Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/8

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/8

This was updated on Nov. 8 to reflect the Wisconsin Assembly upheld three vetoes and not two.

WY: Wyoming lawmakers reject alcohol tax increase

wyomingnews.com

A bill that would have essentially doubled Wyoming's excise tax on alcohol to provide more funding for substance use treatment programs was rejected by lawmakers during a committee meeting. It would have brought in more than $2 million annually to the state for mental health and substance use programs.

ID: Idaho governor directs state agencies to reduce budgets

idahopress.com

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, is asking state agencies to reduce their budgets, with the exception of K-12 public schools. Little asked directors to pare 1% out of their current year’s budgets and identify another 2% base reduction from their budgets for the coming year.

UT: Utah bill proposes income tax cut, new fuel taxes

sltrib.com

Lawmakers released draft legislation for a major overhaul of Utah’s tax code. The bill would cut Utah’s income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.58% while significantly expanding the per-child tax credit, increasing the sales tax on groceries, and creating a new earned income tax credit and grocery tax credit.

WI: Wisconsin Assembly fails to override veto on mental health center

jsonline.com

The Wisconsin Assembly narrowly upheld three of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' budget vetoes, preventing $15 million from going to a new mental health center both parties say they want. Republicans who control the Assembly are taking a swing at overriding a third veto as well.

NM: Dry New Mexico counties lift booze ban

santafenewmexican.com

Voters in New Mexico’s last two Prohibition-era holdout counties overwhelmingly approved ballot measures allowing the sale and consumption of alcohol. Supporters said the change could spur more restaurants and other businesses. 

MD: In Maryland, the battle over 5G antennas is heating up

baltimoresun.com

The wireless industry wants a clear path to install the box-like equipment on streetlights and utility poles in Maryland and wants statewide legislation. But local governments want to control the location of the equipment, which delivers cellular signals faster than traditional cell phone towers, and what it looks like.

GA: New policy requires fewer tests for some Georgia students

apnews.com

Georgia students taking certain advanced classes in high school will take fewer state tests under a new state policy. The state Board of Education voted to stop requiring students who take certain Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses to take state end-of-course exams in the same subject.

NY: Bail law draws criticism from New York Republican lawmakers

apnews.com

The bail law that passed earlier this year is expected to lessen the number of people held in jail in New York while awaiting trial. It eliminates pre-trial detention and money bail for the wide majority of misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.

AK: Studded tires cost Alaska millions in road maintenance each year, research shows

ktoo.org

A new report finds that over the next 20 years, the road maintenance related to studded tire use will cost Alaska way more than what it takes in from fees drivers pay to use them. The research was requested by the state and conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Engineering.

RI: Women’s Caucus blasts proposed changes to Rhode Island Democratic Party bylaws

providencejournal.com

Tensions between the Rhode Island Democratic Party and its Women’s Caucus have escalated again, this time over a move by party leaders to ban the caucus from raising its own money and endorsing an independent slate of candidates.

DE: It can be hard for Delaware lawmakers to keep their day jobs

delawareonline.com

In Delaware, lawmakers work in Legislative Hall six months out of the year, which allows most to have more than one job. But some who work non-flexible hours in a separate career find it difficult.

WA: Washington governor postpones all transportation projects

mynorthwest.com

With a measure to limit certain vehicle fees, called car-tab fees, to $30 leading in the polls, Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the state's Department of Transportation to postpone all upcoming projects not yet underway. The new measure is expected to slash billions in transportation funding from the state's budget in coming years.

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