Core” curriculum in Michigan public schools with a model based on the one used by Massachusetts before Common Core was adopted there. Supporters say the Massachusetts curriculum is unique for having empirical evidence of effectiveness.

Common Core has been highly controversial in Michigan and elsewhere. It was adopted here by the state Board of Education, a move that was later grudgingly approved by the Legislature, which added conditions that the state’s statewide testing regime not be based on the model.
The legislation could be taken up by the full Senate at any time, at the discretion of the Senate Majority Leader.

Yoga schools get special treatment

Regulation for Thee but Not Me?

Michigan imposes a licensure mandate on trade schools that subjects them to regulation, fees, government inspections, reporting requirements and more. This week the state Senate passed a bill to exempt a particular kind of trade school from the mandate.

According to an analysis prepared by the House Fiscal Agency, part of the rationale for the bills was, “the regulations reportedly have created a business environment that deters many…from offering or expanding instruction programs.”

Operators of other trade schools may be wondering why, if the law is considered a deterrent to business, the bill didn’t repeal the licensure mandate for all trade schools.

The law covers what are called “proprietary schools,” and give classes in subjects that include boat building, massage therapy and others. The schools that got the special exemption through the Senate are yoga instructors.

North Carolina, Justice Dept. file dueling lawsuits over transgender rights

The Obama Administration has told North Carolina that its legislation regarding transgender bathroom access is discriminatory, and that if the state enforces it that is a violation of federal law. North Carolina disagrees, and has filed suit against the federal government. Is this an issue where the federal government should step in and stop the state?

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