US: Student performance slips on national test
Fourth- and eighth-graders lost ground on national math tests this year, the first declines since the federal government began administering the exams in 1990. The tests again show large achievement gaps between the nation’s white and minority students as well as between poor and affluent children.
MI: Michigan Senate adjourns without consensus on a fix for roads
Despite hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the state Senate failed to muster enough votes to pass a plan to raise gas taxes and registration fees and shift million in Michigan’s general fund to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
AZ: Arizona moves to resume executions with new drugs
More than a year after a botched execution, the Arizona Department of Corrections issued new guidelines that eliminate a controversial drug combination from the lethal-injection protocol, allow witnesses to see the preparations, and give defense attorneys access to a cellphone in case of emergency.
WI: Assembly passes overhaul of Wisconsin civil service system
The Wisconsin Assembly passed a measure that would make major changes to the state’s system of hiring and firing state employees, but it is unclear whether the Senate will do the same.
PA: Without a budget, Pennsylvania spends billion
In more than 100 days without a state budget, Pennsylvania has managed to spend billion. The amount is almost comparable to the state’s yearly operating budget, but it involves state and federal dollars and special fund expenditures such as Pennsylvania Lottery winnings.
HI: Hawaii to clear two homeless encampments
A major cleanup of Honolulu’s biggest homeless encampment led to a surge in the homeless population of two parks on state land. Now Hawaii officials are planning to clean up the parks, too.
CO: Colorado secretary of state warns against mailing ballots
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, is recommending that voters who haven’t mailed in their ballots yet deliver them in person before the Tuesday deadline. Several county clerks have expressed concern that the U.S. Postal Service didn’t deliver ballots in a timely manner.
CA: California colleges add food pantries
Eight California State University and nine University of California campuses now operate food banks, providing food for free to students who cannot afford it.
TX: Texas high court to decide if autopsy counts as health care
In a case involving a mysterious hospital death more than a decade ago, the Texas Supreme Court seeks to answer a deceptively simple legal question: Should an autopsy be considered medical care? If the high court says yes, it would make it tougher to sue doctors and hospitals for alleged wrongdoing.
IN: Panel fails to reach consensus on Indiana drug legislation
A panel that reviewed Indiana’s fledgling needle-exchange program couldn’t agree on additional steps to combat the state’s drug abuse woes.
WY: Revenue report predicts Wyoming budget will take million hit
The new revenue forecast, calculated through June 2018, said Wyoming would receive million less than what state officials had expected. Oil, natural gas and coal are contributing factors to the shortfall.
AK: Teen e-cigarette use on the rise in Alaska
More Alaska high schoolers used electronic cigarettes than traditional cigarettes in 2015, according to the Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
IL: Company taking back Illinois prison agency vehicles after state doesn’t pay bill
A trucking company that leases semis to the Illinois Department of Corrections is taking the vehicles back after the state failed to pay its bill because of the ongoing budget dispute between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.
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