A six-pack of noteworthy tidbits from this week’s news:

  1. In These Times offers a look at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s role in developing Florida’s anti-union legislation. State Sen. John Thrasher and Rep. Chris Dorworth seem to disagree on where, exactly, the inspiration for their measure came from, but whatever its specific role in this year’s legislation, which failed in Florida, ALEC has been pushing “paycheck protection” for years.
  2. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius laid out requirements for health exchanges that give states more flexibility. Many, including Florida, have made little progress developing the exchanges, which must be ready by 2014, but Florida will apparently start moving ahead with an exchange based on state law.
  3. Business, civic and transportation groups react to Rep. John Mica’s overhaul of transportation funding. Most of their  beef is with budget cuts, but the League of American Bicyclists has a different take:

    “Whether the next transportation bill is $200 billion or $400 billion is frankly less important than what is done with that kind of investment,” said Clarke. “Mica’s ‘New Direction’ proposal in fact turns the clock back on decades of hard-fought progress towards a truly multi-modal transportation system that offers American’s real choices. Even with a ‘small’ bill, returning to a 1950′s highways-only mentality flies in the face of fiscal responsibility by guaranteeing more single occupant vehicle travel on ever more congested and dangerous highways that we can’t even afford to maintain, let alone build.”

  4. After the gutting of growth management, Orange County geared up for a victory lap, preparing to approve a pair of large controversial developments it had previously rejected. The county wound up approving one of them.
  5. Graph of the day: Our political dysfunction explained by one chart.
  6. More graphs of the day: American economic insecurity, illustrated.
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