Alty News: NASA Scientist says California Has One Year of Water Left; Cracks Emerge in ISIS | Buzz Blog

Alty News: NASA Scientist says California Has One Year of Water Left; Cracks Emerge in ISIS

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Lawmakers in New Jersey have condemned Gov. Chris Christie after the state quietly agreed to accept less than 3 percent of the $8.9 billion it had initially sought from Exxon over pollution at two refinery sites, a settlement amounting to just three cents on the dollar.

Top of the Alty World

"A Gift to ExxonMobil? Chris Christie Criticized over Settlement to Clean Up Century of Contamination"—Democracy Now!

A NASA scientist has rattled California's water regulators by claiming the state only has a year's worth of water left.—High Country News

Sixty-nine percent of American voters—including 51% of Republicans— want a federal law that prohibits LGBT discrimination according to a new national poll released, though the poll didn't discuss the issue of religious exemptions.—BuzzFeed

Cracks are beginning to emerge in the strength of the Islamic State with the terror organization's funds dwindling and the movement even beginning to kill its own followers.—The Economist

Top of Alty Utah

Governor Herbert says he is leaning toward signing the controversial firing squad bill.—Utah Policy

Salt Lake City police and other officials held a community forum to let citizens know about their rights when dealing with law enforcement.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Lawmakers created a $5 million fund for water pipeline projects before an audit will be released that is expected to ding water bosses for using bad water data to justify costly water projects.—Salt Lake City Weekly

The Salt Lake City metro area leads the nation in job creation according to a Gallup survey.—SL City News

Rantosphere

Utah Politico Hub looks at some of the veto-worthy bills from the legislative session.

Wolf/Sage Grouse Delisting Appropriations. I’ll be honest–I like money, and I like it when rich out-of-state folk spend their money in Utah. Whether they come for the Sundance Festival, skiing, conventions, Utah’s gorgeous national parks, or for big game hunting, money spent in Utah is good. On the other hand, I also like to know that when the state is spending money to make Utah attractive to the rich out-of-state types, the money is actually being used for the purpose it is intended for. Right now, the appropriations to keep the sage grouse off of the endangered species list and the wolf out of the state seem to be big black holes (and have been for several years) in an other wise transparent state. A veto might encourage legislators to insist on more clear accounting by recipients of state money.—Utah Politico Hub

The Long View

City Weekly recaps the session's big bills, under the radar bills and other highlights and oddities from the 2015 Legislature.

And so lawmakers concluded their time on the hill, having raised the gas tax by 5 cents per gallon, doling out $500 million in surplus tax revenues to schools and giving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the religious liberty protections it asked for in exchange for supporting basic human rights for the LGBT community. They aso waded into the era of modern law enforcement, where the well-trodden path of warehousing drug addicted and mentally ill humans could be replaced with rehabilitation programs.

These lawmakers won't be away from the hill for long. On March 12, the final day of the session, Herbert held a news conference and announced that, indeed, nothing would be done on health-care reform. But he set a July 31 deadline for a deal, and vowed to call a special session of the Legislature to hammer out the details once and for all.

For the uninsured sick and dying Utahns who listened to Herbert promise in 2014 to take action on health-care reform, threaten to convene a special session, and then kick the deadline to summer, then fall, then by the end of the year and then to the legislative session, and now back to summer, the chance to visit a doctor really is just a big, shiny, moving target that is going to have to wait.—Salt Lake City Weekly

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