Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/27

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/27

WA: Washington’s program to buy bump stocks back was so popular it ran out of money

cnn.com

Washington state’s four-day bump stock buyback program was so successful, state officials ran out of money. Bump stocks are now illegal in the United States. In hopes of prompting people to turn them over before the ban began, the legislature allocated $150,000 for the buyback program. Bump stock owners got $150 for their devices before funds ran dry.

WI: Second judge blocks parts of Wisconsin lame-duck laws

jsonline.com

A Dane County judge threw out parts of lame-duck laws, dealing a second blow in less than a week to measures Republicans passed in December to curb the powers of two of Wisconsin's top Democrats.

NC: North Carolina abortion law is unconstitutional, federal court rules

charlotteobserver.com

North Carolina’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks is unconstitutional, a federal court ruled. The judge gave state lawmakers 60 days to either write a new abortion law or appeal his ruling.

MD: Maryland governor signs law for interest-free loans to feds working without pay

baltimoresun.com

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law that creates a fund to give loans to federal employees who are forced to work without pay during government shutdowns. The bill arose from this winter’s prolonged federal government shutdown, when thousands of Maryland residents were required to work without pay.

LA: Louisiana finds partner for hepatitis C drug experiment

theadvocate.com

Louisiana will enter into a contract with Asegua Therapeutics LLC to make its antiviral medication available over the next five years to hep C patients enrolled in Medicaid and people who are incarcerated. Under the partnership, the state will receive an unlimited amount of the drug, which has an overall cure rate of 98 percent across all six main types of hepatitis C.

CA: How California is defying Trump’s environmental rollbacks

latimes.com

California is building walls at its borders — they’re just not the kind President Donald Trump has in mind. As the Trump administration continues its assault on environmental regulation, state officials are throwing up legal barriers to some high-stakes attacks.

KY: Kentucky governor signs tax cut bill that will reduce state revenue by $106M a year

kentucky.com

The measure signed by Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin will mean less revenue for the state in coming years in exchange for tax cuts for banks, among others. It also includes an exemption to the state’s Open Records Act, so the public no longer can request certain tax-related documents, such as final tax rulings and requests for tax guidance.

AR: Arkansas bill would allow in-state tuition for immigrants

apnews.com

A bill approved by the Arkansas House and pending before a Senate committee would require public colleges and universities to classify students as in-state for tuition purposes if they’ve resided in Arkansas for at least three years when they apply for admission and have graduated from a high school or received a high school equivalency diploma in the state.

MO: Missouri has been slow to legalize sports betting, but budget woes may speed things along

stltoday.com

While other states are moving to legalize sports betting, turf wars and disagreements over taxes and fees have stymied similar efforts in Missouri this year. But as state lawmakers reconvene for the second half of the legislature’s 100th annual session this week, the state’s money woes could put pressure on the players to find common ground.

VT: Vermont universities seek to increase mental health, addiction programs

vtdigger.org

Vermont universities plan to use a one-time infusion of state cash to boost the mental health and addiction treatment workforce.

PA: One-third of Pennsylvania counties taking action to replace voting systems by 2020

penncapital-star.com

Counties across Pennsylvania are on track to replace their voting machines ahead of the 2020 primary elections, but some local officials still have concerns about how they’ll pay for them.

CO: Colorado sheriffs resist gun control bill

denverpost.com

As Colorado lawmakers get close to putting a gun control bill on the governor’s desk, resistance from some law enforcement officials is highlighting a tension between state and local governments and raising questions about how the law will be carried out — if at all. Thirty-two mostly rural counties have approved so-called Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions pledging not to enforce the bill.

Maryland Senate Rejects Aid-in-Dying Bill Farmer Retirements
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