By: - August 10, 2015 12:00 am

FL: Florida lawmakers return to Capitol to redraw congressional districts

The Florida Legislature returns for a 12-day special session to draw new congressional districts after the state Supreme Court ruled eight districts violate voter-approved standards that ban creating districts to benefit incumbents or a political party.

US: Teacher shortages spur nationwide hiring scramble

Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education—a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.

OH: In Ohio, legal guardians for adults must get training

All court-appointed guardians  in Ohio—lawyers and other professionals as well as family members and caregivers—must now take training in dressing, feeding and caring for elderly people with dementia or young adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities.

SD: South Dakota neglecting its brightest learners

More than 100 school districts in South Dakota have phased out their gifted education programs since the state eliminated a funding match in 1995. The state is one of 10 that have no mandate or dedicated funding for gifted education.

KS: Kansas Capitol’s open gun policy raises concerns

Under a new law, visitors can enter the Kansas Statehouse hiding a loaded handgun in a jacket or under a belt and there is almost nothing the security staff can do about it—which has prompted concern for safety.

WI: Wisconsin grapples with 6,000 untested sexual assault kits

Thousands of DNA samples from victims of suspected sexual assaults in Wisconsin have sat untested in police storage for as long as 19 years.

TX: Planned Parenthood out of Texas cancer screening program

In an effort to boot Planned Parenthood from the joint state-federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, Texas lawmakers have written a provision into the state budget to prohibit clinics affiliated with abortion providers from receiving taxpayer funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings.

TN: Tennessee’s prisons near capacity

Tennessee officials say there’s no overcrowding emergency yet, but the state’s prison system was at 98.5 percent capacity in June and 98.2 percent in July, with three prisons operating at 100 percent capacity or more.

NM: New Mexico lawmakers cautious despite bright revenue outlook

New Mexico is on pace to have taken in more than $100 million more in state tax revenue than forecast for the budget year that ended in June. But some lawmakers remain wary of spending after a year in which sagging oil and natural gas prices caused state revenue estimates to be pared back several times.

NJ: Legislation looks to regulate New Jersey nail salons

Two New Jersey legislators propose annual health and safety inspections of some nail boutiques. The measure would also require that workers wear protective safety equipment.

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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.