By: - May 7, 2015 12:00 am

LA: A billion dollars needed to make Louisiana’s state budget work

Louisiana lawmakers must find an additional $1 billion to avoid drastic cuts to higher education, hospitals and other health care services, the Senate’s president warned. The House will start that quest Thursday by taking up a host of bills that would raise taxes and fees, and roll back tax credits and other business incentives.

ND: Oil train derails, explodes in North Dakota

An oil tanker train derailed and burst into flames, forcing the evacuation of the small North Dakota community of Heimdal. The derailment came five days after federal regulators announced strict new rules for trains carrying crude oil across the country.

HI: Hawaii lawmakers vote to get rid of ethanol in gas mandate

If Democratic Gov. David Ige signs the bill, Hawaii would become the second state behind Florida to end its ethanol mandate.

TX: Texas House limits payday lender telemarketing

Advocates for the bill see it as a positive step toward reining in the payday lending industry in Texas, saying the industry preys on poor people, and punishes them with accumulating interest and late payment fees. The measure now heads to the Senate.

WI: Senate passes bill to raise Wisconsin speed limit to 70 mph

The bill would end Wisconsin’s status as a lone island of 65 mph limits in the Midwest by increasing the maximum speed on stretches of interstates and some other four-lane highways that have overpasses, underpasses and ramps. The Assembly has passed a similar version.

NC: North Carolina to show a $400 million surplus

North Carolina will collect about $400 million more in revenue this year than expected—a surplus that officials say largely is the result of taxpayers receiving lower refunds or paying more to settle up in this year’s tax filing season.

MD: Maryland’s governor says state workers can keep pay increase

Maryland state employees will not lose the 2 percent raises they received in January, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said. Hogan initially sought to cut the raises to help address a budget shortfall.

AK: Bill establishing Alaska marijuana control board signed

Independent Gov. Bill Walker signed a bill to establish a five-member volunteer board to craft state regulations for the legal sale of marijuana. Alaska voters approved legal recreational use of pot in November.

DE: Giveaways that cost Delaware parks may grow

Some Delaware legislators are trying to expand freebies they offer, such as free fishing tags to firefighters and discounted park fees to seniors. The giveaways add up to more than $750,000 in uncollected revenue every year.

MN: Minnesota drinking water threatened by nitrates

A new state report warns that nitrate contamination can threaten Minnesotans’ health. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says it underscores the need for lawmakers to take steps to ensure water quality.

KS: Privatizing Kansas public pension system could cost workers more

State workers would potentially have to contribute more of their income if the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System were to be privatized, lawmakers were told.

CA: California panel to consider pay hikes for governor, legislators

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown appointed an executive of the NBA Sacramento Kings to a state commission that will decide whether to give the governor and state lawmakers a raise.

CT: Connecticut’s fraud investigator charged with fraud

The state employee who manages fraud investigations for Connecticut’s welfare department was charged with fraud for lying about his assets on an application to refinance his home mortgage.

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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.