What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/8

CA: California ballot propositions rake in a record $473 million in campaign cash

The 17 propositions on the California ballot have set a new state record for donations. Three measures — on prescription drug pricing, a higher tobacco tax and Medi-Cal funding — account for more than half of contributions.

OH: U.S. Supreme Court won't intervene in Ohio voter intimidation case

The U.S. Supreme Court did not intervene in a voter intimidation case from Ohio, in which a federal appellate court had overturned a restraining order brought against Donald Trump's campaign.

US: U.S. steps up enforcement of insurance law to help fight opioid abuse

The Obama administration is stepping up enforcement of laws that require equal insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses, a move officials say will help combat an opioid overdose epidemic.

US: Justice Department deploying poll watchers to more than half the states

The U.S. Justice Department is dispatching more than 500 monitors and observers to watch polling sites in 28 states on Election Day. The number is about a third less than the more than 780 monitors who were deployed during the 2012 election.

LA: As alligator population grows, Louisiana considers putting fewer back into wild

The Louisiana commission that regulates alligator ranching voted to lower the proportion of ranched alligators that must be returned to the wild. The cut — from 12 to 10 percent for alligators that are at least 48 inches long — is a sign the state’s efforts to bolster the population of wild alligators are paying off. 

NJ: Anger over New Jersey gas tax blurs ballot question

Anger over a 23 cent increase in New Jersey’s gas tax has led to calls for voters to shoot down a ballot measure that would direct the tax revenue to transportation projects. Voting down the initiative won’t eliminate the tax increase, but would make it possible for lawmakers to use the money for expenses other than roads, bridges and railways.

WI: Wisconsin’s state forests to see more cutting

Wisconsin officials are earmarking nearly 40,000 more acres of state forestland for intensive logging — a move pushed by the Legislature to provide a fresh source of timber to the forest products industry. But opponents question the need for such action and worry about the potential ecological harm that could come from more logging.

DC: D.C. program helps residents create camera coverage across city

A program in Washington, D.C., allows city residents to use government money to buy home security cameras, as long as they register the devices so police can use them when investigating a crime.

ME: Maine governor’s warning to college students prompts accusations of voter intimidation

Republican Gov. Paul LePage warned out-of-state college students that if they want to vote in Maine, they better register their vehicles in state and get a Maine driver’s license. But Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap called voting a “fundamental right” that is not tied to a driver’s license or vehicle registration.

KY: Kentucky voters can snap away and share their ballots

Nothing in Kentucky elections law prohibits “ballot selfies,” the attorney general's office says, citing an 1890 Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling that said the secrecy surrounding a voter's ballot is inviolate — unless the voter voluntarily removes it.

HI: Hawaii state workers remove ‘love locks’ fastened onto fences, railings

Hawaii state park officials say the locks create an eyesore, and can also weigh down and break a fence, posing a safety hazard. In Hawaii, affixing padlocks to fences at state parks is a littering violation, punishable by a $100 fine, or $500 for repeat violators.

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