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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/12

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/12

NY: New York eyes plan to be first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

apnews.com

New York state is taking steps to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in the hopes of curbing a sharp rise in the use of vaping products by young people, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration said.

NJ: 28 New Jersey businesses accused of defrauding immigrants

northjersey.com

New Jersey has cited 28 businesses for allegedly defrauding customers by charging for immigration services that they are not legally permitted to provide. The operation is part of the state's effort to curb "notario" fraud, in which a notary public takes advantage of Spanish-speaking customers who believe they are consulting with an attorney or immigration expert.

PA: Pittsburgh may challenge Pennsylvania gun regs after synagogue massacre

post-gazette.com

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said his administration is talking with the city council about legislation that would address certain powerful firearms after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. The Democrat said the effort would challenge Pennsylvania pre-emption provisions that concentrate — at the state level — much of the regulatory authority over firearms.

TX: Democratic gains could upset GOP plan to elect Texas House speaker

statesman.com

Democrats won a dozen seats from Republicans on Election Day — increasing Democratic numbers in the Texas House to levels not seen since the 2009 legislative session. Democrats would need just nine Republicans to join them in electing a more moderate House speaker than GOP House members would have likely chosen.

VA: What does an elected official in Virginia have to do with whether Trump can block people on Twitter? A lot.

washingtonpost.com

Phyllis Randall, a Democrat and the first African-American woman elected to lead a county board of supervisors in Virginia, has little in common with the president. But both have been sued for silencing critics on social media. 

IA: Court battles over Iowa's voter ID law continue

desmoinesregister.com

The 2018 midterm election is over. But court battles over the rules that will govern Iowa's voting rules continue. A judge heard arguments in one of two lawsuits challenging Iowa's 2017 voter identification law. At stake in this one is a rule from the Secretary of State that prevents county auditors from using an existing statewide voter database to find missing information when voters request absentee ballots.

NE: Nebraska's denial of foster care to immigrant teens upheld

journalstar.com

A judge has affirmed the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services' denial of extended foster care benefits to three Guatemalan teenagers because they aren't citizens.

FL: Florida orders machine recounts

tampabay.com

Florida ordered mandatory machine recounts in three statewide elections for the first time in state history. Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued a one-page order directing all 67 counties to conduct a machine recount of more than 8.2 million combined ballots over the next five days.

AZ: Arizona Democrat expands lead in U.S. Senate race

thehill.com

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema expanded her lead over Republican Rep. Martha McSally in Arizona’s too-close-to-call U.S. Senate race, after more ballots from the state’s largest county were released.

CO: Colorado voters may face another transportation funding ballot measure

denverpost.com

After Colorado voters handily rejected two transportation-funding ballot measures, the next step is already clear: Another vote is set a year from now. But it's anybody's guess whether that pre-emptive ballot question, teed up by state legislators, will actually go forward in 2019.

NV: Nevada becomes first state with a female-majority Assembly

lasvegassun.com

Democrats will have a two-thirds supermajority in the Nevada Assembly. The election also made Nevada the first in the country with a female-majority Assembly, and it brought the state closer to becoming the nation’s first with equal representation in its legislature overall.

MI: Michigan hunting in major decline — why that matters

freep.com

An alarming drop in Michigan hunting is only going to get steeper, as the baby boomers who have driven the practice for decades age and drop away. This could pose a crisis in how Michigan funds its wildlife and habitat programs, have a huge, negative impact on the state's economy and raise the specter of deer overpopulation.

GA: Clash over Georgia governor votes still uncounted

myajc.com

The clash over the unsettled race for Georgia governor heightened as Republican Brian Kemp said the ballots tallied this weekend made it impossible for him to lose, while Democrat Stacey Abrams said there’s a larger trove of votes still pending. Kemp maintains a roughly 63,000-vote lead over Abrams. 

NC: North Carolina teachers warned, ‘we vote in November.’ And they did, helping break GOP supermajority.

newsobserver.com

“Remember, remember, we vote in November!” teachers shouted in May as they marched on the streets of Raleigh. Organizers of the May 16 teachers march say the words of the protesters became reality this week when North Carolina voters elected enough Democrats to break the Republican supermajority in the state legislature. 

TN: Tennessee Democrats soul-search again after high hopes spoiled

tennessean.com

After a decade of struggles, Tennessee Democrats had high hopes that this election would be different after fielding the party's most serious contenders for U.S. Senate and governor in a dozen years.

CT: Connecticut’s state government just got bluer

ctmirror.org

Leadership of the Connecticut General Assembly will not change much, if at all. And calls for unity and bipartisanship notwithstanding, the Democratic majority at the state Capitol has items on its agenda that are decidedly not Republican: paid medical leave, a higher minimum wage, and tolls on Connecticut’s highways.

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