What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/4

LA: Cap on Louisiana film credit leads to less spending, job losses in New Orleans

New Orleans has forfeited $200 million in film industry-related spending and has lost about 1,000 jobs since the Louisiana Legislature voted in 2015 to cap the state’s film tax credit program at $180 million, according to Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office.

US: Donations to religious institutions fall

Religious institutions are still the single biggest recipients of overall charity donations, according to a 2015 survey by the Giving USA Foundation. But the amount Americans gave to churches, synagogues, mosques and temples is down by half since 1990.

PA: Federal judge rejects GOP push for statewide Pennsylvania poll watchers

A federal judge in Philadelphia denied the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s bid to allow poll watchers to cross county lines on Election Day. As a result, the partisan observers who monitor voting places and can challenge voters must serve in the county where they are registered to vote.

ME: Maine faces backlog of absentee ballots

A high number of absentee ballot requests from Maine voters overseas has led to a processing backlog at the Secretary of State’s Office, leaving some to wonder whether their votes have reached their destination. But the staff is confident that all ballots will be entered before Election Day.

AR: Arkansas court hears case over birth certificates for children of same-sex couples

Arkansas Supreme Court justices are weighing whether it’s up to them or the Legislature to rewrite the state's birth certificate laws after the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.

MI: Buyer's remorse? Michigan absentee voters can recast ballots 

Michigan is one of the few states where absentee voters can change their minds. And it’s relatively easy to cast a new ballot if the twists and turns of the election cycle have caused a change of heart on a candidate or ballot issue.

GA: 1,400 added to Georgia’s voter rolls during registration extension

More than 1,410 Chatham County residents were added to Georgia’s voter rolls after the voter registration deadline was extended last month due to Hurricane Matthew.

SC: Combining victims services will better help them, South Carolina officials say

South Carolina officials want to combine crime victims services that are now spread over several agencies, saying a single office can better assist them.

CA: Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state experts are still cautious

A rainy October in Northern California has lifted about a quarter of the state out of drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported. But much of Central and Southern California remain locked in what the drought monitor calls “exceptional or extreme drought.”

OR: Oregon officials issue alert for pesticide-tainted pot

The Oregon Health Authority is advising anyone who bought three strains of marijuana flowers that failed pesticide tests to return them to the dispensaries where they were purchased or dispose of them.

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