By: - November 13, 2015 12:00 am

US: How gun traffickers get around state laws

In the last few years, more than 20 states have passed laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.

CA: Federal appeals court upholds California’s death penalty 

A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling that found California’s death penalty to be unconstitutional. Lawyers on both sides of the case said the ruling was decided on largely technical grounds and leaves unanswered the larger question of whether lengthy delays are unconstitutional.

US: Obesity still rising among U.S. adults

Despite more than a decade of efforts to get people to watch their weight, obesity is still rising among American adults, and women have now overtaken men in the obese category, new government research shows.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court upholds sex offender registration laws

Justices ruled that Ohio laws requiring certain sex offenders to register with local authorities and verify their address every six months for 25 years do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

IL: Illinois governor to borrow from state agency to pay bills

To help cover Illinois’ unpaid bills in the midst of a budget stalemate, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is turning to an obscure state agency usually occupied with arranging loans to farms, towns and hospitals to borrow $12 million to cover state necessities. 

MD: Nearly 900 apply to grow, produce or sell medical marijuana in Maryland

State regulators in Maryland say they have received so many applications to grow, produce and sell medical marijuana that they no longer expect to begin issuing preliminary licenses by mid-January. 

KS: Kansas legislators get a raise — automatically 

Kansas lawmakers quietly and automatically got an 8.5 percent raise in their living allowance last month. The raise resulted from an escalator clause that has increased lawmakers’ daily “subsistence payments” by more than 28 percent through the past seven years of fiscal woes, employee pay freezes and cuts in other government departments.

UT: Same-sex foster parents, state seek to reverse Utah judge’s order to give up infant

Utah child welfare officials and a set of same-sex foster parents have launched a legal push against a state judge’s order to remove an infant from the couple’s home because they are lesbians. In his ruling, the judge said research showed that children do better in homes with heterosexual parents.

MN: Survey reveals more than 3,400 untested rape kits in Minnesota

A survey of law enforcement agencies in Minnesota found that 171 of them had 3,482 rape kits that had not been submitted for DNA testing as of July 1.

TX: New statewide jail form in Texas aimed at suicide risks

In the wake of the hanging death of Sandra Bland and other recent suicides, the Texas agency that oversees jails is issuing a new inmate intake form so jailers will ask more specific, direct questions when booking people. The screening form gauges the risk of inmate suicide and helps identify medical and mental impairments.

ND: North Dakota teacher shortage spreads

The shortage of teachers in North Dakota extends well beyond the oil patch. While rural school districts have plenty of vacancies, urban ones also had unfilled positions when the school year started. 

NY: New York governor rejects natural gas port proposed off Long Island

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo rejected a proposal to build the first port for liquefied natural gas in New York, saying it would pose a threat to the environment and make an inviting target for terrorists.

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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.