Power rates spike in some states

WASHINGTON — Around the country, electric utilities’ requests for rate increases have spiked in recent weeks, stemming from high-priced fuels such as coal and natural gas that are used to generate power. Those fuel price hikes — blamed on an increase in worldwide energy demand — are being passed on to ratepayers.

State workers: Thank God It’s Thursday

WASHINGTON — In the face of $4-a-gallon gasoline, a growing number of states are offering their employees four-day workweeks to help relieve commuting costs and save on state energy bills.

When sessions end, gavels and hankies fall

WASHINGTON — Alabama and many other states conclude their sessions with traditions that are funny, bizarre and even poignant. With half of state legislatures concluding in the past two months, and several more to adjourn within a few weeks, the celebrations are in full swing.

Scalpers beware: States target ticket sellers

WASHINGTON — The consumer outcry over online hijacking of huge blocks of these tickets for resale on Web sites, such as Stubhub.com for as much as 20 times face value, has led some states to pursue legislation and lawsuits targeting people who use special software to sidestep ticket sellers’ online security measures.

States scramble to ease pain at the pump

WASHINGTON — As fuel prices across the country pass $4 a gallon, many states are offering motorists at the start of the summer driving season suggestions and some solutions for relief.