What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/16
GA: Voter registration extended in four Georgia counties after Hurricane Michael
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, has re-opened voter registration in four South Georgia counties where Hurricane Michael forced election offices to close last week.
IL: Sears was also pioneer in Chicago’s ‘reverse commute’
One of Sears’ many contributions to Chicago-area history was its role in the growth of the “reverse commute,” traveling from the city to work in the suburbs. Sears, which filed for bankruptcy, moved to the Illinois suburbs in 1992 from its iconic downtown headquarters in what was then the Sears Tower.
CA: U.S. Supreme Court lets stand California ruling on lead paint
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a defeat to business groups in a closely watched California case, rejecting appeals of a ruling that requires former makers of lead paint to pay $400 million or more to clean up old homes.
NY: Homelessness in New York City public schools is at a record high
Tonight, about 1 in 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives. That’s more children than at any other time since city records have been kept.
IA: Iowa Supreme Court takes case of a dog named ‘Pinky’
The Iowa Supreme Court will decide whether the ordinance used to confine a Des Moines dog for two years as a dangerous animal is unconstitutional.
FL: Florida’s Supreme Court says next governor will pick new justices, not this one
Florida's next governor and not incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott will get to pick three new justices to the state Supreme Court, the court ruled in a decision with major implications in this year's gubernatorial campaign.
KS: Kansas birth certificate policy violates transgender rights: lawsuit
Citing privacy, discrimination and harassment concerns, a national LGBTQ rights organization filed suit against the state of Kansas, alleging that it violates transgender individuals’ rights by refusing to change the sex listed on their birth certificates to correspond with their gender identities.
LA: Audit suggests reducing Louisiana boards and commissions
The number of state boards and commissions in Louisiana is the highest it has been since 2014, according a report released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. The number of boards and commissions in Louisiana has been a talking point for fiscal conservatives, who believe the Louisiana Legislature creates too many.
ID: In Medicaid expansion, small Idaho hospitals see a potential lifeline
Idaho's small-town hospitals have their own reason to back Medicaid expansion: In some cases, it may keep their doors open.
NJ: New Jersey governor orders inquiry into hiring of top official accused of sexual assault
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy worked to quell the controversy engulfing his administration after a woman who accused a top official of sexual assault faulted the administration’s response, saying “I have received no justice,” while Democrats in the Legislature demanded “a full accounting.”
PA: ‘I feel hopeless’: Families call new Pennsylvania prison mail policy devastating
Under the Pennsylvania policy — the first of its kind in a state prison system — incoming mail is addressed to a Florida company before it’s scanned, forwarded to each state prison and stored. The Department of Corrections said it's necessary to stamp out drug smuggling by mail.
TX: EPA considers whether Texas oil companies may pump waste into rivers
For almost as long as there have been oil wells in Texas, drillers have pumped vast quantities of brackish wastewater into underground wells thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface. The Trump administration is examining whether to allow drillers to discharge wastewater directly into rivers and streams from which communities draw their water supplies.
CO: Colorado lawmakers can’t agree on how to handle harassment at the Capitol
Six state lawmakers spent months trying to figure out how people should report allegations of harassment by lobbyists, lawmakers and legislative staff. While the group of Republicans and Democrats agreed on several policy changes, they remained divided over how to police their own at the end of their final meeting.