[JURIST] Florida became the first state in the nation to fully privatize its child welfare program [DCF website] after signing a $75 million contract Friday, transferring management of the last 2 remaining counties under governmental oversight. The agreement with Our Kids allows the private organization to manage all foster care, adoption and child welfare licensing operations in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. This contract is the twenty-third community-based care [program description] agreement signed in Florida as part of Governor Jeb Bush's plan to improve the state's troubled welfare system. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has more.
[JURIST] Japanese Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa [official profile] said Sunday that a lawsuit in an international court [Reuters report] is "one option" for dealing with a Japan-China dispute over natural gas drilling rights in the East China Sea. China has three projects in an area Japan claims as its own. Nakagawa said Japan wants these projects stopped if Japan is to consider joint development. Although tensions are high [AP report] between the two countries over a series of disputes [Reuters report], Nakagawa said both sides are willing to talk and a lawsuit is not yet imminent.
[JURIST] Governor Joe Manchin vetoed a bill [AP report] on Saturday that would have made English the official language of West Virginia. Gov. Manchin, who has supported such legislation in the past, objected to the bill on the grounds that the state constitution limits legislation to one topic. The original bill was about increasing the size of local park and recreation boards, and legislators didn't even know [Quad City Times editorial] they had approved the English-only amendment to the bill until after the session had ended. Twenty-seven US states [map] have adopted English as their official language according to the English-advocacy group US English [advocacy website]. West Virginia is the most homogeneously-English-speaking state in the nation, with only 2.7% of residents speaking other languages at home.
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