By: - September 18, 2015 12:00 am

TX: In a first, Texas court recognizes same-sex common law marriage

A Travis County (Austin) woman won her long battle to be acknowledged as her deceased partner’s legal spouse, marking the first time in Texas a same-sex common-law marriage has been recognized in a court ruling.

FL: Florida lawmakers review driver’s license suspensions

The Florida Senate is reviewing instances in which a person’s driver’s license can be suspended. Currently, licenses can be suspended for a variety of nondriving related offenses, and many low-income people can’t afford to have them reinstated. 

LA: Louisiana court system operating ‘modern debtors’ prison,’ lawsuit claims

A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court accuses the Orleans Parish (New Orleans) criminal court system of using illegal warrants to arrest the city’s poorest citizens in what amounts to a “modern debtors’ prison.”

VA: Health board rolls back Virginia abortion clinic regulations

Under the amended rules, abortion clinics in Virginia would no longer be required to comply with impatient hospital codes, have transfer agreements with hospitals or meet strict construction and design standards.

NJ: Appeals court says New Jersey casino can regulate weight of cocktail waitresses

A New Jersey appeals court upheld the personal appearance policy of the Borgata casino. Twenty-one servers sued the hotel, alleging they had been subject to comments from supervisors asking whether they were pregnant or getting fat. 

ND: North Dakota lawmakers review sex offender requirements

The number of registered sex offenders living among North Dakotans has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, but attorneys said the law spelling out the registration requirements is long and confusing and should be streamlined.

IL: Illinois Lottery made less money last year

The Illinois Lottery proceeds dropped last year for the first time since 2009, reducing the amount of money it generates for state programming by $125 million, according to a new report from the Illinois Legislature.

MO: University of Missouri Title IX office makes first report

An annual report by the new Title IX office says hundreds of sex discrimination cases on the University of Missouri campus have been investigated and seven students have been suspended. The study started 18 months ago as part of ramped-up efforts to fight sexual assault.

MN: Minnesota state parks seeing rise in visitors 

More people are visiting Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas. The state Department of Natural Resources said sales of one-day permits rose 16 percent compared with the same period a year ago and sales of annual permits jumped 12 percent.

AK: Alaska Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding lawsuit

The state Supreme Court heard arguments over whether Alaska municipalities must help fund schools. The court’s ruling on the case could upend education funding in the state.

NE: Nebraska death penalty foes challenge ballot measure

Nebraska death penalty opponents filed a lawsuit arguing that a ballot measure to reinstate the punishment is invalid because Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who helped bankroll the petition drive, wasn’t listed as a sponsor.

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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.