What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/20

Top State Stories 4/20

CO: U.S. Supreme Court says Colorado must refund defendants who are exonerated

The court struck down a Colorado law that allowed the state to keep fees and restitution paid by criminal defendants even when their convictions are overturned, saying it was an unconstitutional violation of their rights.

CA: California proposal would allow public colleges to offer abortion by medication

A California lawmaker proposed requiring California colleges and universities to provide students abortion counseling and medication at their health centers instead of referring students to off-campus clinics.

AR: Arkansas’ execution plan again thrown into doubt

An aggressive effort by Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for a second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.

IN: Bill on Indiana governor's desk would ban ban-the-box ordinances

The bill in front of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb would keep the state and municipalities from passing laws and ordinances requiring employers to remove questions about criminal records from job applications. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have ban-the-box laws, most of which apply to state or local government hiring.

NY: New York City moves to raise cost of cigarettes to nation's highest

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed raising the base price of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, which would make New York City home to the costliest cigarettes in the country. The city seeks to reduce the number of its smokers from more than 900,000 to 160,000 over the next three years.

NJ: New Jersey’s chief justice asks for halt in arresting immigrants at courthouses

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner called on federal immigration officials to stop arresting unauthorized immigrants at state courthouses, warning the practice could undermine New Jersey's justice system.

US: In assessing schools, some states want kids to show up for class

Of the dozen states that have laid out plans for holding their schools accountable under the new federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, 10 are aiming to use chronic absenteeism as a factor in identifying their best and worst schools. So is the District of Columbia.

TX: Texas House tentatively backs bill setting statewide regulations for Uber, Lyft

The measure would override local regulations and require ride-hailing companies to have a permit from the state and pay an annual fee to operate throughout Texas. It also calls for the companies to perform local, state and national criminal background checks on drivers annually.

NC: North Carolina bill would give charter schools money for buses

A House bill proposes to have the state pick up as much as 65 percent of the transportation costs at North Carolina charter schools where at least half the students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

MD: Maryland eases restrictions on past marijuana use by prospective police officers

Regulators in Maryland eased restrictions on the amount of marijuana prospective police officers may have smoked before being hired in the state — a move Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis championed to boost his department's hiring efforts.

NH: New Hampshire governor touts all-day kindergarten bill

A bill that would provide communities up to $9 million a year to fund full-day kindergarten is an investment in New Hampshire’s children and the business community, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said.

Tax Credits for Rural Jobs Cause Trouble for Some States Immigration Enforcement