Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/23

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/23

CT: Connecticut governor tells lawmakers: ‘Don’t even think about’ spending budget surplus

ctmirror.com

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, used his routine monthly budget forecast to send an unconventional message to the General Assembly: Please put requests to restore spending or repeal tax hikes on hold. The budget surplus is estimated at $84.3 million, down from earlier $141 million projection.

AZ: Arizona pension system sues state to prevent release of records

azcentral.com

The Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System has taken the unusual step of suing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's administration to stop the release of public records containing employees' allegations of sexual harassment.  

TX: A property tax relief plan is prompting hefty tax increases in Texas

houstonchronicle.com

A statewide property tax relief plan that takes effect next year is prompting hefty tax increases this fall in many of the biggest cities and counties in Texas. Starting next year, cities and counties will be barred from increasing property tax collections more than 3.5% in any year without a vote of the public.

CO: Colorado BLM headquarters to share space with oil and gas companies

denverpost.com 

The U.S. Interior Department has leased part of a four-story building at 760 Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, Colorado. According to online records, the building’s other tenants include Chevron and Laramie Energy — oil and gas companies that the Bureau of Land Management could provide leases to and regulate.

KS: Kansas to open its newest state park in October

kansas.com 

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Logan County, Kansas, is a rare geological gem that features chalky spires and buttes projecting as high as 100 feet in the air. Last month, Kansas dropped a $50 visitor’s fee to make the park more public-friendly. The fee was intended to serve as a warning to anyone who might damage the park’s fragile rock formations.

SC: 30 years after Hugo, South Carolina danger zones are more built-up

thestate.com

Despite causing $7 billion worth of damage on Sept. 21-22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo did little to discourage new or more intense development on many stretches of South Carolina’s coast. More people than ever are living in the path of storms and rising seas.

IL: Illinois lawmakers set to consider banning most flavored vaping products

chicagotribune.com

Following a wave of concern nationally over lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping, Illinois lawmakers are ready to consider legislation this fall that would ban most flavored vaping products and outlaw e-cigarette use in indoor public spaces.

WA: Washington voters this election will decide whether to keep affirmative action

seattletimes.com

Washingtonians are tasked with choosing whether to keep a measure approved this spring by the legislature that reinstates affirmative action. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed that measure into law.

CA: Uber, Lyft drivers torn as California law could reclassify them

wsj.com

California lawmakers have hailed the law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that could require drivers of ride-hailing companies to be labeled as employees rather than independent contractors, saying the measure could raise wages and provide new workplace benefits. But the drivers are divided about how it will affect them.

MI: GOP lawmakers add $400M to fix roads, ignoring Michigan governor's gas tax hike

freep.com

Michigan House and Senate Republicans ignored Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45 cents per gallon tax increase and instead approved a transportation budget in conference committee that includes $400 million in one-time spending for roads. 

WI: Lawsuit filed in Wisconsin against vape manufacturer as state officials combat illnesses

greenbaypressgazette.com

A popular vaping device caused three Wisconsin residents who began vaping as teenagers to suffer severe health consequences as the product's manufacturer engaged in deceptive advertising, a new lawsuit alleges.

Senior Health Care Teen Vaping
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