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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/4

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/4

OK: Oklahoma approves largest mass commutation in U.S. history

tulsaworld.com

In a historic move, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended sentence commutations for 527 inmates. Supporters say it was the largest single-day commutation in state and national history.

GA: Governor’s Medicaid plan could pave way for limited expansion in Georgia

ajc.com

After months of planning and fraught political debate, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is set to detail a proposal that may pave the way for a limited Medicaid expansion that could add thousands of residents to Georgia’s rolls.

US: Drones used in crime fly under the law’s radar across U.S.

nytimes.com

Drones are increasingly being used by criminals across the country, and local law enforcement agencies are often powerless to stop them. Local and state authorities have no power to charge suspects specifically for drone-use violations.

AZ: Democrats sue over Arizona ballot listing

azcentral.com

Democrats filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona over their second billing on many ballots, arguing that consistently listing their candidates below Republicans leaves them at a disadvantage.

VT: Vermont lawmakers debate benefits, potential power of a Statehouse ‘CEO’

vtdigger.org

A joint Vermont legislative committee is considering whether an executive director for the legislature, or a Statehouse “CEO,” would bring about better organization or introduce unnecessary bureaucratic burden.

NC: New district maps give hope to North Carolina Democrats

newsobserver.com

After a lawsuit succeeded in striking down many of the North Carolina General Assembly’s political districts — with new maps approved last week — Democrats think they have a shot at gaining power at the legislature in the 2020 elections.

SD: South Dakota to pay legal fees in lawsuit over governor’s ‘riot booster’ law

argusleaders.com

South Dakota taxpayers will be paying for a lawsuit over Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s new “riot booster” law aimed at Keystone XL pipeline protesters. The state will pay $145,000 to the plaintiffs to cover legal fees accrued in the litigation by the ACLU of South Dakota.

DC: Advocates support District of Columbia deaf rights measure

wamu.org

A bill to create the first government office for people with hearing loss is moving through the District of Columbia’s city council. The bill would enhance programs or create new ones and ensure members of the deaf community have access to all city services.

AL: Trial begins in challenge to Alabama congressional district map

apnews.com

African Americans make up more than a quarter of Alabama’s voting age population, but only one of the state’s seven congressional districts is majority black. A federal judge will begin a trial in a lawsuit that contends the state should have a second majority-black district.

NJ: New Jersey towns are easy targets for dark web hackers

nj.com

The masters of the dark web have been targeting New Jersey local tax collector’s offices. Dozens of municipal government agencies in New Jersey have been victimized by hackers over the past two years but have been reluctant to make those attacks public, officials say. 

NH: Nine New Hampshire cities to vote on allowing sports betting

apnews.com

Residents in nine New Hampshire cities will vote on whether to permit in-person sports betting. A new state law allows anyone over 18 to participate in online sports betting and lets the state set up a “sports book” retail location.

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