What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/20

US: Retailers agree to drop on-call scheduling after state probes

Six U.S. retailers will no longer require about 50,000 hourly employees to check whether they are still needed for work and risk having their scheduled shifts canceled with little notice after attorneys general in eight states and Washington, D.C., asked about their scheduling practices.

NC: North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law appears headed for repeal

The North Carolina Legislature plans to have a special session Wednesday to consider repealing the contentious law curbing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

US: Obama administration revamps child support rules for prisoners

The rules would require states to allow prisoners to seek to lower their child support payments while they are in prison. The move aims to avoid large debt loads after their release, which can lead to reincarceration.

WV: Drug firms poured millions of painkillers into West Virginia as overdose deaths rose

Between 2007 and 2012, drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers. The shipments amounted to 433 pain pills for every man, woman and child in the state.

AZ: Arizona bill would make flag theft a felony

The 2017 legislative session is still a month away, and Arizona lawmakers have already started pitching their ideas. Among the dozen bills introduced so far is a proposal to make it a felony to steal an American flag.

OH: Ohio governor signs bill to block city minimum wage proposal

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation that blocks next year's special election vote on whether to raise Cleveland's minimum wage from $8.10 to $15 an hour.

HI: Hawaii governor says state’s classrooms due for a significant boost

Democratic Gov. David Ige said he wants to invest a large portion of next year’s state budget in public education. Hawaii’s Board of Education submitted a budget request that seeks a $50 million boost in per-pupil funds aimed at helping schools narrow achievement gaps between high-needs students and their peers.

NM: Lack of funds hits New Mexico Public Defender Department hard

In the four years since New Mexico voters approved making the state Public Defender Department a stand-alone agency, independence has not meant prosperity. Chronic funding problems plague the agency, which provides legal defense for those who can’t afford their own attorneys.

MO: Incoming Missouri governor opposes public funding for St. Louis soccer stadium

Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens said he opposes public funding for a Major League Soccer stadium in St. Louis, calling the project "welfare for millionaires." Missouri's Development Finance Board is set to vote on a request from the city for $40 million in tax credits to go toward the $200 million stadium plan.

US: Casino industry hopes having a casino mogul in the White House pays off

Republican Donald Trump will be the first U.S. president to have ever owned a casino, and the gambling industry is wondering how he will handle three major issues: internet gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

MI: Cost of driving in Michigan about to rev upward as fees, gasoline tax jump

Increases in vehicle registration fees and state gasoline taxes go into effect in Michigan Jan. 1 as part of a 2015 road funding plan, which is expected to raise an additional $600 million annually for transportation purposes.

MA: Massachusetts and other New England sex laws outdated

In Massachusetts and some nearby states it’s legal for a teacher to have sex with a high school student, as long as the student is at least 16 and consents.

Criminal Deportations Unmarried Millennials