Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/18

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/18

WI: Groups look to halt Wisconsin voting restrictions

madison.com

Liberal groups have asked a federal judge to quash new state restrictions on early voting in Wisconsin, in what may be the first of multiple court challenges to laws enacted by Republicans in the recent lame-duck session.

NY: Governor moves to legalize recreational pot in New York

nytimes.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would push to legalize recreational marijuana next year, a move that could generate more than $1.7 billion in sales annually and put New York in line with several neighboring states.

DC: D.C. more diverse, but schools remain segregated

wamu.org 

District of Columbia residents talk about the city’s shifting demographics all the time. Since 2006, the District has become wealthier, whiter and younger. And residents see the changes all around them, particularly in new housing developments and rising rent prices. But these demographic changes are less evident in schools, according to a new report.

KY: Kentucky governor convenes legislature over pension

apnews.com

Days after losing at the state Supreme Court, Kentucky’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, called the legislature back in session to try again to reshape the state’s troubled public pension system.

MS: Mississippi seeks to revive abortion ban

apnews.com

Mississippi is trying to revive one the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. The state’s Democratic attorney general, Jim Hood, filed a notice of appeal in support of a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.

MT: Montana debuts co-op housing for the elderly

kpax.com

Housing cooperatives, popular throughout the United States, are now going to Montana. Living in a co-op means that instead of purchasing the deed to your home you buy the value of your home from the cooperative.

MO: Missouri lawmaker wants to abolish small town police

stltoday.com

In continuing fallout from the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, dozens of small town police departments in Missouri could be required to merge with other cities or contract with the county police for services under a new bill.

CA: California withdraws ‘text tax’

apnews.com

California regulators have canceled a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones, reversing course after a Federal Communications Commission ruling classified text messaging as an information service and not a telecommunications service. The federal Telecommunications Act limits state authority over information services.

CO: Colorado’s Democratic legislature plans pro-worker bills

denverpost.com 

Now that Democrats control the Colorado Senate, House and governor’s office, Democratic lawmakers feel confident they will pass a paid leave bill as well as ones to create retirement savings accounts, equal pay, minimum wage increases — legislation that will fundamentally change benefits given to workers in the state.

NM: Democrats set agenda in New Mexico

apnews.com

When the Democrat-led legislature convenes Jan. 15, one of the priorities will be confronting a court order to expand resources to struggling public schools — and in particular to students from low-income and minority families, including Native Americans.

PA: Getting new voting machines is ‘right thing,’ Pennsylvania governor says

apnews.com

Every Pennsylvania county should buy new voting machines in time for the 2020 presidential election to give voters confidence in the balloting, Gov. Tom Wolf said, although he acknowledged that it is a costly proposition. The Democrat said one of the biggest challenges is helping counties afford an estimated tab of $125 million.

IN: New revenue short of budget hopes in Indiana

indystar.com

Indiana lawmakers will have less cash to spend on child services and education than they had hoped in the next two-year budget, according to a new state revenue forecast. That prediction comes despite tax collections that were more robust than anticipated.

AL: Scientists think Alabama’s sewage problem caused a tropical parasite

vice.com

A research team is performing a follow-up study that will investigate the link between open sewage, hookworm infections, and any potential negative health impacts. Alabama has done little about this issue for areas with poor sanitation and open sewers.

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