What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/12

  • July 12, 2016

VT: Vermont the first state to offer public pre-K to all 3-, 4-year-olds


A new law requires Vermont communities to offer at least 10 hours a week of publicly funded, high- quality preschool for 35 weeks a year free to children 3 and 4 years old.

AK: Alaska governor proposes sales tax


Independent Gov. Bill Walker proposed a new 3 percent statewide sales tax and two oil-tax increases as part of his latest plan to help close Alaska’s $3.2 billion budget deficit.

UT: Utah governor calls special session to crack down on drones


Republican Gov. Gary Herbert is calling Utah lawmakers into a special session to pass emergency legislation to punish drone pilots flying over wildfires. Drone traffic has forced the grounding of air tankers to fight the fires.

MS: Inmates take lethal injection fight to Mississippi Supreme Court


Two Mississippi death row inmates say the court should rule illegal Mississippi’s plan to use a new sedative in executions because it’s not the kind of drug called for by state law.

MA: Massachusetts trims hair-cutting rules to allow house calls


For years, hair stylists in Massachusetts have been making house calls to cut and style hair before special events — and breaking the law in the process. That’s changing. A new state law tucked into the back of the $39 billion budget bill makes the visits legal.

KS: Proposed rule would throw out votes in Kansas


As many as 50,000 Kansas voters who registered at motor vehicle offices would be given provisional ballots in the upcoming elections only to see their votes thrown out in state and local races under a proposed temporary rule.

OH: Ohio bill would provide exemptions in releasing police videos


Under the bill, police in Ohio could keep from the public portions of body camera footage that included victims of sex crimes, minors, hospital conversations with victims and personal information not related to a crime.

WI: Wisconsin rolls out pilot 24/7 sobriety program


The program, designed to reduce the number of repeat offenders operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin, will monitor people while their cases are pending in court to make sure they’re not drinking or doing drugs. By participating, offenders can reduce their sentences.

CA: California tests fee-per-mile alternative to gasoline tax


About 5,000 volunteers around California will report their mileage or have it monitored, and then be charged a fee per mile as part of a pilot program. As gasoline tax revenue has dwindled, state transportation officials are looking for an alternative source of funding for road repair.

OR: Oregon takes to the air to battle mosquitoes


State health authorities are experimenting with helicopter drops of bacteria-coated corncob granules that kill mosquito larvae to combat the West Nile and Zika viruses.