What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/28
OK: Federal government demands part of Oklahoma’s $270M deal with Purdue
The federal government is demanding part of Oklahoma’s landmark $270 million settlement with drugmaker Purdue Pharma, a potential multimillion-dollar problem for Oklahoma, which has no access to the money.
WI: Wisconsin gerrymandering case likely to end with GOP victory
The U.S. Supreme Court's gerrymandering ruling will almost certainly halt a lawsuit over Wisconsin's election maps and allow Republicans to keep district lines that have helped them hold large majorities in the legislature.
AL: Alabama pays $525,000 to settle lawsuit against disgraced former governor
The state of Alabama paid $525,000 as part of a settlement of former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier’s lawsuit against former Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and others.
OR: The Oregon agency that studies earthquakes could be abolished after going over budget
The state agency in charge of earthquake study and preparation, as well as monitoring mining efforts in Oregon, could be shut down after going over budget for the second time in four years.
KS: Vaccine opponents demand Kansas drop immunization plan
A Kansas state agency wants to require vaccinations against hepatitis A and meningitis for school-age children. But dozens of people — including young mothers clutching babies — protested the plan during a packed public hearing in Topeka.
SC: South Carolina to fund study of election mishaps in Richland County
South Carolina will spend $50,000 on a consultant to study Richland County's elections missteps and recommend solutions, after the county failed to count roughly 1,000 votes in the November midterms. It's apparently the first time the state has conducted such an intervention at a county elections office.
NY: The cost of New York's battle against climate change
Life as New Yorkers know it is going to start looking different as the state ramps up its effort to combat climate change. The potential changes stem from the ambitious new goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which is designed to drastically reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions.
SD: South Dakota to begin tracking missing and murdered Native women
It's unknown how many Native American women have gone missing or been murdered in South Dakota. But that's about to change. A new state law is the first step in understanding the depth of the missing and murdered indigenous women issue in the state and begin to address it, supporters say.
AZ: Arizona county hopes to get ahead of 2020 election problems
Arizona’s Maricopa County has encountered major voting issues the past few big election years. The Board of Supervisors is looking to get ahead of potential problems in 2020 by restructuring the county's entire election system and dedicating millions of dollars for new ballot-counting technology.
VT: Vermont sues DuPont, 3M, others over chemical pollutants
Vermont announced that it’s filed lawsuits against DuPont, 3M and other chemical companies for damages it says was caused to groundwater, drinking water and other natural resources by the contamination of a class of potentially toxic chemicals.
CT: Connecticut becomes first state to grant Hmong, Laotian veterans burial rights
Connecticut became the first state in the nation to provide the rights after Congress enacted the Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act in 2018. The law provides Laotian and Hmong veterans deemed eligible by the Department of Veterans Affairs burial rights in the nation’s national cemeteries, and state veteran’s cemeteries. The Laotian and Hmong fought alongside U.S. troops in the Vietnam War.
HI: Hawaii governor signs ‘red flag’ gun bill
Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige has approved a new law that enables family members, co-workers or police to obtain court orders blocking access to firearms for people who show signs they could pose a danger to themselves or others.
CA: California set to be first state to protect black people from natural hair discrimination
The California bill, which passed the state Senate in April and could be voted on in the Assembly soon, would outlaw policies that punish black employees and students for their hairstyles. Supporters say the bill’s acronym, the CROWN Act, reflects its intention: creating a respectful and open workplace for natural hair.