What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/7
OH: Ohio governor calls for gun restrictions
The mass shooting in Dayton has led to renewed calls for gun restrictions in Ohio. Even Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who campaigned as a staunch Second Amendment supporter, unveiled a package of gun control proposals, including background checks for gun sales and “red flag” legislation that would take guns away from dangerous people.
CA: New California background check law blocks 100 sales of ammo
California blocked more than a hundred felons and other prohibited persons from buying ammunition in the past month using a new law requiring background checks. Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra reported the numbers to a federal judge in arguing against an injunction sought by gun groups to block the new law.
LA: Louisiana suspends strict Medicaid eligibility system
The Louisiana Department of Health has suspended a feature of its new eligibility system that automatically kicked people off the Medicaid rolls if they did not respond to requests for annual renewal information. The move will keep 75,000 people from losing coverage.
MD: Maryland governor speaks on threat of white supremacy
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan met with state and federal law enforcement to discuss threats posed by white supremacists. Maryland must counter "the evil of white supremacists and racially motivated violent extremists," he said.
MT: Montana's top political cop rejects complaint about Bullock's travel on presidential campaign
The Montana commissioner of political practices has rejected a complaint filed by Republicans saying that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock used state resources during travel on his campaign for president. Bullock has agreed to reimburse a state protection detail for political trips.
AL: New Alabama law requires photo ID with absentee ballot application
Alabama’s law on absentee voting has changed in several ways, including a new requirement to provide a copy of a photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot. The law also allows absentee voting for caretakers away from home and prisoners whose offenses were minor.
GA: Georgia medical marijuana expansion stalls amid 'frustrating' delay
Nearly four months after Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law allowing companies to grow and sell medical marijuana, he and other top politicians still haven’t appointed members to the commission that will hash out the rules for dispensing the drug.
IL: Illinois lawmaker leaves post amid embezzlement scandal
Days after federal authorities released an indictment of an Illinois state senator for allegedly embezzling almost $275,000 in salary and benefits from the Teamsters union, the Democrat is out as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee.
AR: Arkansas governor urges hate-crime law
Arkansas should have harsher penalties for those who commit crimes against others because of their race, ethnicity or religion, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, adding that he would support taking guns away from dangerous people. Arkansas is one of only four states without a hate-crime law.
OK: Oklahoma lawmakers reject calls for gun control
Most of Oklahoma's top lawmakers said gun control was not a relevant issue, despite renewed calls from many citizens that state and federal law be changed to restrict some access to firearms.
DE: New Delaware law means free bus passes for students
Students in Delaware soon will be able to ride a bus with passes paid for by their schools. Democratic Gov. John Carney is set to sign the bill which will allow district and charter schools to buy and provide annual passes.
NM: New Mexico House Speaker wants special session on domestic terrorism
New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf, a Democrat, called for a special session that would focus on combating potential domestic terrorism, such as creating a new counter-terrorism unit within the state Department of Public Safety and increasing funding for law enforcement.