What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/12

  • July 11, 2017

CA: Proposed California climate deal takes aim at toxic air

ap.org

A plan to extend California's signature climate initiative for another decade looks beyond cutting greenhouse gas emissions and takes aim at toxic air in the polluted neighborhoods around refineries and factories.

IL, WI: Wisconsin's budget picture worsens due to Illinois tax hike

lacrossetribune.com

Wisconsin's state budget impasse just got $51 million harder to solve, thanks to higher income tax credits that people who live in Wisconsin and work in Illinois will be able to file.

TX: Shopping for electricity is getting cheaper in Texas

texastribune.org

Between 2006 and 2015, residential electric prices for Texans who live in a competitive market decreased by 17.4 percent, while prices increased by 5.5 percent in other areas, according to a new report.

NH: New Hampshire lottery hoping for jackpot from online games

unionleader.com

New Hampshire’s move into online lottery games was included in the new state budget that took effect July 1, and the new games could begin in 2018. Online lottery sales are expected to generate an estimated $13 million for the education trust fund over the two-year period.

ND: North Dakota counties to add almost 900 jail beds this year

inforum.com

North Dakota counties are expected to add almost 900 jail beds by the end of 2017, increasing capacity from 1,765 to 2,633. Counties said a lack of beds along with costs of transporting inmates and contracting beds are driving the expansion.

NJ: New Jersey bond businesses eye new growth, from immigrants

nytimes.com

Faced with a change in New Jersey law that eliminated financial bail for many defendants, bail bonds businesses in the state are increasingly leaning on what used to be a small sideline: writing bonds for the release of detained immigrants.

NC: New North Carolina law toughens punishment for some domestic violence homicides

newsobserver.com

North Carolina prosecutors can now allege premeditation, and charge defendants with first-degree murder, if there is a history of domestic violence offenses committed against the same person.

AR: Arkansas disabilities services waiting list reduced by 500

arkansasonline.com

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the waiting list for people with developmental disabilities in need of state services has been reduced by 500 to roughly 2,500. He credited a new law that allows Arkansas to use $8.5 million in tobacco settlement money to help pay for home- and community-based services for the disabled.

OR: Oregon bill will set public records deadlines

oregonlive.com

The bill, which Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign, sets a 15-day limit for agencies to release records in most cases. Current law does not include any hard deadlines.

UT: Utah cities criticized for relying on user fees instead of raising taxes

sltrib.com

When Utah cities propose raising taxes, state law requires them to advertise the plan and host a public hearing. Hiking fees draws far less attention, but critics say the practice isn’t transparent.

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