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In the States Roundup

Photo courtesy VOCAL-NY

Here's a look at some of the key battles in the states over the past week:

Alaska: Voters will cast their ballots in August to determine the outcome of a ballot initiative that would raise the state's minimum wage to $9.75 (up from $7.75). If the initiative passes, the wage would be indexed to inflation for future increases.

Arizona: The House is considering a bill that would get around a referenda that would invalidate the state's 2013 voter suppression bill. If the new bill passes, the old law would be repealed with the goal of invalidating the referenda and then the legislature would propose six individual voter suppression laws that would replace the old one.

Delaware: A bill in the state House looks set to pass and make Delaware the first state to "ban the box" on government applications asking potential employees to check a box confirming they have a criminal history. If the bill passes, it would go a long way toward ending employment discrimination against potential workers who have paid their debt to society and are trying to re-enter the job force.

Florida: A state-level DREAM Act, that would provide in-state tuition for aspiring citizens, passed a state House committee and has the support of the state's House Speaker Will Weatherford (R).

Georgia: Republicans are pushing legislation that would reduce the minimum amount of early voting days from 16 to 6.

Hawaii: The state House passed a bill that would allow same-day voter registration for elections beginning in 2016.

Idaho: Gov. Butch Otter (R) ordered an investigation into Corrections Corporation of America over understaffing of prisons and falsification of records related to those staffing levels.

Indiana: A state Senate committee is voting this week on a bill that would allow the superintendent of Indianapolis schools to privatize some of the city's schools.

Maryland: The state House held hearings this week on legislation that would require businesses with 10 or more employees to offer one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of seven annually. Smaller companies would be allowed to offer unpaid sick leave instead. Businesses that already offer paid time off would generally be exempt.

Michigan: Republicans are considering legislation that would make it a fine of up to $10,000 a day for picketing.

Mississippi: The legislature is pushing three bills that would limit the free speech rights of Mississippians and would restrict local governments from being able to hire local, skilled workers for construction projects and let shady contractors take these projects and bring in out-of-state workers to do the job.

Missouri: A state House committee passed legislation that would make the state a "right to work" for less state.

Nebraska: The legislature advanced a bill that would create online voter registration.

New Mexico: The Santa Fe County Commission passed a minimum wage increase for the unincorporated parts of the county that would raise the wage to $10.66 per hour, which matches the current minimum wage in the city of Santa Fe. The new wage will go into effect in 60 days.

Washington: The state House advanced four bills that would combat wage theft.

Wisconsin: The state Assembly passed legislation that would overturn living wage laws in Madison, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and Dane County for government employees.

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