What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/24
DE: Delaware to distribute Zika kits to pregnant women
Public health officials in Delaware will deliver kits with condoms, mosquito repellent and thermometers to clinics that serve families in an attempt to raise awareness about Zika.
US: Amid heightened scrutiny, it's 'a precarious time' for U.S. police chiefs
The list of police chiefs who have been ousted in the wake of personnel disputes or racially charged episodes involving officers’ conduct is long and getting longer. Since Ferguson, Missouri, exploded in unrest following the fatal police shooting of a black teenager nearly two years ago, chiefs have exited in Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
AR: Arkansas governor signs highway funding plan into law
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a measure that will raise nearly $50 million for Arkansas highways in the coming fiscal year. The proposal will tap into the state's surplus, investment returns and other funds to pay for road needs.
MN: More than 800 sex abuse claims filed under Minnesota law
More than 850 child sex abuse claims, including about 500 against Minnesota Catholic clergy, have been made in the past three years under a landmark Minnesota law sunsetting this week that allowed victims of older abuse cases to have their day in court.
WV: Got raw milk? West Virginia now allows it under some circumstances
West Virginians are now allowed to drink raw milk through animal-sharing agreements — but the ban on selling or distributing it remains in effect out of concern over exposing children to dangerous bacteria.
OK: Budget crisis clips tax credit for Oklahoma’s working poor
In their rush to contend with Oklahoma’s budget crisis, lawmakers voted to eliminate the refundable portion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. The measure would reduce the income of about 200,000 low-income households by $147 a year on average.
KS: Kansas Legislature likely to take up transgender bathroom issue
Kansas lawmakers say they likely will take some action in opposition to a recent guidance letter from the Obama administration instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their adopted gender.
MA: Legislature poised to strengthen Massachusetts’ public records law
The House-Senate compromise would allow Massachusetts judges to make the state, cities, and towns pay lawyers’ fees if a court found they inappropriately withheld public records.
TX: Texas parents sue state over standardized tests
A group of parents is suing Texas to keep schools from using 2016 standardized test scores to rate students — including deciding whether they should advance to the next grade or go to summer school. They say the scores are invalid because the tests weren’t administered in accordance with the time limits set in a new state law.
CA: California proposal would allow car break-ins to save dogs
The bill would allow Californians to smash car windows and break pets out of hot or cold cars without facing a lawsuit. Tennessee has enacted a similar law.
MI: Michigan lawmakers take aim at school expulsions, suspensions
Michigan schools produced more than 1,300 expulsions during the 2014-15 school year, with nearly half of the kids being kicked out for 180 days — the equivalent of an entire school year. Lawmakers, educators and students want schools to have more flexibility in dealing with violations of school policies.
FL: Car insurance rates skyrocket in Florida
Floridians are driving more and getting into a lot more accidents — and their car insurance rates rose 14 percent last year. The state is commissioning a $125,000 study as it weighs whether no-fault insurance should be repealed, as it has been in most other states.