What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/30

IA: Iowa Republicans agree on plans for what they call the largest tax cuts in state history

Statehouse Republicans announced an agreement on what they described as the largest state tax relief and tax policy package in Iowa history.

OR: Oregon attorney general drafts ballot title for initiative to ban sales of assault weapons

Oregon's attorney general has drafted the ballot title for an initiative to ban the sale of high capacity magazines and many semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns. The ballot initiative would ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons in Oregon starting in 2019. 

OK: Oklahoma City police gets funds to feed horses. Problem: they don’t have any

For years, the Oklahoma City Police Department has budgeted about $45,000 for animal food for horses and its dogs. The problem? Only a fraction of that money is being spent on food, and the city hasn't had a mounted patrol for eight years.

MO: Missouri is the only state without an opioid tracking system

Missouri is among the 20 worst states for drug overdose deaths, but it was the only state left without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. This week, the Missouri Senate attempted to defund one set up by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

MD: Maryland attorney general asks federal appeals court to rehear case on drug pricing

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, is asking a full federal appeals court to rehear a case filed by drug manufacturers challenging the state’s new drug price-gouging law. Earlier this month a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said that the 2017 law violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.

VA: Virginia lawmakers begin yearlong look at school safety — but not guns

Virginia delegates have begun a yearlong process of studying how to make schools safer in wake of the Parkland high school shooting in Florida. The House Select Committee hopes to have a full report by December with recommendations for new legislation and ways to invest in security.

DE: Bill to outlaw underage marriage divides Delaware Legislature

Delaware is the latest battleground in a growing fight over the decadesold marriage laws imposed by states. A new bill seeks to close a loophole in state law that allows someone under the age of 18 to marry if they have permission from a parent and the blessing of a Family Court judge.

ID: Push for legal pot in Idaho fails

Idaho medical marijuana advocates have abandoned efforts to gather more than 56,000 signatures for a ballot measure on the issue. Idaho is surrounded by states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana or derivatives, but state government and police in Idaho oppose it. 

HI: Hawaii bill enforcing tax on online sales advances

Hoping to capitalize quickly on a looming Supreme Court ruling, Hawaii lawmakers have tentatively agreed to amend state law so that any internet vendor who does more than $100,000 worth of business in Hawaii or has 200 or more transactions in Hawaii would be deemed to be engaging in business in the state, and therefore be required to collect and pay state taxes. 

OH: Ballot question aims to reform Ohio's redistricting process

A single statewide question greets voters on Ohio’s May 8 ballot, asking them to amend the state constitution to create what backers claim will be a less partisan way to redraw congressional districts each decade.

NY: Comptroller says New York budget expands ‘back-door borrowing’

New York state's $168.3 billion budget reduces transparency and oversight measures, expands "back-door borrowing" and includes new lump-sum appropriations, according to a report by the state comptroller. The spending plan authorizes public authorities to borrow an additional $6.5 billion on behalf of the state.

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