What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/2

MT: Federal judge upholds Montana campaign disclosure law

Montana's new campaign disclosure law has survived its first test, with a federal judge rejecting arguments that it unconstitutionally interferes with the free speech of groups that want to influence elections without revealing where they get their money or how they spend it.

US: Number of home-schooled students has doubled since 1999

Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children, or 3.4 percent of the student population, were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on the trend.

DC: D.C. city council gives preliminary OK to medically assisted suicide bill

The Washington, D.C., city council gave initial approval to a bill that would allow physicians to prescribe fatal drugs to terminally ill patients. The measure would make the District the sixth jurisdiction nationwide to allow the practice.

KS: Kansas tax collections come in short for the sixth straight month 

State tax revenue came in nearly $13 million short of expectations for October. Since the start of the budget year July 1, Kansas’ tax collections have arrived more than $80 million short of what was projected.

US: Political groups fight for control of state supreme courts

Wealthy powerbrokers and special interest groups have spent a record $14 million in independent money on TV ads for state supreme court seats, institutions that once were considered above politics.

OH: 27 Ohio cities, villages seek income tax increases

Voters in 27 Ohio municipalities are being asked to approve local income tax increases next week. Why? Local officials say cuts in state income taxes and reduced state revenue-sharing have made it hard to make ends meet.

NJ: New Jersey rejects Atlantic City recovery plan

New Jersey officials rejected Atlantic City's recovery plan, saying it was unlikely to achieve financial stability. The decision sets the stage for a possible state takeover of the cash-strapped gambling hub.

TX: U.S. Supreme Court orders dismissal of deaf Texans' suit against state

The lawsuit sought to force Texas to offer sign-language interpreters at driver's education courses, even though the state contracts with a private vendor to provide the classes.

SC: South Carolina panel weighs tax changes

A panel of South Carolina House members is aiming to change the state’s contentious property tax law and tax some sales now exempt from the state’s sales tax, exemptions that cost the state $3 billion a year.

VT: Gaps found in Vermont’s pre-K background checks

Vermont regulators say they have no way of knowing if everyone who works with children in private pre-K programs have submitted to fingerprint-based background checks required by law.

Shuttered Prisons Grandparent Parenting