Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/20

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/20

CA: California emergency evacuations continue to fall short

latimes.com

When the worst fire in California history moved into Paradise this month, the evacuation plan fell short, with officials using an older alert system that reached only a fraction of the town instead of the federal government’s Wireless Emergency Alert system, known as WEA, which would have reached far more people.

UT: Independent redistricting appears likely to pass in Utah

sltrib.com

Under Proposition 4, an independent commission would convene every 10 years to redraw Utah’s voting districts. The group would send a recommended map to the legislature, which would decide whether to adopt the proposed boundaries or drawn lines of its own.

NY: Governor says Amazon HQ will cost New Yorkers ‘nada’

apnews.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a deal to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Queens will cost taxpayers “nothing” — even though they’re on the hook for $325 million in direct grants to the company. The Democratic governor argues the state will come out far ahead when billions of dollars in new tax revenue from the company is factored in.

PA: Why Pennsylvania sports betting could be huge

espn.com

Pennsylvania will be the first state with franchises in each of the four major professional sports leagues to offer legal betting. Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimates $12 billion will be wagered annually in Pennsylvania. In comparison, Nevada sports books took $4.8 billion in bets in 2017.

WA: Washington lands chief asks for $90M for orcas, salmon habitat

seattletimes.com

The budget request to Washington state lawmakers would pay for restoring habitats for salmon, removing barriers that inhibit the fish from reaching their spawning ground, researching ocean acidification, and removing rundown vessels on waterways.

FL: Florida candidates get record amount in public financing

tampabay.com

With candidates setting a record this year for pulling in matching funds, Florida taxpayers contributed $4.2 million to the winning campaigns for governor and three cabinet seats, according to the final totals for the 2018 elections.

NJ: New Jersey finalizes $2.1M in aid for immigrants

apnews.com

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the $2.1 million grant agreement called for in this year’s budget was finalized. Murphy says the money will help provide legal aid to detained, low-income residents facing deportation.

IN: Democrats to call for Indiana AG’s impeachment

indystar.com

A group of Indiana Democratic state legislators wants to initiate impeachment proceedings against the state’s Republican attorney general. Four women accused the attorney general of inappropriately touching them at a party in March. He has denied the allegations and refused to step aside amid calls for his resignation.

WI: Wisconsin AG won't seek recount in race

jsonline.com

Wisconsin’s attorney general, a Republican, said he would not seek a recount in his unsuccessful bid for a second term — officially handing a victory to a former federal prosecutor who will become the first Democrat to hold the office in 12 years.

CT: Connecticut’s new governor supports legalizing pot

apnews.com

Connecticut Democratic Gov.-elect Ned Lamont said he expects recreational marijuana legalization will be a priority for the new legislative session, which begins in January. Lamont had campaigned in favor of legalization during the election. Connecticut has already legalized medical marijuana.

RI: Cost of food up 15 percent in Rhode Island, food bank says

apnews.com

Rhode Island Community Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff said even though Rhode Island is experiencing economic prosperity and low unemployment, the number of people served by the network of food pantries hasn’t dramatically dropped because of the high cost of living in the state.

VT: Vermont task force hears of dangers of unauthorized electronics repairs

vtdigger.com

The Vermont legislature set up a task force this year on electronic repairs. The “right to repair” movement wants to pass legislation to require the electronics industry to make available authorized parts so that independent stores and individuals can repair consumer electronic products, including phones, tablets and computers.

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