What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/2

  • September 02, 2016

US: Police losing battle to get drivers to put down their phones


Despite laws in 46 states that prohibit texting while driving, the consensus among police, safety advocates and drivers is the problem is only getting worse.

KS: Kansas tax collections come up short — again


State tax revenue for August was about $10 million short of estimates, putting Republican Gov. Sam Brownback closer to having to make more spending cuts. It was the fourth straight month that Kansas has failed to hit revenue projections. Collections have come up short 10 of the past 12 months.

FL: Florida finds mosquitoes with Zika, the first on the mainland


Authorities in Florida found the Zika virus in three mosquitoes trapped in Miami Beach, the first time mosquitoes carrying the virus were found in the continental U.S.

CA: Californians could pay $1 car battery fee for toxic cleanup


Californians who purchase lead-acid car batteries would pay a $1 fee to pay for the cleanup of contaminated property if Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill sent to him by the Legislature.

TX: Texas braces for budget cuts as economy, Medicaid, spending decisions collide


Texas’ Medicaid spending is higher than expected, and last year's tax cuts and the decision to move billions of general-purpose revenue into highways will dramatically shrink the pool of money available for state budget writers in next year’s legislative session.

MN: Minnesota Supreme Court blocks $15 minimum wage from city ballot


Minneapolis voters will not weigh in this November on whether the city should raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, as the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the proposed ballot measure was not a proper subject for an amendment to the city’s charter.

PA: Pennsylvania upholds unprecedented $11.4 million fine against Uber


The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission upheld the $11.4 million penalty it levied against the ride-hailing company for giving rides in the state in 2014 without permission.

AR: Measure allowing casinos in three Arkansas counties makes ballot


Arkansas election officials have approved a ballot measure that would legalize casinos in three border counties. The proposal calls for a five-member commission appointed by the governor to regulate the casinos, and it would require the casinos to pay the state an 18 percent tax on net gambling receipts.

VT: Proposal for Vermont to buy power dams appears to be dead


The proposal would have had Vermont buy a series of 13 power dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in hopes of stabilizing power prices. Instead, state officials are talking about pursing a long-term power purchase from the entity that ends up owning the properties.

LA: Louisiana has higher rate of adult obesity than any other state


Louisiana now has the highest rate of adult obesity in the country, according to the 13th annual State of Obesity report. The obesity rate in the state stood at 36.2 percent in 2015, up from 34.9 percent in 2014 and just 22.6 percent in 2000.