What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/22
GA: Federal judge asked to ensure new U.S. citizens can vote in Georgia
Civil rights groups filed an emergency motion asking federal courts to intervene so that citizens inaccurately labeled as noncitizens can still vote in this year’s race for Georgia governor plagued with concerns of voter purges.
US: Car crashes on the rise in states with legal marijuana
Crashes have increased by up to 6 percent in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — all of which have legalized recreational marijuana — compared with neighboring states, new research shows. Officials caution that it’s difficult to directly link crashes to marijuana use.
CA: Trump moves to slash environmental rules on California water
President Donald Trump has pledged to bring more water to farmers in California’s Central Valley, who have chafed for years under environmental restrictions that prioritize water for salmon, Delta smelt and other endangered species.
NJ: Why New Jersey is suddenly challenging Nevada for sports betting
Since New Jersey started allowing sports betting in June, the sports betting industry in the state has enjoyed remarkable growth. New Jersey bettors wagered $184 million on sports in September, nearly double the $96 million bet in August. So far, $336.6 million has been wagered on sports.
IN: Indiana lawmakers move ahead on legal sports gambling
An Indiana legislative committee voted 9-0 to recommend legislation that would bring legal sports betting to the state, but the committee chairman warned there are “many perils down the pathway before it becomes law.” Eight states have, or will soon have, legal sports gambling.
UT: Utah lawmakers face $100M price tag for school safety
A list of recommendations aimed at improving school safety in Utah, including on-campus mental-health professionals and the retrofitting of aging buildings to restrict access, could cost the state nearly $100 million in its first year. Legislation aimed at gun ownership and the seizure of weapons through court order is anticipated in the upcoming legislative session.
NY: New York City police body camera bursts into flames
The New York Police Department is removing nearly 3,000 body cameras from use after one of the devices worn by a Staten Island officer exploded into flames, police officials said. The department was planning to outfit all 23,000 patrol officers with body cameras by December.
SC: South Carolina Statehouse corruption case heading to trial
Former South Carolina House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Harrison is the first current or former lawmaker heading to a trial in the five-year-old Statehouse corruption probe when hearings start this week.
MN: Minnesota rape cases rejected by prosecutors
In Minnesota, half of sex assault cases that police send to prosecutors never result in charges, according to new analysis.
OH: After latest report cards, Ohio lawmakers plan school funding fix
As Ohio’s latest report card scores yet again show a strong correlation between poverty and low achievement, state lawmakers are preparing another revamp of Ohio’s school funding formula.
ME: Political clash simmers over Maine referendum on home care
If passed, Question 1 would require Mainers and their employers to split an additional 3.8 percent tax on adjusted gross wage income above $128,400 a year to subsidize the cost of in-home care for the state’s elderly and disabled residents.
LA: 14 years in, oil spill off Louisiana coast poised to become largest in history
Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil a day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan.
SD: Deer hunters steamed about pending changes to South Dakota licenses
South Dakota earlier this month OK’d a policy change that puts four separate deer hunting seasons into one drawing, requiring hunters to choose which of those four seasons they prefer. For decades, hunters in South Dakota have been able to apply for all four seasons.