What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/10
DC: Climate bill would move D.C. to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032
The District of Columbia would adopt one of the nation’s most aggressive plans to cut carbon emissions, aiming to use entirely renewable sources of energy for the city’s power grid just 14 years from now, under new legislation proposed by five D.C. Council members.
IA: Trump will make good on a promise to Iowa farmers, open door to year-round E15
After months of false starts, President Donald Trump told Iowans that he's opening the door to year-round access to gasoline with higher ethanol blends. Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rule-making that allows for year-round use of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.
FL: Florida state emergency chief criticizes local preparedness as Hurricane Michael approaches
Hurricane Michael is forecast to be one of the most destructive storms to come ashore in the Florida Panhandle in decades, but the state’s emergency management chief is accusing local officials of not sufficiently preparing for the storm.
IL: Illinois governor says illegal immigrants contribute to Chicago violence
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and challenger J.B. Pritzker clashed over immigration and Chicago violence in a debate, with the Republican chief executive alleging that immigrants living illegally in the state are a factor in the city’s crime problem, while the Democrat said they contribute to Illinois’ economy.
NE: Bill opens door for Nebraska woman's horse massage business
The new Nebraska law enables a horse massage practitioner to operate without being a licensed veterinarian, licensed human massage therapist or work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, in addition to having an animal therapy license.
AZ: Migrant families overwhelm detention capacity in Arizona
A sudden influx of Guatemalan families into Arizona has overwhelmed detention facilities there and forced the government to release hundreds of parents and children over the past several days.
TN: Tennessee death row inmate asks to be executed using the electric chair
Death row inmate Edmund Zagorski told prison officials he would prefer to be executed using the electric chair rather than die by lethal injection. He made the decision within hours of a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that approved the state’s controversial lethal injection protocol.
UT: Utah Republican party takes fight against state election law to U.S. Supreme Court
Taking its last possible legal shot, the Utah Republican Party has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a popular 2014 state election law that allows candidates to qualify for the ballot through the caucus-convention system and/or by collecting signatures. The party argues again that the law interferes with its constitutional right of association to select nominees.
MS: Mississippi police took property without legal authority
Mississippi police agencies have been seizing cash, guns and vehicles without legal authority for months after a state law changed and police didn’t notice. A Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics database shows more than 60 forfeitures of nearly $200,000 in property taken by state and local agencies under a law that lapsed on June 30.
LA: Louisiana tax incentive programs cost taxpayers $1B last year, with return unclear
Louisiana spent more than $1 billion on tax breaks for people and corporations during the budget cycle that ended in July. An annual audit of the state’s tax revenue loss also found that the return on investment for the 78 rebates and other perks evaluated isn’t always known.
PA: Why are so many Pennsylvania prison inmates committing suicide?
So far this year, 13 people committed suicide in Pennsylvania state prisons; on average, 29 prisoners per month tried but failed to kill themselves this year. Last year's total was 14 suicides, the worst toll in more than two decades. In addition, the number of serious suicide attempts reported by the Department of Corrections has tripled in just four years.
TX: Feds move to plug gaps in South Texas border fence
Scientists say the South Texas fence has had a detrimental impact on wildlife, including endangered species, in one of the most biodiverse areas in North America. The larger barrier the Trump administration is moving to construct will be even more destructive, they say, hindering not only people and property owners, but animals looking for food and mates.
MO: Missouri judge rules ad on voter ID is misleading
A Missouri judge ruled that state election officials can no longer tell voters that a photo ID is required to cast a ballot. With the Nov. 6 election less than a month away, Senior Judge Richard Callahan scolded Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office for circulating misleading advertisements about the law.