What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/16

AL, MI: After Paris attacks, Alabama, Michigan governors refuse Syrian refugees

In the wake of Friday’s attacks in Paris, the governors of Alabama and Michigan said they would not accept refugees from the Syrian civil war. The Obama administration has said it plans to increase the number of Syrian refugees accepted in the U.S. to 100,000 by 2017.

TX: U.S. Supreme Court to take up challenge to Texas abortion law

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up a legal challenge to Texas’ 2013 abortion law, a measure that could shut down about half of the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics. The law would require abortion clinics to meet hospital-like ambulatory surgical center standards.

FL: Will fantasy sports find a haven in Florida?

Some state lawmakers who have received campaign donations from the fantasy sports lobby are trying to create a safe haven for the industry in Florida.

WV: West Virginia school board moves to replace Common Core

The West Virginia Board of Education has moved to replace the state’s current Common Core-based K-12 math and English language arts standards with a version not based on the national blueprint.

CA: California still struggling to introduce self-driving cars

California authorized self-driving cars in 2012, but the California Department of Motor Vehicles still hasn't come up with rules that would allow such cars on state roads.

MD: Agencies spar over readiness of Maryland’s new voting system 

Maryland information technology officials are questioning whether the state can successfully implement its new paper-ballot voting system in time for the 2016 election cycle, citing dozens of unresolved hardware and software problems and other issues.

OH: Ohio saves Medicaid dollars as more seniors move home

With Ohio’s aging population increasing demand for long-term care, state officials have stretched Medicaid dollars by boosting the number of elderly, disabled and mentally ill cared for at home at a lower cost than nursing homes.

ME: Disagreements threaten uneasy truce between tribes, Maine

What has long been an uneasy peace between Maine’s state government and Native American tribes that want sovereignty has degraded with clashes on issues ranging from fishing rights to new casinos. The tribes now say their trust in the government of Maine is at an all-time low.

SD: South Dakota court delays leave mentally ill waiting behind bars

South Dakota courts are routinely jailing mentally ill defendants without trial for six months or longer because of a backlog of court-ordered mental health exams, an Argus Leader Media investigation has found.

PA: Pennsylvania food pantries scramble without state funds

Pennsylvania food pantries are struggling to fill their shelves as money to buy products like peanut butter, soup and cereal is tied up in a monthslong state budget stalemate.

VA: Virginia becomes second state to offer sterilization compensation

Those sterilized under the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act, in effect for more than 50 years, will be offered $25,000 one-time payments. North Carolina became the first state to compensate sterilization victims in 2013.

WA: Washington state’s trooper shortage could get even worse

Low pay is worsening a shortage of state troopers in field operations, which covers thousands of miles of Washington state highways. There were 106 vacancies out of 671 positions in October. Many are leaving for departments that pay more within the state.

MO: Opponents of transmission line invoke Missouri’s 'right to farm' amendment

Opponents of a proposed transmission line in northeastern Missouri are using the state’s new “right to farm” amendment to try to derail the project, arguing the line would “permanently remove citizens’ property from production” and prevent them from engaging in farming and ranching.

Top State Stories 11/17 'Triggered' Tax Cuts