What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/23

Top State Stories 2/23

MO: Missouri governor indicted on charge of felony invasion of privacy

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican who was swept into office in 2016 with a vow to clean up a corrupt state government, was indicted and booked on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of his partly-nude lover shortly before that campaign started.

CT, NJ, NY, RI: Four Northeastern states launch gun control coalition 

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island will begin sharing databases and criminal intelligence and coordinating research related to potential firearm purchases, gun trafficking and violent crime.

TN: Tennessee House considers lighter penalties for carrying a handgun without a permit 

A controversial gun bill that would reduce penalties for carrying a handgun without a permit advanced in the Tennessee Legislature, despite criticism from the office of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a sheriffs’ association and a gun law advocacy group.

CA: California state senator abruptly resigns, was facing expulsion after sexual harassment investigation

Tony Mendoza, a Democrat who moved swiftly from local to state government elected offices, resigned from the California Senate just moments before his colleagues sought to formally expel him after a series of sexual misconduct accusations. He is the third state legislator to resign in the wake of allegations that have shaken the state Capitol community.

FL: Florida House panel seeks work requirements for Medicaid patients

After the Trump administration said it would give states leeway to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, Florida’s Republican House Speaker said the state would not consider imposing such requirements. But this week a House panel backed a proposal to request federal approval of a requirement that people in Florida’s Medicaid managed-care program provide proof of working, attending school or trying to find jobs.

AZ: Arming teachers not a new idea in Arizona

In 2013, shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, Arizona lawmakers proposed legislation to allow teachers and staff in K-12 schools to carry guns on campus. Other bills that year would have allowed guns on college campuses, teachers in rural areas to carry guns on campus, and teachers in any school to carry weapons. All failed. A 2008 bill to allow guns on campuses — introduced after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech — also failed.

NV: Marijuana disposal boxes installed at Nevada airport

The first 13 of a planned 20 marijuana amnesty drop boxes have been installed at and around the international airport in Las Vegas. While the possession of small amounts of marijuana was made legal in January, an ordinance in the Nevada county forbids weed on any airport property.

MD: Maryland officials look to shore up election defenses after Russian tampering

As details emerge of the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election, officials in Maryland are working with federal authorities to shore up the state’s defenses against tampering with electronic voting systems and electoral rolls. Lawmakers have introduced proposals to fix perceived flaws, audit results more rigorously and compel greater disclosures about advertising on social media.

WV: West Virginia school employees converge on Capitol amid work stoppage

All 55 West Virginia counties closed their public schools for the first day of a planned two-day work stoppage by public school employees to protest planned pay raises, health coverage funding and other issues.

TX: Record reservoir flooding was predicted — but not made public — before Harvey hit Texas 

A day before Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast last August, an internal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecast predicted that the storm would fill Houston's Barker Reservoir to record levels, flooding neighborhoods on the reservoir's western border, government records show. The Corps did not share these predictions with the public.

SD: South Dakota House passes pay hike for state legislators

The South Dakota House sent the Senate a bill that would give legislators a significant pay raise and tie their salaries to the state’s median household income.

ID: Idaho House passes bill to protect breastfeeding

Legislation to exempt breastfeeding from Idaho’s indecent exposure and obscenity laws passed the House unanimously — a big turnaround from 15 years ago, when similar legislation was rejected. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any place they’re legally allowed to be, and 29 states exempt breastfeeding from their public indecency statutes.

MI: House votes to make English official Michigan language

Michigan’s Republican-led House has approved legislation that would make English the official state language and require its use in public records, a change supporters said would largely codify existing practice. Most Democrats called it an unnecessary and divisive change that would marginalize immigrants and other residents who are not proficient in English.

'Bump Stocks' Tennessee Gov Says He’d Support Bump Stock Ban, Raising Age to Buy AR-15s