Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Political News
From stateline.org

Homosexuality and laws:
Alabama: Same-sex marriage ban: Time is key
Legislators say a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages can easily pass both chambers, but that measure could stumble if supporters insist on putting it before the voters in the 2006 general election. By Tom Gordon, The Birmingham News

[Explanation: Republicans want it in the general election so it'll bring out conservative voters -- who will, of course, vote Republican. Oddly enough, Democratic legislators who would otherwise support it aren't nearly as pleased by that idea.]

Massachusetts: Bid seen weakening to ban gay marriage
The slim majority that supported the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage last year has been thrown into doubt with the recent resignations of three legislators who oppose gay marriage and a net increase of two gay-marriage supporters in the crop of newly elected legislators. By Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

Maryland: Session to revisit debate on gay unions
The national debate over same-sex unions lands squarely in Maryland this month, as legislators and lobbyists mobilize for a series of noisy battles over how gay couples will be treated in the eyes of state law. By Janice D'Arcy, The Sun (Baltimore) (registration)

Montana: Bill outlawing bias toward gays, lesbians draws fire
Montanans should be able to discriminate against gays and lesbians because their way of life threatens society and should be kept at bay, some critics said Monday in attacking a bill that would outlaw such discrimination under human-rights laws. By Bob Anez, The Associated Press, Missoulian
Arkansas: Huckabee aid plan for illegal aliens draws 'venom, anger'
Gov. Mike Huckabee's proposal last week to provide college scholarships and loans to illegal immigrants has sparked some emotional talk if not much ink compared to his other proposals. By David Robinson, Arkansas News Bureau

Arizona: Malpractice bill personal for legislator
Toni Hellon's 23-year-old daughter went to the emergency room of a Phoenix hospital in 1989 when she experienced weakness in her limbs and difficulty swallowing. She should have been put on a respirator. Instead, the doctor concluded she was hysterical and administered sedatives. By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

Florida: Veiled sect hails Bush, Martinez
A mysterious committee backed by members of a secretive religious group whose members are forbidden to vote spent more than $500,000 on newspaper ads last year supporting President Bush and U.S. Senate candidate Mel Martinez. By Lucy Morgan, St. Petersburg Times

Iowa: Iowa professor says enterprise zones overrated
University of Iowa professor Peter Fisher has a theory about tax breaks, enterprise zones and other tools to lure companies on the move or expanding: They're not a big deal. By Staff Reports, KCCI-TV 8 (Des Moines)

North Dakota: Bill would let students carry asthma medicine
Students who suffer breathing problems should be allowed to carry asthma and allergy medicine in school rather than having it locked up, a Senate panel believes. By James Warden, The Associated Press, The Bismarck Tribune

Nebraska: Class I schools have fiery advocates
Mighty Mouse has nothing on Nebraska's elementary-only school districts. Those Class I school districts educate barely one in 50 Nebraska students, but the passion of their supporters has foiled every previous attempt to consolidate or close them. By Martha Stoddard, Omaha World-Herald

South Dakota: Johnson bill bans cattle from Canada
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he will introduce legislation to hold back a "tidal wave of Canadian animals" that could hurt South Dakota ranchers. By Ben Shouse, Argus Leader (Sioux Falls)
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