What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/15

CA: California to repeal controversial welfare policy

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to repeal California’s so-called maximum family grant policy, which prohibits people from receiving more welfare income if they have additional children while receiving public assistance. The change will cost the state about $220 million a year.

CT: Budget cuts force Connecticut courthouse closings

Juvenile courts in three Connecticut cities and a district courthouse in another have been closed following a $77 million cut in the judicial branch’s budget. Several long-established educational and treatment programs that helped keep juvenile and adult offenders out of jail also have been eliminated.

ND: North Dakotans reject corporate farming measure

North Dakota voters rejected a law enacted last year that changed decades of family-farming rules in the state by allowing corporations to own and operate dairy and hog farms.

VT: Vermont governor opposes idea of stricter state gun control laws

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin remained steadfast in his opposition to Vermont enacting stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Florida. Shumlin said state laws do little to stem the supply of guns because the next state over could make it easier to get weapons.

NY: Alcohol soon will flow at Sunday morning brunch in New York

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have an agreement that will allow sales of booze at New York bars and restaurants starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays — two hours earlier than current law allows.

AK: Alaska’s credit rating gets another downgrade

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Alaska’s credit from AAA to AA+, the third of the three major credit rating agencies to do so. Fitch pointed to the state’s budget deficit and only modest efforts by lawmakers to match spending with revenue.

UT: Half of Utah’s lakes don't meet water quality standards

A new state report says more than half of Utah lakes and nearly half of its streams don't meet water quality standards because of metal contaminants and algal blooms.

TX: Texas to tie car registration renewal to child support

The Texas attorney general’s office plans to employ the new tool beginning this fall against parents who haven't paid child support for at least six months. The state already can revoke the driver's, professional or recreational licenses of evaders, but it said adding vehicle registration should shore up compliance.

PA: Airbnb will collect hotel tax in Pennsylvania

Airbnb has agreed to collect Pennsylvania’s 6 percent hotel occupancy tax, which is expected to generate about $1 million in new revenue for the commonwealth.

MO: University of Missouri opens physician training campus in Springfield

The new campus, a partnership between the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the Springfield health systems, was created to help address a critical shortage of physicians in the state.

NC: North Carolina Senate considers constitutional limit on state income tax

A Senate committee approved a bill that would ask North Carolina voters in November to impose a constitutional 5.5 percent cap on state income tax rates.

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