SC: Veteran senator resigns after pleading guilty in South Carolina Statehouse corruption probe
Facing up to 16 years in prison on allegations that he pocketed ,000 in campaign cash, Republican South Carolina state Sen. John Courson pleaded guilty and resigned from office.
IL: Illinois governor signs first full budget in three years
The .5 billion bill signed by Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is the product of negotiations between the Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican lawmakers allied with the governor.
CO: Colorado governor vetoes bill to allow pot ‘tasting rooms’
Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said he vetoed a measure that would have allowed licensed marijuana tasting rooms in the state — the first such legislation in the nation — because of health and safety concerns.
NE: In blow to death penalty opponents, judge tosses challenge to Nebraska’s lethal injection protocol
A Nebraska judge has dealt another defeat to the state’s lethal injection protocol by dismissing a lawsuit filed by death penalty opponents. The Attorney General’s Office prevailed in getting the lawsuit tossed out, arguing that only death row inmates have the standing to raise such claims.
WI: Concerned about elder abuse, Wisconsin loans out secret cameras
Wisconsin is trying to curb elder abuse and get reliable evidence for prosecutions by handing out free surveillance cameras to family members, so they can secretly record caregivers suspected of hurting their loved ones. New Jersey is the only other state that loans out cameras for nursing home surveillance.
AZ: Arizona settles lawsuit over voter registration
Arizona has agreed to make it easier to register to vote, as part of a consent decree. Residents will no longer have to provide proof of citizenship if they’ve already done so to get a driver’s license, but the decree leaves in place a voter-approved law requiring proof of citizenship to vote in state and local elections.
LA: Louisiana Senate approves million tax package
The package passed by the Louisiana Senate is about million more than the more conservative House agreed to approve. The two chambers are expected to negotiate over how much taxes should be raised and where budget cuts should be made, if necessary.
NC: North Carolina bill would alert legislators about movies shown to students
A North Carolina state lawmaker is proposing a measure that would require all school districts and charter schools to report to the state which movies were shown during instructional time during the school year.
UT: Utah sales tax struggles, report shows
During the past 45 years Utah has seen the nation’s second-biggest decline in taxable sales as a proportion of consumer services, according to a Utah Foundation report. The decline is happening as consumption shifts from goods to services.
NY: New York governor embraces unions, 8 years after vowing to take them on
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fought for union-backed initiatives such as a minimum wage and paid family leave. He also has softened his support of standardized-test-based teacher evaluations and taken a less confrontational stance on charter schools, both targets of teachers unions’ fury.
AR: Arkansas faces more fights over abortion limits
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let Arkansas enforce a law that critics say effectively bans abortion pills in the state is a setback for abortion rights supporters who have been fighting a wave of restrictions in the predominantly Republican state. The court fight over that restriction and others is far from over.
TX: How Texas schoolteachers weathered the school year after Hurricane Harvey
Homeless for a month and a half after the hurricane, one Texas teacher had to put his life back together while teaching sixth graders. State education officials are preparing to make momentous decisions about how and whether to calculate state ratings for Harvey-affected schools based on this year’s test scores.
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