What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/22

Top State Stories 3/22

AR: Arkansas House sends voter ID bill to governor

The measure, which would resurrect the requirements of a voter identification law that was struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2014, would require voters to display photo identification before casting ballots.

MD: Battle continues in Maryland over the use of bail

The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow bail for criminal defendants even if they cannot afford to pay, potentially undoing a recent decision by the state’s highest court.

IN: Why every Indiana prison inmate could soon have a tablet 

A plan to put a closed-circuit, internet-connected tablet in every Indiana inmate's hands could help offenders stay connected with their families and improve their education. But it also could make them vulnerable to price gouging on purchases of games, movies and music.

TX: Texas Senate passes bill aimed at curbing growth in property taxes

The Texas Senate approved a bill that would require an election if a local government entity wanted to increase some of its tax collections by 5 percent or more. Currently, an 8 percent property tax increase or higher allows voters in a city or county to gather signatures to call for an election on the new rate.

WV: West Virginia House eyes sweep of attorney general’s money from settlements 

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would require the West Virginia attorney general to regularly deposit extra money from lawsuit settlements in the state’s general fund rather than keep it to fund legal action to protect consumers.

PA: Pennsylvania Legislature's surpluses grow 18 percent to $118 million

As Pennsylvania lawmakers try to plug a $3 billion deficit, a new audit has found that surpluses in the Legislature’s 45 bank accounts grew by $18 million, to $118.4 million, between June 30, 2015, and June 30, 2016.

FL: Bill to freeze gambling in Florida advances in House

A bill that attempts to lock Florida’s gambling footprint in place for 20 years — and ice out any casino expansion — passed a key House committee.

IA: Iowa bill would ban bathroom cameras in government buildings

An Iowa Senate subcommittee advanced legislation that would ban the use of video cameras in bathrooms, locker rooms and other spaces in state and local government buildings where a person has an expectation of privacy.

MO: Lawmakers weigh several proposals to loosen Missouri’s helmet law

The proposals would impose some of the most restrictive measures in the country while still freeing Missouri motorcycle riders to travel without wearing a helmet. One measure would allow licensed operators 18 and older to ride without a helmet if they have medical insurance coverage of at least $1 million.

LA: Louisiana asks property owners to 'be a hero' in push for housing for flood victims

With more than 45,000 flood victims still living with relatives, Louisiana launched a statewide effort to find property owners and landlords who can provide short- and long-term housing.

OH: New Ohio gun law expands where people can carry concealed weapons 

The law allows employees to bring guns to company parking lots and licensed Ohioans to carry concealed guns to more places, including daycare centers. Ohio began issuing concealed handgun licenses in 2004 and issued a record 158,982 such permits last year.

DE: Delaware lawmakers want changes to state Board of Education

A panel of legislators decided not to shut down Delaware’s Board of Education, but its members urged the board to be more transparent and responsive to the public.

Urban Trees Tax Refund Delays