Top State Stories 6/7
NC: North Carolina governor vetoes state budget
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the budget proposal passed by the North Carolina Legislature, saying the level of education spending was too low. Republicans hold large majorities in the Senate and House and could override it.
MI: Republicans repeal Michigan prevailing wage law
A repeal by Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature capped a three-year battle over a law requiring contractors to pay union wages and benefits on state-funded construction projects. The measure was designed to bypass a veto threat from GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, who has said it could discourage careers in the skilled trades.
CO: Colorado governor vetoes marijuana bill, sets record
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has set a new record for vetoes in a single year, rejecting a measure that would have allowed the use of medical marijuana for those with autism. Hickenlooper said in his veto letter the use of medical marijuana to treat autism spectrum disorder has not been fully studied.
IL: Illinois House speaker’s aide resigns in wake of harassment charge
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff resigned hours after a House employee said she endured harassment by the powerful politician’s longtime top aide. An account technician and minutes clerk said she endured and personally witnessed bullying and repeated harassment often sexual and sexist in nature.
MA: In light of child rapist on verge of being freed, Massachusetts governor files tough legislation
A convicted child rapist on the verge of being released after 40 years in state custody is now facing sexual misconduct charges for alleged acts as an inmate. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, has filed legislation that would punish serial child rapists with a life without parole sentence and give judges an expanded role in deciding when sexually dangerous persons are freed.
PA: Pennsylvania Senate advances bill for statewide system to report school threats
The Senate bill, which would create the Safe2Say program, now goes to the House. Under the measure, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office would administer the program and relay reports to police.
TX: Texas just opened the first state-run gold depository
Texans can now store their precious metals in a publicly backed secure vault close to home. Texas lawmakers signed off on building the country’s first state-backed gold depository in 2015. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said at the time that the project would allow the state to “repatriate” gold from New York.
RI: Rhode Island lawyers miss another deadline, which could cost million
Lawyers for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation missed a critical deadline to respond to a multimillion-dollar claim by a contractor for a major bridge project in Providence, resulting in a Superior Court judge ruling in the contractor’s favor.
MD: Nearly 1 in 5 Maryland students is chronically absent
More than 18 percent of students were chronically absent last year, according to Maryland State Department of Education data. The longstanding problem is now gaining attention as states begin putting in place new accountability systems under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
LA: Boosted tax break for Louisiana’s working poor wins passage
The just-ended special session was largely a bust, but Louisiana’s working poor families won a tax break from state lawmakers in the final hours. The tax break expansion reached Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk and he is expected to sign it.
CT: Connecticut parents oppose greater oversight of home-schooled kids
Connecticut home-school advocates and parents called an ongoing Office of the Child Advocate investigation into home education discriminatory and an invasion of privacy. Their criticism comes in response to the office’s recent report finding that the state doesn’t have a safety net for children withdrawn from public schools for home education.
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