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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — When lawmakers set aside $300 million in federal pandemic aid in June to help upgrade Louisiana's antiquated water and sewer systems, they talked about the urgent need for improvements and maintenance. But the dollars have taken longer than expected to divvy up.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social and environment package was a Broadway show, its seven months on Congress' stage could qualify it as a hit. But lawmaking isn't show business, and many Democrats worry that with the curtain falling soon on 2021, time is not their friend.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social and environment package was a Broadway show, its seven months on Congress' stage could qualify it as a hit. But lawmaking isn't show business, and many Democrats worry that with the curtain falling soon on 2021, time is not their friend.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico government economists on Friday announced a new surge in state income as legislators consider proposals to raise pay for public school teachers, a possible hiring spree for local police officers and new efforts to bolster essential public services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden looked out over an audience of government scientists and framed his latest plan for fighting COVID-19 as an opportunity to at last put an end to divisiveness over the virus, calling the politicization of the issue a “sad, sad commentary.”

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The top adviser to the European Union’s highest court on Thursday said that the principle of linking the bloc’s budget disbursements to respect for rule of law is compatible with the bloc's laws and that a challenge by Hungary and Poland should be dismissed.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A study commissioned by a coalition of oil and natural gas businesses in New Mexico indicates that state and local governments are more reliant than ever before on the industry to pay for basic public services including public education, amid efforts by elected officials to diversify the economy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday in no uncertain terms that he thinks shoplifters should be prosecuted under existing California laws, as he called out local officials whom he said have been reluctant to do so.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that he'll call the Legislature back into session next week to take up a tax cut plan, and that he hoped lawmakers would hold off on efforts to enact an abortion ban similar to one in neighboring Texas.

Key Republican lawmakers offered a critical assessment of Kentucky State University but acknowledged its historic role in higher education as they grapple with requests from the turmoil-ridden campus for help in shoring up the school's precarious finances.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a reversal of plans to divert funding from police to social services, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Monday that she'll push to reverse planned cuts to the city's police department and seek to quickly hire more officers amid a spike in violence and homicides that has left some residents afraid to leave their homes.

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