[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request [PDF text] to suspend an Iowa state law that prohibits certain sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of a school or day care center, pending a possible US Supreme Court review. The court said that the Iowa Civil Liberties Union [website], which filed the suit on behalf of over a dozen sex offenders, has not "demonstrated a particularly strong probability" that the US Supreme Court will review the law. In April, the Eighth Circuit ruled [PDF text] that the law was constitutional, and the Iowa Supreme Court also found the law constitutional [JURIST report] in July. Iowa's Gazette Online has local coverage.
In other state legal news ...
- Illinois Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today signed [Governor's press release] legislation eliminating the state's statute of limitations for the prosecution of hit-and-run accidents. The law [text] eliminates the current three-year statute of limitations for the prosecution of cases involving drivers who leave the scene of an accident or fail to give information or aid following a car crash that results in death, personal injury or damage to an attended vehicle. The law takes effect on January 1.
- The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that Governor Haley Barbour [official website] may proceed this year with his lawsuit against the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi [website], which receives $20 million per year from the state's tobacco settlement. The private Partnership was founded by former Attorney General Mike Moore and in 2000 a Jackson County Court ordered that $20 million of the state's settlement go to the non-profit Partnership each year. Barbour, the Division of Medicaid [official website], and the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund filed suit, alleging that the money the Partnership receives from the settlement is unconstitutional. The ruling reversed a lower court decision that ordered the challenge postponed 1 year so the Legislature could hold hearings and study the issue. Read the state's 2003 Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review's report on the legality of the 2000 court ordered payments here. AP has more.
- Washington Initiative 912 [PDF text], which seeks to overturn the state legislature's gas-tax hike of 9.5 cents a gallon over the next four years, has qualified for November's statewide ballot. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed announced [Washington Secretary of State news release] that the ballot sponsors easily had the required 224,880 minimum votes for a ballot spot. The tax increase is the main source of revenue for a 16-year, $8.5 billion transportation program for several large state projects. AP has more.