Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/25

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/25

MA: Massachusetts governor orders 4-month ban on all vaping products

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said the temporary ban will apply to sales of both tobacco and marijuana electronic cigarettes. State officials say the emergency measure, which takes effect immediately and lasts through Jan. 25, 2020, is the first of its kind in the country.

WI: Wisconsin elections commission approves funding to strengthen election security

wpr.org

The Wisconsin Elections Commission unanimously approved a $1.1 million grant program that aims to help cities and towns beef up their election security. The program would make up to $1,200 in federal funding available for qualified participants to update operating systems and buy new computers. 

NM: New Mexico will set its own fuel economy, emissions standards

apnews.com 

New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says her state will break with federal authorities and implement new restrictions on vehicle emissions starting with model-year 2022 autos. The governor criticized the Trump administration rollback of federal standards.

FL: Florida bill pushes to double fines for illegally passing school bus

cbs12.com

Florida state Sen. Ed Hooper, a Republican, filed a bill that aims to double fines for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. On the other side of the road, the fine would jump from $100 to $200. On the same side of the road, the fine would double from $200 to $400.

NE: Nebraska panel approves emergency money to repair Capitol dome

omaha.com

The repairs to Nebraska’s gold-tiled Capitol dome are expected to cost about $181,000. The plan is to have workers climb onto the dome and temporarily seal the expansion joints. The effort should keep the tiles in place and prevent further water damage. Work should begin in mid-October, weather permitting.

DE: Delaware DMV officials convicted of fraudulently issuing licenses

delawareonline.com

A Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles employee and her associate were given a year probation for participating in a scheme to fraudulently issue driver’s licenses. According to the Delaware Department of Justice, the employee accepted bribes from an interpreter for non-English speaking immigrants.

OR: Oregon secretary of state may seek to make the office nonpartisan

oregonlive.com

Oregon’s secretary of state is preparing a push to make her office, the state’s top elections watchdog, a nonpartisan post. That would put Oregon in an unusual and possibly unique category — of the 35 states that elect their secretaries of state, all but one is held by a politician affiliated with a specific party.

MI: Michigan legislature begins passing final budget bills

apnews.com

Michigan would spend $400 million to boost its roads and bridges under a budget bill approved on party-line votes, as majority Republican lawmakers lauded it and Democrats criticized it as inadequate. The transportation budget and 14 other spending bills — totaling $44.7 billion — were expected to clear the legislature. 

SD: South Dakota says no to Yankton Sioux Tribe’s request for National Guard to help with flooding

argusleader.com 

The Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota is requesting the National Guard's assistance with flooding in the White Swan community at Lake Andes. However, the state Department of Public Safety responded that the tribe still has other options available to help with the flooding, and Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has said the National Guard is to be used only as a last resort.

RI: Rhode Island governor urges lawmakers to back lottery deal

providencejournal.com

No other state in the country has used the lure of a lottery contract to attract 1,000 jobs like Rhode Island did with International Game Technology 16 years ago, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said, while urging lawmakers to extend the company’s deal and not risk it closing its Providence office.

TX: Texas district to pay $284K for reburial of inmates’ remains

apnews.com

A Houston-area school district will spend $284,000 for the reburial of remains believed to be 95 African American prisoners hired out during the notorious Texas convict-leasing period. 

AR: Arkansas Governor: Little Rock schools' oversight is state duty

arkansasonline.com

Arkansas has a legal and moral obligation to continue some oversight of the Little Rock School District, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, while also rejecting criticism that the state Board of Education's framework for the district's future is tantamount to re-segregation.

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