What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/10

Top State Stories 5/10

GA: Georgia governor signs tax credit meant to benefit rural communities

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed a measure that provides $60 million in tax credits to companies that invest in businesses in rural parts of Georgia. Opponents called the program a giveaway to corporate interests but supporters praised it as a boon to parts of the state in need of investment and revitalization.

NE: Nebraska lawmakers pass budget bills after almost forcing government shutdown

The $8.9 billion package closes a budget gap that had grown to about $1.1 billion for the period ending June 30, 2019. It calls for increases in the Property Tax Credit Fund, K-12 education, corrections, the justice system and child welfare, while reducing funding for the University of Nebraska and most other state agency operations.

WI: Bill to limit election recounts in Wisconsin advances

A bill that would have prevented Wisconsin's presidential election recount is gaining momentum in the state Legislature, after an Assembly committee voted in favor of a proposal that would limit who can request recounts in state and local elections.

LA: Louisiana House panel kills governor’s tax proposal

The House Ways and Means Committee killed a bill backed by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards that could have reduced taxes for 90 percent of Louisiana households while raising taxes on businesses. Instead, the panel approved tax breaks for corporations.

CA: California Assembly votes to allow Communists to hold state jobs 

California may end a decades-old ban on members of the Communist Party working in its government, after the Assembly approved a bill that would delete references to the party from its employment requirements.

OR: Oregon may allow drivers to choose “nonbinary” for licenses

Oregon may soon become the first state to allow residents to identify as "nonbinary," neither male nor female, on their driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Canadian province of Ontario began issuing gender-neutral licenses and health cards earlier this year, and California legislators are considering a bill that would allow drivers to register as nonbinary.

NY: New York's top court upholds strict drunken driving rules

New York's top court has upheld a policy implemented by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration that allows the state Department of Motor Vehicles to go beyond state law governing relicensing procedures and permanently revoke driving privileges for repeat drunken drivers.

OK: Oklahoma’s April revenue falls nearly 13 percent below projection

Oklahoma's General Revenue Fund collections for April missed the official monthly estimate by more than $90 million, or 12.9 percent. So far this fiscal year, revenue to the state's general fund is 4.4 percent below what budget officials projected and 5.3 percent below prior year collections.

TX: Texas House approves bill barring suspensions of youngest students

The Texas measure would ban out-of-school suspensions for kids in second grade or younger except in the most extreme cases, such as those involving violent assaults, weapons or drugs and alcohol.

HI: Fewer homeless people traveling to Hawaii

In 2012, about 470 people arrived on Oahu from the mainland and were homeless within a year. That figure was down to 309 in 2015. Advocates say Hawaii’s rising cost of living, higher shelter fees, and a crackdown on homeless people camping on sidewalks, beaches and parks may be responsible for the decrease.

NC: Teachers, state workers would get raises in North Carolina Senate budget

The North Carolina Senate’s proposed $22.9 billion spending plan represents a 2.5 percent increase from the current year that ends in June — about half the increase in Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposal. Teachers would get a pay raise averaging 3.7 percent, while other state employees would get raises of $750 or 1.5 percent of their salary, whichever is greater.

NV: Bill to protect student journalists considered by Nevada Assembly

High school and college journalists would get a little more protection under a bill being considered at the Nevada Legislature. A similar measure is moving through the Arizona Legislature.

IL: Illinois lawmakers vent about lack of a budget

Rank-and-file members of the Illinois House from both parties vented their frustration at the two-year Capitol stalemate, penning an open letter saying it's time for the Legislature to pass a budget. 

Georgia Governor Signs Law to Create Complex Rural Jobs Program Top State Stories 5/9