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As they see it.

"We want to be tough on crime, but we don't want to be absurd."

--Texas Representative Jim McReynolds, about new federal requirements for tracking sex offenders, to the Dallas Morning News.

"There's a phenomenal change in the whole structure of the farm economy. We've never seen farm incomes swing this dramatically before."

--Shane Tiernan, a business development officer at Grundy National Bank, Conrad, Iowa, which lends to hundreds of farmers, to The Wall Street Journal.

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"Our youth today can get a gun quicker than they can get a job or something to eat."

--El Gray, program director for One Vision One Life, a Pittsburgh anti-violence initiative, about the increase in murders in that city last year, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"The idea is to shine a light on these homes and create quality improvement. Maybe it makes people in the community ask, 'Why don't we have any four. or five-star facilities?"

--David Sayen, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regional administrator in San Francisco, on its new five-star system that rates the quality of nursing homes, in the Arizona Republic.

"Prisons are becoming less and less of a sacred cow. The budget crisis is giving leaders on both sides of the aisle political cover they need to tackle issues that would be too tough to tackle when budgets are flush."

--Adam Gelb, the Pew Center's Public Safety Performance Project director, on MSNBC.

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"I think the economy and figuring out how we're going to deal with 8.5 percent unemployment and a fear, a very legitimate concern, that it may go higher; how we're going to deal with those things is going to be the 800-pound gorilla in the room."

--House Speaker Bobby Harrell, South Carolina, to the Associated Press in the Charleston Post and Courier.

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Want the latest online news about federal and sate public policy issues? Go to www.ncsl.org/magazine and look for the "Grasscatcher," a collection of the day's top news clippings.

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Publication:State Legislatures
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:333
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