What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/30

Top State Stories 3/30

LA: Louisiana governor unveils tax plan

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to eliminate Louisiana’s federal income tax deduction, remove some exemptions to the state’s sales tax, phase out the corporate franchise tax over 10 years, and lower individual and corporate income tax rates.

CA: California infrastructure plan includes a gas tax hike

California Democrats have struck a 10-year deal that includes increasing the excise tax on gasoline by 12 cents a gallon and on diesel fuel by 20 cents a gallon to pay for $52 billion worth of road and bridge repairs and anti-congestion projects.

TN: Tennessee Supreme Court upholds lethal injection method

The Tennessee Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the state’s lethal injection procedure, a decision that potentially clears the way for a pharmacist to compound a hard-to-obtain execution drug.

MO: Missouri House votes to repeal public construction wage law

The Missouri House took a key first step toward repealing the state's "prevailing wage" requirement for public construction projects, the latest in a series of moves by Republican-controlled states to limit union powers.

NV: Nevada Senate OKs bill to ban ‘helicopter hunting’

The measure would outlaw the use of helicopters to fly hunters to remote Nevada locations to shoot big game.

US: Drug overdose deaths among young adults surge in suburbia

Premature deaths among those aged 25-44 were way up in 2015, largely a result of a surge of drug overdoses in suburban areas, a new report finds. A rural-urban and racial divide also is evident in the data: Young white adults in rural areas were more likely to die by suicide or overdose, while homicides by firearms were much more common for young black victims.

AR: Arkansas governor signs 'sex selection' abortion ban bill

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a measure that would impose fines and prison time on Arkansas doctors who perform abortions that are based solely on whether the mother wants to have a boy or girl.

FL: Florida House approves term limits for justices and judges

Justices on the Florida Supreme Court and judges on state appellate courts would be forced out of office after 12 years, under a constitutional amendment passed by the Florida House. The measure would be the first of its kind in the country. 

MS: Mississippi lawmakers approve domestic abuse divorce reform

The Mississippi Legislature has unanimously passed a bill that would allow abused spouses to more easily get a divorce, the first major change to the state’s antiquated divorce laws in more than 40 years.

IA: Iowa weighs constitutional update for the digital age

The Iowa Constitution would offer protections against unreasonable searches and seizures of Iowans' electronic communications and data under a constitutional amendment advancing through the Legislature.

TX: Texas Senate approves measure that requires schools to teach teens about interacting with police

The State Board of Education and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement would work together to establish instruction on interacting with law enforcement for students in grades 9-12. Driver education and safety courses also would include instruction on what to do during traffic stops.

WV: West Virginia House OKs using drug lawsuit money for treatment

The House of Delegates voted to take $24 million from recent lawsuit settlements with drug companies and use it to add beds at drug treatment facilities across West Virginia.

AK: Alaska's 90-day session gets extended — again

For the past two years, Alaska lawmakers have worked beyond their 90-day session limit. Now they're headed into overtime again, and some lawmakers are debating whether the limit makes sense. 

New Jersey Governor Tapped to Lead White House Opioid Commission Rural Jobs