Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/10

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/10

CA: Criminal justice measure makes 2020 California ballot

latimes.com

A ballot measure would roll back some provisions of previous California initiatives that were aimed at reducing prison populations, including one from 2014 that reduced some felony theft charges to misdemeanors.

NY: New York governor calls on state Senate to codify Roe v. Wade

timesunion.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, unveiled a campaign calling on the Republican-controlled state Senate to codify Roe v. Wade into New York law, or be voted out of office. The campaign includes a new digital ad “Vote for Roe or We’ll Vote You Out,” as well as a six-figure TV ad buy championing the governor’s record on women’s rights.

MS: Mississippi argues against receivership for state foster care

jacksonfreepress.com

Mississippi claims the quality of foster care is improving, despite a legal filing saying it is still not complying with court-ordered regulations. The state agreed to require 90 percent of caseworkers to meet their caseloads, but in May it regressed to 52 percent.

LA: Louisiana criminal justice policies save $12M, governor says

nola.com

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana's new criminal justice policies have saved the state $12.2 million, twice as much as experts had expected in the first year. Changes to criminal laws last year resulted in Louisiana's prison population dropping to its lowest level in 30 years.

WI: Wisconsin cities face billions in unfunded retirement promises

wpr.org

Wisconsin cities face $2.25 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities. A Wisconsin Policy Forum report finds that, between 2013 and 2016, most of the state's 25 biggest cities made progress in reducing the size of their unfunded commitments, but projected costs in Milwaukee and Racine alone erased the gains made by the others.

ID, WA: Idaho, Washington researchers use music to study salmon migration

idahostatesman.com

Researchers in Washington and Idaho used music to analyze huge amounts of salmon location data collected from the inner ears of fish. It could be a key to understanding how dams and other man-made interferences affect the survival of Chinook salmon as they migrate to and from Idaho.

NM: New Mexico lawsuit key to ‘Obamacare’ changes

abqjournal.com

A lawsuit by a New Mexico insurer was key to the government's suspension of billions of dollars in "risk adjustment" payments from insurers with healthier patients to those with a sicker clientele. A federal judge agreed with New Mexico Health Connections that there were flaws in the way payments were calculated, penalizing some small insurers.

ND: Marijuana legalization likely to appear on North Dakota ballot

bismarcktribune.com

North Dakotans are likely to have their say about legalizing recreational marijuana in November, following the submission of 18,700 signatures to the office of Republican Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger. A total 13,452 signatures were needed to place the measure on the ballot.

FL: Florida governor declares state of emergency over algae bloom

orlandosentinel.com

Republican Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in seven Florida counties to combat the algae bloom caused by water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The order allows water to move through canal systems south of the lake.

MO: Missouri poised to regulate cage fighting

stltoday.com

In a move aimed at protecting children from serious injuries, Missouri is poised to adopt new rules barring people under the age of 18 from competing in mixed martial arts competitions. The new regulations are the result of state legislation passed in May.

IL: Dockless bike company pulls out of Chicago because of locking rules

chicagotribune.com

The company Ofo is pulling its bikes out of Chicago due to locking regulations, which the China-based company said make it too difficult to provide service. The city’s program required that bikes in the program lock to a stationary object like a bike rack; Ofo’s bikes can be left anywhere using a wheel lock.

DC: As D.C. restaurants go cashless, a backlash builds

washingtonpost.com

The cashless movement has reached the District of Columbia, where a growing number of restaurants and other establishments are saying no to greenbacks in favor of plastic and mobile payments. Soon, they may be breaking the law. A proposed bill would require retailers to accept cash.

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