What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/22

NC: North Carolina Legislature fails to repeal transgender ‘bathroom law’

The Senate voted down a repeal of a law that restricts bathroom access for transgender people, which has cost North Carolina millions of dollars in lost jobs, sports events and boycotts. The House didn’t vote, and the special session to repeal the law adjourned.

OK: Oklahoma budget shortfall looks to be even greater

Oklahoma's budget deficit will be $868 million next year, higher than recent estimates as sustained low oil prices, tax cuts and corporate tax credits continue to weigh on the state's finances.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court overturns limits on DNA testing in murder cases

Justices said an Ohio law that limits the appeals of death row inmates who are seeking DNA testing is unconstitutional.

IL: Illinois judge halts requiring doctors from having to give abortion information

An Illinois judge has suspended a state requirement that health care providers who oppose abortion must give information or referrals to patients seeking the procedure.

ME: Maine governor says referendums are ‘just recommendations’

Republican Gov. Paul LePage claimed the Maine Constitution says approved ballot referendums are just “recommendations” that “the Legislature doesn’t even have to enact.” Experts on the Maine Constitution say LePage’s interpretation is incorrect.

CA: California pension fund cuts investment forecast, raising government pension costs

The decision by the California Public Employees' Retirement System means substantially higher pension contribution rates for the state, local governments, school districts and at least some public employees. The state says its bill will increase by $2 billion, including a $1 billion-a-year hit to the general fund.

TX: Texas moves to cut funding to Planned Parenthood

Texas plans to block about $3 million in Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood operations in the state, a move the reproductive health care group said could affect nearly 11,000 low-income people.

WI: Lawmakers demand University of Wisconsin drop 'The Problem of Whiteness' course

Two leading lawmakers are threatening that the university systems budget requests could be denied if the University of Wisconsin-Madison doesn't remove a course called "The Problem of Whiteness" from spring semester offerings.

LA: Louisiana State Police to begin wearing body cameras in 2017

All 700 officers who are on patrol will receive two cameras each to wear while on duty. The agency wants to ensure that every Louisiana trooper has a spare camera available in case one breaks or the battery dies.

AR: Arkansas sets number of state licenses for medical marijuana growing

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission voted to allow as many as five cultivation facilities in the state once rules about growing, processing and distribution of the drug are finalized.

KY: Kentucky’s ‘Year of the Bible’ will be 24 months

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has declared 2017 the “Year of the Bible” in Kentucky, although he proclaimed 2016 the “Year of the Bible” last December.

Medication for Addicts Medical Marijuana Licenses