Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/29

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/29

US: 16 states want to be able to fire employees for being transgender

vice.com

The states filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to make it legal to fire people for being transgender. It asks the court to reverse a case decided in March by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was fired from her job at a funeral home after she began transitioning from a man to a woman.

CA: California becomes first state to eliminate cash bail

latimes.com

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, ushered in one of the most sweeping criminal justice reforms of his administration, signing a bill abolishing the state’s current money bail system, and replacing it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.

NV: Nevada marijuana sales blow away projections in first year

reviewjournal.com

Nevada dispensaries sold nearly $425 million worth of recreational marijuana and pulled in nearly $70 million in tax revenue in the state’s first full year of sales, officials announced. Including recreational and medical marijuana as well as marijuana-related goods and accessories, Nevada stores eclipsed a half-billion dollars in sales.

CO: Coloradoans to vote on anti-gerrymandering measures in November

coloradoan.com

A pair of proposed amendments to the Colorado Constitution, dubbed Amendments Y and Z, take aim at "the most important voting matter no one has ever heard of," according to one backer. Their target: gerrymandering.

MS: Mississippi lawmakers approve bill to create a state lottery

apnews.com

The Mississippi House reversed itself and passed a bill to create a state lottery in the Bible Belt state, where churches have long opposed it. The vote came during a special session, less than 24 hours after the House originally voted to kill the bill that the state’s Republican governor promises to sign into law. 

MT: Montana budget cuts could worsen suicide crisis

nbcnews.com

Montana has the highest suicide rate in the nation because of a "perfect storm" of factors, including gun culture, alcohol consumption, short daylight hours and a far-flung rural population. State budget cuts to mental health services could make it worse.

IL: Illinois governor signs medical marijuana painkiller bill

chicagotribune.com

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, signed a measure that could dramatically expand access to medical marijuana in Illinois, making it available as an opioid painkiller replacement and easing the application process for all who qualify.

MO: About $1.2M raised for Missouri pro-gas tax hike campaign

stltoday.com

The amount counts towards a $6.5 million goal by the committee campaigning for passage of a Missouri gasoline tax hike at the Nov. 6 election, according to the treasurer of the SaferMo committee, Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs.

VA: Virginia attorney general says rural district’s plan to arm teachers is illegal

washingtonpost.com

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, advised that a school system’s effort to arm teachers and other school employees is illegal. The Lee County School Board unanimously approved a plan last month permitting teachers and staff members to become “special conservators of the peace.” 

KY: Thousands plead with feds to stop Kentucky governor's Medicaid plans

courier-journal.com

Comments are running about 20 to 1 against the plan known as a waiver, according to an analysis by a team of Kentucky health advocates. The federal government is to consider the comments in deciding whether to approve Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's plan. He proposes work requirements and monthly premiums for some Kentuckians.

TX: Texas election judges can carry guns to polls, attorney general says

texastribune.org

Firearms are generally not allowed at the polls while voters are casting ballots in Texas. But with some limited exceptions, presiding election judges who are licensed to carry may bring their guns to polling places, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a nonbinding opinion.

NY: New York law broadens school bus driver testing

timesunion.com

The bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to strengthen new drug and alcohol testing requirements for school bus drivers means New York now exceeds longstanding federal standards.

Homeless Advocates Launch Campaign to Ban Anti-Panhandling Laws Tobacco 21
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