What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 5/6

  • May 06, 2016

CT: Connecticut budget compromise means layoffs, cuts

courant.com

The budget compromise reached between Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and Democratic leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly cuts spending by more than $800 million in the nearly $20 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court: Government bodies cannot conduct public business via private email

cleveland.com

Justices said that discussing public business privately — via email, as well as in person — violates Ohio's open meetings law, if a majority of the members of a public body are involved in the discussion.

MI: Michigan lawmakers push forward $500 million package for Detroit schools

reuters.com

After hundreds of Detroit teachers called in sick over paycheck concerns, the Michigan House approved a $500 million spending package for the city’s cash-strapped schools.

OR: Oregon Supreme Court backs limits on suits against the state

oregonlive.com

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld an Oregon law that sets a $3 million cap on the amount of damages that injured people can collect in lawsuits against the state or its employees.

WA: Seattle bike-share membership has fallen by nearly half

seattletimes.com

The city of Seattle has taken ownership of the Pronto bike-share system and is encouraging people to sign up for discounted annual memberships. But even with subsidies from the city, fewer than 1 percent of city employees hold Pronto memberships.

NY: New York regulator approves bid to trade digital currency ether

nytimes.com

The New York State Department of Financial Services has given its first consent for a digital currency- related service beyond bitcoin. Trading on ether, a token or digital asset of the Ethereum platform that is often used by software developers, will begin Monday.

VA: Thousands of felons register to vote in Virginia

nbc29.com

In the two weeks since Virginia’s governor restored voting rights to 206,000 people who have served sentences for felony convictions, more than 2,000 of them have registered to vote.

GA: Georgia governor signs bill on religious expression on school sports uniforms

ajc.com

The law signed by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal prohibits publicly funded high schools in Georgia from participating in athletic associations that both prohibit religious symbols on sports uniforms and allow other types of personal expression on them. It also bans prohibitions on athletic competitions between public and private schools.

WI: Wisconsin prisons chief announces raises to stem staffing shortage

jsonline.com

Seeking to combat a chronic staffing shortage, the head of the state prison system in Wisconsin announced a $10 million-a-year plan to raise wages by 80 cents an hour for thousands of workers, with some of them temporarily receiving more than that.

IL: Illinois gas tax 'lockbox' constitutional amendment to appear on Nov. 8 ballot

chicagotribune.com

If Illinois voters approve the constitutional amendment, all money raised through transportation-related levies such as the gas tax, tolls and vehicle registration fees would be put into a budget "lockbox." The money could only be spent on road construction and repair, enforcing traffic laws, paying off debt on transit projects, and other transportation-related costs. 

LA: Louisiana House backs two bills to punish ‘sanctuary cities’

nola.com

The bills are aimed at punishing New Orleans and other "sanctuary cities" in Louisiana with liberal policies toward policing immigrants. The first would make it more difficult for them to borrow money for public building projects, and the second would require them to compensate crime victims if local law enforcement passed up an opportunity to determine the offender’s immigration status.

MT: Montana, feds come to agreement on use of firefighting helicopters

billingsgazette.com

Montana and federal officials have made a deal that will allow the state's five firefighting helicopters to respond to some blazes on federal lands, after they were barred from doing so last year as fires raging across the West led to equipment shortages.

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