What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/29

PA: Pennsylvania House OKs casino gaming in airports, online

Pennsylvania could become the fourth state to legalize online gambling if a measure to allow casino-styling gaming in airports and online continues to move forward.

CA: California senators move to fortify penalties for sexual assault

A California Senate panel has moved to prevent courts from granting sex offenders probation or suspending sentences after a Stanford swimmer's lenient verdict sparked national outrage. 

MA: Massachusetts bill would let passersby break car windows to free hot pets

Passers-by who spot an animal locked in a hot car would be allowed to smash the car’s window to rescue the pet under a bill approved unanimously by the Massachusetts Senate. The passerby would first have to see if the door is locked, make a quick effort to find a police officer and call 911 to let them know he or she is planning to rescue the animal.

LA: Louisiana may need a short-term loan to pay its bills

Despite raising $1.5 billion in new taxes over the past five months, Louisiana state government may still have to take out a short-term loan to cover some expenses in the fall. Louisiana is on the cusp of experiencing a cash flow problem, meaning that money might not come in quickly enough to cover immediate bills.

IL: Judge orders Illinois to authorize medical marijuana for PTSD

A Cook County judge ruled that Illinois must add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

TX: Laredo's bag ban becomes flashpoint in Texas debate over local control

Lawyers for Laredo merchants argue the city's plastic bag ban illegally conflicts with state law. The case has become a flashpoint in a roiling debate over the limits of local control, and the ruling could strike bag bans across Texas.

WI: Supreme Court rejects Wisconsin’s abortion law appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin’s appeal of a ruling that struck down new restrictions on abortion providers in the state. The decision was largely expected after justices ruled Monday that a similar law in Texas was unconstitutional.

NC: North Carolina lawmakers shelve changes to year-round schools for now

A state proposal that could have forced dozens of year-round schools to switch to a traditional calendar this summer is dead for now, but the tourism industry isn’t giving up on the issue.

ID: New Idaho laws include no-permit gun carry

On July 1, Idaho will become the 10th state to allow people 21 and older to carry a concealed gun without a permit. Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature passed the measure earlier this year despite safety concerns from the state's few Democratic lawmakers, law enforcement officials and even the governor over the lack of any training requirement.

NV: Last-minute hearing called to halt Nevada sex offender notification change

A judge will consider an emergency motion filed by lawyers for 17 unnamed plaintiffs seeking to once again put the brakes on a Nevada law implementing new sex offender registration requirements.

OR: Portland drops contractor in failed $3.9 million online permit plan

A three-year project for electronic building permit processing in Portland is less than halfway finished after three years and millions in management and travel expenses. Frustrated city officials cut ties with the lead contractor, based in Georgia, this month.

DE: Delaware nonprofits escape state government budget cuts

Nonprofits that receive state government funds in Delaware will not be subject to budget cuts after a decision by the state Joint Finance Committee. The committee approved $45.8 million in “grants-in-aid” to nonprofits, which is $800,000 more than last year.

Minimum Wage Opioid Epidemic