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

DC: District of Columbia bill would bar landlords from rejecting people with criminal records

The District of Columbia Council has given preliminary approval to legislation that would bar landlords from automatically denying housing to ex-offenders whose conviction records date back more than seven years. The legislation is designed to help reduce recidivism.

AR: Arkansas governor announces new grant for students in 'high demand' fields of study

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the grant will cover two years of tuition at Arkansas community and technical colleges for study in “high demand” and “high wage” fields, such as welding or computer science.

OH: Ohio Legislature vote to expand where concealed weapons can be carried

Lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that allows concealed handguns to be carried in the public areas of airports and day care centers. It allows Ohio colleges and universities to choose to allow concealed handguns. But local governments could still post signs prohibiting firearms.

KY: Kentucky governor: Transgender bathroom legislation unnecessary, silly

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said Kentucky lawmakers didn’t need to consider legislation to determine where transgender people use the bathroom because the last thing the state needed was more government rules.

TX: Texas to launch massive study of concussions in student-athletes

Texas’s governing body for public high school sports is joining in what will be the nation’s largest effort to track brain injuries among young athletes. Texas has more than 800,000 public high school athletes.

NC: North Carolina lawmakers to return with open-ended agenda

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has scheduled a special session this week for lawmakers to concentrate on flood disaster relief. But lawmakers also may consider adding two members to the North Carolina Supreme Court and scrapping a host of local regulations.

MD: Maryland governor will try to revive a plan to boost manufacturing

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said he would seek to revive a proposal that would provide a 10-year tax exemption for new manufacturers and their employees in areas of Maryland that could benefit from economic development.

CT: Connecticut Supreme Court to weigh validity of cellphone tower evidence

The Connecticut Supreme Court will wade into the divided legal landscape nationwide on the reliability of cellphone tower evidence, in which a “ping” from a cellphone is used to locate a person near the scene of a crime.

WI: Assisted living growing in Wisconsin, but some say regulations not keeping up

Assisted living has grown rapidly in Wisconsin, but officials and advocates say worker training and other requirements haven’t kept up with the increasingly frail condition of assisted living residents, many of whom a decade ago would have been in nursing homes, where workers are better-trained.

MO: Missouri Transportation Department: Pedestrian fatalities a growing problem

With people using their feet more because of concerns over money, health and the environment, the Missouri Transportation Department says the risk of accidents involving pedestrians is increasing.

KS: Conservative Kansas think tank launching its own capital news service

A conservative think tank in Kansas with close ties to billionaire native sons Charles and David Koch has announced it is launching its own news service to cover state government to combat what it sees as bias in traditional news outlets.

Report Offers Ideas for Boosting Employment for People With Disabilities Geography and Health