What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/11

Top State Stories 5/11

MA: Massachusetts House strongly endorses raising tobacco sales age to 21

The Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21.

PA: Pennsylvania will use its Volkswagen settlement to cut air pollution

The money will be used to help reduce diesel emissions, including exhaust controls, upgraded engines and new engines and vehicles, said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.

WV: West Virginia lawyers press for opioid pill numbers after judge OKs release

Lawyers representing towns and counties in West Virginia and other states are making a barrage of requests for federal data that details shipments of prescription opioids to local communities.

LA: Louisiana House advances felon voting rights bill

It has taken multiple attempts, but an effort to restore voting rights to some convicted felons on probation or parole is now heading to the Louisiana Senate for consideration.

CA: California lawmakers approve measure restricting disclosure of immigration status in court

The California Senate sent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would bar the disclosure of the immigration status of alleged crime victims and witnesses in open court unless a judge rules that the information is relevant to the case.

DE: Delaware ERA bill fails in state Senate

A proposed equal rights amendment to the Delaware Constitution was defeated in the state Senate even as several lawmakers who voted against the bill said they support the legislation.

TX: Quota system revealed inside Texas prison system

The Texas prison system is reviewing dozens of disciplinary reports against inmates at one prison after emails revealed a short-lived quota system that required guards to write up prisoners or face disciplinary consequences.

MO: Ethics watchdog in Missouri says nonprofits can’t conceal the identities of their donors

Nonprofits that donate to political campaigns can't conceal the identities of their donors, Missouri's campaign finance watchdog said in an opinion.

CO: Colorado lawmakers pass pension reform bill

Colorado lawmakers have reached a deal to rescue the state pension fund from the fiscal brink by passing a bill to cut retirement benefits, raise employee contributions and pump in $225 million a year in tax dollars.

UT: Utah House Democrats draft gun control legislation for 2019

Democratic state lawmakers in Utah are already having gun control bills drafted for the 2019 Legislature, including a prohibition on firearms being openly carried around schools.

ND: Seeking ‘regulatory framework’ to integrate drones into airspace, feds select North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Transportation was selected for a national program aimed at hastening drones’ integration into the skies, state and federal officials announced.

Uncovering Bugs Statehouse Harassment