What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/2

Top State Stories 3/2

ND: North Dakota will see a flow of taxes once pipeline opens

North Dakota stands to gain more than $110 million annually in tax revenue after oil begins coursing through the Dakota Access pipeline, an amount that far outstrips the $33 million in costs to police a section of the pipeline amid protests last year.

VA: U.S. Supreme Court blocks Virginia districts over use of race

Justices dealt another blow against the use of race in drawing election districts, demanding further review of 11 state legislative districts that Virginia Republicans designed to ensure that 55 percent of eligible voters were black.

SC: South Carolina House OKs $60-a-year tax hike to repair crumbling roads

House members approved increasing South Carolina’s gasoline tax by 2 cents a gallon each year for the next five years, and other fees for driving, to raise about $600 million a year to repair the state’s roads and bridges. The hikes would cost drivers about $60 more a year.

NM: New Mexico Senate approves minimum wage increase bill

A bill that would increase New Mexico’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $9 an hour is headed to the House after cruising through the Senate with bipartisan support.

NC: You could order a drink on Sunday mornings under North Carolina bill

The Senate bill would change one of North Carolina’s best-known blue laws: The ban on alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.

AR: Arkansas proposal would levy 6.5 percent fuels tax to help pay for roads

The legislation would raise more than $200 million annually to pay for road construction and maintenance. But like other recent efforts, it would require that Arkansas voters have the final say.

CT: Connecticut governor proposes juvenile justice ‘young adult’ category

Renewing a push to make Connecticut’s criminal justice system less punitive for young offenders, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed a new category of "young adult" offenders aged 18 to 21 whose records could be expunged if they stayed out of trouble for four years.

MO: Missouri Senate gives initial approval to discrimination bill

The bill would make it harder to sue Missouri businesses for discrimination by requiring those suing to prove that race, religion, sex or another protected class was a motivating factor for discrimination or being fired, not just a contributing factor.

MS: Fantasy sports bill heads to Mississippi governor

The bill would regulate and tax fantasy sports in Mississippi and charge operators an 8 percent tax on their state revenue, the same as the state tax on casino revenue.

KS: Kansas tax receipts beat estimates again last month

Tax collections in February came in $36.9 million above estimates, the third consecutive month that receipts exceeded new, lowered projections. Still, Kansas lawmakers face a $281 million shortfall that must be covered in the next four months.

HI: Hawaii aid-in-dying bill moves forward

A bill that would allow terminally ill Hawaii residents to receive medication to end their own lives is heading to the Senate floor for a vote, where its prospects for passage are good. It’s unclear how the bill will fare in the House, however.

OH: Fewer Ohio kids qualify for free school lunches

Nearly 750,000 of Ohio's 1.8 million school kids are eligible for the lunch program this year, a 2 percentage point decline and the largest drop since the end of the Great Recession. The number of students qualifying for lunch programs is a good indicator of poverty.

ID: Idaho bill would prevent public access to lawmaker emails

The House bill would rewrite public records law to shield most communications between and among Idaho lawmakers and their staffs. It would also redact identifiable information about private citizens in their communications with lawmakers. Communications between lawmakers and lobbyists would not be exempted.

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