The state budget cleared the House last week with near unanimous support. The state Senate will now take up the budget bill. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to statehouse reporters as part about why this budget is so well-liked, and what makes it unusual.

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September 17, 2014 | NPR · New research shows that foliage can be beneficial in the workplace. Now show us your pet desk plant.
 

September 17, 2014 | NPR · Delwar Hossain Sayedee will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. He was convicted last year for his role in the violence surrounding the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
 

AP
September 17, 2014 | NPR · The largest, spreading through the Sierra Nevada forest northeast of San Francisco, has engulfed nearly 20 square miles and is only 5 percent contained.
 

Arts & Life

 Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Also: a biography of Joan Rivers; the nonfiction longlist for the National Book Award is announced.
 

September 17, 2014 | NPR · We’re hard to shock these days, but reviewer Michael Schaub says Lauren Beukes’ new novel, Broken Monsters, is flawlessly tense and scary in its tale of a terrible murder in Detroit.
 

WBUR
September 17, 2014 | WBUR · Amy Clampitt was named a MacArthur genius in 1992. Today, the home she bought with her award money is used to house rising poets in tuition-free residencies.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Sure, Beach Slang’s got a Goo Goo Dolls thing going on. But the shimmering “Dirty Cigarettes” feels lived-in, even ugly, by comparison.
 

Half Japanese
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Half Japanese’s video for “Our Love” is a sprawling, energetic celebration of new love. The band’s new album, fittingly titled Overjoyed, is its first in 13 years.
 

September 16, 2014 | NPR · One of the important thinkers in present-day jazz is taking his cue from the 1920′s on his latest project. Pianist Jason Moran has released All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.
 

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