Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/22

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/22

NV: Nevada judge says state can’t enforce gun screening measure

apnews.com

A gun buyer screening initiative that Nevada voters approved nearly two years ago was fatally flawed and can't be enforced, a state judge has ruled. He said proponents should have known the measure would be contingent on the FBI’s willingness to take over criminal background checks during private sales of firearms.

MD:  Federal team in Maryland evaluating election system

apnews.com

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security team is in Maryland to evaluate the state's election systems, after officials learned about a transaction between a venture fund with Russian ties and a company involved in the state's election infrastructure.

CA: Effort to end cash bail in California clears major hurdle in Legislature

latimes.com

A landmark bill to end money bail in California passed out of the state Assembly, clearing a major legislative hurdle despite mounting opposition to last-minute changes that gave judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.

TX: Vague state law aside, a convicted felon will be on the ballot in Texas

texastribune.org

According to Texas' election code, a person is only eligible to run for office if she has not been "finally convicted" of a felony "from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities." Austin City Council candidate Lewis Conway Jr. was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1993, and his candidacy is testing that state law.

OR: Oregon settles lawsuit over stormwater pollution

opb.org

The settlement adds special protections for Oregon rivers and streams that are already too polluted for salmon, drinking water or swimming. Previously, the state treated permits for those waters no differently than permits to discharge into cleaner rivers.

LA: Louisiana regulators weigh raising marijuana patient limit

apnews.com

With only a few doctors signing up to dispense medical marijuana, Louisiana regulators are considering whether to change rules limiting how many cannabis patients each doctor can treat before the product becomes available later this year.

CT: Final report sees progress in Connecticut’s child and family agency

ctmirror.org

The report says the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, which has been under federal supervision for nearly three decades, has met its goals for decreasing the number of children in group facilities and institutions, placing more children with siblings, limiting the number of moves for children in foster care and ensuring that children are placed in homes operating within their licensed capacity. 

UT: Utah city attempts to spur affordable housing construction

sltrib.com

The mayor of Salt Lake City wants to expand fee waivers for developers seeking to build mixed-income residential projects — if they set aside at least 20 percent of dwellings for low- to moderate-income tenants. Utah has a housing gap of at least 43,500 dwellings.

ND: Tax reform projected to decrease North Dakota revenue

bismarcktribune.com

An analysis of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act shows that individuals are projected to pay more North Dakota state income tax while small businesses and corporations are expected to pay less than they did before the tax reform.

NE: Audit shows concerns about $2.6M outside Nebraska treasurer bank account

journalstar.com

The Nebraska State Treasurer's Office maintained an outside bank account for seven years that apparently flew under most state accounting radar. The $2.6 million account wasn't recorded in the state accounting system or reflected in the state budget or the annual financial report, according to an audit.

PA: Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules in favor of governor's order on home care workers

post-gazette.com

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court allowed a February 2015 executive order by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf concerning home care workers to stand. The governor had said the order was aimed at improving care and working conditions, but opponents said it was a stealth attempt to unionize such workers.

OH: New report touts benefits of Ohio’s Medicaid expansion

dispatch.com

Ohio officials released a new report crediting Medicaid expansion with reducing the uninsured rate, helping low-income residents find work and providing more access to mental health and addiction services.

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