Indiana fallout. It’s not often you see a new piece of legislation have an impact as soon as its signed into law. But on Thursday Indiana governor Mike Pence signed a law to allow business owners to use their religious beliefs as a defense against discrimination laws, and Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff immediately announced his company would stop investing in the state. Benioff fears that the new legislation will lead to discrimination based on sexual orientation. His concerns were shared by leaders of the NCAA, who also spoke out about the new law. Benioff spoke to Re/code.
Making them pay. The Consumer Protection Agency released a plan on Thursday that would impose new regulations on the payday lending industry. The Washington Post reports this is the first time the federal agency has set its sights on the $50 billion industry. The proposed rules would, among other things, force payday lenders to determine whether their customers actually have the ability to repay loans before allowing them to continue racking up debt.
Here comes the sun. It was a big year for solar energy in California. Bloomberg reports that utility-scale solar energy production jumped from a 1.9 percent share of the market in 2013 to 5 percent in 2014. The Golden State now produces more solar power than any other state combined. But it’s not all good news. Part of the reason for solar’s rise in California is the devastating drought in the state. Solar may be up, but hydroelectric power is way down.
Longread on the War on Poverty. The New York Review of Books has a long review of a new book that collects a series of academic papers evaluating the effects of the War on Poverty. It’s been 51 years since Lyndon Johnson made his famous declaration to attack poverty in America, and many people are still divided about what effect his policies had. The review digs into a pretty deep statistical analysis, and there’s plenty in there to tease out stories of your own.
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