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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/4

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/4

VA: Despite muddied defense, Virginia governor could keep his job

usatoday.com

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam could keep his job, despite widespread calls for his resignation over a racially insensitive photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook. State law requires evidence of malfeasance, corruption or neglect of duty for forcible removal.

WY: Wyoming House passes death penalty repeal

apnews.com

A proposal to end the death penalty in Wyoming has been passed by the state House of Representatives. Wyoming is among 31 states that still has a death penalty. However, no one has been executed in Wyoming since 1992, and no one is currently on death row.

MA: Most Massachusetts marijuana sales are on the black market

bostonglobe.com

More than two years after legalization, some 75 percent of the marijuana sold in Massachusetts this year will be under the table. The major impediment has been the achingly slow rollout of licensed pot shops.

MI: Court rejects Michigan secretary of state's proposed settlement of gerrymandering lawsuit

freep.com

A federal three-judge panel rejected Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's proposed consent decree to end a gerrymandering lawsuit brought by the Michigan League of Women Voters. Instead, the panel ordered the case to go to trial.

SC: Police in South Carolina seize millions in personal property every year

greenvilleonline.com

In South Carolina, civil forfeiture targets black people’s money most of all. It's a little-discussed, potentially life-changing power that state law holds over citizens: officers’ ability to seize property from people, even if they aren't charged with a crime.

AZ: Arizona governor vetoes state income tax bill

azcentral.com 

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has vetoed a bill that would have headed off a state tax increase for individual Arizona filers. The governor's move both clouds the financial picture for Arizonans preparing their 2018 taxes and foreshadows them paying more.

TX: How an attempt to review Texas' voter rolls turned into a debacle

texastribune.org

The Texas secretary of state’s office flagged 95,000 voters for citizenship reviews. But county election officials already have determined that thousands of the people are citizens, prompting state officials to walk back their initial findings.

MO: Movies, TV shows set in Missouri aren't filmed there; incentive program reboot could change that

stltoday.com

Missouri hasn’t offered perks for film studios in several years — and producers have taken note, shooting scenes set in Missouri in other, more generous states. But, if it were up to Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, a Republican, the state would reboot its modest incentive program, with the goal of drawing crews to Missouri to film shows such as Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “Sharp Objects.”

WI: Wisconsin cities amend sex offender residency rules

wpr.org

Dozens of Wisconsin municipalities, including Milwaukee, Waukesha and West Allis, have expanded the areas where convicted sex offenders can reside after they're released from prison. The changes were made following a federal court case where a judge found a village’s ordinance violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

MN: Climate change could mean less forest in Minnesota

startribune.com

For years, Minnesota climate and forest scientists have suspected that the state’s tree cover would creep northward as Earth’s climate warmed, and the prairies that predominate in the southwest of the state would take over what was previously a mix of fields, deciduous woods and pine forests.

HI: Ban on cigarette sales proposed for Hawaii

khon2.com

Hawaii could be the first state in the United States to ban the sale of cigarettes, if a current proposal becomes law. Adults younger than age 30 could be legally prohibited from buying cigarettes in less than a year's time — and all cigarette sales would be banned in Hawaii in five years.

MS: Mississippi public safety chief criticizes civil service protections, but data show state workers rarely win appeals

mississippitoday.org 

Statistics obtained by Mississippi Today reveal that state employees seldom succeed through the civil service process in overturning the discipline meted out by agency administrators.

VT: ‘Infants in the Workplace’ program launches in six Vermont agencies

vtdigger.org

Every day is going to be Take Your Child to Work Day for the babies of some Vermont state employees, under a new initiative from Republican Gov. Phil Scott.

Utah Senate Votes to Limit Medicaid Expansion Solar Houses
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