What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/28

Top State Stories 6/28

PA: Pennsylvania to set policy limiting release of police video

Pennsylvania is poised to exempt police audio and video recordings from its public-records law and give police departments broad discretion over when to refuse requests for copies of them. The bill covers all audio and video recordings by officers, including those from body and dashboard cameras.

DC: Washington, D.C., issues gender neutral driver’s licenses

Washington, D.C., has become the first jurisdiction to offer a gender neutral marker on driver's licenses and identification cards. Oregon will start issuing similar documents July 1.

ME: Maine Senate votes to scrap ‘ranked choice’ voting

The Maine Senate took the first step in repealing a voter-approved election law that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The repeal movement follows a Maine Supreme Judicial Court opinion that a key part of the law is likely unconstitutional.

OR: Oregon could be first state to regulate work schedules

A bill that would make Oregon the first state in the nation to regulate employee work schedules is headed to the House for a final vote. If the bill passes, next year large employers would have to provide workers with an estimated schedule seven days before the first day of that week’s work.

IL: Illinois is in a $6B budget hole and flirting with junk

For the third year in a row, Illinois is poised to begin its fiscal year July 1 with no state budget and billions of dollars in the red. If that happens, S&P Global Ratings says Illinois will probably lose its investment-grade status and become the first U.S. state on record to have its general obligation debt rated as junk.

MN: Judge orders temporary funding for Minnesota Legislature amid legal fight

A county judge has ordered the state of Minnesota to continue funding the state House and Senate through Oct. 1, ensuring that the Legislature can keep operating for at least three more months amid a legal battle with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

TX: El Paso joins suit against Texas immigration law

The El Paso City Council’s vote to join Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston means Fort Worth is the only major Texas city that hasn’t registered its opposition to the "sanctuary cities" law. The measure would allow local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and would punish local officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

CA: California governor approves $183B budget

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a $183.2 billion budget, a spending plan with significant boosts for public schools and a variety of programs to help California's most vulnerable residents. The action largely ratifies the plan approved by the Legislature.

MO: Missouri Supreme Court backs confining sex offenders indefinitely

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a state law allowing two sex offenders to be committed indefinitely to mental institutions after prison is constitutional. A public defender for the men had argued their commitments were punitive, meant lifetime confinement, and amounted to second punishments after they already served time in prison.

CT: Connecticut governor signs bill to allow state’s third casino

Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed legislation that will allow the tribal operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to open Connecticut’s third casino. The tribes chose East Windsor as their preferred location to blunt the competitive threat of a casino and entertainment complex now under construction in Springfield, Massachusetts, by MGM Resorts International.

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