Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/30

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/30

NM: New Mexico legislative leaders take command of campaign resources

apnews.com

New rules for funneling resources toward political races in New Mexico may provide legislative leaders and political parties with a stronger hand in influencing the outcomes of elections, as Democrats assert their control over the legislature and key statewide elected offices. The so-called “legislative caucus committees” can collect five times as much cash per donor as other New Mexico political committees.

NJ: New Jersey’s ‘Aid in Dying’ law takes effect this week; bishops opposed

nj.com

With New Jersey’s “Aid in Dying” law days away from taking effect, the Bishop for the Metuchen Diocese has warned Catholics the practice “can never be morally justified,” and represents the “utter failure of government and society.” The law applies to adult residents who have received a terminal diagnosis defined as an incurable and irreversible disease that will end the person’s life within six months.

NY: New York governor signs bill to decriminalize marijuana use, expunge convictions

timesunion.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will further decriminalize marijuana possession in New York and wipe certain convictions from a person's criminal record. The law, which takes effect in 30 days, was seen as a compromise between those who oppose legalizing a commercial market for marijuana and those who seek to undo the harms of prohibition.

KS: Kansas officials gave companies millions in tax dollars without guidance

kansas.com

Auditors found the Kansas Department of Commerce, which controls a job creation fund, sometimes provided money without requiring an application and had no written policies guiding who should get funding and how much.

ND: North Dakota 'blue law' comes to an end

bismarcktribune.com

North Dakota's law forbidding Sunday morning shopping dates back to 19th century territorial codes against "Sabbath breaking" by shopping, traveling or labor. This week marks the end of the law after Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, signed a repeal law earlier this year.

AZ: Arizona city police say they will not pull people over in ‘positive ticketing’ campaign

azcentral.com

Following confusion and outrage over the Tempe, Arizona, Police Department's new "positive ticketing" campaign, police officials promise no one will be pulled over for following the law. A local NBC affiliate initially reported officers would be pulling people over to issue Circle K drink coupons to people following traffic laws.

CT: Connecticut plastic bag ban takes effect this week

courant.com

Connecticut shoppers will need to remember to bring reusable bags with them when they go to most stores, or they’ll end up paying a 10-cent fee for single-use plastic bags to carry groceries or other items.

IL: New Illinois law to cap interest rates on consumer debt judgments

chicagotribune.com

People who are taken to court over unpaid debts in Illinois will have new protections beginning Jan. 1 under a measure Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law.

SD: Lawsuit seeks to invalidate new South Dakota law on ballot measures

argusleader.com

A South Dakota political activist is asking a federal judge to prevent a new law from taking effect that would place requirements on groups that promote ballot measures. House Bill 1094 requires petition circulators to register with the secretary of state by providing personal information, including their address, occupation and contact information. Paid circulators must pay $20 to register.

WI: Wisconsin governor establishes coordinator position to address lead poisoning

madison.com

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, announced he would create a new position in his administration to combat lead poisoning in drinking water, which has become a concern in parts of the state. Through an executive order, Evers will install a coordinator in the Department of Health Services to direct Wisconsin's state agencies to work together to address lead exposure.

MT: Medicaid: Montana takes first step toward implementing work rules passed by legislature

billingsgazette.com

Montanans will have a chance this week to weigh in on the state's plan to add work requirements to its Medicaid expansion program, the first step in a long process to implement changes created in the 2019 legislature. Earlier this year, lawmakers led by a group of moderate Republicans joining with Democrats passed a bill that continues the state's Medicaid expansion. It was set to expire this year.

NE: Nebraska wants federal review of dam collapse in floods

omaha.com

Nebraska state dam inspectors have asked a national dam-safety group to determine what caused the collapse of the 92-year-old Spencer Dam during epic flooding in March. One man was swept away and his body never found after the 29-foot-high, 3,700-foot-long earthen and concrete structure breached amid heavy rain and snow during the night of March 13-14.

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