What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/2

  • June 02, 2016

US: Proposed federal rules to ban payday loan ‘debt traps’

npr.org

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing new regulations to protect consumers from predatory lending practices that the bureau’s top regulator calls "debt traps." Under the proposed rules, "payday," "auto-title" and other short-term lenders would be required to determine that people they loan money to can make the payments and fees, and still meet basic living expenses and major financial obligations.

KS: Kansas tax revenue falls short in May, creating deep financial hole

ljworld.com

Tax receipts in May came in $74.5 million below estimates, putting the state’s general fund into a deep financial hole with only one month left in the fiscal year. Kansas law does not allow the state to end the year with a deficit, so Republican Gov. Sam Brownback will likely have to impose more spending cuts.

WA: Washington proposes new rule to cut carbon emissions

ap.org

Washington state's largest industrial polluters would be required to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 1.7 percent a year under a new proposed rule aimed at climate change.

CA: California Assembly votes to let undocumented residents buy health coverage

sacbee.com

The Assembly has approved a Senate bill that would allow undocumented California residents to purchase health insurance coverage on the state exchange. The state would have to petition the federal government for the right to do so.

IA: Iowa governor’s Bible proclamation called unconstitutional

desmoinesregister.com

Three groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa say a proclamation signed by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad that encourages Iowans to take part in a Bible-reading marathon at courthouses across the state this summer violates the U.S. Constitution by promoting Christianity.

SC: South Carolina House gives final approval to major roads bill

postandcourier.com

If Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signs the bill, South Carolina would borrow $2.2 billion over the next decade to fix the state’s highways and bridges.

OK: Oklahoma high court sends education tax question to ballot

journaltimes.com

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said enough signatures had been gathered to ask voters in November whether to impose a 1 percent sales tax hike to fund $5,000 pay raises for teachers and other education spending.

MA: Massachusetts House passes transgender protection bill

bostonglobe.com

The bill would allow people in Massachusetts to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity and would protect transgender people from discrimination. The Senate passed a slightly different version. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he would sign the House version.

FL: Hundreds of thousands lose food stamps in Florida

marketplace.org

About 350,000 people have lost their food stamps since Florida reinstated work requirements at the beginning of the year. Food stamp recipients were told by letter to send a note from their doctor if they were unable to work, but many recipients say they didn’t receive the letters or don’t have doctors.

MO: Black drivers still get stopped more often in Missouri

ap.org

Black drivers in Missouri were nearly 70 percent more likely than whites to get stopped by the police last year, marking a slight improvement from the year before but showing there still are significant racial disparities in such stops.

TX: Texas city’s ID effort could force showdown with governor

texastribune.org

In El Paso, local leaders hope to create a municipal ID card for the region's homeless, indigent and undocumented. But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has hinted that could make El Paso a so-called "sanctuary city," which he has promised to block in Texas.

OR: Oregon State University to offer separate dorm for students in recovery

oregonlive.com

The dormitory, specifically designed for students recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, will open this fall as the first of its kind in Oregon.

AL: To-go beer from Alabama breweries now legal

montgomeryadvertiser.com

Alabama's growing craft beer industry has taken another step toward the big time, as a new law allows the state's 25 or so craft breweries to sell six packs, large bottles and other containers of beer directly to consumers. Previously, Alabama was the only state that banned such sales.

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