Stateline

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

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

MD: Baltimore mayor takes leave amid book deal controversy

baltimoresun.com

Baltimore Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh will take a leave of absence, engulfed by a scandal over hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books.

NY, US: New York embraced congestion pricing. Will other cities follow?

nytimes.com

New York’s decision to charge drivers to enter Manhattan’s most congested neighborhoods may embolden cities like Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

CA: Prosecutors move to clear 54k marijuana convictions in California

latimes.com

Prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties announced plans to automatically clear about 54,000 marijuana-related convictions, part of a growing movement to offer a clean slate to Californians hamstrung by their past now that pot is legal.

ND, WA: North Dakota opposes oil train restriction proposed in Washington state

bismarcktribune.com

Washington state legislators are considering new regulations to reduce the volatility of Bakken crude oil shipped by rail. But North Dakota’s top oil regulator says the proposal is not backed by science. He’s requested state dollars to sue Washington state if the legislation advances.

CO: Colorado governor signs lemonade stand bill

denverpost.com

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed into law a bill that prohibits local governments from requiring individuals under the age of 18 to obtain business licenses in order to operate many small and “occasional” businesses such as lemonade stands.

MN: Minnesota Senate OKs higher drug company fees to combat opioid crisis

startribune.com

The Minnesota House passed a similar measure, setting up negotiations to work out differences in the two bills before sending a final compromise to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz.

WI: Wisconsin governor could face $1.9B shortfall heading into second budget

wpr.org

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau released an analysis that shows the state would face a $1.9 billion imbalance in the general fund heading into fiscal 2021-23 if the state maintains all the spending commitments in current law and in the governor's 2019-21 budget.

IL: Illinois governor signs law creating parole review for young offenders with lengthy sentences

chicagotribune.com

Young adults sentenced to long prison terms for most crimes will be eligible for a parole review after serving 10 years, under a measure Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law.

MT: After preschool bills fail, Montana's publicly funded programs brace for cuts

billingsgazette.com

About $46 million in public money has been pumped into the Montana preschool landscape since 2015. With the rejection of a pair of preschool bills at the Montana legislature, that spigot appears poised to run dry — leaving programs that added about 1,500 high quality slots grappling with shortfalls.

LA: Louisiana governor shelves Medicaid work requirement idea

apnews.com

Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a pilot program to offer free skills training to about 50 Medicaid expansion recipients, to help them get higher-wage jobs.

NV: Nevada lawmakers weigh bill on bump stocks, local gun laws

apnews.com

Nevada lawmakers are considering a gun bill to ban bump stocks and allow local governments to pass stricter firearm laws than those imposed by the state. Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, a Democrat who escaped the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival, brought the bill.

PA: Pittsburgh gun laws up for final vote; lawsuits expected

apnews.com

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, legislation would place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 rampage at Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded seven.

HI: New Hawaii bill would require customers to ask for plastic straws

staradvertiser.com

A bill making its way through the state legislature would require restaurants in Hawaii to provide customers with straws only if they ask for them or face a fine of $25 a day. The bill takes a more modest approach than another bill that originally sought a ban on single-use plastic foodware.

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