What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/30

AK: Alaska governor limits annual oil-wealth checks to $1,000

Facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, cut in half the annual checks that give all residents a share of Alaska’s oil wealth. If nothing was done, Walker said the Alaska Permanent Fund — worth about $52 billion — would have been depleted in four years.

OH: Federal judge rules Ohio can purge inactive voters

A federal judge ruled that Ohio’s secretary of state was within his rights to strip thousands of inactive voters from the rolls, rejecting a legal challenge by civil liberties activists who claimed that the purge disenfranchised minorities and the poor.

CA: Marijuana legalization to appear on California ballot

It's official: California voters will decide whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in November. The fall measure comes six years after the narrow defeat of Proposition 19, another pot legalization initiative.

RI: Rhode Island governor signs bills aimed at curbing opioid crisis

The measures signed by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo included Rhode Island’s first attempt to establish legal limits on opioid prescriptions and a requirement that pharmacies transmit information on opioid prescriptions to a prescription monitoring database within one business day of dispensing an opioid.

SC: No solutions yet on South Carolina Confederate flag display

For now, the Confederate battle flag that was removed from the South Carolina State House grounds last July remains wrapped in acid-free tissue paper in a white, acid-free textile storage box in the back of a museum.

TX: Uber, Lyft win deregulation efforts in Fort Worth

The approach chosen by the Texas city avoids more onerous regulations — including requirements for fingerprinting drivers — that proved problematic in Austin and other cities. And it gives Uber, Lyft and others the hands-off regulatory environment they had pleaded for.

DE: Delaware officials introduce guidelines on body cameras

Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies released guidelines for Delaware police departments using body cameras, as part of an effort to bring uniformity to how the devices are being implemented. Seven Delaware police departments use the devices, and the Delaware State Police began a trial run in February. 

CO: As adults legally smoke pot in Colorado, more minority kids arrested for it

Marijuana is legal in Colorado — as long as you're 21 or older. But it's still illegal for kids to possess. And while there isn’t a huge racial difference among juveniles who smoke pot, arrest rates have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos.

MN: Inside Minnesota’s sex offender facility, where no one has ever been released

Minnesota’s civil commitment law gives courts in the state the ability to deem someone an ongoing threat and, even after their sentences are served, keep them locked up indefinitely. Minnesota is one of 20 states across the nation that has a civil commitment program for sex offenders.

KS, MO: Kansas and Missouri in tug-of-war for workers

The battle between the two states to attract employers to Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, has cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, with practically no net job gains on either side to show for it. And there's no signs of letting up.

WI: Majority of manufacturing tax credits go to millionaires in Wisconsin

Eleven individual income tax filers will receive 10 percent of the state's tax credit for manufacturers, according to a new memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Another report shows that more than 78 percent of last year's Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit went to individual tax filers who earn more than $1 million.

AZ: Marijuana campaign tactic in Arizona: Buy American, not Mexican

Marijuana supporters are launching a new theme in their campaign to legalize the drug for recreational use in Arizona. A new billboard says Arizonans would be able to "Buy American and Support Schools, Not Cartels," if voters approve their legalization proposal in 2016.

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