What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 8/17

US: Number of women in jail has grown at far faster rate than men

The number of women held in the nation’s 3,200 municipal and county jails for misdemeanor crimes or who are awaiting trial or sentencing has increased significantly since 1970 — from fewer than 8,000 to about 110,000 in 2014. That’s a rate far higher than men, a new study finds.

LA: Louisiana governor: 40,000 homes damaged in flood disaster

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said at least 11 people have been killed, 40,000 homes have been damaged and 30,000 people rescued from historic floods in Louisiana.

CA: California bill that would allow more felons to vote heads to governor

The California Senate sent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would allow tens of thousands of felons who are not currently imprisoned or on parole to vote.

U.S. Federal government to help states fight voter fraud

The U.S. government is offering to help states protect the Nov. 8 election from hacking or other tampering, in the face of allegations by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that the system is “rigged” and easy to manipulate.

CO: Coloradoans to vote on assisted suicide

Colorado voters will decide in November whether to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, a proposal opposed by some religious and disability-rights organizations.

NJ: New Jersey governor signs bill banning investment in firms that boycott Israel

Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill that bars the state Treasury Department from investing public pension funds in companies that refuses to do business with Israel. New Jersey is the third state, after Florida and Illinois, to buck a movement that encourages boycotting Israeli goods and services.

TX: Texas will ask U.S. Supreme Court to keep strict voter ID law in place

A federal appeals court ruled in July that Texas’ voter ID law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters. It’s unclear whether Texas will file an emergency appeal or go through the standard process, which could make it less likely the stringent ID rules will be in place for November’s elections.

SC: South Carolina budget narrowly misses estimate

Revenue to the state of South Carolina grew by 4.3 percent during the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s less than the 4.6 percent growth state economists had predicted and will prompt $10.3 million worth of spending cuts.

US: U.S. appeals court deals setback to federal prosecutors in medical marijuana cases

The U.S. Justice Department cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug’s sale for medical purposes, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

MD: Maryland public pension system misses investment target

Maryland’s $45.5 billion investment portfolio earned 1.16 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30, well below the fund’s annual objective of 7.55 percent. It’s the second year in a row the public pension system has missed its earnings target.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court deals blow to effort to cap drug prices

Justices invalidated thousands of signatures submitted for a proposed law capping prescription drug prices in Ohio, which means the Legislature won’t have to act on the proposal this year.

MS: Mississippi schools prep for loss of after-school programs

School districts across Mississippi are preparing for the likelihood that there will be no federal funding for after-school programs that serve about 29,000 students this school year after the state overspent the target money in the last school year.

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