Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, as more than 9,000 firefighters battle 21 major fires in California. Wildfires also are burning in Washington and Oregon, as the West Coast suffers from the effects of drought and summer heat.
From 2012 to 2014, there were 553 allegations of staff sexual misconduct in Washington prisons. Only 58 of these complaints were found to have merit by prison investigators. More commonly, the cases are ruled unfounded or that not enough evidence exists to prove wrongdoing.
Just 13 states and the District of Columbia require home-school instructors to have minimum qualifications, in most cases a high school diploma. Fewer than half of the states — 20 — require an assessment of home-schooled students’ academic progress. Just 12 states require home-schooled students to take a standardized test.
The state Department for Children and Families won’t bar single Kansans from serving as foster parents for abused and neglected children, but it hasn’t decided whether to allow married same-sex couples to do so.
North Dakotans can buy a beer at a restaurant an hour earlier on Sundays, carry concealed weapons in more places and legally drive a snowmobile at a younger age after more than 300 new and revised laws took effect over the weekend.
Virginia can ban the Confederate flag from specialty license plates the state issues in the future, a federal judge said. But no decision has been announced on whether existing tags can be revoked.
Maximum-security inmates at the Utah State Prison are on a hunger strike, demanding — among other things — that gang leaders be moved elsewhere in the prison.
Some felons work as private investigators in Mississippi, one of only five states in the country that fails to require that the profession be licensed.
About 13,000 West Virginians received a permit to carry a concealed gun from Jan. 1 through the end of March, a rate that could be the highest in the state’s history. About 8 percent of the state’s residents, or 147,801people, had permits as of the end of last year.
Wisconsin has passed up more than $550 million in federal money available under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican-controlled legislature never seriously considered accepting the federal dollars, instead backing Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s approach of expanding Medicaid but rejecting the federal money.
Of the 160 people in the Florida House and Senate, 114 have increased their incomes and personal net worth while in office. Thirteen have become millionaires. Florida has a part-time legislature, so most lawmakers have other jobs.