What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 4/6

  • April 06, 2016

MS: Mississippi governor signs ‘religious freedom’ law


Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a “religious freedom” bill, which could allow businesses and government workers to deny services — including marriage licenses and wedding ceremonies — to gay and lesbian couples on religious grounds.

MD: Maryland House passes sick-leave bill


The bill would require employers in Maryland who have at least 15 workers to provide paid sick leave for employees, a proposal that would make the state one of just five in the country to mandate such a benefit.

AR: Arkansas governor calls for Medicaid session, managed care could be on agenda


Lawmakers opposed to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal to have private firms manage some services for the disabled and mentally ill are leaving open the possibility of a competing proposal during this week's special session.

ID: Idaho governor vetoes using Bible in school instruction


Republican Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter vetoed legislation that would have expressly permitted the use of the Bible in Idaho public school instruction, calling the measure unconstitutional.

RI: New Rhode Island slogan draws social media wrath


The slogan — “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer” —spawned lampoons along the lines of “Dumb and Dumber,” which prompted Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo to scrap it. Worse, a video accompanying the marketing campaign included a scene shot not in Rhode Island, but in Iceland.

AL: Alabama Senate approves building new prisons


Senators approved an $800 million prison construction bill that would lead to the construction of four new prisons and closing of most of Alabama’s existing ones.

VA: Virginia governor kills education bills, including school choice plan


Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a package of bills that would have let Virginia parents use state money to pay for private schools, allowed students to leave a troubled school and created a virtual school to teach up to 5,000 students.

PA: Pennsylvania looks to expand statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims


Legislation that would eliminate the deadline for criminal prosecutions in child sex abuse cases is moving forward in the Pennsylvania Legislature. The bill would also allow victims to file civil lawsuits until they turn 50. Currently, civil cases can be filed until the victim is 30 years old.

AZ: Records reveal scope of wait times in Arizona primary


Five polling places in metro Phoenix still had voters in line after midnight during Arizona's botched presidential primary two weeks ago, including one location where the final ballot was cast at nearly 1 a.m., according to county records.

HI: Should Hawaii hire so many temps in state government?


Democratic Gov. David Ige and labor unions want to limit temporary workers in state government to 89 days of service. State agencies oppose the measure.

OK: Oklahoma House votes to keep secret names of armed school personnel


The legislation, which exempts records containing the names of school personnel who carry weapons from the Oklahoma Open Records and Open Meetings Acts, is intended primarily for small, remote districts with little or no on-site security and limited access to law enforcement.

WI: Wisconsin seeks to ban liquor at state-run shooting ranges


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proposing banning liquor possession and consumption, automatic weapons, tracer ammunition and exploding targets at the nine shooting ranges it runs.

OR: Oregon soon may permit marijuana edibles


Candies, cookies and beverages infused with a low dose of cannabinoids, the active ingredients in marijuana, will be available for recreational consumers in Oregon within two months, state officials said.