Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/18

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/18

VA: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Virginia gerrymandering seen as victory for Democrats

richmond.com

The court dismissed a Republican appeal in Virginia’s long-running racial gerrymandering case, allowing a redrawn House of Delegates map to stand for the 2019 election cycle. The ruling could boost Democrats’ chances of retaking control of the House this fall.

MO: Missouri doctors refuse to OK patients for medical marijuana

stltoday.com

People across Missouri are looking for doctors to certify them to buy marijuana for medical use, a process that started this month. But they’re running into resistance. Some family doctors and primary care physicians are shying away from certifying patients.

CA: California needs a big pot of money for wildfires

latimes.com

California leaders are calling for a giant pot of money to help electricity providers cover wildfire liabilities, a critical move to head off another utility bankruptcy, but it could prove difficult to achieve in Sacramento this year.

KS: How Kansas prisons became a ‘mess’ that will cost millions to fix

kansas.com

Kansas prisons are in crisis after decisions by state leaders have left them overcrowded and suffering from dangerous staff shortages. “We are in an absolute mess right now,” said Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat who sits on the House committee on corrections.

OR: U.S. Supreme Court sides with Oregon bakery that refused to make cake for same-sex wedding

cnn.com

The U.S. Supreme Court wiped away a ruling that went against a bakery in Oregon that refused to make a cake to celebrate the wedding for a same-sex couple.

ME: Maine House rejects increase in estate tax

pressherald.com

Rural Democrats joined with Republicans in the Maine House to reject a bill to increase the state’s estate tax. The bill would have lowered the amount of an inheritance excluded from taxation from the first $5.6 million to $2 million.

OH: Republican Ohio lawmakers push to stop plastic bag bans

dispatch.com

Some Republicans in the Ohio legislature want to stop local governments from taxing or banning plastic bags. Their bill would prohibit local governments from imposing a tax, fee, assessment or other kind of charge on their use.

OK: Oklahoma car tags to remain with owner, not vehicle

tulsaworld.com

The law, which was passed in 2018, fundamentally changes the car registration and tagging process in Oklahoma so that car tags remain assigned to car owners even after they sell the vehicle to which it’s been attached.

WA: Washington state waterfront owners asked to take dead whales

apnews.com

So many gray whale carcasses have washed up this year in Washington state that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries says it has run out of places to take them.

FL: Florida effort to block election hacking gets extra $2M

apnews.com

Florida’s county elections departments will retain $2.3 million in unspent grant money aimed at stopping cyberattacks on the state’s voting system, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

IA: Iowa Human Services director resigns at governor’s request

desmoinesregister.com

The leader of Iowa’s Department of Human Services resigned at the request of Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. The governor’s office gave no explanation. The department has faced criticism over privatized Medicaid and the treatment of residents in state-run institutions. 

NV: Nevada AG expands opioid lawsuit

apnews.com

Nevada’s attorney general expanded the state’s lawsuit against the maker of the opioid OxyContin to include the company’s former president, his family, other drugmakers, distributors and drugstores, including Walgreens, CVS and Walmart.

AZ: Arizona’s rural schools squeezed by declining enrollment

apnews.com

Schools in 10 of Arizona’s 15 counties have lost more than 10,000 students overall in the past decade. Declining enrollment can mean cutbacks in student educational opportunities and makes it harder to recruit qualified teachers.

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