What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/26
MS: Mississippi welfare dollars funneled to middle class
Mississippi spends one-sixth of its funding for welfare, a program reserved for the most vulnerable residents, on a college scholarship program benefiting thousands of middle-class families.
MI: Michigan must redraw electoral maps, court says
Michigan would get new state legislative and congressional maps for the 2020 election — and even special state Senate elections — under a sweeping federal court judgment to end a gerrymandering lawsuit.
ME: Maine could tweak laws describing governor, justices as ‘he’
Maine’s first female governor is backing an effort to change state laws that refer to the governor and state justices as “he,” ″him,” or “his.” Lawmakers planned to begin considering legislation to make such references gender neutral.
CO: Colorado governor signs cash bail bill
Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill preventing people accused of many low-level offenses — such as petty, traffic or most municipal charges — from being jailed because they can’t pay their cash bail. People currently locked up on those types of charges must be released.
AK: Alaska tribes, governor at odds over tribal sovereignty
Two tribes say that Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration aren’t doing enough to consult with their leaders on big issues facing the state.
CA: Why California wildfires turn into deadly traffic jams
California is known for its traffic, but during wildfires the jams can be deadly. A new statewide analysis shows where exit route shortages are worst.
TX: Judge blocks Texas ban on Israel boycotts
In Texas, a school speech pathologist from Pflugerville was told she could only continue her contract work if she promised not to boycott Israel.
KY: Kentucky prison population ballooning
Prison populations are steadily declining across most of the United States, but not in Kentucky, where the number of state inmates rose to 24,136 by the end of 2018, according to two new studies.
TN: Tennessee Senate OKs governor’s voucher plan
For the second time this week, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee's education savings account bill received approval in the legislature, this time advancing in the state Senate.
WA: Washington legislature requires breaks, rest for nurses
Washington state nurses would get regular rest and meal breaks under a bill that received final approval in both chambers of the legislature. Republican Sen. Maureen Walsh suggested some nurses don’t need mandated breaks, because they probably spend part of their shift playing cards.
NJ: New Jersey’s ‘Boys of Bridgegate’ doing fine; not so much for female aide
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and several men in his administration involved in closing the George Washington Bridge ramps are doing fine, a lawyer said. Meanwhile, defense attorney Michael Critchley’s client, Bridget Anne Kelly, faces 13 months in prison.
DC: Washington, DC, most gentrified city in US, study finds
Washington, D.C., is the most gentrified city in America, a new study finds. The District is also home to the most gentrified neighborhood in the country: the Navy Yard.
MA: Massachusetts repeals cap on welfare benefits
For nearly a quarter century, families receiving welfare benefits in Massachusetts were denied additional assistance when another child was born. The state Senate repealed the so-called family cap by overriding Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto.