What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/11

  • August 11, 2016

WI: Wisconsin’s voter ID law is back in force

reuters.com

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reinstated Wisconsin’s voter ID law, suspending a ruling by a federal judge that would have allowed voters to cast ballots in the Nov. 8 presidential election without proof of citizenship as the law requires.

US: Federal government to affirm its prohibition on medical marijuana

washingtonpost.com

The Drug Enforcement Administration is rejecting requests to loosen marijuana’s classification as a dangerous drug with no medical purpose — putting it at odds with 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree.

TX: Federal judge approves altered Texas voter ID law

texastribune.org

A U.S. district judge approved an agreement that allows Texans without proof of citizenship to vote this year declaring they are citizens and presenting proof of residence, such as a utility bill, bank statement or paycheck. The agreement comes after a federal appeals court found the state’s strict voter ID law to be racially discriminatory.

US: U.S. Justice Department report critical of zero-tolerance policing

ap.org

A scathing Justice Department report on the Baltimore Police Department suggests the costs of cracking down on minor infractions before they mushroom into more serious violence outweigh any reduction in crime.

CA: Cow belches help drive California dairy industry lobbying blitz

sacbee.com

The California dairy industry is pushing back on a state plan to curb climate-altering methane gas by slashing manure and other naturally occurring gas emissions from the 5.5 million beef and dairy cows in the state.

OK: Oklahoma sales tax collections miss mark — again

okcfox.com

Oklahoma sales tax collections were off by $17.2 million for July, bringing total collections down 9.4 percent for the fiscal year. Collections of the tax, which comprises about 35 percent of state revenue, have missed the estimated mark in 17 of the last 18 months.

ME: Maine blocks insurance company rate hike for seniors

pressherald.com

Maine’s superintendent of insurance ruled against Progressive Corp.’s request to raise auto insurance rates for seniors in the state. The company had sought to charge older drivers higher premiums based solely on their age.

NY: Airbnb says New York leaving $90 million on the table by not taxing its users

politico.com

Airbnb says in a new analysis that New York state is forgoing $90 million a year in revenue because it won’t tax users of its home rental platform the same way it does hotels. By Airbnb’s count, 42,000 New York residents rent out homes on the platform.

ND: North Dakota voters to decide on tobacco tax hike

inforum.com

North Dakota voters will decide in November whether to raise taxes on tobacco products for the first time since 1993, including a fivefold increase in the cigarette tax that sponsors of the ballot measure hope will motivate adults to quit smoking and prevent young people from starting.

ID: Nuclear reactor to be built in eastern Idaho

postregister.com

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans to build a nuclear reactor on 35 acres west of Idaho Falls. The organization said its coal energy plants will be forced to close because of increased environmental regulation so it needs a cleaner source of energy.

KS: Kansas exports college graduates to other states

ljworld.com

Fewer people who graduate from a Kansas college or university are choosing to stay in the state over the long run. From 2010 to 2014, the number of graduates who remain employed there five years after graduation has been declining.

PA: Lottery sales to debut at Pennsylvania liquor stores

post-gazette.com

For the first time, people in Pennsylvania can get their liquor and lottery tickets in the same place.

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