Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/12

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/12

CA: California passes $26B wildfire plan

sacbee.com

A costly $26 billion proposal to deal with California’s ongoing wildfire threats is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Democrat, who had worked with lawmakers behind the scenes to pass a comprehensive plan before a monthlong summer recess, is expected to sign the bill.

MD: Maryland police agencies have for years broken law mandating reporting of excessive force

baltimoresun.com

In 2015, state lawmakers passed a law mandating police agencies across Maryland report when officers use excessive force or injure someone and cases of officers’ criminal misconduct, among other data. However, dozens of agencies never did so, resulting in extreme undercounting of such encounters in annual reports.

ME: Maine governor comes out against ‘foolish’ right whale regulation

pressherald.com

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is directing the Maine Department of Marine Resources to come up with an alternative to a federal plan to protect the endangered right whale from the state lobster industry, saying she won’t allow “foolish” regulations to make life harder for local fishermen.

TX: Judge dismisses part of Texas’ ‘sanctuary city’ lawsuit against San Antonio

expressnews.com

A Texas judge dismissed significant parts of Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton's first sanctuary cities lawsuit, which alleges the San Antonio police chief and others hindered federal immigration enforcement by releasing 12 people suspected of being in the country illegally.

AZ: Nike plant in Arizona will move forward

azcentral.com

Nike has reaffirmed its commitment to build a manufacturing plant in metro Phoenix, Arizona. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted the “good news,” about a week after he vowed to cancel $1 million in state incentives for the athletic apparel giant after it pulled a shoe that featured an early design of the American flag.

WA: Washington state court upholds Seattle voucher system

apnews.com

The Washington state Supreme Court unanimously upheld Seattle’s “democracy vouchers” program, which allows residents to direct taxpayer money to qualifying political candidates.

KS: To avoid legal fight, Kansas governor drops welfare plan

kansas.com

When Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration confirmed in June it planned to allow thousands of Kansans to remain on welfare without meeting work requirements, Republicans relentlessly attacked the policy. This week, Kelly backed down.

MN: Minnesota lawmakers scrutinize program that helped fund Jimmy Fallon visit during Super Bowl

startribune.com

The head of the Minnesota Film and TV Board defended the use of nearly $267,000 of taxpayer money to defray the cost of filming the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” when the program visited during 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Republicans scoffed at the spending and some called for legislative hearings.

NM: New Mexico outlines plans to close its only coal-fired electricity plant

apnews.com

It could take about nine months before New Mexico issues a final ruling related to the closure and financing and several months more to settle on which mix of solar, natural gas or battery storage will be tapped for generation going forward.

AL: New Alabama law toughens penalties for stolen firearms

al.com

Law enforcement officials say a move to increase the penalty for having a stolen gun in Alabama will be an important tool in keeping streets and neighborhoods safer and helping to prevent tragedies like those that claimed the lives of police officers this year.

PA: Pennsylvania to better track guns used in crimes as violence soars

apnews.com

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office launched an effort to improve the use of firearms databases, so law enforcement can better track guns used in crimes and, ultimately, clamp down on gun violence.

NE: Campaign begins to whittle waitlist for developmentally disabled in Nebraska

journalstar.com 

More than 2,000 Nebraskans qualify for developmental disabilities services but are having to wait years, usually three to six years, to get them. 

TN: Tennessee governor wants voucher program by 2020-21 school year

tennessean.com

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee is hoping to get the state’s school voucher program off the ground in the next year. The education savings accounts allow for parents to use public funds to send their student to private school.

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