What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 2/3

US: Illegal border crossings by families drop sharply

The number of women and children illegally crossing the southwest border into the United States dropped by 65 percent from December to January, following widely publicized raids in the first days of this year in which 121 migrants were arrested for deportation.

UT: Utah may offer refineries huge incentives to produce cleaner fuel

Oil refineries in Utah may be offered huge state tax credits to upgrade to produce cleaner fuel — an investment that can cost companies $100 million or more to make.

IN: Indiana House backs bill to limit state environmental rules

The Indiana House has approved a bill that would prevent state agencies from enacting environmental rules tougher than those imposed by the federal government.

FL: Florida House to vote on whether to ban ‘sanctuary cities’

The bill would ban so-called sanctuary cities in Florida, places where local governments don’t cooperate with federal orders to detain undocumented residents. 

DC: District of Columbia proposal would offer cash incentive not to commit crimes

The District of Columbia Council gave preliminary approval to an anti-crime bill that includes a provision to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. The proposal is based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to deep reductions in crime there.

CA: California bills aimed at fixing teacher shortage

The bills would forgive some teachers' student loans, fund teacher residency programs and re-establish a center to recruit teachers for California public school districts.

WA: Washington tests pedestrian alarms for buses

In an experiment to reduce lethal crashes involving pedestrians, Washington state transit agencies have equipped 38 buses with dashboard alarms that flash when people are walking in the driver’s blind spots.

TX: High title insurance costs in Texas spur calls for reform

Complaining that Texans now pay the highest title-insurance rates in the country, a powerful alliance of business and conservative groups is calling for more competition.

AZ: Arizona bill would restrict embryo and fetus research

The Arizona Legislature will consider a bill that would ban the use of an aborted fetus or embryo for research, except in limited circumstances.

KS: Kansas House takes up bill regulating obscenity in K-12 schools

House members are considering a bill that would no longer allow public, private and parochial schools to lean on protection in the law if accused of disseminating materials viewed as harmful to minors in an approved course or program.

NY: New York voters want full-time Legislature, poll indicates

A majority of New York voters say it's time to make the state Legislature truly full-time. But they aren't so sure about giving lawmakers a pay raise in exchange for banning outside income, a new poll indicates.

Demand-Price Parking Historic Preservation