What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/14

  • March 14, 2016

OR: Governor signs Oregon’s historic anti-coal bill


The measure signed by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown requires Oregon’s two largest utilities to stop paying for out-of-state coal power by 2030. It also says utilities must serve half their customers’ demand with renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2040.

OH: Ohio judge says 17-year-olds can vote in presidential primary


An Ohio judge granted a request to let 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the fall election vote in the swing state’s presidential primary Tuesday.

VA: Virginia assembly passes bill to use electric chair when execution drugs aren’t available


Virginia could use the electric chair on death row inmates when lethal-injection drugs are not available under a bill that cleared the Legislature and headed to the desk of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe has not yet taken a position on the measure.

KY: Kentucky House approves local option sales tax proposal


The measure would amend the Kentucky Constitution to allow local governments to levy an extra sales tax of up to 1 percent for building projects. The proposal must be approved by the Senate before going to voters in November.

WV: West Virginia Legislature closes regular session without a state budget


Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he would call the West Virginia Legislature back for a special session after lawmakers failed to agree on a roughly $4.3 billion state budget.

GA: Georgia passes ‘campus carry’ bill


The Georgia Senate gave final passage to a bill that would legalize concealed firearms on all public colleges in Georgia. The legislation would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses, and at athletic events.

NY: New York to discard prescription pads, and doctors’ handwriting, in digital shift


New York is the first state to require that all prescriptions be created electronically and to back up that mandate with penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for physicians who fail to comply.

IN: What passed, failed in the 2016 Indiana legislature


Indiana lawmakers closed the books on the 2016 legislative session, passing more than $800 million in new road spending and repealing the state’s standardized test in 2017. But an expansion of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers failed.

ID: Why educated millennials are leaving Idaho


Across Idaho, college-educated millennials — those born between 1980 and 2000 — are jumping to economic hubs such as San Francisco, Seattle and Salt Lake City for higher pay and the big-city amenities that attract young professionals.

AZ: Arizona governor signs bill criminalizing ‘revenge porn’


Jilted lovers convicted of posting compromising photos of their former boyfriends or girlfriends online to hurt them could be sent to prison for more than two years under Arizona legislation signed into law by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

MN: Public out of ‘People’s House’ during Minnesota Capitol restoration


Major renovations have pushed the Minnesota Senate into a makeshift setup across the street and robbed both chambers of their public galleries. That means that as lawmakers weigh taxes, police body cameras and other pressing topics, most of the public won’t be able to see it play out.

AR: Arkansas lottery adviser lays out ‘ambitious’ vision


A consultant for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has proposed overhauling scratch-off and draw-game tickets, increasing the marketing budget to $7.5 million and hiring five full-time employees. Camelot Global Services predicts the changes will boost ticket sales from $450 million this year to $615 million by fiscal 2021, and boost net proceeds for scholarships from $85 million to $109 million.

NC: North Carolina voter ID law hinders some college students


In this year’s primary, North Carolina’s first use of a new voter ID law, four of the five counties with the highest concentrations of provisional ballots from voters without approved ID were Durham, Orange, Watauga and Wake, where voters had home addresses on or near campuses.