What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/17

PA: Pennsylvania House OKs bill criminalizing doctors for Down syndrome abortions

The legislation would alter the Pennsylvania abortion law, which allows abortions until week 24 of a pregnancy for any reason other than the child's sex, to include one more exception when abortions would not be permitted: "A prenatal diagnosis of or belief that the unborn child has Down syndrome." 

IL: Supreme Court again rejects former Illinois governor’s appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court once again announced it will not hear former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appeal, virtually guaranteeing he will remain in prison until 2024 barring a presidential pardon or commutation. 

DC: Stop enrollment fraud? D.C. school officials are often the ones committing it.

In the District of Columbia, where families from Maryland have been known to illegally send their children to the public schools at the expense of D.C. taxpayers, a new perpetrator had been found. She sat in the chancellor’s office. 

CA: Some California communities side with Trump administration on sanctuary cities

More local governments in California are saying they don’t want to be part of the state’s efforts to resist the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, especially in pockets where Republicans still dominate in the otherwise Democratic state. 

NH: New Hampshire governor says he will not support paid family leave bill

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, says he “cannot support” a bill that would create a state-run program to allow for paid leave for pregnancies, illnesses and other qualifying conditions for all private sector employees. 

CO: Colorado teachers rally for higher pay

Hundreds of Colorado teachers converged on the state Capitol to demand changes in school funding and to lobby for higher teacher pay and a stronger retirement fund. 

ME: Maine governor intends to veto retail pot bill

 Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage plans to veto a recreational marijuana bill once it reaches his desk because it wouldn’t combine Maine’s medical and adult-use marijuana programs.  

VT: Few call 911 in Vermont for an overdose despite immunity law

Vermont has one of the most expansive good Samaritan laws in the nation. The law, enacted in 2013, was intended to prevent overdose deaths. Yet the death rate has continued to rise. 

TX: For girls in Texas foster care, pregnancy is five times more likely

According to a report by a child welfare policy organization, there are a variety of factors that put Texas foster care teens at risk of becoming pregnant, including instability in foster care and stressful or traumatic situations such as child abuse or neglect.

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