What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

  • July 25, 2016

VA: Virginia high court invalidates governor’s order restoring felon voting rights


The state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution. The ruling is a major blow to the Democratic governor with implications for the November presidential race in the crucial swing state.

CA: University of California regents toughen moonlighting rules for top executives


Senior executives at the University of California who want to serve on corporate boards, consult for companies or otherwise moonlight must first explain how UC would benefit from the work, under new conflict-of-interest rules approved by the system’s Board of Regents.

TX: Lawsuit forces Texas to make it easier for immigrants to get birth certificates for children


Under a court settlement, Texas will expand the types of documents parents can present, allowing those without legal immigration status to obtain certificates for their children again.

ME: Maine governor’s hand-written notes mostly elude open-records law


Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s staff argues the notes are not public documents that must be saved and accessible to the public. But others, including Maine’s archivist and attorney general, say documents created by the governor that discuss state policy or business are public records, whether handwritten or not.

AK: Alaska Supreme Court rejects parent-notification law for abortions


The Alaska Supreme Court has invalidated the state law requiring physicians to give two days’ notice to parents before performing abortions on girls under 18. The law was approved by 56 percent of voters in 2010.

MA: In Massachusetts, a bidding war for medical marijuana licenses


Massachusetts cities and towns are exacting increasingly hefty payments from medical marijuana dispensaries in exchange for letters the companies need to win state licenses.

IL: Illinois governor OKs regulating police use of cellphone data tracking


The new Illinois law requires police to delete all non-target phone information within 24 hours and prohibits them from accessing data for use in an investigation not authorized by a judge.

WI: Vacant Wisconsin prison jobs help drive state OT to $64.5 million


The overtime paid in Wisconsin to state workers rose by 12 percent last year, reaching a level not seen in at least a decade. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration says the savings that came from the repeal of most collective bargaining and other policies dwarf those payments.

CO: Minimum-wage hike likely headed to Colorado ballot in November


A vote to raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 appears to be a certainty for the November ballot, as proponents said they expect to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the secretary of state’s office.

FL: First home delivery of medical marijuana made in Florida


The first organization authorized to dispense medical marijuana in Florida has made its first home delivery. Only 15 doctors in the state can prescribe medical marijuana.

NM: New Mexico must shore up budgets, state senator warns


The state Senate’s financial guru says New Mexico’s finances are “in crisis,” and he is prodding the governor and legislative leaders to start planning for a special session to fill holes in the state budget before they get any deeper.