What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/25

KY: Kentucky governor restores voting rights to some felons

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order that will automatically restore the right to vote to about 180,000 felons in Kentucky who have served out their sentences and meet other criteria.

US: U.S. in the middle on many global education indicators

The U.S. has fallen behind other nations at many levels, from prekindergarten enrollment to the percentage of adults with advanced degrees, a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds.

DC: Hotel workers push for Airbnb regulations in Washington, D.C.

Hotel workers in the District of Columbia want the City Council to advance legislation that would require Airbnb hosts to obtain licenses and submit to inspections. The bill would also prevent property owners from using Airbnb to rent out multiple units at a time. 

MN: Minnesota eyes reduced sentences amid prison overcrowding

Faced with crowded prison populations and rising costs, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission has tentatively approved a plan that could significantly reduce how long certain drug offenders are behind bars.

MI: Who knew? Kindergarten is optional in Michigan

For parents having trouble deciding whether their 5-year-old is ready for kindergarten, a bill under review in the state House Education Committee would make the decision easier for them. It calls for full-day, mandatory kindergarten enrollment for 5-year-olds.

DE: Delaware lawmakers urged to apologize for slavery

Delaware's Human Relations Commission urged Democratic Gov. Jack Markell and state lawmakers to issue a formal apology for slavery.

AZ: In Arizona, lobbyists disclose spending; you just don't know on whom

Records largely fail to disclose the identities of Arizona lawmakers on whom lobbyists spend money. Less than 14 percent of the roughly $333,000 spent to lobby them in the first half of this year was tied to lawmakers by name.

FL: Film industry pushes for extension of Florida’s incentive program

Florida’s current incentive program for the film industry has used up its $296 million and will end in July, but film industry advocates are stepping up lobbying efforts to extend it.

GA: Georgia legislation would increase age for driver’s license to 17

Concerned over a series of teen driving deaths, an Atlanta lawmaker is sponsoring legislation to increase the age at which a teen could get a license from 16 to 17. Currently, Georgia law mandates that teens wait until 17 if they haven’t taken driver education training.

HI: First state ban on wild performing animals advances in Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture Board has approved a proposed rule change that would define “dangerous wild animals” and ban importing them for exhibition or public performance. The rules would make an exception for zoos and filming for movies or television.

CA: California lawmakers delve into legality of fantasy sports

Legislative debate is brewing on whether fantasy sports sites, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, constitute illegal gambling, and whether they should be licensed or shut down in California.

UT: Starbucks liquor license may be up to Utah Legislature

Can Starbucks sell wine and beer? The Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission wants that question answered — preferably by the Legislature — before granting a state liquor permit to the national coffee chain.

Welcoming Cyclists Juvenile Justice