Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/26

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/26

AK: Alaska is the most dangerous state for women; now they're fighting back

usatoday.com

Alaska routinely has some of the nation’s highest rates of domestic violence, sexual assault and murder. Coupled with severe alcohol and drug abuse, and high child abuse rates, the state has become a terrifying environment for women of all ages, across ethnic and socioeconomic spectrums.

OR: Oregon’s top Senate Democrat suggests climate bill is dead

oregonlive.com

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said that the climate change bill at the center of Republicans’ walkout lacks the votes necessary to pass, because not enough Democrats support it. Senate Republicans fled the state last week to block a vote on the carbon capping plan.

AL: Alabama law terminates parental rights in rape, incest, sodomy cases

washingtonpost.com

A new Alabama law requires judges to terminate the parental rights of people convicted of first-degree rape and certain other sex crimes, narrowing a legal loophole that allows rapists to seek custody of children conceived through their assaults.

IL: Illinois governor signs bill that legalizes recreational marijuana

chicagotribune.com

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a measure that will legalize marijuana in Illinois next year, marking a momentous shift in how the state treats drug use. The bill will allow the licensed growth, sales, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

WY: Hidden oil paintings uncovered in the Wyoming capitol

trib.com

Workers discovered hidden oil paintings on six vault doors during the renovation of the Wyoming Capitol. The vault doors likely date back to before 1891, being placed during the 1888 or 1890 building phases. Wyoming became a state in 1890.

KY: Kentucky's concealed carry law about to change

courier-journal.com

Starting later this week, anyone who can legally possess a gun in Kentucky can carry it around under a coat, in a purse or hidden in a hip holster — no permit required. The law eliminates the six-hour gun-safety training course, background check and $60 application fee that Kentucky previously required.

SD: Push to rescind medals for Wounded Knee Massacre on South Dakota reservation begins

argusleader.com

A push to rescind the 20 Medals of Honor awarded to U.S. soldiers for the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre has begun in Congress. Nearly 300 Native Americans were killed by the U.S. Army on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

NM: Methane rules up for debate as drilling booms in New Mexico

apnews.com

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, wants New Mexico to craft its own rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas development as the rollback of federal regulations remains tangled in a legal fight. The industry says it has a roadmap that will help. Environmentalists argue the proposals aren’t enough.

CT: Connecticut governor signs sweeping family/medical leave law

courant.com

Connecticut workers will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave beginning in 2022. Unlike paid family and medical leave programs in other states, some of which are partially funded by a surcharge on employers, Connecticut’s plan is paid for by a 0.5% payroll tax levied on all employees.

WI: Wisconsin Supreme Court rules governor has oversight of school policy

wpr.org

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a conservative advocacy group in a case that will shift oversight of some school policies from the state schools superintendent to the governor. 

UT: Salt Lake County Council calls on Utah Legislature to ban conversion therapy

sltrib.com

The Salt Lake County Council is calling on the Utah Legislature to end a widely discredited form of therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth — a move that comes just months after state lawmakers gutted a proposal that would have done so.

CA: California program to track state worker harassment is a year behind schedule

sacbee.com

A $1.5 million project to start tracking sexual harassment and discrimination in California state government is scheduled to be fully functional by January 2020 — a full year later than originally planned.

FL: In Florida, your vegetable garden is now safe from local governments

orlandosentinel.com

Local governments can no longer ban homeowners’ vegetable gardens under a bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican. The bill stemmed from a dispute between homeowners and the village of Miami Shores over an ordinance that banned front-yard vegetable gardens.

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