Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/14

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/14

US: 21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules

apnews.com

A coalition of 21 Democratic-led states sued the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants, with California’s governor saying the president is trying to rescue an outdated industry.

NV: Appeals court rejects Nevada lawsuit to stop plutonium shipments

reviewjournal.com

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by Nevada officials to block future transfers of nuclear material from South Carolina to a federal site north of Las Vegas. Judges ruled that because some shipments had been made before the original lawsuit had been filed, Nevada’s action was moot.

CT: Facing lawsuit, Connecticut to test, treat inmates for hepatitis C

courant.com

Facing a class action lawsuit, the Connecticut Department of Correction said it will begin testing and treating inmates for the hepatitis C virus, which can be spread by unprotected sex, intravenous drug use and tattooing and thrives in a prison climate. The legislature’s fiscal office in March estimated the cost of treatment at up to $158 million.

AZ: Arizona task force will investigate missing, murdered Native American women

azcentral.com

An Arizona task force will investigate how to combat violence against Native American women and girls starting later this month, a state lawmaker said shortly after the governor conducted a ceremonial signing of the bill establishing the committee.

ND: North Dakota highway patrol launches drone technology

bismarcktribune.com

The North Dakota State Highway Patrol is launching drone technology with the help of legislative funding and federal permission to fly unmanned aircraft systems over people. It's the first state highway patrol agency in the country to receive the permission.

KY: Kentucky to probe whether coal companies comply with state wage law

kentucky.com

Kentucky’s attorney general will investigate whether coal companies that have secured mining permits in the state over the past five years have posted performance bonds aimed at protecting miners’ wages.

WI: Wisconsin elections officials scale back security proposal

apnews.com

Wisconsin elections officials scaled back a plan to buy scores of new loaner computers for local clerks using outdated systems open to cyberattacks, saying the proposal is too expensive when they don’t have a firm grasp on how many clerks really need new computers.

MN: Teen lung diseases linked to vaping, Minnesota Health Department reports

startribune.com

Four cases of severe lung disease in the Twin Cities are being linked to vaping and e-cigarette use, prompting Minnesota health officials to warn the public about the harms of these products and to advise doctors to be on the lookout.

FL: Florida Democrats expand ‘voter protection’ effort with 24-hour phone hotline

miamiherald.com

The Florida Democratic Party has launched a 24-hour hotline for voters to report any problems with registration or casting their ballots as party leaders try to get a jump on what they say are Republican-led voter suppression efforts in one of the country’s most important swing states.

MD: Maryland panel on lynching begins yearlong study of killings

baltimoresun.com

A Maryland commission that will research at least 40 lynchings committed in the state from 1854 to 1933 and make recommendations about reconciliation held its first meeting in Annapolis.

NY: New York governor signs bills to reduce infant deaths from household items

timesunion.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed three bills designed to reduce the number of children harmed by furniture tipping over and crib bumper pads. 

CA: California officials warn of ‘unsustainable’ taxpayer costs in disaster bill

sfchronicle.com

A bill that state finance officials warn could saddle California taxpayers with expensive and unnecessary premiums for disaster insurance is sweeping toward passage in the legislature, so far without dissent. It would authorize the governor to buy policies directly from insurers rather than require state agencies to go through a broker selected in a competitive bidding process.

LA: Louisiana to privatize energy systems in state buildings

theadvocate.com

A private firm will make energy upgrades at 31 state buildings, including the Louisiana Capitol, the governor’s mansion and the state Supreme Court building, in exchange for $54 million. State officials say the energy savings from the improvements will offset the millions in costs. 

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