By: - December 6, 2019 12:00 am

WV: West Virginia enrollment spikes under free community college

The number of first-time freshmen in West Virginia’s public community colleges jumped 10% from last fall to this fall, the first semester in which the state has offered its free tuition program. The overall number of high-schoolers taking courses through the nine public community colleges surged 27%. 

AZ: Megafarms, deep wells draining Arizona groundwater

Arizona’s groundwater levels are plummeting in many areas, especially unregulated rural areas with unlimited pumping. The water levels in more than 2,000 wells have dropped more than 100 feet since they were drilled.

RI: Judge OKs suit to stop sports gambling in Rhode Island

A constitutional challenge to legal sports betting in Rhode Island is rolling ahead after a Superior Court judge ruled that a former Providence mayoral candidate has standing to sue the state over it because he lost a bet on the New England Patriots last year. The former candidate wants a judge to halt state-sponsored sports betting until it is approved by voters.

AL: Alabama counties: State prison law places burden on them

Alabama’s 2015 criminal justice law passed to reduce crowding in state prisons has placed new burdens on counties to house inmates in jails without any new funding to compensate, the Association of County Commissions said in a report.

IL: Illinois governor back to drawing board after appointing former lobbyist to ethics commission

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will have to find a different appointee to a newly formed ethics commission after his administration mistakenly appointed a former lobbyist, Steven Andersson, to the post. Legislators last month passed a resolution to create the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to take up the many issues unearthed by federal investigations into three lawmakers.

CA: California governor announces housing money challenge

California cities and counties will have a shot at a piece of $35 million in more housing money if they meet goals designed to help homeless people off the streets through a “100-day challenge” announced by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Local governments will set their own goals.

MI: Michigan budget standoff nearing an end

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican lawmakers appear close to a deal that would end a two-month Michigan state budget impasse. The Michigan House passed two budget bills that would restore more than $450 million previously vetoed by the governor.

DC: New bill could allow parents of people killed by D.C. police to request body camera footage

An emergency bill unanimously approved by the District of Columbia Council would allow parents and relatives of people who die during interactions with police the right to see the body-worn camera footage. Under current law, only individuals caught on camera or their legal representative can ask to view the footage.

HI: Mayor of Hawaii city to ban single-use plastics

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, a Democrat, reaffirmed that he will likely sign a bill that would ban most food-service type, single-use plastics on the Hawaiian island of Oahu by 2022. The bill would impose the strictest plastics ban in the state.

NV: Lawsuit filed to block Nevada red flag law

A nonprofit conservative group has filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of Nevada’s newly adopted “red flag” law before it takes effect next year. The lawsuit was filed by NevadansCAN, a self-described “non-profit citizens action network” led by Mary Rooney, a former Republican state Assembly candidate and a conservative activist.

ID: Idaho colleges face midyear budget cuts

Several of Idaho’s colleges and universities will trim payroll costs to meet Republican Gov. Brad Little’s request for midyear spending cuts. Little is asking colleges and universities to cut spending by 1% in this budget year, which runs through June 30, and 2% next year.

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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.