What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/10

Top State Stories 11/10

US: Women channel political angst into election success 

After a year of indignities, from the stinging defeat of the nation’s first female major-party presidential nominee to devastating revelations of sexual harassment by men in power, women this week made dramatic strides in municipal elections across the country. 

PA: Justices order Pennsylvania redistricting lawsuit to proceed 

A state-level challenge to how congressional districts were drawn by Republicans six years ago will proceed on a compressed schedule, a closely divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled. 

NC: North Carolina has no idea how much sexual harassment goes on among state employees 

Workplace sexual harassment is more in the spotlight than ever, but one place where there’s almost no light on the subject is in North Carolina’s state government. 

IA: Iowa Legislature harassment complaints will be dealt with by new HR manager 

Republican leaders in the Iowa Legislature are creating a human resources manager position to oversee harassment complaints, six weeks after the state agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with a former Senate staffer who said she was sexually harassed in the GOP caucus office. 

AZ: Arizona admits $85 million in funding sent to wrong schools 

Arizona's Department of Education has notified schools that $85 million in funds for disabled and low-income students were misallocated, with some schools getting too much and some too little, after a newspaper investigation. Some districts may have been prevented from hiring teachers or giving raises because of shortfalls. 

NM: New Mexico legislators seek to limit access to police video 

New Mexico lawmakers are drafting legislation that would restrict public access to video recordings from police lapel cameras of people with mental illnesses. Public availability could inhibit mental health crisis teams from calling for emergency help, advocates said. 

UT: Utah offers nearly $2 million in tax incentives for 650 jobs 

Two technology companies have received incentive offers of nearly $2 million from Utah economic development officials, in return for promises to expand and create jobs in the state.   

MA: Massachusetts House OKs bill that ensures free birth control 

Massachusetts House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ensure access to free birth control in the state and shield state residents from changes to federal law regarding contraceptive coverage requirements. The bill is now headed to the Senate. 

MO: Untested rape kits in Missouri ordered audited 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the audit after a Columbia Missourian report that Missouri has never done a statewide review of untested rape kits, so the number of unprocessed kits is unknown. The newspaper reported that at least 32 other states have conducted audits. 

CA: California senator accused of firing aides who knew of his advances on job hopeful 

California state Sen. Tony Mendoza fired three aides in September as allegations were reported to the Senate Rules Committee that the senator repeatedly invited home a young woman who wanted a job. Multiple sources told The Sacramento Bee that Mendoza, a Democrat, invited the young woman back to his place to review resumes, including hers, on the night of a party at a nightclub. The woman worked as a fellow in his office through a prestigious Sacramento State program that places graduates in legislative offices for 11 months. 

CT: Defense bill would add billions of dollars in spending in Connecticut 

Military spending that would send billions of dollars to build jet engines, submarines and helicopters in Connecticut advanced this week when congressional negotiators put the final touches on legislation now headed to the House and Senate for separate votes. The National Defense Authorization Act, which outlines about $700 billion in military spending for 2018, must be signed by President Donald Trump following congressional approval. 

SD: South Dakota lawmakers push for tax credit for workforce housing developers 

South Dakota lawmakers hope that approving a tax break for developers could spur the construction of workforce housing across the state. 

SC: South Carolina legislator charged with assaulting female colleague at the Statehouse 

A South Carolina lawmaker was charged with assaulting a fellow legislator at the Statehouse earlier this year.

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