Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/12

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/12

IL: Lobbying by sitting Illinois lawmakers under scrutiny

apnews.com

A federal bribery charge against an Illinois state legislator, who also was registered as a Chicago lobbyist, has led to questions about whether lawmakers should be allowed to lobby other units of government. Most states allow lawmakers to lobby outside state government, and 18 states have no restrictions on such lobbying.

CA: California might not require solar panels on new homes, after all

latimes.com

California became the first state in the nation last year to require solar panels on newly built homes, but it’s starting to look like the mandate wasn’t quite a mandate. The California Energy Commission also gave home builders the option of supplying solar power from an off-site facility, and now the commission is poised to approve the first off-site solar program for new housing.

FL: Civil rights groups sue over solitary confinement rules in Florida

orlandosentinel.com

In separate but parallel lawsuits, civil rights and legal groups are challenging Florida’s use of solitary confinement in prisons and juvenile detention centers, but they are facing pushback from state agencies.

NY: Trump can’t sue New York AG over tax returns, judge rules

nypost.com

President Donald Trump cannot sue the New York state attorney general or the state tax commissioner as part of his lawsuit to block congressional Democrats from obtaining copies of his state tax returns, a federal judge ruled.

GA: Atlanta pro teams to Georgia lawmakers: Allow sports bets

ajc.com

Presidents of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United have formed the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance and sent a letter to state lawmakers asking them to legalize online and mobile sports betting.

AR: One-day strike planned in Little Rock School District over Arkansas control 

arkansasonline.com

Educators at public schools in Little Rock are planning a one-day strike because they want the Arkansas Board of Education to return the district to full local control. In 2015, the state board removed the elected school board and placed the superintendent under state authority.

NV: Audit finds Nevada parolees remain behind bars over housing issues

thenevadaindependent.com

Every week, dozens of inmates eligible for parole in Nevada remain incarcerated months longer than they should be because of housing issues with their release plan, according to a recent audit of mental health services in the state’s prison system. Those delays were estimated to cost the state $1.6 million a year.

RI: Rhode Island cities and towns are suing the state over public-employee contracts

providencejournal.com

The mayors and town administrators of more than a dozen Rhode Island communities are filing a legal challenge to the recently passed state law extending public employee union contracts indefinitely after they expire.

HI: Surveys show widespread coral bleaching in Hawaii

staradvertiser.com

Citizen scientists are tracking the bleaching of coral in Hawaii caused by warm ocean temperatures. As much as half of live coral bleached in the most heavily affected areas of the state, officials said.

WI: Wisconsin governor's office won't release his emails even though he says public should see them

jsonline.com

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' aides won't release a day's worth of the governor's emails, saying the request is too burdensome, even though Evers himself said the public should see them and that he rarely sends email. 

CO: Feds sue Colorado’s pharmacy board as part of an opioid investigation

coloradosun.com

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has sued the board that regulates Colorado’s pharmacies, demanding it share information from a database that tracks opioid prescriptions and setting up a clash over patient privacy amid the nation’s overdose epidemic.

OR: Oregon seeks to return missing medals to veterans

opb.org

An Oregon agency wants to reunite veterans or their heirs with military medals now in state custody. The Oregon Department of State Lands is reminding people that they can look up medals or other unclaimed property online and possibly claim them.

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