Illinois lawmakers are one step away from ending a record budget impasse after the Senate overrode Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a tax hike and spending plan. The measures now await action in the House, where 15 Republicans broke ranks with the governor over the weekend to approve the budget package.
Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a two-year $133 billion budget, but not before vetoing an enrollment freeze for Ohio’s Medicaid expansion that he spearheaded in 2013.
New Jersey and Maine ended partial government shutdowns just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, helping Republican Gov. Chris Christie move past the embarrassment of being photographed on a New Jersey beach that had been closed to the public. They were two of nine states that missed their deadlines for enacting budgets in time for the July 1 start of the fiscal year.
A Miami-Dade Circuit judge ruled that Florida lawmakers overstepped their authority in modifying the law to force prosecutors to disprove a defendant’s self-defense claim at a pre-trial hearing. The judge said that under Florida’s Constitution, the change should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court, not the Legislature.
The Washington Legislature approved a paid family leave program that offers workers paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the worker or the worker’s family member. The bill closes the loop on work left unfinished in 2007, when lawmakers created a paid family leave program but never came up with a way to pay for the benefit.
Arkansas is reinstating $60 million that was cut from the state's budget earlier this year after seeing a rebound in sales tax collections over the past two months. The move nearly erases a $70 million budget cut Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in April.
Faced with a surge of children needing foster care and a shortage in foster care homes, Georgia is spending an extra $19 million this year on the program, including a big increase in the daily allowances that help pay for kids’ basic needs and more money for hiring staff.
Judges have broad authority in refusing to lighten the sentences of “three-strike” inmates, despite recent ballot measures aimed at reducing the state’s prison population, the California Supreme Court ruled.
Kansas tax revenue came in more than $72 million above projections for June. The news comes roughly a month after the Kansas Legislature overcame Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto and approved a tax increase expected to raise roughly $600 million annually in the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.
Under a new Virginia law, farmers can now donate edible food crops to a nonprofit food bank and receive up to a 30 percent tax credit for their donation.
Requiring families with multiple state or K-12 school employees to use a single health insurance plan for each family member could save $94 million in Oregon’s general fund over the next two years. The state's largest public employee union said the benefits are part of employees' total compensation, and cutbacks in insurance would necessitate increases in other areas.
Arizona has settled a lawsuit with a national voting-rights group, resulting in an agreement that allows the public to access voter information at a much lower cost, with electronic access to voter rolls to be available for a few hundred dollars rather than thousands.
Iowa budget analysts expect revenue to fall another $104 million short of projections, bringing the year's total budget shortfall to about $350 million. Lawmakers have already made $118 million in cuts to programs and services while transferring another $131 million from the state's emergency cash reserve funds.