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States cannot restrain companies from selling out-of-state lottery tickets, a federal judge has ruled.

Chief Judge Sylvia H. Rambo of the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa., declared last month that a Pennsylvania law prohibiting out-of-state sales violated interstate-commerce laws.

State officials have argued that the decision could threaten lotteries in small states.

A recent report, meanwhile, criticizes state lotteries as a source of school funding. The report by the Educational Research Service contends that lottery games with big payoffs mislead many taxpayers, who may be unaware that gaming proceeds account for less than 4 percent of state and local revenue for schools in states that earmark the funds.

Copies of the report, "State-Run Lotteries: Their Effects on School Funding,'' are available for $16 from Educational Research Service, 2000 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22201; (703) 243-2100.

The Alabama legislature has backed off a bill that would have allowed nonsectarian, voluntary prayer on school property at noncompulsory school events if a majority of students approved.

Instead, lawmakers last month approved a school-prayer bill essentially restating existing law on the issue.

The original bill passed the House but hit a snag when it was discovered that State Attorney General James H. Evans had already found it unconstitutional.

Mr. Evans drafted a new version of the bill, which allows students to exercise their First Amendment rights through "nonsectarian, nonproselytizing, student-initiated voluntary prayer'' on school property at a school-related activity.

Taking guns into Oregon schools or other public buildings will be a felony, under a bill signed by Gov. Barbara Roberts last month.

Beginning in November, intentionally carrying a loaded or unloaded firearm in a public building will be punishable by up to five years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

The legislation was opposed by many rural residents, who felt it restricted their hunting rights. (See Education Week, May 26, 1993.)

Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York has vetoed a bill that would have required all health-insurance policies sold in the state to cover preventive care and immunizations for children through the age of 19.

The Governor said in in his veto message last month that the mandate was "broader and more costly than necessary to accomplish its purpose.''

Mr. Cuomo said he would develop an alternative proposal.

The California Assembly has rejected a bill designed to ban advertising-supported television shows such as Channel One from public school classrooms.

The Assembly voted 41 to 31 last month against the bill.

Vol. 13, Issue 01

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