What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/3

Top State Stories 11/3

IL: Amid sexual harassment charges, Illinois legislative leader loses post 

Fallout from the sexual harassment scandal at the Illinois Capitol continued, as a state senator lost his leadership position and top Democrats scrambled to find a leader for the agency tasked with investigating such complaints after letting the job remain vacant for years.

KS: Forecast raises Kansas revenue expectations by more than $220 million over two years 

Kansas will collect $100 million more during the current budget year than previously expected, and $122 million more next year, according to a new revenue forecast. The new, more optimistic projections would provide lawmakers additional money to spend on state agencies or schools.

SD: South Dakota juvenile reform report findings challenged

A South Dakota government panel reviewed its draft annual report Thursday showing substantial progress in shifting young offenders into alternate community programs rather than sending them away into state Department of Corrections custody. But some are questioning the state’s progress.

ME: Maine will seek disaster aid as more than 70,000 remained without power 4 days after storm 

In the wake of a powerful wind and rainstorm, Maine officials will seek a disaster declaration that could help Mainers pay expenses not covered by their insurance policies, such as spoiled food.

MA: Massachusetts Legislature moves to ban bump stocks 

The Massachusetts Legislature sent a bill to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker that would outlaw the sale and purchase of bump stocks, an accessory used by the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre last month. Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to ban bump stocks.

ME: Who’s paying to try to change Maine laws 

Maine’s referendum questions have been funded to the tune of $11.7 million, most of which came from a handful of wealthy backers and national groups orchestrating efforts to allow for a casino and pass Medicaid expansion.

PA: More than 1,000 register for medical marijuana on Pennsylvania’s first day

The Pennsylvania Health Department said more than 1,000 patients and caregivers registered on the first day of applications for the state’s new medical marijuana program. Patients can apply for a state-issued medical marijuana card if a doctor certifies they have one of 17 qualified medical conditions, including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.

NY: New York attorney general moves to bolster data security

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, is pushing a proposal that would require companies that deal with New Yorkers’ sensitive data, no matter where they are headquartered, to adopt “reasonable” administrative, technical and physical protections for data. The data covered under law would be expanded to include biometric data, such as fingerprints used to unlock an iPhone; username and password combinations; and health data covered under federal privacy laws.

CA: Oil industry spent millions on lobbying as California lawmakers debated cap-and-trade extension

Corporations, unions and other interests spent $86.2 million on lobbying California’s state government during the last quarter, with the oil industry leading the way as the Legislature approved an extension of California’s cap-and-trade program. For the three-month period ending Sept. 30, the top two spenders were Western States Petroleum Assn. ($2.2 million) and Chevron ($1.1 million).

MD: Maryland governor announces tech education initiatives for Maryland Public Schools 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, plans to ask state lawmakers to set standards for computer science training in public schools, one of several steps he says will help create a more tech-savvy workforce in Maryland.

TN: Tennessee audit finds major problems in corporate tax incentives 

Tennessee comptroller watchdogs said they found in a new audit major problems involving the awarding of some tax credits used by the state to attract new businesses and encourage expansions at existing ones.

LA: Impending suit aims to restore protections to Louisiana black bear 

An environmental group has sent a notice of a possible suit against U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries over the protections of the Louisiana black bear. The group says the removal of the bear from the endangered species list was premature.

Addicted Doctors Millennials Moving