What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/5

Top State Stories 2/5

US: Cities and states take the lead on banning bump stocks 

In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter’s semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine guns. That effort has stalled at the federal level. Gun-control advocates say the recent push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. 

DC: Once a national model, D.C. public schools now a target of FBI investigation 

With the revelation that more than 900 students — one-third of last year’s high school graduates — should not have been awarded diplomas because of truancy and other problems, the District of Columbia school system has turned virtually overnight into an embarrassment for the city and its elected leaders, who are publicly re-examining their assumptions about the system’s progress. 

OR: Oregon has big pot overproduction problem 

Oregon’s top federal prosecutor said the state has a “formidable” problem with marijuana overproduction that winds up on the black market. His comments come after Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew an Obama administration memo that had guided states with legalized weed on how to avoid federal scrutiny. 

CA: California Legislature releases a decade's worth of records on sexual harassment investigations 

The California Legislature disclosed 18 cases of alleged sexual harassment. The information, provided after three months of requests from Los Angeles Times reporters and attorneys, provide the most detailed information, to date, of workplace sexual misconduct investigations at the Capitol in Sacramento and legislative district offices across the state. 

OH: Ohio teen’s death could lead to ban on skateboarding stunt 

Disturbed by a tragic accident near his home, an Ohio lawmaker said he discovered that although it is illegal to ride a bike, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle while being attached to a streetcar, trackless trolley or vehicle, doing so with a skateboard is legal. West recently introduced a bill, known as the Dallas Swogger Act, that would ban skateboarding while attached to a vehicle. 

WV: West Virginia lawmakers consider ban on Medicaid-funded abortion 

The West Virginia House of Delegates will hold a public hearing on a bill that aims to prevent Medicaid dollars from being spent on any abortions in West Virginia, except to save the life of the mother. Only South Dakota has similar legislation, which is stricter than federal law. 

SD: Transgender bathroom policy debate returns to South Dakota Legislature 

South Dakota lawmakers are set to consider what students should be taught about gender identity and whether schools should write and make public their transgender bathroom policies. 

IA: More Iowa women are running in — and winning — local elections 

There is a wave of women in Iowa and nationwide who are running for office. In the past month, several Iowa city councils have become majority-woman for the first time. 

NM: New Mexico's Lost Decade: State mired since Great Recession 

Of New Mexico's 33 counties, all but tiny Mora County have higher unemployment rates than they did before the recession. The state hasn't yet gotten back the more than 50,000 jobs it lost during the recession, making New Mexico one of only a few states that have yet to recover their jobs. 

CO: Hopes dim for supervised injection site in Colorado 

Months after a bipartisan legislative panel approved the measure, the door to opening a supervised injection site for drug users in Colorado is closing at the state Capitol. The bill’s sponsors say the effort is unlikely to survive a Republican-led state Senate committee. 

NC: Interior secretary talks offshore drilling with North Carolina governor, legislators in separate meetings 

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke held separate discussions about offshore drilling with a group of North Carolina Republican legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, who was joined by coastal elected leaders who are opposed to oil exploration. Cooper said Zinke made no promises. 

DE: Delaware voter registration forms may be illegal 

Delaware's top election official is vowing to update the state's voter registration forms amid claims those documents are in violation of federal law and could be disenfranchising thousands of potential voters. A nonpartisan voter advocacy group found that the federal voter registration form for Delaware contains outdated information about felons' eligibility to cast ballots in state elections.

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