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Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

The Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off 18,000 acres of oil leases in California Wednesday. The state has one of the largest deposits of shale oil in the country. And it's attracting new attention because of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.

Despite Protests, Michigan Is A Right-To-Work State

Michigan is now the nation's 24th right-to-work state, where unions cannot automatically collect dues or fees from workers. The governor signed the law just hours after it was approved by the state's legislature in a day marked by protests.

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple years. Michigan becoming a right-to-work state is only the latest example. Over the past two years in Wisconsin and Ohio, Republican governors took on labor unions.

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Democrats are worried that cuts to the program will go beyond the impact on the people it serves. It will also affect the Affordable Care Act, which calls for expanding Medicaid to as many as 16 million more people. The states are watching closely because the federal government has promised it will pay most of those additional costs.

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Federal taxpayers will pay the lion's share of the restoration for the Jersey shore damage caused by Sandy. But since most of those who will benefit are private landowners on the shore, one N.J. lawmaker wants to prohibit the shore towns from charging access fees to their public beaches.

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts. But others argue that Congress shouldn't toss the farm bill into a giant package because it would very likely stifle debate and amendments.