What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/9

  • November 09, 2016

US: Republicans win 3 more governorships, make legislative gains

chicagotribune.com

Republicans won control of governors’ offices in Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont Tuesday, picking up a trio of previously Democratic seats as they inched toward their historical high of 34 governorships in 1922. Republicans also won control of the Kentucky House for the first time in nearly a century and reclaimed the Iowa Senate from Democrats.

US: Voters back recreational, medical marijuana

ap.org

California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot, joining four other states and Washington, D.C., with similar laws. Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas passed medical marijuana measures, pushing the number of states with such laws past two dozen.

NE: Nebraskans vote to restore death penalty

omaha.com

Nebraskans wielded their veto power Tuesday, voting overwhelmingly to restore the death penalty and nullify a historic 2015 vote by state lawmakers to repeal capital punishment.

AZ, CO, ME, WA: Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington set for minimum wage increases

huffingtonpost.com

Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington state approved ballot initiatives to increase their state minimum wages. The measures in Arizona and Colorado also will require businesses to provide employees with paid sick days.

CA: California soda tax measures head to solid wins 

latimes.com

Soda tax measures were headed to victory in three California cities. The measures, on the ballot in San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay suburb of Albany, would place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar beverages.

US: Voters find long lines and a range of irritants, but no outright disruption

nytimes.com

Voters endured long waits in line, malfunctioning voting machines, ill-informed poll workers and other annoyances. But fears of widespread chaos at polling places failed to materialize, nor did there appear to be any organized effort to disrupt the vote, either by supporters of the candidates or by hackers seeking to break into voting or registration databases.

NJ: Voters reject New Jersey casino plan

nj.com

New Jersey voters struck down a ballot measure that would have expanded gambling to the northern part of the state. The referendum asked voters to allow two casinos at least 72 miles north of Atlantic City, the state's gambling hub. 

CO: Colorado votes to allow assisted suicide

upi.com

Colorado voters said yes to a law allowing people who are terminally ill and expected to live six months or less to end their lives with the help of doctors. The vote makes the state the sixth in the nation to allow sick people to opt for assisted suicide.

LA: Louisiana governor to ask for more federal flood relief

nola.com

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards will head back to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with congressional leaders about supplying more federal flood recovery money. Louisiana already has received $438 million from the federal government, but Edwards is asking for $4 billion in extra assistance.

UT: Tesla asks Utah Supreme Court to allow it to sell cars in Utah

sltrib.com

Attorneys for Tesla Motors asked the Utah Supreme Court to rule that the state should not be able to block the company from selling its electric cars directly to consumers without going through a third party.

KS: Constitutionality of Kansas firearms law on trial

cjonline.com 

Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt received permission to intervene in a U.S. District Court criminal case after the judge called into question the constitutionality of a Kansas law designed to nullify enforcement of federal firearm laws when firearms are made, sold or possessed in the state. Two criminal defendants are using the law as their defense.

TX: Texas Senate panel proposes $75.3 million to start fixing Child Protective Services

texastribune.org

The panel's plan would allow Child Protective Services to boost salaries by $12,000 and hire 136 new workers, including 50 new special investigators, 50 new investigative caseworkers and 36 new support staff members. Thousands of Texas children have gone unseen by CPS workers.

OH, PA: Major utility warns it will close plants unless Ohio, Pennsylvania return to regulating them

cleveland.com

FirstEnergy said it will get out of the competitive electricity business, and will sell or close its big coal and nuclear power plants within 18 months unless Ohio and Pennsylvania return to regulating them and setting prices. Gas-fired power plants and wind farms have pushed prices down on regional wholesale markets in which the company's power plants must compete. 

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