Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/27

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/27

KS: Kansas officials hid contaminated water from residents for years

kansas.com

Kansas allowed hundreds of residents in two Wichita-area neighborhoods to drink contaminated water for years without telling them, despite warning signs of contamination close to water wells used for drinking, washing and bathing.

CA: Inflation and delays could add billions to cost of California bullet train

latimes.com

The California bullet train project has cost state taxpayers an average $3.1 million a day over the last year. But in order to hit its 2033 deadline and $77 billion budget, the California High Speed Rail Authority will have to increase daily spending by up to nine times over the next four years.

PA: Pennsylvania considers allowing more victims of sexual abuse to sue

wsj.com

The recent Pennsylvania grand-jury report detailing child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church could pave the way for granting adults who were victimized as children more opportunity to sue for damages. Legislation would temporarily waive the civil statute of limitations for child sexual-abuse claims, opening a two-year window for lawsuits that were previously time-barred.

IL: Illinois governor vetoes bill for minimum teacher salary of $40K

chicagotribune.com

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum salary for an Illinois teacher to $40,000 within five years, putting the re-election-seeking Republican at odds with teachers unions once again. State lawmakers could try to override Rauner’s veto but they would have to find six more supporters of the minimum teacher salary bill than voted for it back in May.

TX: To pay for trauma centers, Texas sinks thousands of drivers in deep debt

texastribune.org

In Texas, people with unpaid traffic tickets can lose their driver's licenses and even go to jail because of the Driver Responsibility Program. Though lawmakers acknowledge the policy disproportionately hurts the poor, they've struggled to eliminate it.

NC: North Carolina teachers say conditions are ‘unacceptable’ and demand lawmakers take action

newsobserver.com

Days before the new school year begins, teachers around North Carolina demanded that state legislators do more to improve conditions in public schools. They want action to “reverse the harmful course” the state has taken on issues from overly large class sizes to inadequate supplies.

RI: Barriers to prosecution in Rhode Island often leave elderly victims at risk

providencejournal.com

In Rhode Island, authorities and advocates for the elderly generally defer to the wishes of victims who don’t want to press charges against their abusers.

TN: Tens of thousands of adults line up for free college in Tennessee

insidehighered.com

State officials had initially anticipated 8,000 adult learners to apply for the program, which expanded the popular tuition-free Tennessee Promise. But a week before the start of the new college semester, more than 30,000 adults had applied for the scholarship.

MD: Maryland state legislator disciplined after sexual harassment claims

washingtonpost.com

A veteran state legislator accused of sexual misconduct will be stripped of his leadership positions and sent to one-on-one anti-harassment training, Democratic Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch announced.

MS: Mississippi Senate passes lottery bill

clarionledger.com

Faced with mounting pressure to address the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, the Mississippi Senate in a special session voted to establish a state-sponsored lottery. Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery, and residents often purchase tickets across the state line in Louisiana.

NV: Nevada's voting machine problems were much bigger than first thought

rgj.com

A Reno Gazette Journal review of public records found more than 300 reported machine malfunctions across Nevada in June’s primary election. Now, little more than two months ahead of the general election, elections officials have said they don’t know how many improperly displayed ballots might have gone unnoticed by voters and unreported to poll workers during the primary.

MI: Michigan takes bite out of medical pot foods

detroitnews.com

Michigan's cannabis chefs will be restricted to certain foods under new emergency rules from the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, a development that has some medical pot advocates disgruntled.

NM: Confederate markers removed from New Mexico highway

santafenewmexican.com

New Mexico's Department of Transportation has removed the last remaining memorials to Confederate President Jefferson Davis from Interstate 10 rest areas. The move comes as debate continues around the country over removing the names of Confederate leaders from public roads and buildings.

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