What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/12

PA, WV, DE: Philadelphia's ICE office is nation's most aggressive

Nowhere have federal agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency more aggressively embraced their newfound freedom under President Donald Trump than in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware, an investigation by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News found. 

VT: Vermont’s Republican governor signs new gun restrictions 

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, signed bills into law that raised the age to buy firearms, banned high-capacity magazines, and made it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat — the first significant gun ownership restrictions in state history. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the largely rural state that traditionally has refused to impose restrictions on gun ownership. 

CA: California governor agrees to Trump's National Guard request, but insists it won't be to enforce immigration 

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Donald Trump. Last week the Trump administration asked governors in border states to provide Guard troops for assistance with the duties of Border Patrol agents. 

NH: New Hampshire governor vows to veto ‘road usage fee’ bill aimed at bolstering highway fund 

A bill approved by the New Hampshire House would impose an annual fee on vehicles that get good gas mileage to make sure those drivers don’t escape their share of road maintenance costs. Gov. Chris Sununu says he’d veto the bill if it reaches his desk. 

US: Teacher walkouts threaten Republican grip on conservative states 

An intensifying series of red-state battles over education funding and teacher pay threatens to loosen Republicans’ grip on some of the country’s most conservative states, as educators and parents rebel against a decade of fiscal austerity that has cut deeply into public education. 

KY: Kentucky pension bill challenged in court by attorney general and unions for teachers, police 

Kentucky’s attorney general, along with the Kentucky Education Association and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, have filed suit against the controversial public pension bill the governor signed into law. The bill creates a “hybrid” system of savings and pension for new employees. 

KY: ACLU files suit to block new Kentucky law banning common abortion procedure 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed suit to block a new law that bans a common form of abortion in Kentucky for women who are 11 weeks or more pregnant. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, and took effect immediately. 

GA: Racial discrimination settlement cost Georgia GOP more than $500,000 

The Georgia Republican Party paid more than $500,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former staffer. The party also spent roughly $1 million on legal fees involving the former staffer, who claimed her co-workers had referred to her with a racial slur and humiliated her. 

WA: Washington state to receive $8 million for voting security 

The security of Washington state’s election infrastructure is getting a shot in the arm. In addition to $8 million from the federal government, another $400,000 from the state will go to security upgrades. 

MO: Woman testifies that governor groped and hit her 

During several sexual encounters with his hair stylist the year before he was elected Missouri’s Republican governor, Eric Greitens struck her in the face, touched her crotch without her consent and called her a “whore,” the woman told a Missouri House committee, according to newly released documents. Greitens denounced the committee investigation as a “political witch hunt.”

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