What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/16

  • December 16, 2016

CA: California to regulate energy use of desktop computers, monitors


California’s state energy agency voted to approve new regulations for energy efficiency in desktop computers and monitors to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Computers use more energy than many other consumer electronics.

AK: Alaska governor looks again to Permanent Fund for revenue, while proposing cuts


To deal with a massive deficit, Independent Gov. Bill Walker proposes shaving $123 million in agency spending, at least two days of furloughs for state workers, shutting down work on a proposed $570 million, 50-mile road, and reducing the amount paid to Alaskans from the state’s permanent oil fund.

NE: Nebraska tax collections came up $18.6 million short last month


Nebraska tax collections came in $18.6 million less than expected during November, bringing this year’s projected revenue shortfall to about $900 million below estimated expenses.

ME: Supporters say they have enough signatures to put Medicaid expansion on Maine ballot


Supporters say they have collected enough signatures to put a referendum question on Maine’s ballot next fall if the Legislature doesn’t first expand Medicaid coverage to more individuals.

NC: North Carolina governors, lawmakers clash over executive powers


Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper vowed to sue North Carolina’s Republican Legislature, as the House and Senate voted to sharply limit his appointment powers.

IN: Indiana tax revenue expected to grow, despite current shortfall


Although tax receipts are expected to fall about $378 million short of what Indiana lawmakers budgeted for this year, new projections anticipate revenue will grow more than $1 billion during the next two years.

OK: State task force says Oklahoma will need three new prisons to handle growth


Data from an Oklahoma task force indicates the state’s prison population will increase by 25 percent during the next decade if no legislative action is taken, and three more prisons will need to be built or contracted to handle the projected growth.

SD: South Dakota drug task force recommends expanded wiretapping authority


In an effort to combat methamphetamine use in South Dakota, a state task force has proposed a set of policy recommendations including setting up an interstate drug trafficking task force and allowing wiretapping of cellphones.

MD: Maryland governor proposes repeal of transportation-planning law he tried to block


Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s top priority for Maryland’s upcoming legislative session will be to repeal a law that requires officials to rate and rank proposed transportation projects to determine which should get funding priority. Hogan had vetoed the law last year, but lawmakers overrode it.

AL: Alabama governor creates council to probe opioid epidemic


Republican Gov. Robert Bentley signed an executive order establishing a council to find ways to bring the state’s opioid addiction epidemic under control.

IL: Illinois governor signs law to give identification cards to released inmates


The new law requires the Illinois secretary of state’s office to issue a state ID card at the time of an inmate’s release, clearing a hurdle that has made it difficult for offenders to rebuild their lives.

MO: Turnover rate of Missouri’s prison guards climbs


The share of Missouri corrections officers who quit each year has increased from about 15 percent seven years ago to the current 25 percent. About 1,200 officers are hired annually in Missouri, and about the same number quit each year.

MI: Bill allowing billboards on school land heads to Michigan governor


Michigan lawmakers sent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder a bill that would allow for billboards on public school property along state-managed roadways as a way for cash-strapped school districts to raise money.