What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

Top State Stories 7/25

MA: Massachusetts cannot hold immigrants so U.S. can detain them: state top court

Massachusetts police do not have the authority to detain illegal immigrants solely to buy time for federal law enforcement officials to take them into custody, the state's top court has ruled. The decision amounts to a rejection of requests by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for courts and law enforcement agencies to hold immigrants facing civil deportation orders.

US: Federal judge allows nationwide voter data request to go forward

A federal judge allowed President Donald Trump’s voting commission to go forward with seeking voter data from 50 states and the District of Columbia, ruling that the White House advisory panel is exempt from federal privacy review requirements, whatever additional risk it might pose to Americans’ information.

OH: Medical marijuana set-up costing Ohio taxpayers $6M more

An Ohio legislative panel that oversees state spending approved an additional $6 million for start-up expenses for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program, bringing the total to about $11 million. The board also approved an additional $1.6 million for the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and $4.4 million for the Ohio Commerce Department, which are also involved in setting up the program.

NY: New York expands access to voter registration forms

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered New York state agencies to make voter registration forms available to the public and offer assistance in filling them out in an effort to boost participation in elections. Previously, only the state Department of Motor Vehicles and certain social service agencies provided voter registration forms.

TX: Texas Senate approves ‘private school choice’ bill

After almost three hours of debate, the Texas Senate backed a bill that would subsidize private school tuition for students with disabilities using a tax credit scholarship program. An estimated 6,000 students would receive scholarships of up to $10,000 to attend private schools.

CT: Connecticut House approves state worker concessions

The Connecticut House narrowly approved $1.5 billion in state worker labor concessions to help close about one-third of the projected budget deficit over two years. The concessions included wage freezes, three furlough days, and increased copays for doctor appointments, prescription drugs and emergency room visits.

FL: Florida governor vows to punish Venezuelan regime

Republican Gov. Rick Scott held a rally in South Florida and repeatedly promised to punish companies that do business with the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela. But Scott has offered no details on how that will work and his options may be limited.

WI: Wisconsin lawmakers want to expand voucher eligibility, but disagree on how much

Wisconsin lawmakers seem to agree on a sizeable increase in public school aid for the next two-year state budget. But they don't agree on family income limits for the voucher programs that let low- to middle-income students go to private schools at taxpayer expense.

CA: After their summer recess, California lawmakers will focus on affordable housing 

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders in the California Legislature are vowing to tackle the state’s housing crisis when they return from summer recess, but hammering out a deal could be tricky. The biggest problem? Reaching a deal on an annual source of funding for affordable housing.

TN: Tennessee plans to boost college graduation

Even as access to scholarships and financial aid has skyrocketed in Tennessee, graduation rates have remained stubbornly low, particularly for community college. Now education leaders say they will use their success in financial aid as a model for new strategies to boost graduations and academic success.

Legal Marijuana Reproductive Health