What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/14

NJ: New Jersey ends takeover of Newark schools

The New Jersey Board of Education voted to end its 22-year takeover of the Newark school district and begin the transition to return control to the locally elected school board.

CA: Bill to create 'safe injection sites' for drug users fails in California Senate

The state Senate rejected a controversial proposal to allow certain California counties and cities to establish sites where people could inject drugs without legal consequences. Supporters saw the potential sites as a preventive measure against drug deaths, but opponents warned such venues would enable illegal activity.

MN: Minnesota Supreme Court invalidates law that bars meeting disturbance

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that part of a disorderly conduct law that bars people from disturbing public meetings is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment.

MD: Noncitizens can now vote in another Maryland city

The Washington suburb of College Park, Maryland, became the largest U.S. city to allow noncitizens to cast ballots in municipal elections. Unlike most other states, Maryland allows towns and cities to decide for themselves who can vote in local elections, and several smaller cities have extended that privilege to noncitizens in recent years.

DE: A decade later, Delaware's scrap tire law finally enforced

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control this year began requiring businesses to get a permit if they accumulate 100 or more flat, blown or tread-worn tires at any one time — more than a decade after the General Assembly ordered it to develop those rules.

PA: Pennsylvania House GOP OKs borrowing, no-new-taxes plan to plug deficit

Up against an unprecedented cash crunch, Republicans who control Pennsylvania's House of Representatives approved a no-new-taxes borrowing package to help plug the state government's $2.2 billion budget gap.

MO: Missouri pensions underfunded by $5B, treasurer says

Missouri's treasurer told a panel of lawmakers the state employee retirement pension plan is only 60 percent funded and warned action is needed to prevent damage to state finances.

AZ: Arizona city’s gun fight with state will cost it $100K

Tucson has agreed to pay the state $100,000 in legal fees after losing a lawsuit over whether Arizona cities have the right to ignore state laws in matters of local interest. Tucson had argued that the Arizona Constitution gives it control over local matters, regardless of state law. The Arizona Supreme Court narrowed that control, saying it doesn't apply to police matters such as weapons.

NY: New York just made it easier for teachers to get certified

The state Board of Regents approved several changes to New York's teacher certification process, as educators and advocates statewide debate how to get more people into teaching while still ensuring candidates are well-trained and effective at the craft.

TN: Tennessee investing in program that helps adults finish college

A statewide pilot program spearheaded in part by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will be available to all community college students in Tennessee next August. The program covers tuition and mandatory fees for potentially as many as 900,000 residents who don’t already have an associate or bachelor’s degree.

DC: A downside to Washington, D.C.’s population growth? The growing number of rats

Like many northeastern cities, Washington has long struggled with rodents. But the problem has reached record levels in the nation’s capital, driven by a combination of factors, including the city’s booming human population.

Would You Know if Your State Was in a Recession? Federal E-Verify Law