Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/8

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/8

CO: While Colorado oil and gas setback ballot initiative failed, debate has not

coloradosun.com

A ballot initiative that sought to keep 2,500 feet between new oil and gas operations and any home in Colorado was voted down but garnered more than 825,000 votes — a potentially powerful statement to Jared Polis, the new Democratic governor, and to a now Democratic-controlled legislature, that many people support oil and gas drilling restrictions.

MD: Federal judges in gerrymandering case toss Maryland’s congressional voting map

washingtonpost.com

Federal judges in Maryland blocked the state from using its congressional voting map in future elections, ordering political leaders to draw new electoral lines for contests in 2020.

NC: North Carolina voters reject constitutional amendments limiting governor’s power; 4 others pass

newsobserver.com

Proposed constitutional amendments that would limit the governor’s power over state appointments have failed. One amendment would have restructured North Carolina’s elections board and limited the governor’s power to appoint its members; another would have given the legislature a significant role in who is picked to fill judicial vacancies.

TX: There was an LGBT wave in Texas state and local races this year

texastribune.org

Fourteen of the 35 gay, bisexual and transgender candidates who ran for office in Texas during the midterms claimed victory this week — a 40 percent success rate in the deep-red state. National and state activists say they’re confident this election cycle carved a path for a future “rainbow wave” in Texas.

AL: Voters in 2 Alabama counties end sheriffs’ jail food bonus

apnews.com

Voters in two Alabama counties ended the longtime practice of letting sheriffs pocket whatever profits they can generate from feeding prisoners as cheaply as possible.

AK: Alaska ballot measure meant to boost salmon protections loses decisively

adn.com

An Alaska ballot measure designed to boost protections for salmon and other fish failed by a large margin amid an onslaught of heavy opposition spending by powerful oil and mining interests.

UT: Utah schools don't always report teacher misconduct — and that's a problem, audit finds

sltrib.com

Shortcomings in the way Utah educators are disciplined could — and, in one documented case, did — allow them to reoffend, according to a report from the state auditor's office. In some cases, local education agencies were found to have violated state law by not reporting educator misconduct to the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission.

DC: Democratic House flip may mean full legalization of marijuana in nation’s capital

washingtonpost.com

Residents of the nation’s capital get no vote in Congress, but the Democratic takeover of the House may come with a consolation prize: recreational marijuana shops. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, a Democrat, said she plans to introduce legislation early next year to legalize the sale of marijuana.

MA: Massachusetts marijuana sales likely days away after labs OK’d

bostonglobe.com

The debut of recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts is likely just days away, after state regulators said they had cleared two licensed cannabis testing laboratories to officially begin operations. The Cannabis Control Commission issued “commence full operations” notices to CDX Analytics in Salem and MCR Labs in Framingham, which will test for purity and potency.

MI: Marijuana legalized in Michigan, but group plans to keep fighting it

freep.com

A day after Michigan voters legalized marijuana for adult recreational use, a group opposed to the proposal is vowing to fight the law and to urge local governments to ban pot businesses. Healthy and Productive Michigan has argued that marijuana legalization has consequences and will bring Michiganders problems.

NY: Democrats finally control the power in New York state. What will they do with it?

nytimes.com

There is already chatter among New York legislators about legalizing recreational marijuana; curbing the money allowed in state campaigns; investing more in the crumbling subways; ending cash bail; tightening gun control; codifying Roe v. Wade’s protections in state law; expanding rent control; addressing climate change; installing an early voting system and creating a state-run universal health care system.

VT: Cost of living topped voters’ concerns in Vermont

vtdigger.org

Election Day interviews with Vermont voters from Burlington to Brattleboro unearthed a variety of concerns, ranging from education to the environment. But one issue was mentioned by more people than anything else: the economic cost of living.

ND: Pro-marijuana group to try for recreation law again with ballot measure or North Dakota lawmakers

bismarcktribune.com

North Dakotans rejected a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana by nearly 60 percent. But the chair of the group behind the ballot initiative said it's not over yet.

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