Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/26

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/26

NJ: Sweeping change in how New Jersey pays for schools is now law

northjersey.com

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a revamp of New Jersey’s school funding formula that envisions a redistribution of state aid from districts with shrinking enrollment or growing tax bases to those with booming populations and large numbers of high-need students.

NH: Internet sales-tax bill dies in New Hampshire House

unionleader.com

The rank-and-file of the New Hampshire House of Representatives dealt a rebuke to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and the leadership of both political parties by gutting a proposed response to the Supreme Court decision allowing all states to collect their sales taxes through online purchases.

UT: Utah lawmakers pass bill for improving rural roads

sltrib.com

Denounced by environmentalists as a sneak attack on public lands, a bill passed out of last week’s special legislative session allows Utah cities and counties to spend more of their state transportation dollars on upgrading remote backroads. Many unimproved dirt roads in the state cross public lands.

WA: Washington state, Facebook reach deal to block ads

reuters.com

Washington state has signed an agreement with Facebook to stop third-party advertisers in the United States from excluding protected groups from seeing their ads, the state attorney general said. Facebook said the agreement is part of a long process to ensure that tools used to target ads on the social network are safe, civil and fair.

CT: Connecticut in crisis: how inequality is paralyzing 'America's country club'

publicintegrity.org

For decades, Connecticut coasted fat and happy off defense firms, insurance companies, and a handful of super-rich financiers who came for the manicured lawns and to escape the higher taxes of neighboring New York and New Jersey. But the good times have ended. An investigation by The Center for Public Integrity shows how Connecticut has been caught flat-footed.

ND: Pipeline company argues North Dakota corporate farming law is unconstitutional

bismarcktribune.com

The Dakota Access pipeline company is fighting a lawsuit from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, a Republican, who alleges the company is breaking the law by owning a ranch. Dakota Access argues that North Dakota’s farming law — which generally prohibits corporations and limited liability companies from owning or leasing farmland — is unconstitutional.

IA: Judge tells Iowa to undo some restrictions on 2018 early voting

desmoinesregister.com

An Iowa judge this week blocked some provisions of a 2017 voter identification law and required the state to restore its early voting period to 40 days, from 29, for November’s midterm elections.

MS: Mississippi moves closer to launching sports gambling

mpbonline.org

Sports gambling is now legal in Mississippi after regulations adopted by the Mississippi Gaming Commission took effect this weekend. Alan Godfrey, the executive director of the commission, said Mississippians could be able to place their first wagers by September.

NM: Few are getting punished under tough New Mexico drunk driving law

krge.com

Two years ago, a New Mexico law imposed a mandatory 10-year sentence for driving while intoxicated eight or more times. But out of 70 arrests of repeat offenders, that sentence was handed out only seven times.

WI: Teen births decline in Wisconsin

wpr.org

The latest data from Wisconsin health officials shows the birth rate for mothers age 15 to 19 has dropped dramatically. Teen births have been on a downward trend across the United States and in Wisconsin they’ve dropped by half over a span of eight years.

CO: Nonprofit to fund Friday activities in Colorado city switching to a four-day school week

chieftain.com

The Pueblo County United Way has announced a $70,000 grant to pay for programming for school children every Friday, to be provided by the local library district and Boys and Girls Club. The city school district in Pueblo, Colorado, plans to switch to a four-day school week and drop Friday classes this fall. 

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