By: - December 4, 2014 12:00 am

US: 17 states suing on immigration

A coalition of states, led by Attorney General and Republican Gov.-elect Greg Abbott of Texas, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, arguing that he violated his constitutional duty to enforce the laws and illegally placed new burdens on state budgets.

FL: Court deals blow to drug testing of Florida welfare recipients

A federal appeals court ruled that people cannot be forced to surrender their constitutional rights as a condition of receiving a government benefit.

KY: Kentucky looks at offering enhanced high school diploma

By the 2016-2017 school year, the state could have a new program called “Kentucky Rising” that will create an enhanced high school diploma that would allow graduates to get scholarships and early college admissions.

NY: ‘Not One Well’ gas campaign launched in New York

A coalition of groups aims to head off the possibility that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo might approve a limited pilot program to allow hydraulic fracturing wells in “sacrifice zones” with the approval of local elected officials.

DE: ACLU argues Delaware’s charter schools causing resegregation

The ACLU has filed a federal complaint against Delaware’s education department, saying the state’s charter schools are causing resegregation and discrimination.

TX: Perry to require Texas agencies to use E-Verify

Republican Gov. Rick Perry is requiring all state agencies to use E-Verify, a federal electronic employee verification system that aims to prevent the hiring of illegal workers. Perry had said in 2010 that E-Verify would not “make a hill of beans’ difference when it comes to what’s happening in America.”

UT: Hikes studied for gas tax, sales tax, registration fees

To better fund transportation programs, legislators are considering big hikes in sales taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and perhaps more.

ID: State, local officials orchestrate move to fill old Heinz plant

Plans are to hire as many as 1,000 workers for Amy’s Kitchen, which specializes in organic and vegetarian foods, in the Pocatello plant and begin initial production by Dec. 15. To date, 75 key employees have been hired, and all but two are former Heinz workers.

NC: State launches campaign to combat underage drinking

The .5 million campaign is designed to reduce underage drinking through sobering TV ads, a website to help parents talk to kids and a series of school assemblies with Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

AL: Medicaid pays for 53 percent of all Alabama births

When you talk about Alabama’s high infant mortality rate (the second-worst in the nation), the population most affected is the state’s low-income, at-risk mothers.

IA: Mentally ill kids need state help, families say

A coalition of Iowa mothers has asked the state to provide more help for mentally ill children.

ME: Ethics agency aims to restrict use of PAC funds

The agency proposed the change to the legislature in response to a news story report that Democratic state Sen. John Tuttle had used his PAC to buy tires, pay for car repairs, reimburse himself for travel and pay his wife and daughter for computer services and keeping his books.

CT: Thousands rally for educational equity in Connecticut

At the rally in New Haven, speakers called for immediate grass roots and political action to improve the state’s struggling and under-performing schools. More than 40,000 students are performing below grade level in failing schools in Connecticut, they said.

LA: New Orleans rents rise as housing quality declines

The majority of renters in New Orleans are paying increasingly higher rates for substandard housing, according to a new report. The segment of the population spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities increased to 58 percent in 2013, up from 54 percent the year before.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.