Third State Passes ‘Right to Try’ Legislation

Laws allow dying patients to take experimental drugs prior to FDA approval
Missouri approves 'Right to Try' legislation / AP

Missouri this week became the third state to pass “Right to Try” legislation, which allows terminally ill patients access to experimental medications not yet approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

IRS Spent $4.4 Billion on IT

IRS Commissioner: Agency lacked funds to save emails
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen / AP

The IRS under the Obama Administration has spent over $4 billion on contracts labeled under information technology and software despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifying this week that budgetary restraints prevented the agency from spending $10 million to save and store emails.

Vets: VA’s Care of Veterans Impeded by Filming of TV Series, Conference

Conference included party planning tips, ‘What Color is Your Personality?’ session
The set of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" / AP

The filming of a TV series that took over the entire second floor of a Los Angeles VA center and conferences attended by VA health care providers—which included topics on how to plan a party—contributed to the delay of care for veterans, according to interviews with VA staffers and veterans.

VA Spent Tens of Millions on Ad Campaigns, Audits, Green Energy

Spending part of $1 billion in contracts disbursed by administration for ‘professional services’
Montgomery VA Medical Center / AP

An analysis of how more than $1 billion dollars in spending by the Department of Veterans Affairs on “professional services” finds several instances of questionable spending in the form of millions for a national ad campaign and energy programs to make VA facilities more sustainable.

VA Spends Close to $500 Million on Conference Room, Office Makeovers Under Obama

President requests 3 percent increase for VA budget
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki / AP

President Barack Obama has increased the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget each year since he took office, claiming the funds would give veterans the health care they deserve. However, an analysis of records show the agency has spent close to $500 million on office furniture under the Obama administration.

Twenty-Two States Support Lawsuit Against Cuomo’s SAFE Act

AGs file amicus brief opposing gun control legislation
Semiautomatic rifle

The attorneys general of 22 states have filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn New York’s SAFE Act, claiming the law is unconstitutional.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange filed the brief in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the lawsuit NYSRPA v. Cuomo, which was filed by individual gun owners and organizations challenging New York’s gun ban.

2014 College Grads Get Diplomas, Not Jobs

Job market for young workers has failed to markedly improve since Obama’s reelection

Graduating college seniors face a grim job market little improved since President Barack Obama’s reelection, and many say they are concerned about their future.

Alaska Calls for Balanced Budget Amendment Compact

Commission called for to discuss balanced budget amendment to U.S. Constitution

Alaska joined Georgia to become the second state to pass the Compact for a Balanced Budget, a move that paves the way for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.