By: - March 17, 2015 12:00 am

OR: Oregon is first state to adopt automatic voter registration

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill to automatically register voters using drivers’ license data, and giving them 21 days to opt out. The “motor voter” law goes further than a 1993 federal law that required states to make voter registration available for people getting driver’s licenses.

NY: Attorney General calls for ban on outside jobs for New York lawmakers

Staking out a broad vision of ethics reform amid a swirl of other proposals at the capitol, Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called for an elimination of all outside jobs for state lawmakers and the end of a widely criticized system of per diem payments for them.

AK: Financial fallout from Alaska’s dependence on oil begins

Oil taxes and royalties have been the source of about 90 percent of Alaska’s unrestricted general revenues, but with oil prices flagging and production way down, they’re not coming close to matching state spending. Alaska is staring down a $3.5 billion deficit and the state’s long-term prospects are bleak.

GA: Georgia Supreme Court removes last hurdle for NFL stadium funding

The state’s high court has upheld the city of Atlanta’s plans to help finance the new $1.4 billion stadium for the Falcons football team, allowing the city to move forward with issuing $200 million in bonds toward the project.

AZ: Arizona judges can’t do only opposite-sex marriages

Arizona judges are being told by a state judiciary ethics advisory committee that they must perform same-sex marriages if they choose to perform any. 

TX: Texas urged to crack down on employers that misclassify workers

Skirting tax laws and knowingly hiring unauthorized workers are common practices in Texas, especially in the state’s construction industry. Lawmakers and workers’ rights groups are trying again to target companies that misclassify workers.

CT: High Court: Connecticut marijuana convictions can be erased

People busted in Connecticut for possessing small amounts of marijuana have the right to get their convictions erased because the state decriminalized misdemeanor possession of pot in 2011, the state Supreme Court ruled.

FL: Florida bill to allow guns on campus wins committee approval  

People with concealed weapons permits would be allowed to carry guns on Florida college campuses under a controversial measure that cleared a Senate panel on a party line vote.

WI: Wisconsin’s elderly, disabled among the hardest hit by cut in food stamp benefits

More than 255,000 low-income households in Wisconsin have been affected by cuts in food stamp benefits, with the elderly and disabled being the hardest hit.

NV: Nevada bill would curb payday loan abuses, warn borrowers

Nevada lawmakers considered a bill Monday that aims to curb predatory short-term lending by better disclosing the rates and risks of payday loans.

ND: House votes to lift North Dakota’s corporate farming ban for dairy, swine

The North Dakota House has passed a measure that would lift an 83-year-old ban on corporate-owned dairy and swine farming operations. The bill already has passed the Senate.

MT: Lawmakers look to expand broadband in Montana

Montana lawmakers are considering issuing $15 million in bonds to help expand Internet, phone and cable services to Montana’s isolated communities.

KS: Senate weighs taxes on Kansas’ green energy producers

A Kansas Senate bill would impose property taxes on renewable energy producers and undermine long-term financial agreements between wind power generators and county governments. Currently, green energy companies have a lifetime exemption from school, municipal and state property tax.

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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.