What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/2

Top State Stories 5/2

KY: Legal fight could make Kentucky only state with no abortion clinic

Over the past year, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has blocked a new Planned Parenthood clinic from performing abortions, shuttered another clinic in Lexington and threatened to close one in Louisville. The forceful moves have prompted both sides in the debate to ask if Kentucky could become the only state without a single abortion clinic.

CT: Connecticut faces sharp decline in income tax revenue

Connecticut faces a projected drop in income tax revenue of $1.46 billion in the next two fiscal years. The income tax paid by the state’s top 100 taxpayers this year fell by an astounding 45 percent, and Republicans say it’s because millionaires and billionaires have been moving out of the state for tax reasons.

WY: Hiring freeze for Wyoming state agencies takes effect

With a hiring freeze in effect for almost all state agencies in Wyoming, one department head is asking lawmakers for permission to pare back programs and services. The director of the Wyoming Health Department said it’s difficult for his staff to provide the same level of services to the public because fewer people are working for him.

AR: At local level, marijuana getting mixed reception in Arkansas

Local governments are the key to implementing the voter-approved Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, but some county and city officials say they have questions about how to do so legally and responsibly.  

ME: Maine governor sues attorney general, alleging abuse of power

Gov. Paul LePage sued Attorney General Janet Mills, accusing her of abusing her power by refusing to represent him in federal lawsuits. Maine’s Republican governor and Democratic attorney general have long clashed over legal issues, with Mills declining on several occasions to represent LePage in lawsuits he joined with other Republican governors.

NV: Nevada Senate backs gay marriage proposal

The Nevada Senate approved a proposed constitutional amendment recognizing same-sex marriage, a pre-emptive move to protect gay marriage should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its previous ruling.

TX: Texas pension fights raise fears of police, firefighter shortages

Amid efforts by the Texas Legislature to address immediate pension crises in Houston and Dallas, some see an opportunity to push for big changes to how cities fund pensions. But critics predict such a move could drive first responders away in droves.

GA: Georgia governor signs budget with raises for teachers, state workers

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed Georgia’s record $25 billion state budget, highlighting its 19 percent raises for child welfare workers and increases in payments to families who care for foster children. It also includes 2 percent pay raises for 200,000 teachers and other state employees and more than $1 billion in borrowing for construction projects.

WI: Judge strikes down Wisconsin’s 'cocaine mom' law

A federal judge has declared Wisconsin's so-called cocaine mom statute — meant to provide protection for developing fetuses — unconstitutional in a civil rights lawsuit by a woman who was jailed 18 days while pregnant for refusing to live at a treatment center.

NC: A big push in North Carolina to keep teens out of adult court

Led by the chief justice of North Carolina’s Supreme Court, a phalanx of court and education officials, law enforcement and politicians from both political parties are stepping up their effort to stop trying teenagers as adults in criminal court.

OH: Ohio executions rescheduled while state appeals lethal injection decision

Execution dates for nine death row inmates have been delayed while Ohio continues its appeal of a court decision blocking use of its lethal injection protocol. The next execution is now set for July 26.

OR: Oregon Senate backs gun surrender bill

Under the proposal, an Oregon judge could issue an "extreme risk protection order" if a person is found to pose a risk of suicide or threat to family members or roommates. The person would have to surrender their deadly weapons within 24 hours to a law enforcement officer, gun dealer or third party.

ND: North Dakota legislators balance the books, but some worry budget is unsustainable

North Dakota’s 2017-19 budget has almost $13.6 billion in spending, including $4.3 billion in general fund appropriations. That's in line with general fund spending in 2011-13 but down from the $6 billion approved in 2015-17.

Public Dollars To Help Washington State Inmates Earn College Degrees Romeo and Juliet Laws