What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/7

IL: Illinois House overrides vetoes of income tax increase, budget

Seeking to restore stability to a state government teetering on the abyss, Illinois lawmakers turned aside Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's opposition to a major income tax increase and a spending plan, ending a record-setting impasse. Illinois had gone 736 days without a budget.

TX: U.S. Justice Department asks judge to drop challenge to Texas voter ID law

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department asked a federal judge to end efforts to overturn Texas’ voter ID law, arguing that recent action by the Legislature “eradicates any discriminatory effect or intent” of the 2011 election law. The court filing completes the agency’s reversal from the Obama administration’s approach to the case.

US: Nineteen attorneys general sue education secretary

The 19 state attorneys general, all Democrats, filed a lawsuit against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her decision to delay rules that protect student loan borrowers. The attorneys general allege that DeVos and the federal agency violated the law and decided on the delay without seeking public comment.

CA: California governor plans climate change summit

In a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s disengagement from worldwide climate change efforts, California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled plans for a global environmental summit in San Francisco next year.

HI: Hawaii changes care home rules to allow elderly couples to stay together

Democratic Gov. David Ige signed a bill that's aimed at assuring elderly couples will be able to stay together in community care homes by allowing more than one non-Medicaid patient per home. 

MD: Drug trade group sues Maryland over first-in-the-nation price-gouging law

A generic-drug trade group is suing Maryland over a price-gouging law that is set to go into effect in October, arguing the measure wrongly gives the state power to regulate interstate commerce and business in other states. Maryland is the first state to give its attorney general the power to take legal action against drug companies that dramatically increase the price of off-patent or generic drugs.

WI: Wisconsin governor proposes more reliance on federal money in new road funding plan

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is proposing lowering borrowing to pay for roads by $200 million through cost savings and other administrative actions. At the same time, the state may request 10 times more than it traditionally gets in certain federal money for roads.

OR: Oregon Legislature passes $5.3B transportation funding plan

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the 10-year legislation that will raise gas taxes and car registration fees, tax car and bicycle sales, and allow tolls in the Portland area and impose a new payroll tax to fund transportation upgrades.

VA: Virginia executes first inmate under new protocol

Virginia has executed a man who killed a hospital security guard and sheriff’s deputy despite questions about his mental health. He was the first person to be executed by the state under a new policy that makes the lethal injection process more secretive. 

TN: Tennessee offers free do-over on ACT test

The Tennessee Department of Education is making it easier for high school seniors to retake the ACT this year. Every public school senior will be eligible for one free retake, and the test will be offered at every high school during the regular school day. 

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