What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/5
US: Which states are the safest?
A recent study analyzed 52 metrics to determine the safest states in the country, as well as the least safe. The results might surprise you. States like New York and California didn’t even make the top 10 — on either list.
NM: New state law leads Walmart to stop selling guns in New Mexico
Walmart made the decision because it is not equipped to conduct background checks for private-party firearm transfers required under a New Mexico state law that went into effect this week.
CA: California becomes 1st state to ban hairstyle discrimination
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill making California the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
GA: Welfare rolls in Georgia cut by nearly two-thirds since 2006
The number of Georgia families receiving welfare benefits has dropped by more than two-thirds in the past 14 years as the state has applied constant pressure to drive down the rolls.
IL: Judge rules state legislators violated Illinois Constitution by voting to freeze their pay
An Illinois judge ruled that lawmakers violated the state constitution when they voted to freeze their pay every year from 2009 through 2016. The ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by two former Democratic state senators.
CT: Connecticut parents can share diabetes insulin info with children’s schools under settlements
Parents of Connecticut schoolchildren with diabetes can once again share information with school nurses on changes in the daily insulin dose at school — the product of a settlement between state education and public-health officials and the U.S. Department of Justice.
NJ: New Jersey governor aids immigrants
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy marked the July 4 holiday by announcing New Jersey’s government would once again oversee resettling refugees in the state, three years after former Gov. Chris Christie ended the practice.
NC: North Carolina lawmakers propose ban on smokable hemp
North Carolina is the latest state considering a ban on smokable hemp, a product that’s exploding along with the health craze surrounding a compound in the plant known as CBD.
MO: In fight over campaign limits, Missouri taxpayers hit with $500,000 legal bill
Attorneys for two powerful lobbying groups received more than a half-million dollars in fees from Missouri taxpayers for their work in stopping part of a 2016 campaign finance law from going into effect.
KY: Privatization would only worsen Kentucky’s ailing foster care system, report finds
Kentucky should focus on strengthening its foster care system, instead of seeking to outsource the job to private companies, according to a study commissioned under a 2018 law aimed at overhauling child welfare services.
RI: Moody’s slams Rhode Island for ‘weak governance’
The cause: Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s unwillingness so far to sign the proposed new $9.9 billion budget.