Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

PR: Puerto Rico governor agrees to step down

miamiherald.com

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is resigning from office effective Aug. 2, buckling to the unrelenting pressure of a popular uprising. Rosselló, of the New Progressive Party, was swept from office not three years into his term by 12 days of massive protests and political upheaval. There is widespread anger over disparaging comments that he made about constituents as well as corruption.

CA: Major automakers made secret climate deal with California, rebuffing Trump

washingtonpost.com

Four automakers from three continents have struck a deal with California to produce more fuel-efficient cars for their U.S. fleets in coming years, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive climate policy rollbacks.

US: Small communities in 11 states face extreme wildfire risk

azcentral.com

The same factors that doomed Paradise, California, also put hundreds of other towns at risk, according to an analysis of fire hazards across 760 million acres of the American West by the Arizona Republic and USA Today. Of small communities with fewer than 15,000 households, 526 face a wildfire potential greater than in Paradise.

TX: Texas won’t be placed back under federal supervision for redistricting

texastribune.org

A panel of federal judges refused to order that the federal government once again oversee Texas’ drawing of its legislative maps, denying the requests of voters of color, civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers. Although they noted "grave concerns" about Texas' past conduct, the judges ruled that the drastic intervention was not warranted. 

HI: Ocean's trash cans: Seabin skimmers come to Hawaii

bizjournals.com

Each Seabin, essentially a floating trash can, can collect an average of 1.5 tons of trash, microplastics and surface oil a year, and can skim 25,000 liters of water an hour. There are currently 749 around the world, and three of the ocean skimmers are coming to Hawaii. The Department of Natural Land and Resources approved a six-month trial for the addition of a public Seabin in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor across from Prince Waikiki. 

NC: North Carolina lawmaker resigns after cyberstalking plea

citizen-times.com

Embattled North Carolina state Rep. Cody Henson, a Republican, resigned after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of cyberstalking his ex-wife who said the ordeal was "pure hell." Henson was sentenced to 18 months of probation. 

NM: New Mexico files emergency request to clean up contaminated Air Force bases

abqjournal.com

The New Mexico attorney general and the Environment Department have filed a motion asking that the U.S. Air Force be required to quickly clean up contamination from toxic firefighting foam that leaked into the ground on and near Holloman and Cannon Air Force bases. The preliminary injunction asks the court to compel the Air Force to outline the contamination plume and test groundwater and drinking water. 

MA: Massachusetts legislators consider bill to criminalize suicide coercion

bostonglobe.com

“Conrad’s Law” is named for a Massachusetts teenager, Conrad Roy III, whose girlfriend pressured him through text messages and phone calls to carry out his suicide in 2014. Massachusetts is one of just 10 states without a law against suicide coercion. 

WA: HOV-lane cheaters are about to face steeper fines in Washington state

seattletimes.com

Fines in Washington state are going up sharply for those who try to cheat their way into the high-occupancy vehicle lane — especially those who use a mannequin, doll or clothing bunched up to look like a passenger.

NY: New York to study artificial intelligence and robots

timesunion.com

New York is taking steps to harness artificial intelligence and robotics, and hopefully prevent an uprising by our machines. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating a commission tasked with delivering a report by the end of next year on how the state can utilize and regulate these evolving high-tech areas.

NV: Nevada’s new tenant protections prompt reduced times to pay rent

reviewjournal.com

Some Las Vegas property management companies are reducing how long tenants must pay rent and raising fees tied to eviction proceedings following new statewide tenant protections that took effect in Nevada this month. The move has garnered criticism from tenant rights advocates and attorneys, who say it would be illegal to impose the change on anyone who has an active lease.

WY: Wyoming lawmakers name all-GOP nuclear fuels storage team

trib.com

As legislators study how Wyoming might boost revenue by temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel, officials may look to Texas and New Mexico, where two such projects are undergoing U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission review.

SD: Nearly $7M provided to South Dakotans after winter storms, flooding

argusleader.com

Federal agencies have provided nearly $7 million dollars to South Dakotans for recovery from winter storms and flooding that ravaged the state earlier this year.

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