What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 4/13

NC: North Carolina governor wants to change, but not scrap, bias law

After criticism over a new law that limits LGBT protections, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has ordered anti-discrimination rules be expanded for state employees and asked lawmakers to restore the ability of all workers to sue over employment bias in state court.

NE: Nebraska lawmakers OK $450 million roads infrastructure bank

The bank, intended to speed work on Nebraska's expressway system and other highway projects, will get up to $50 million from the state’s rainy day fund and $400 million over the next 17 years from the gas tax increase lawmakers approved last year.

US: 11 jails to get millions of dollars to overhaul how they operate

Eleven U.S. jail systems will receive millions of dollars in grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to overhaul operations to reduce their inmate populations by as much as a third in some cases.

LA: Louisiana governor’s latest budget proposal would hit college scholarships, hospitals

Thousands of college students could lose scholarships, and safety net hospitals and clinics could possibly be closed under the latest state budget plan outlined by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. 

AZ: Arizona House reverses stand; Reporters will be allowed on the floor

Arizona House leaders reversed themselves and announced that the news media will be allowed to access the chamber’s floor for the rest of this session without having to undergo a background check.

OK: 1,000 Oklahoma education jobs in jeopardy amid budget cuts

A new statewide survey found Oklahoma public schools could slash another 1,000 jobs, and more than 100 school districts may switch to four­-day school weeks or slash school days to help balance their budgets.

CA: California weighs lifting statute of limitations on sex crimes

After hearing testimony from three of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, a California Senate committee approved a bill that would allow sex crimes to be prosecuted no matter when they occurred.

VA: Virginia issues emergency room guidance for reducing opioid abuse

In an effort to reduce the number of opioid-related deaths in Virginia, the state issued 14 recommendations that caution against over prescribing the drugs and urge better communication between emergency room doctors and primary care physicians.

KS: Kansas governor vetoes bill meant to eradicate blighted property

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed legislation that would have made it easier for cities and counties to take control of abandoned property, saying the measure could unjustly deprive citizens of their property rights.

MN: Minnesota House OKs daily fantasy sports bill

The bill declares daily fantasy sports to be a game of skill, explicitly authorizing them in Minnesota. That's contrary to the approach regulators and prosecutors have taken in other states, where operators have been declared illegal and forced out of the state.

WI: Wisconsin's wrongfully convicted continue to push for more compensation

Wisconsin offers the lowest compensation rate in the country to people who have been wrongfully convicted. A bill stalled in the state Senate that would have provided a tenfold increase in the amount the state pays people who serve time in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

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