What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/22

WI: Wisconsin legislative map ruled illegally partisan

Federal judges struck down Wisconsin’s legislative map as illegally partisan, an unusual ruling that will require the U.S. Supreme Court to once again consider whether political gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

VA: Opioid addiction officially a public health crisis in Virginia

Officials in Virginia are calling opioid addiction a public health crisis and making it possible for anyone in the state to buy naloxone, a drug used to reverse narcotics overdoses.

US: Education secretary calls for end to paddling students

Education Secretary John King Jr. is urging governors and school leaders in the 22 states that allow corporal punishment to replace it with less punitive, more supportive disciplinary practices that he said work better against bad behavior.

PA: Pennsylvania governor vetoes bill that would have delayed ID of police involved in shootings

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed legislation that would have initially kept secret the identity of Pennsylvania police officers involved in a shooting or other use of force incident that resulted in death or serious injury.

IN: Road funding and new taxes are 2017 priorities for Indiana legislators

Indiana's top lawmakers agree that paying for state roads will be a top priority during the upcoming legislative session — and that tax increases will likely be part of the solution.

KS: Kansas seeks private contractor to run troubled state mental hospital 

Kansas is seeking bids from private contractors to run the troubled Osawatomie State Hospital, which lost federal certification a year ago after a critical survey found a “systemic failure” to protect suicidal patients, adequately supervise care and perform required safety checks.

CA: California cities and counties move to impose their own taxes on marijuana

Voters in 37 counties and cities — including Long Beach, San Diego and San Bernardino — approved ballot measures imposing their own taxes of up to 15 percent, on top of the 15 percent state excise tax approved by California voters who passed an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

OH: Ohio Legislature faces an issue-packed lame-duck session

Ohio lawmakers will return for a lame-duck session after Thanksgiving to tackle abortion, renewable energy standards, unemployment compensation, puppy mills and more.

FL: Tourism continues to surge in Florida

Tourists continued to flock to Florida despite the Zika virus, the Pulse nightclub shooting and two hurricanes. There were 85 million visitors to the state during first nine months of the year — the largest number of tourists during any nine months and a 5.5 percent increase over last year.

AZ: Governor strikes deal to reopen Arizona tribal gaming compacts

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed an agreement with 10 Arizona Indian tribes to renegotiate the gaming compacts approved by voters in 2002. The initial deal amends the compacts to increase the number of specific games at Indian casinos, while restricting further expansion of gambling in the Phoenix area.

CT: Sale of GE’s Connecticut headquarters prompts worries over lost tax revenue

General Electric paid $1.6 million annually in property tax for its Fairfield headquarters. But with the purchase of the facility by Sacred Heart University, the town will be out more than $1 million a year in taxes, even with Connecticut’s payment in lieu of taxes program, a local official said.

KY: Kentucky colleges, universities hand out record number of degrees

Kentucky’s public and private colleges and universities handed out a record 65,829 degrees and credentials during the 2015-16 year. That represents a 2.7 percent increase from the year before and a 32.5 percent jump over 10 years. 

Medicaid Costs Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
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