What We're Reading Now: Top State Stories 3/2
VT: U.S. Supreme Court rules against Vermont health care law
In a decision involving a case from Vermont, one of 18 states that created so-called all-payer claims databases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a 1974 federal law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database.
SD: South Dakota governor vetoes transgender bathroom bill
Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a measure that would have made South Dakota the first state to bar transgender students from using bathrooms that don't match their biological sex.
LA: ‘Sanctuary city’ policy puts an end to immigration enforcement by New Orleans police
New Orleans police will no longer cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, a sharp departure for a department that until recently actively participated in immigration sweeps and detained people suspected of being in the country illegally.
KS: Kansas tax collections fall again in February
Kansas is reporting that it collected $54 million less in taxes than anticipated in February, and the shortfall will force the state to act again to avoid a deficit this year.
OH: Number of permits to carry concealed guns in Ohio rises
New permits to carry concealed guns rose 23 percent in Ohio last year. Including renewals, 116,140 permits were issued.
TX: University of Texas drafts sexual assault investigation training
Acknowledging that survivors of sexual violence often behave differently than victims of other crimes, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin released an expansive report the state university system will use to train hundreds of officers who handle campus sexual assaults.
WV: West Virginia Senate gives final approval to ‘Uber bill’
The bill requires ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to conduct background checks on drivers and not allow them to accept cash if they want to operate in West Virginia.
FL: Coding isn’t a foreign language, top Florida school administrator says
The Florida Senate has approved a measure that would allow computer coding classes to count toward high school foreign language credit. But the top administrator of the state’s largest school district, for one, thinks that’s a bad idea.
IN: Indiana House votes to claw back incentives after companies move jobs to Mexico
The Indiana House approved an amendment that penalizes companies that move to foreign countries by empowering local governments to claw back property tax incentives the companies were initially granted.
ME: Maine governor proposes eliminating tax on large estates
Republican Gov. Paul LePage is introducing legislation to eliminate the tax that Mainers pay when they inherit large estates. Under current law, estates valued at up to nearly $5.5 million are exempt from the estate tax.
GA: Georgia gambling measures stall for the 2016 session
Efforts to legalize casinos in Georgia have likely failed this year. Another measure that would have created a new division of horse racing with the Georgia Lottery Corp. and asked voters to approve parimutuel betting statewide also stalled.
WY: Wyoming Legislature sends budget bill to governor
The two-year state spending plan headed to Republican Gov. Matt Mead includes about $36 million in K-12 funding cuts — down from the $45 million cut for Wyoming education spending that had been proposed.
HI: Hawaii lawmakers consider ‘mobile courts’
Hawaii Senate panels advanced legislation that would establish mobile courts at community health centers, schools and other public locations to prevent minor, nonviolent cases from clogging up the court calendar.