What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/24
IN: Indiana governor sued for halting Syrian refugee resettlement
The American Civil Liberties Union sued Republican Gov. Mike Pence, challenging his power to block Syrian refugees from resettling in Indiana.
US: Worldwide travel alert as Thanksgiving nears
Americans should be alert to the possible travel risks, especially during the holidays, following increased threats from militant groups around the world, the U.S. State Department said in issuing an alert that will be in effect until Feb. 24.
TX: Texas wants more time to appeal president’s immigration plan
Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to answer President Obama’s immigration appeal, a delay that could prevent the plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation from taking effect during Obama’s time in office.
PA: Pennsylvania governor proposes sales tax hike of more than 1 percent
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf proposes a 1.25-percent increase in Pennsylvania’s sales tax to 7.25 percent, making the state’s sales tax rate the second highest in the country.
OK: Does Oklahoma need a boom-and-bust fund?
Oklahoma has a Rainy Day Fund that can be used to close budget holes when tax revenue declines, but it won’t be enough to solve state budget problems caused by lagging oil prices. That's why Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger says the state may want to consider a new budget stabilization fund.
MD: Maryland Supreme Court approves sweeping changes in settlement payouts
The changes will drastically change how companies purchase the rights to legal settlement payouts, effectively remaking how a notorious industry does business with some of Maryland’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
ME: Maine presses to prohibit soda, candy purchases with food stamps
Maine’s health department said it would seek a federal waiver so it could prohibit so-called junk food purchases within the food stamp program.
CT: Connecticut governor calls for denying guns for those on terror watch list
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy called on top congressional leaders to pass legislation that would prohibit the sale of firearms and explosives to anyone suspected by the federal government of being a terrorist.
WI: Overtime pay in Wisconsin’s prisons spikes with staff shortages
Wisconsin corrections workers logged nearly 1.3 million hours of overtime between July 2014 and June 2015—about 85,000 more than the state’s previous fiscal year and 396,000 more than in 2009-10.
MO: Missouri auditor finds Sunshine Law violations
Violations were found mainly in Missouri county governments, school districts and cities. They included discussing topics in private that should be reviewed in public, not adequately documenting why closed meetings were necessary and not properly documenting decisions made in closed session.
FL: Florida approves first medical marijuana ‘nurseries’
Five Florida plant nurseries have been chosen to grow and distribute the first legal marijuana in the state—something patients were supposed to have access to this past January.