What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/23

NC: Supreme Court rejects 2 gerrymandered North Carolina districts, citing racial bias

The Supreme Court struck down two North Carolina congressional districts, ruling that lawmakers had violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing them. The decision could affect many voting maps, generally in the South.

TX: Texas Senate passes ‘second chances’ bill for nonviolent offenders

Texas job applicants who have committed a single, nonviolent offense would not be required to disclose that offense to potential employers. The bill excludes those whose crime was sexual and violent.

CA: Universal health care in California would cost more than the state budget 

It would cost $400 billion a year to create a publicly funded universal health care system in California, according to a new state financial analysis. California’s proposed general fund and special fund spending for the next budget year is $180 billion.  

CT: Five-year union deal with Connecticut: job security, wage freezes, cost savings

Connecticut state employees would receive no general wage increases for three years and pay more for their pensions and health care under a tentative deal with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy that would save the state more than $1.5 billion over the next two years.

AL: Alabama set to ban crossover voting

Under the measure that Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is expected to sign, an Alabama voter who participates in the primary of one party could not participate in the primary runoff of the other party.

NJ: New Jersey Assembly votes to regulate and tax daily fantasy sports

The bill would impose a quarterly fee of 10.5 percent of gross revenue on daily fantasy sports providers, and require the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to issue permits to fantasy sports operators, including casino licensees and racetracks.

OR: Oregon equal pay bill likely to become law

Oregon lawmakers have sent Democratic Gov. Kate Brown a bill that would ban some practices that can lead to unequal pay between men and women, such as using salary history to screen job applicants. The bill would also give more legal remedies to workers who feel they’re being paid unfairly.

LA: Louisiana officials have no way to execute death row inmates

Seventy-three people sit on Louisiana’s death row, but Louisiana finds itself in the same predicament as many other states with capital punishment: It has run out of its supply of drugs for lethal injections, and pharmaceutical companies whose drugs were being used for the deadly cocktail have largely blocked further access.

WI: Wisconsin governor threatens budget veto over tax hikes

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has vowed to take the unusual step of vetoing the entire $76 billion state budget if it raises property taxes on Wisconsin homeowners.

RI: Kids could spend snow days studying virtually under Rhode Island bill

A Rhode Island Senate committee is considering a proposal that would allow schools to provide at-home virtual education to students if classes are canceled because of inclement weather or another emergency.

MI: Michigan challenges motorists to help boost seatbelt rate

The Michigan State Police is launching a new click-it-or-ticket campaign. Michigan ranked No. 1 for seat belt use in 2009, but dropped to 12th last year.

TN: Tennessee governor signs bill creating 'In God We Trust' license plates

The original version of the bill signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam would have required the phrase "In God We Trust" to be printed on all license plates issued in Tennessee. But sponsors agreed to make the new design optional after the state attorney general raised constitutional concerns. 

Welfare Eligibility Foreign-Born Doctors
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