What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/19
AK: Climate crisis may force Alaskans to move
The climate crisis is accelerating the erosion of land in Western Alaska, forcing several villages to consider moving. In Quinhagak, a village on the Bering Sea, erosion threatens the water treatment plant, the sewer system, the airstrip, the laundromat and the health clinic.
NJ: New Jersey governor won’t rule out government shutdown in clash over ‘millionaire’s tax’
As lawmakers prepare to send Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy a state budget that doesn’t include it, he continued to push for a “millionaire’s tax.” With two weeks remaining before the budget deadline, Murphy wouldn’t rule out a government shutdown.
CT: Connecticut governor signs bill increasing protections for undocumented immigrants
With President Donald Trump threatening mass immigration arrests, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, signed legislation that restricts cooperation between state law enforcement and federal immigration agents.
OR: Oregon advances cap-and-trade bill
The bill — the highest policy priority remaining for Oregon Democrats this session — would create a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, manufacturing and utilities. Oregon would be the second state after California to enact such a policy.
FL: Sheriff fights suspension from Florida Senate
Attorneys for suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel blamed Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for a “brutal, political ploy” before a Florida Senate magistrate, saying that DeSantis overstepped his authority by suspending Israel from office.
TN: Tennessee to help counter ‘child care deserts’
The Tennessee Department of Human Services is increasing its subsidies to child care providers to help operators serve children in so-called child care deserts.
KS: Kansas faces future budget woes even with revenue surplus
The Kansas budget woes that followed former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s notorious tax-cutting experiment aren’t a thing of the past. Now, problems have arisen on the spending side of Kansas’ ledger. Projections show that spending will outpace revenue in fiscal 2020.
LA: Louisiana governor signs $30B budget; touts teacher raises
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Louisiana’s $30 billion operating budget at a Baton Rouge elementary school where he hailed the first statewide raise for public school teachers in a decade.
OH: Ohio to receive disaster relief
Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state will be receiving federal assistance following a series of Memorial Day tornadoes. A preliminary damage assessment identified 942 homes and buildings that were either destroyed or significantly damaged.
VA: Hurricane hit could cost Virginia $50B
A hurricane strike on Virginia’s Hampton Roads beaches could cause nearly $50 billion in damage, a new study says. Infrastructure and military base damage could make the tab even higher.
MA: Massachusetts governor touts climate resiliency bill
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker promoted his plan to sharply increase taxes on real estate transfers to generate $1 billion for Massachusetts cities and towns to confront the climate crisis. Baker’s proposal would raise the tax on real estate transfers by half.
NV: Nevada colleges directed to make up funding shortfall for pay raises
The Nevada Board of Regents is asking college presidents to find a combined $6.4 million in their budgets to cover a funding shortfall and provide employees a full 3% cost of living raise. Because of an accounting error, the legislature allocated the Nevada System of Higher Education only enough money to cover a 2.4% increase.