The U.S. Department of Justice said Texas officials are teaching citizens and poll officials that Texans without photo ID can still cast a ballot, but only if they truly “cannot” obtain certain forms of ID. In reality, Texans only need to sign a form claiming they have a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining those forms of ID in order to be allowed to vote.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will sign sweeping legislation that sets a tougher target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increases legislative oversight of climate programs and prods California regulators to take stronger steps against local pollution problems.
While some states have been moving to reduce fines for traffic tickets and other violations and limit the share of city budgets supported by fees, Oklahoma lawmakers have increased dozens of fees covering all criminal and traffic offenses.
A superior court judge said "Connecticut is defaulting on its constitutional duty" to fairly educate its poorest children and ordered a new funding formula for public schools. The decision also directed the state to devise clear standards for elementary and high school education and ordered an overhaul of the system for evaluating teachers, principals and superintendents.
A plan to spend most of a $1 billion oil spill settlement with BP on state debt repayments, Medicaid and roads in two Alabama counties is on its way to Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, who said he plans to sign the bill.
People in New Jersey can now text 911 from their cellphones. Officials say texting emergency call centers can be helpful when it is not safe to talk on a phone.
Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took a large step toward making New York one of several states to allow late-term abortions in cases where the mother’s health is in jeopardy or the fetus suffers a fatal complication. He said a 1970 state law, which criminalizes abortion past 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is endangered, did not square with the later Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and other cases.
Current Illinois law that limits how much political action committees can contribute to candidates, but permits political parties and their legislative leadership to contribute as much as they want, is constitutional and can remain on the books, a federal judge ruled.
Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina formed the backbone of state and federal reaction as historic flooding ravaged 20 Louisiana parishes last month. The response was widely praised in the immediate aftermath, but the slog of the longer-term recovery is starting to show that cracks remain in the disaster safety net.
The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from attorneys for the MI Legalize group, making it all but certain that November ballots in Michigan won’t include a marijuana question.
Pennsylvania’s state police and health department have promised to work together to chip away at the state’s backlog of untested rape kits and determine just how many kits have gone untested.
Abortion would be made illegal in Ohio and any that occurred would be classified as aggravated murder, under a proposed ballot measure submitted to Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine to determine if the wording meets constitutional requirements to go to voters.