What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/25

NE: Nebraska lawmakers pass bill to restore felons' voting rights sooner

Felons would no longer have to wait two years after serving their sentences to exercise their right to vote under a bill approved by the Nebraska Legislature. Thirty-eight other states allow felons to vote after they complete their sentences.

CA: California election officials push bond for new voting machines

California election officials want lawmakers to place a $450 million voting-equipment borrowing measure on the June 2018 ballot, saying that many counties' voting machines rely on outdated equipment that make them vulnerable to breakdowns and hacking.

MO: Missouri House backs new abortion restrictions

The Missouri House sent the Senate a bill that would prohibit anyone from donating fetal tissue from an abortion to scientific research and set stricter standards for pathologists to record and track fetal tissue after an abortion procedure.

IN: Indiana governor vetoes public records search fee

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb used his first veto on a piece of legislation that would have allowed Indiana government agencies to charge the public up to $20 an hour for producing public records.

NC: North Carolina House looks to loosen law on hunting during church services

North Carolina dropped its ban on Sunday hunting in 2015, and now legislators are looking to relax the regulations even further by allowing hunting with firearms on Sunday mornings and possibly Sunday duck hunting.

CT: Early indications show Connecticut tax returns short of expectations

Early indications are Connecticut could fall $267 million short of anticipated state income-tax collections, which could eat into the $19.7 billion surplus Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget office has predicted.

VT: Some Vermont doctors balk at new opioid prescribing rules

The doctors said they feared Vermont’s new rules regulating opioid prescriptions and limiting quantities are out of touch with patients' needs. The rules, aimed at combatting the opioid crisis, limit prescriptions and call on doctors to seek other forms of pain management first.

ND: North Dakota governor signs law protecting confidential informants

The law, signed by Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, requires North Dakota law enforcement agencies to execute a written agreement with informants that includes the informant's right to speak with an attorney.

OK: Oklahoma governor orders audit of untested rape kits

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin wants a search of police evidence rooms across Oklahoma for rape kits that have gone untested for years.

WV: West Virginia to charge for entry at 7 state parks, forests

Starting Memorial Day weekend, West Virginia will charge $2 for a day pass and $12 annually at the parks in a pilot project aimed at raising $1 million a year for maintenance and upkeep.

NJ: New Jersey faces a massive shortage of doctors in the next 10 years

New Jersey is on course to be short about 2,500 primary physicians in the next couple of years.

KY: Kentucky governor won’t say who owns the house where his family lives

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin refused to say who owns the Louisville-area house where he and his family have lived for about two months. The Kentucky governor, who also has refused to release his tax returns, said it wasn’t a matter of anybody’s interest.

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