What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/17

TX: Texas loses fight to keep Syrian refugees out

Rejecting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to keep Syrian refugees out of Texas, a federal judge dismissed the state’s lawsuit against the federal government over the resettlement of refugees from the war-torn country. Syrian refugees continued to arrive in Texas during the monthslong legal battle.

IL: Illinois pays more to borrow $550 million for road, transit projects

Illinois borrowed $550 million to fund mass transit and road construction projects, paying a higher price in the bond market for its worst-in-the-nation credit rating and record-setting budget impasse.

MO: Tougher rules shrink Missouri welfare rolls

The number of poor people receiving temporary cash benefits in Missouri each month has plummeted, from 109,639 in March 2011 to 37,486 in April. Although the economy has improved since 2011, advocates for the poor say the steep drop is not because more people are finding jobs, but because of efforts to tighten access to benefits.

CA: California lawmakers create research center on gun violence

Legislators approved $5 million to establish the research center at the University of California, saying it will provide statistically sound data on the effectiveness of existing gun laws.

NC: North Carolina lawmakers could throw wet blanket on beach bingo

North Carolina’s for-profit beach bingo parlors have gone largely unregulated for years, but legislation approved in the state Senate this week could sharply cut the parlors’ operating hours and cash prizes.

LA: Pay raises suspended for Louisiana’s state workers next year

Tens of thousands of Louisiana state workers won’t be getting pay raises next year. At the urging of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Civil Service Commission voted to block annual “performance adjustments” for more than 38,000 government workers, called classified employees. State workers are usually eligible to receive a raise up to 4 percent a year if they receive a positive job evaluation.

MI: Michigan governor vetoes bill limiting use of aftermarket parts

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have required Michigan car repair shops to use parts manufactured by the original equipment manufacturers instead of aftermarket parts.

VA: Some incarcerated sex offenders may be able to vote in Virginia

In restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences in Virginia, officials may have also enabled voting by violent sex offenders who are still locked up.

NE: Nebraska Corrections Department to use extra funding to retain, recruit staff

Amid concerns that Nebraska corrections officials aren’t doing enough to recruit and retain staff, the Corrections Department will use a one-time, extra allocation of $1.5 million to pay employees for continuing education and to pay bonuses to those who commute long distances.

DC: District of Columbia convenes constitutional convention

In pursuit of statehood, the District of Columbia has convened the first constitutional convention of this century. Leaders are collecting feedback on how to run the city should it become a state.

IA: Arrest rates higher for black youths in Iowa

Black youths in Iowa are punished at school and arrested five times more often than white youths, and the disparity in arrests is widening, according to a new state report.

WI: Wisconsin needs more health care workers for aging population

Alzhemier's and dementia rates continue to rise in Wisconsin, putting the state on a path to more than double the current number of 110,000 people affected by the disease in the next 10 to 15 years.

Top State Stories 6/20 Cuban Migrants