What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/28

MI: Michigan reaches deal with Flint to replace 18,000 lead-tainted water lines

Michigan and the city of Flint agreed to replace at least 18,000 home water lines by 2020 under a sweeping deal to settle a lawsuit over lead-contaminated water. Under the settlement, the state will pick up the bill with state and federal money, setting aside $87 million with another $10 million in reserve.

CA: New parole rules released as California prisons near court-ordered cap 

The proposed rules from the California department of corrections would allow nonviolent felons to seek parole at the conclusion of the base term for their primary offense, before serving additional time for other charges. The plan also expands the early release credits inmates can earn to reduce their sentences.

KS: Facing a lid on property taxes, city and county officials in Kansas prepare for budget cuts 

Local government officials in Kansas are pushing the Legislature for changes in a law that imposes a lid on how much property taxes can be raised starting July 1. Bills that would do that haven’t been called up for a vote.

NV: Bill would allow judge to decide on sex offender registry for Nevada youth

The proposal would let Nevada judges decide if a juvenile sex offender has to register and appear in the public sex offender database while they are a minor and after they turn 21.

PA: Nine months later, Pennsylvania legislators still at odds over gaming expansion

Nine months after deciding to expand gambling, Pennsylvania legislators haven't agreed on how to do it. The latest proposal calls for legalizing video-gaming terminals, allowing patrons of bars, clubs and even truck stops to play slots or poker.

TX: Texas Senate tentatively approves voter ID fix

The Texas Senate tentatively approved legislation that would revamp the state’s voter identification rules, a response to court rulings that the current law discriminates against minority voters. The bill would add options for voters who say they cannot “reasonably” obtain one of seven forms of ID currently required at the polls.

NJ: New Jersey set to boost transportation spending

The supplemental bill signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie delivers some $260 million in construction funds for New Jersey roads and $140 million in transit construction funding.

CO: Colorado lawmakers introduce a $26.8 billion state spending bill 

The spending bill unveiled by Colorado lawmakers offers a modest increase in state employee salaries and education at the expense of cuts to hospitals.

ND: North Dakota Senate approves bill that reduces oil spill reporting

Under the bill, the oil industry would no longer have to report spills of oil, produced water or natural gas liquids that are less than 10 barrels, or 420 gallons, if the spills stay on the well site or facility location. The reporting exemption only applies to North Dakota oil wells and facilities constructed after Sept. 1, 2000.

WV: West Virginia college and university tuition more than doubles over 15 years 

The average tuition at West Virginia’s public colleges and universities increased by about $4,200, or roughly 147 percent, in the past 15 years, a new report finds, as lawmakers debate how much to cut higher education to balance next year’s state budget.

SD: South Dakota House fails to override governor’s vetoes of two gun bills

The South Dakota House failed to override Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s vetoes of two bills that would have made it easier to carry concealed handguns.

AR: Arkansas House wants to make it harder to amend constitution

The Arkansas House approved a proposed constitutional amendment that, if referred to the November 2018 ballot and approved by voters, would make it harder to pass constitutional amendments.

Iowa Bill Would Prevent Localities From Raising the Minimum Wage Sex Trafficking
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