What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 10/7

  • October 07, 2016

US: Obama administration quietly delays thousands of deportation cases

nytimes.com

The delay in deportation proceedings for recent immigrants will allow more than 56,000 of those who fled Central America since 2014 to remain in the U.S. legally for several more years.

ME: Millions flowing into Maine to influence referendum results

pressherald.com

Almost $10 million has flowed into efforts to influence Maine’s November referendum results, much of it from outside the state. Contributions supporting a measure that would require background checks on private gun sales and transfers have topped $3.7 million. Backers of two other ballot initiatives — marijuana legalization and a tax on high earners to fund education — have taken in more than $3 million.

CA: California’s recycling crisis sends billions of bottles and cans into landfills

bloomberg.com

Cheaper commodity prices, plus lower Chinese demand for America’s used bottles and cans, have upended the economics of California’s recycling industry. Over the past two years, the state’s recycling rate has fallen enough to relegate more than 2 billion containers a year to landfills.

NY: New York state to eliminate cash option for paying tolls

nytimes.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York will eliminate tollbooths at all Metropolitan Transportation Authority bridges and tunnels next year and replace them with automatic tolling in an effort to reduce congestion. Cars without an E-ZPass sensor will have their license plates recorded by camera, and a bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

US: U.S. government will limit election observers

washingtonpost.com

The Justice Department is significantly reducing the number of federal observers stationed inside polling places in next month’s election at the same time that voters will face strict new election laws in more than a dozen states.

WY: Wyoming proposal would make body camera footage private by default

wyomingnews.com

A proposal from a Wyoming task force would make all police body camera footage private by default. The public, media, law enforcement or others could ask a court to have the footage released if there is a public interest in doing so. Some agencies are reluctant to use body cameras because current state law does not address how the recordings should be handled.

MI: Michigan governor signs third-grade reading bill

freep.com

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation that would require Michigan schools to hold back third-graders who are more than a grade level behind in reading. The new law allows parents to request an exemption to allow their child to move on to the fourth grade.

GA: Georgia voters urged to register online as Hurricane Matthew looms

ajc.com

With Georgia’s voter registration deadline looming Tuesday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has urged residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew to take advantage of the state’s online and mobile voter access points.

NM: New Mexico Legislature approves budget fix, scuttles effort to reinstate death penalty

dailyprogress.com

A package of bills sent to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez would shore up New Mexico’s general fund by making $171 million in cuts to agency spending and by sweeping idle cash from agency accounts, collecting money from stalled construction projects and closing tax-incentive loopholes. The Senate adjourned without discussing a House-approved bill to restore the death penalty for some crimes.

TX: Poverty is going down in Texas, but food stamp need isn't

texastribune.org

The disparity illustrates that the need for food assistance is not limited to those living in poverty, nutrition advocates and researchers said. Only about half of Texas households receiving food stamps were below the poverty level in 2015.

NV: Nevada task force pushes for net metering, energy efficiency, consumer protection

lasvegassun.com

Among the 30 recommendations submitted by a state task force are proposals to restore favorable rooftop-solar rates and limit the amount of energy that Nevada takes from fossil fuels. Another directs regulators to encourage electric vehicles and balance fuel-tax revenue issues.

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