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Public employee unions asked a judge Thursday to stop the Montana Legislature’s tax rebate initiative from going on the November ballot.

The initiative was advanced last year by the Republican-led Legislature. It proposes that a portion of tax collections exceeding original budget estimates be returned with tax credits and rebates.

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Washington state lawmakers forged ahead Monday with a bill to require ballot initiative campaigns to identify their top five donors in their advertisements.

The bill passed out of a House committee on a party-line vote, with seven Democrats in favor and four Republicans opposed.

Supporters of the legislation note that corporate spending on ballot initiatives has increased dramatically in recent years. They point to the $22 million that Costco Wholesale Corp. spent on last November’s successful initiative campaign to replace state-run liquor stores with large-scale privately owned ones. And they say the measure would make clear for voters where the money backing voter initiatives is coming from.

South Dakota lawmakers are leery of a ballot measure that would boost the state sales tax by 1 percentage point to give extra money to school districts and the health care program for low-income people, according to a survey by The Associated Press.

Casino developers and their opponents are likely to wage expensive fights to influence voters in potential host communities in the coming months, prompting the state’s top elections official to call for stronger oversight of spending for or against local referendums.

A bill proposed by Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin would require that all spending on a local casino referendum be reported to a state agency that administers campaign finance law, as is the case with statewide ballot questions. Under current rules, money spent to influence votes on a local issue is reported only to the city or town clerk of that community.

Read more at CBS News.

A case of Too Much, Too Soon: The Supreme Court has just blocked the televised broadcast of the high-profile trial challenging California’s gay marriage ban. The 5-4 decision said the district court judge failed to follow the proper procedures to televise the trial and stream it on YouTube, and that he tried to do an end-run around the rules to make it happen anyway. The Court emphasized it wasn’t ruling on the merits of cameras in the courtroom, but the opinion, not surprisingly, has some language that appears sympathetic to opponents of cameras.