What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/25

NJ: New Jersey moves to regulate (and tax) fantasy sports companies

The new law sets guidelines for companies that operate daily fantasy sports leagues in New Jersey and imposes a 10.5 percent tax on the companies' winnings. It’s expected to produce at least $6.6 million in revenue for the state each year.

CA: Executions could resume in California

The California Supreme Court largely upheld a measure passed by voters to speed up executions but diluted a key provision aimed at ending a backlog of appeals. Backers of Proposition 66 predicted executions would resume in months unless Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown elects to commute sentences. There has not been an execution in California in more than 10 years.

TX: Texas House map must be redrawn, federal court says

A three-judge panel in San Antonio unanimously ruled that Texas must address violations that could affect the configuration of House districts in four counties, where lawmakers diluted the strength of voters of color. In some cases, the court found the map-drawers intentionally undercut minority voting power "to ensure Anglo control" of legislative districts. 

MO: University of Missouri announces full tuition grants for low-income students

The deal is available to all Missouri residents who are first-time freshmen, transfer students or existing students who meet the requirements to receive a federal Pell grant, which is awarded based on financial need. Under the plan, the university will pay all tuition not covered by the federal grants.

WI: Business coalition forms to lobby for Wisconsin Foxconn deal

More than 100 businesses, trade associations and local chambers of commerce are launching a group to lobby the Wisconsin Legislature to approve a multi-billion dollar deal to bring a flat screen plant to the state.

MD: Federal judges decline to scrap Maryland’s congressional voting map

Federal judges declined to throw out Maryland’s congressional voting map that challengers say was intentionally designed to give Democrats an electoral edge. The 2-to-1 decision allows the state to maintain those voting boundaries for the 2018 election and puts the lawsuit on hold until after the Supreme Court has ruled in a similar partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin scheduled for October.

CO: Tech industry salaries in Colorado capital may be too low to attract talent

Finding enough technology workers continues to plague companies in the Denver region, and a new survey offers a glimpse into why: companies in the Colorado capital don’t pay enough.

UT: Gun rights activists angry about concealed carry permit fee hike in Utah

The state Bureau of Criminal Identification has increased the concealed carry permit fee by $20, raising the cost to $57 for Utah residents and to $67 for out-of-staters. The National Rifle Association says the agency lacks the authority to raise fees on its own and should have sought legislative approval.

NV: Nevada taxi companies report declines in ridership and revenue

The Nevada Taxicab Authority reported a 10.8 percent decline in taxi rides from July 2016 to July 2017. Certified taxicab companies reported a combined 11.3 percent decline in revenue. Taxicab Authority officials have attributed the declines to increased use of ride-hailing companies.

DC: D.C. attorney general wants federal judges to look at city’s strict gun rules again

The District’s top lawyer asked a federal appeals court to rehear a challenge to the city’s strict limits on carrying concealed firearms. Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s decision follows a ruling last month from a three-judge panel that blocks the District’s requirement of a “good reason” to obtain a permit because the requirement prevents most residents from carrying guns in public places.

OR: ‘Kicker’ refund to send $463.5M back to Oregon taxpayers

Oregonians will get a “kicker” credit on their 2017 state income taxes. Higher-income individuals will receive higher credits, which are distributed as a percentage of state income taxes. Oregon’s unique kicker law is triggered when tax collections exceed earlier projections by 2 percent or more.

IA: Special interest groups spend big at Iowa Capitol

Special interest groups paid lobbyists about $20.4 million last year in Iowa in an effort to sway public policy on issues ranging from Medicaid to workers' compensation to legalized fireworks.

Opioids and Hepatitis C Driver’s Ed