Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/16

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/16

CO: BLM to move headquarters to Colorado

denverpost.com

The federal Bureau of Land Management will move its headquarters to Grand Junction, said U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, ending years of successful lobbying efforts by Colorado officials.

NC: North Carolina gerrymandering trial could weaken GOP influence

wunc.org

The case has the potential to significantly alter how political maps are drawn in North Carolina and could serve as a blueprint for legal challenges in other states. Or, it could result in the latest affirmation of partisan gerrymandering — a practice in American politics that stretches back more than two centuries.

MI: Study finds 'mental health crisis' among Michigan prison workers

freep.com

A new survey points to a “mental health crisis” among Michigan Department of Corrections workers, who suffer from levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicide and alcohol abuse far higher than those in the general population, officials said.

MO: Lawsuit claiming Missouri officials overused psychotropic drugs on foster children has been settled

stltoday.com

Missouri officials and advocates for foster children have agreed to overhaul the way that powerful psychotropic drugs are given to foster children. A past state estimate said roughly 30% of foster children are on the drugs.

WV, VA: West Virginia governor donates 4,500 acres to Virginia for conservation

apnews.com

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, and his family have donated 4,500 acres in Virginia for a conservation easement that will forestall development.

KY: Kentucky governor sets date for special session on pension relief

courier-journal.com

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is calling a special legislative session later this week aimed at giving local health departments, regional state universities and other quasi-governmental agencies relief from soaring pension costs.

AZ: Arizona Secretary of State’s office acknowledges ‘woefully underpaid’ staffers

azcentral.com

The Arizona Secretary of State's Office, in internal emails, acknowledged pay inequities and "woefully underpaid" staffers within the agency, days after The Arizona Republic published a database of public employee salaries statewide.

IA: Jury awards $1.5M in discrimination case vs. former Iowa governor

desmoinesregister.com

A jury has awarded a gay former state official $1.5 million in damages, finding that former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, discriminated against him based on his sexual orientation.

SC: South Carolina customers now are paying millions more to shop online

thestate.com

South Carolina pocketed about $40 million in added sales tax revenue from South Carolinians since November, not long after the U.S. Supreme Court decided in June that states could slap its sales tax on to online retailers without a physical presence in the state.

NH: State, ex-inmate drop suits as New Hampshire governor signs repeal of law charging prisoners for incarceration

unionleader.com

The man who challenged New Hampshire’s “pay to stay” law covering adult prisoners is no longer facing a bill for the four years he spent in prison on a negligent homicide charge, his lawyers said.

TX: Texas leaders may review how state judges are elected

texastribune.org

Texas judges are required to run as partisans and must raise money from the same lawyers who will appear before them in court. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a law creating a commission to study the issue.

MN: Minnesota lawmakers, officials hail new wage theft law as nation's strongest

startribune.com

Minnesota leaders took a rare bipartisan victory lap to usher in what they called the nation’s strongest set of protections against wage theft. The law doubles the number of state investigators who will probe wage theft violations and conduct site visits while making it a felony to withhold workers’ pay in certain cases.

NJ: New Jersey will soon require warning labels on opioid prescriptions

nj.com

Amid a nationwide opioid addiction crisis, New Jersey will soon require a warning label on all opioid prescriptions. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law that supporters say makes New Jersey the first state to adopt such a mandate.

CA: Living in California is living on the edge

theatlantic.com

For residents of California, the recent earthquakes are a reminder that they live on the brink of disaster.

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