What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/27
US: California to sue over decision to add citizenship question to census
The Trump administration has decided to include a question about citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. Census. A coalition of state attorneys general urged the administration last month to not add such a question, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state will now sue the administration.
WI: Wisconsin governor signs $100 million school safety legislation
In the wake of shootings around the country, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has approved a package that would tighten school security but not put new restrictions on guns. The laws provide schools with grants for building improvements and staff training.
AZ: Arizona governor suspends Uber’s self-driving cars after fatality
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey suspended tests of Uber’s self-driving vehicles after a fatal accident involving one of the vehicles. Uber already pulled its self-driving vehicles off the roads, but after video was released of the accident last week, Ducey said he needed to act to protect the safety of Arizonans.
MD: Documents shed new light on redistricting as Maryland map heads to Supreme Court
When Maryland Democrats redrew the state’s congressional districts in 2011, officials set up a commission to craft the maps to avoid the state’s open meetings law, according to documents reviewed by The Baltimore Sun. The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether Democrats went too far to craft a map that benefited their party.
LA: Bulletproof backpacks for public school students clears first hurdle in Louisiana Senate
Bulletproof backpacks would be allowed in Louisiana public schools under a bill that breezed through a Louisiana Senate committee and will now be considered by the full Senate. Current state law bans wearing body armor on school property.
CO: Colorado broadband bill set to become law
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is poised to sign a bill to allocate $115 million in the next five years to extend high-speed internet to rural Colorado, a significant step toward achieving his goal to connect the entire state.
IN: Indiana governor signs measure requiring doctors to report abortion complications
A bill signed by Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb requires doctors to annually report to the state certain complications associated with abortions, mandates annual inspections of abortion clinics and legalizes the use of "baby boxes" in fire departments, which allow a parent to give up an infant anonymously and without fear of penalty.
US, MD: No tampons in prison? #MeToo helps shine light on issue
Fueled in part by the national #MeToo movement, state legislatures around the country — as well as corrections officials and the federal government — are working to supply prisons and jails with adequate feminine hygiene products, train staff, and raise awareness of the longtime, widespread issue. The Maryland Legislature approved a related bill this year.
OR: Oregon agency mishandles data of 36,000 residents
An employee of Oregon's revenue agency mishandled data for about 36,000 people by uploading files to a personal cloud storage account. The incident may have involved Social Security numbers, names and addresses, the department said.
GA: Opponents of Georgia voting bill say it aims to hinder black vote
The Georgia bill would restrict weekend voting to one Saturday or Sunday before an election. It also calls for city of Atlanta elections to end an hour earlier, at 7 p.m. as in the rest of the state. Civil rights groups are opposing the measure, saying it is an attempt to suppress turnout from African-American churches.
AK: Oil companies in Alaska say the state owes them $800 million
The Alaska Legislature is considering a proposal that would clear a liability of nearly $1 billion from the state's books by borrowing money to pay cash tax credits to companies that either haven't found oil in Alaska, or are only producing small amounts of it. But for the past six weeks, it's been stuck in committee at the state Capitol.