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Washington May Extend Tax Exemption for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

A new program in California aims to reduce the toxins found in children’s sleeping products and home and building supplies sold in the state, the Contra Costa Coastal Times reported. The Safer Consumer Products program, the first of its kind in the nation, will require manufacturers to eliminate chemicals known to cause cancer and other illnesses in the production of goods.
Kathleen Curtis, national coordinator for the Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, expressed her enthusiasm for the program.
“I can’t even tell you what a big deal this is,” she said. “It’s a super smart strategic move by the state of California.”
State officials have announced an initial list of priority chemicals they hope to reduce or eliminate from consumer goods sold in the state, including children’s bedding, spray foam used as building insulation, and paint strippers, removers and surface cleaners.
Among the list of chemicals to be eliminated from consumer products is TDCPP, a flame retardant used in infant and toddler bedding. TDCPP, also known as Tris, has been linked to the development of cancer in rats.
State regulators expect to announce a second, longer list of targeted chemicals and products in October.
Manufacturers that fail to comply with the standards may be required to label their ingredients or have their products banned from California as soon as 2016.

JOB GROWTH
Nevada’s economy is showing signs of improvement. Though still ranked second in the nation for its unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, research by Arizona State University indicates Nevada was among the top 10 states in 2013 for nonagricultural job growth, Stateline.org reported. The national job growth rate in 2013 was up 1.7 percent from 2012, with 2.26 million jobs added to the economy. Nevada ranked sixth in the nation in 2013 for its job growth rate, up from 19th in 2012.
 
GEOTHERMAL REVENUES               
Hawaii Attorney General David Louie issued a formal ruling in March declaring all royalties generated from geothermal resource development on Hawaiian home lands must benefit Native Hawaiians, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. The opinion also concluded the state’s Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is the only state agency authorized to manage geothermal resources in the state.
 
JUVENILE COURT RECORDS
Washington state legislators have reached a compromise on a bill that would allow the majority of juvenile court records to remain sealed, The Seattle Times reported. The bill requires courts to hold sealing hearings when a juvenile turns 18 or upon completion of his or her sentence, and requires juvenile records be automatically sealed under certain conditions. Under current law, residents can petition to seal juvenile records. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign the bill.

FRACKING
The Wyoming Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling over exemptions for oil and gas companies to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. At hand in the case was a challenge to decisions made by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission, which granted more than 100 exemptions, Wyoming Public Media reported, giving companies the right to keep chemicals secret. A 2011 district court ruling deferred to the commission’s determination of what constitutes a trade secret.
 
MARIJUANA TAXES
Colorado collected slightly more than $2 million in taxes from recreational marijuana sales in January, The Denver Post reported. Based on total tax revenues generated in January, officials estimate $14 million in recreational marijuana sales across the state, mostly in the Denver area. If sales continue at the same rate, sales and tax revenues for recreational marijuana would fall below initial forecasts.
 
 
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