What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/26

US: As DACA winds down, 20,000 educators are in limbo across United States

There are an estimated 20,000 immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, working as educators. Now, schools across the United States are facing the possibility that they could lose educators if DACA ends without a legislative fix.

PA: Pennsylvania finds 544 possibly illegal ballots — of 93 million — since 2000

Noncitizen immigrants may have cast 544 ballots illegally out of more than 93 million ballots in elections spanning 18 years in Pennsylvania, according to state election officials. The state has previously acknowledged that noncitizen immigrants can inadvertently register to vote because of a glitch in the design of Pennsylvania's electronic driver's licensing system.

CA: Federal judge in California denies states’ attempt to reinstate ACA subsidies

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied an attempt by California and 17 other states to force the Trump administration to pay billions of dollars to insurance companies to subsidize health plans for low-income Americans. The judge said that because dozens of states had anticipated President Donald Trump’s decision to halt the payments, they took early action to shield consumers from having to absorb the sharp premium hikes that would have resulted from the federal government ending the subsidies.

KS: Kansas legislative staff member says leaders failed to investigate sexual harassment concerns

A former Kansas legislative staff member has alleged that Democratic leaders failed to investigate concerns about sexual harassment and female interns serving as designated drivers for male lawmakers who had been drinking.

IL: Illinois considers getting rid of rest areas

The state of Illinois is considering how to rehab, or possibly close, some state rest areas, and has even launched a public survey about travelers’ likes and dislikes of the Interstate highway stops — drawing thousands of responses so far.

NJ: South Asians in New Jersey flexing their political muscle

A new generation of South Asians is flexing its political muscle across New Jersey — working on campaigns, developing political strategies, and being elected to office. The political awakening has attracted mostly young professionals who come from families that immigrated to New Jersey’s suburbs from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, among other countries, and were raised and educated here.

ND: U.S. Senate holds hearing on missing, murdered Native American women in North Dakota

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, pushed Wednesday for the Department of Justice to prioritize investigations of missing and murdered Native American women, calling on the federal agency to better track statistics and the clearance rate of investigations.

NV: Off-duty officers who assisted during Nevada shooting may not get workers’ compensation

Over two hundred police officers from Southern California attended the Las Vegas music festival where a deadly mass shooting took place. Now some officers have applied for public-employee benefits to cover the care they need to recover from the trauma, and California cities and counties are asking whether they're required or even allowed to pay to treat off-duty police who chose independently to intervene in the Nevada emergency.

GA: Georgia appeals court rules against DACA recipients seeking in-state tuition

Georgia’s Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision that said the state must permit residents who have been granted a special reprieve from deportation to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. The students are recipients of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

NE: Women are 'clearly underrepresented' in elected offices in Nebraska

Elected officials in Nebraska are doing more to recruit women for office. Although mayors of the state’s three largest cities are women, many other elected posts in the state lack gender diversity.

TX: Texas braces for federal auditors as Harvey recovery continues

During a hearing in the Texas Senate this week, the state's emergency disaster director warned that local governments and the state have got to be careful about how they are spending money and filling out federal forms, because the feds have proven they will come back and take money back if rules are not followed.

RI: Rhode Island GOP leader doubts her Democratic colleague’s tale of harassment

Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, a Republican running for governor, said she has “no knowledge” of sexist behavior at the State House and called on a Democratic representative to file a report with the state police about allegations she made to The Providence Journal.

OH: Price tag of Ohio’s opioid epidemic up to $8.8 billion a year

A new study of Ohio’s opioid epidemic by Ohio State University researchers shows a staggering economic toll of $6.6 billion to $8.8 billion a year — about the same amount the state spends annually on K-12 education.

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