Stateline

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

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

FL: Thousands of Florida ballots not counted

orlandosentinel.com

Florida officials say thousands of mailed ballots were not counted because they were delivered too late to state election offices. The Department of State informed a federal judge that 6,670 ballots were mailed ahead of the Nov. 6 election but were not received by Election Day.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmaker resigns ‘under protest’

philly.com

Pennsylvania Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown resigned from office, saying she was leaving public service “under protest” as she appeals her conviction on bribery and other public corruption charges.

NY: Discipline of New York police to stay secret, court rules

nytimes.com

The latest legal effort by civil rights advocates to force the New York Police Department to make disciplinary records of police officers public failed in the state’s Court of Appeals. It ruled that the State Civil Rights Law, as it stands now, still allows the department to withhold certain records of misconduct to protect individual officers involved.

WA: Feds sue Washington state over worker compensation

seattletimes.com

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that a Washington state law passed this year to compensate ill Hanford workers illegally discriminates against the federal government and its Energy Department contractors. It asks a federal judge to declare the law invalid and prevent the enforcement of its provisions.

UT: Utah state government ‘reply all’ snafu goes viral

sltrib.com

More than 20,000 Utah state government employees saw their email inboxes bombarded with messages last weekend after an otherwise innocuous invitation to an office holiday potluck was inadvertently sent statewide and pulled into a black hole of reply-all responses.

ME: Maine governor rejects request from successor

pressherald.com

Maine’s outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage and the state’s incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills are clashing over whether LePage’s administration should suspend signing any new contracts with private vendors until after Mills takes office Jan. 2.

CA: California wildfires cleanup to cost at least $3B

apnews.com

State and federal authorities estimate it will cost at least $3 billion to clear debris from 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed by three California wildfires last month. The cleanup costs will far surpass the record cleanup expense of $1.3 billion the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent on debris removal in Northern California in 2017.

WI: Wisconsin governor defends lame-duck bills

madison.com

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defended several measures included in lame-duck bills Republicans passed last week that would strip the incoming governor and attorney general of some of their powers, while saying he is considering at least one line-item veto.

MT: Montana governor prevails over AG in court case

missoulian.com

In a 6-1 decision, the Montana Supreme Court has overturned a legal opinion by Republican Attorney General Tim Fox, ruling that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock acted legally to create an easement allowing more public access to wilderness areas. Ranchers argued that public access would interfere with oil and gas development.

MN: Findings of Minnesota House sex harassment survey released

apnews.com

About one-fifth of the House members and staff who responded to a recent survey said they had experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the Minnesota House. The findings come a year after two lawmakers resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

MD: Maryland governor proposes using nearly $2B in casino funds for school construction

washingtonpost.com

Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed putting $1.9 billion from casino gaming revenue toward school construction over the next five years. Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question that mandated using all tax revenue from the state’s six casinos to supplement education spending.

RI: Rhode Island pension system sues Google over breach

providencejournal.com

Rhode Island is suing the parent company of Google for hiding a security breach that affected 52.5 million users. The state pension fund owned 37,000 shares in Google, now traded as Alphabet shares, worth about $40 million.

NM: Drinking water project pays off in New Mexico

apnews.com

A $450 million drinking water project that was first conceived decades ago is paying off as New Mexico's largest metro area has slashed its reliance on groundwater by almost 70 percent despite the arid state's struggles with drought.

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