What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/2

FL: Florida governor wants 5 percent raises for state police officers

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has generally opposed across-the-board raises for all state workers during his six years in office. But he wants the Florida Legislature to approve a 5 percent pay raise for about 4,000 state law enforcement officers in next year's budget.

CA: As Californians become less vigilant about saving water, state eyes stricter standards

With more relaxed standards in effect in most of the state, Californians haven’t been conserving as much as they did last year. Officials said they might require urban water districts seeking to avoid state conservation mandates to prove they have a five-year water supply on hand.

KS: Kansas tax revenues meet lower expectations; No progress made in closing budget gap

State tax revenue barely exceeded the official estimates in November, mainly because Kansas budget forecasters significantly lowered those estimates earlier in the month. That means the state did not add to its looming $350 million budget shortfall and made no progress in closing that gap.

MD: Maryland juvenile justice task force recommends curtailing strip-searches

A task force recommended that Maryland ban strip searches in the juvenile justice system unless there is an "articulated, reasonable belief" that a youth is concealing drugs, keys or anything that could be used as a weapon.

KY: Humbug: No early Christmas paycheck for Kentucky workers next year

State Personnel Secretary Thomas Stephens is going to stop “the long-standing tradition” of rearranging the regular pay schedule in the last month of the year to pay Kentucky’s 34,000-plus state workers before the Christmas holiday in 2017.

MI: Stricter voter ID laws on fast track in Michigan Legislature

The bills would require that legally registered Michigan voters who forget their photo identification on Election Day use a provisional ballot. That ballot would be set aside and not counted until the person provided identification within 10 days after an election at their local clerk's office.

NC: North Carolina reports another tax revenue surplus

North Carolina collected $191 million more in tax revenue than expected through the first third of the fiscal year, driven by more jobs and higher pay. The surplus follows $425 million received beyond what was projected for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

NY: Federal government doesn’t love 'I Love N.Y.' signs.

The big blue signs — hundreds of them — crop up like crab grass along the highways and byways of New York state, enticing travelers to stop and take in the sights. But there is one problem: The federal government says the signs are illegal.

OH: Ohio religious liberty bill wins committee approval, but fate is uncertain

A proposed "Ohio Pastor Protection Act" that opponents say would encourage discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ohioans cleared a House committee. But it’s unclear whether the measure will get a full vote in the current lame-duck legislative session.

OR: Oregon governor proposes cuts, new taxes to close $1.7 billion shortfall

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s $20.8 billion budget — her first since taking office in 2015 — seeks just $897 million in new revenue in 2017-19, mostly by raising taxes Oregon imposes on tobacco, liquor, hospitals, insurers and some corporation owners' incomes.

NE: Nebraska task force calls for emergency mental health crisis center

A Nebraska legislative task force called for an emergency “no-refusal center” where authorities can hold people with mental illnesses who are particularly agitated and potentially violent. The state also needs to update rates paid for services and treatment of people with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems, the panel said.

PA: Pennsylvania’s budget hole is getting deeper 

Pennsylvania's November revenue collections ran 3.8 percent behind budget estimates. Since the turn of the fiscal year in July, the state has collected about $10.8 billion for the General Fund. That's 2.4 percent, or $261.8 million, below estimate.

Incarcerated Youth Environmental Health Laws