What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/22

TN: Tennessee governor allows sanctuary city ban to become law without signature 

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will allow a proposal seeking to prohibit sanctuary cities in Tennessee to become law without his signature. The measure would also require local law enforcement officials to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to hold immigrants for purposes of deportation. 

MN: Minnesota governor vetoes bill that gave new pipeline fast-track approval 

Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said the legislation, would which have allowed Enbridge Energy to build a controversial new oil pipeline without getting regulatory approval, pre-empted a long-standing process that had been used for years to make such complex decisions. 

CO: Colorado city may be violating state open meetings law 

In closed executive sessions that some legal experts say violate Colorado’s open meetings law, the Colorado Springs City Council has doled out about $5.4 million to settle a string of cases, including racial and gender discrimination. 

NV: Nevada policies leave businesses vulnerable to fraud 

The Nevada secretary of state’s office for years has done little to prevent the filing of fake documents. For as little as $150, anyone can submit records online or in person naming themselves directors or managers of whatever company in the state they choose. 

ID: Idaho tribe sues over opioid crisis 

Idaho's Nez Perce Tribe is taking the pharmaceutical industry to task for the toll of opioid addiction. The tribe is suing more than a dozen opioid manufacturers on claims of racketeering, negligence and public nuisance. 

NM: New Mexico considers limits for overworked public defenders 

New Mexico could permit overburdened public defenders to refuse new cases rather than provide inadequate legal representation to poor criminal defendants who face jail time, under proposed rules. They would not apply equally to juvenile defendants or other suspects in homicides, violent felonies and sexual offenses. 

AK: Trump administration proposes reversal of Obama-era hunting rule in Alaska’s national parks 

Central to the dispute is a 1994 Alaska law that focuses on controlling predators — wolves, bears and other carnivores — in order to keep game such as caribou abundant for hunters. The Obama-era park service said that federal law doesn't support reducing predators to boost populations of their prey, but the Trump administration has proposed deleting portions of the 2015 rule that are not in line with state regulations. 

OR: Oregon small business tax break bill moves ahead 

Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s bill to expand a tax break for small businesses is on its way to a vote after passing a joint committee. Brown called a special session of the Legislature to consider the narrow tax break provision, which she says is necessary to ensure fairness. 

LA: Poll says Louisiana teachers in favor of striking 

About 60 percent of teachers surveyed said they favor a statewide walkout or strike to land a "significant" pay raise, leaders of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers said. Also, 59 percent said they would back a "mass demonstration" at the state Capitol. 

PA: Pennsylvania legislative leaders express support for opening primaries 

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Republican, told a Press Club luncheon that he intends to introduce legislation that would open up Pennsylvania’s primary process. As it is, voters must be registered with either the Democrats or Republicans to participate.

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