What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/18
CA: Lead paint suppliers settle California suit for $305 million
The nation’s major suppliers of lead paint have agreed to pay California’s largest cities and counties $305 million to settle a nearly two-decade-old lawsuit. Lead paint suppliers tried unsuccessfully to change California law and last year attempted a ballot initiative that they later withdrew.
NJ: New Jersey sues Trump administration to reclaim residents' lost property tax break
New Jersey went to court to challenge a new IRS rule that bars residents from circumventing the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions enacted by President Donald Trump. The tax law disproportionately hurts high-tax blue states like New Jersey, which has the nation’s highest property taxes.
OR: Oregon state workers could get up to 15% raises over two years
Public employee unions representing Oregon state workers have negotiated new contracts that would provide pay increases of up to 15% over the next two-year budget period.
WA: Washington state drivers might be charged by the mile
Washington state would move toward replacing the gas tax with a pay-per-mile system under a proposal the state Transportation Commission is expected to vote on late this year. It’s too early to say how the commission will vote.
FL: Florida to require mental health classes in school
Public schools will be required to teach students at least five hours of mental health instruction beginning in sixth grade under a mandate approved by the state Board of Education and hailed by Florida's top educator as a “life saver.”
MD: As more states pass laws mandating Holocaust education, Maryland holds back
Oregon just became the 12th state to mandate Holocaust education in its schools — a list that doesn’t include Maryland, despite a lawmaker’s efforts to change that during the most recent General Assembly session. His bill had support from the Maryland PTA and the Anti-Defamation League, but never gained traction in the legislature.
NV: Nevada could lose millions in grant money as its youth tobacco sales rate rises
Nevada stands to lose up to $7 million a year in funds that flow to substance abuse treatment because too many stores are selling tobacco to minors. The Nevada Attorney General’s Office is certain the state will end the federal fiscal year with a violation rate of more than 20%, meaning it can expect a penalty from the federal government.
IL: Group sues over Illinois gun dealer oversight law
The Illinois State Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit alleging a new law that expands state oversight of firearm dealers places “onerous restrictions” that could drive many gun sellers out of business.
VA: Court strikes down Virginia law targeting homeless alcoholics
A divided federal appeals court struck down a Virginia law for “effectively criminalizing an illness” by targeting homeless alcoholics for buying, consuming or having alcohol. The narrowly decided case reversed an earlier ruling from a three-judge panel of the same court.
KS: As heat wave hits Kansas, some roads are actually buckling
Law enforcement and transportation officials in Kansas had already reported heat buckles on roads before a National Weather Service excessive heat warning took effect. The cost to fix heat buckles depends on their size, which affects the amount of time and materials.
NC: North Carolina’s lone GOP justice: Democratic colleagues are ‘AOCs’
The North Carolina Supreme Court's only registered Republican called out the remaining six Democratic justices in a speech that marked an unusual open criticism of the state's highest court from within.
NH: New Hampshire passes bill to provide free tampons in schools
Describing access to period products as an issue of equality and dignity, New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu added the Granite State to a movement aiming to help those who skip class because they can't afford tampons and sanitary napkins.