What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/16
US: Supreme Court prepares to reconsider limits on state, local tax authority
The U.S. Supreme Court this week will turn its attention to a case involving state power to capture taxes on internet sales, a long-simmering issue with implications for billions of dollars of state and local budget revenue.
CA: Ballot measure would split California into three separate states
A Bay Area venture capitalist says he’ll submit signatures to the secretary of state for a measure that would divide California into Northern California, Southern California and California. Supporters say the plan would allow the new states to tailor their regulations and spending priorities.
FL: Kids are suing Florida governor to force the state to take action on climate change
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, doesn't talk about climate change. He even banned the phrase in his administration (a charge he denies). An unusual group intends to sue Scott for ignoring the climate threat: kids.
US: Gun rights activists rally at state capitols across the country
Gun rights supporters — many carrying rifles and ammunition — gathered at state capitols across the U.S. to push back against efforts to pass stricter gun control laws.
TX: Facebook may not sell the data it collects, but Texas sure does
Private companies aren't the only ones sharing users’ personal information. Several Texas state agencies have made millions of dollars selling similar personal information about Texans, and they're doing it without first notifying people.
MD: Appeals court strikes down Maryland’s drug-price-gouging law
A federal appeals court has struck down a Maryland drug-price-gouging law, a first-of-its-kind measure aimed at lowering the price of off-patent or generic drugs. The ruling said the 2017 law is unconstitutional because it violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
AZ: Arizona residents to be grounded without new travel ID
As of 2020, Arizona residents won't be able to travel out of several airports throughout the state and country with just a standard driver's license as identification. Since Arizona licenses are not compliant with federal law, residents will have to get a separate identification card for air travel.
CO: Colorado bill would let people buy into Medicaid
A new bill would instruct several Colorado departments to study the feasibility of letting anyone buy their way into Medicaid, regardless of income, as well as the possibility of creating new public-private partnerships or co-operative health insurance programs.
LA: Louisiana takes aim at Jim Crow-era jury law
Louisiana is one of only two states in the country allowing a non-unanimous jury to convict a defendant of a felony, and a Louisiana lawmaker says it is time to end the practice, which he says is a remnant of the Jim Crow era.
TN: Tennessee House approves bill to ban consular IDs to establish identity
Tennessee lawmakers approved a bill that would prohibit state and local officials from accepting certain forms of identification to establish identity. The legislation would prohibit those officials from accepting consular IDs, commonly used by Mexican nationals.
MN: Minnesota state training academy proposed for overwhelmed child abuse workers
Spurred by recent breakdowns in Minnesota’s child protection system, legislators are pushing a project to train hundreds of workers each year on new methods for detecting and preventing child abuse.
ME: For shelter dogs, door's wide open in Maine
In 2017, more than half the dogs taken in by shelters in Maine were transfers, almost all from out of state. Maine’s successful campaign to cut pet overpopulation has given shelters an opportunity to save animals from hundreds of miles away, where animals have a high chance of an early death.