Imagine you were the speaker of the Missouri state House. In addition to legislating and naming committee chairmen, you'd also have a pretty awesome perk: choosing who gets bronze busts in the state Capitol rotunda. Who to pick might be a challenge. As The New York Times notes, there are a lot of famous Missourians without the giant casts, from modern folks like Maya Angelou to old West heroes.
Legislatures in Washington state and Virginia have both garnered plenty of national attention for their fights over culture wars—the push to recognize gay marriage and the controversial debate over requiring pre-abortion sonograms. But with their lawmaking sessions winding down, both states are in the midst of epic budget battles, that will almost definitely force them into special sessions. In both cases, parties out of power are using the budget debates to leverage their positions, gambles with big potential risks and payoffs should they succeed.
Starting Wednesday, the Florida Senate can vote on a measure to ban Sharia law in the state. But in an unintended consequence, the measure would also ban traditional Orthodox Jewish divorces from being recognized.