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

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

CA: Thousands of lawful California gun owners being denied ammunition purchases

sacbee.com

Tens of thousands of Californians were stopped from buying ammunition, even though they appear to be lawfully able to do so, The Sacramento Bee reported. From July to November, the California Department of Justice rejected nearly 1 in 5 purchases, mostly because of mismatches in the state’s background system or the buyer’s personal information hadn’t been entered.

HI: Feds could take over missile alerts after false alarm in Hawaii

staradvertiser.com

A false missile alert was sent to Hawaii residents nearly two years ago. Now the federal government is poised to take over responsibility for alerting the public of a missile threat under a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers get special access to football tickets

apnews.com

In the middle of a record-breaking, undefeated LSU college football season, Louisiana’s lawmakers have a special perk that gives them access to face-value, postseason game tickets that regular fans can’t easily obtain before they hit the pricey secondary market. The longstanding tradition is particularly fruitful this year, as LSU is within striking distance of the national championship game.

AL: Alabama infant mortality rate hits record low

apnews.com

Alabama’s infant mortality rate has reached a record low, state health officials announced. The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the 2018 infant mortality rate was the lowest in Alabama history with 7.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. It is an improvement over the 2017 rate of 7.4 and the 2016 rate of 9.1. However, Alabama’s mortality rate remains higher than the provisional U.S. rate of 5.7. There also remains a racial disparity in infant mortality rates.

GA: Georgia lawmakers consider ways to curb vaping

ajc.com

The chairwoman of a state House health panel said she wants Georgia to pull flavored vaping liquids from stores and raise the purchase age to 21 to help keep the smoking product out of the hands of children. House Health and Human Services Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, a Republican, said she believes the General Assembly will pursue legislation to cut down on underage use of the e-cigarettes.

MS: DOJ: Mississippi students have a right to speak freely

hattiesburgamerican.com

The U.S. Department of Justice said a Mississippi junior college's rules governing free speech on campus are overreaching and not in compliance with the First Amendment. DOJ officials said in a statement that public colleges cannot trample on students' First Amendment rights to free speech.

MO: Gun violence proposal sputters amid dissent among Missouri Republicans

stltoday.com

An attempt by Republican Gov. Mike Parson and the mayors of Missouri’s larger cities to address gun violence is off to a rocky start even before lawmakers return to the Capitol.

NY: New York to ban aerial use of pesticide

apnews.com

New York is prohibiting the aerial spraying of an agricultural pesticide that can harm the nervous systems of infants and young children. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s directing the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ban nearly all uses of chlorpyrifos by December 2020.

MD: Maryland governor pledges state funding for crime prosecution in Baltimore

baltimoresun.com

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said he will spend state money to hire more than two dozen prosecutors and staff to help the state attorney general prosecute criminal cases in Baltimore. The governor said the money will help address “out-of-control violence” in the city.

PA: Close county immigrant family detention center, Pennsylvania auditor general says

inquirer.com

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, called for the closure of the Berks County family detention center, saying American taxpayers are spending $12 million a year to confine immigrants “who have done absolutely nothing illegal.”

CT: Newspaper sues over Connecticut juvenile law that makes court cases secret

courant.com

The Hartford Courant filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit to overturn a new Connecticut law that the newspaper says violates the speech and open government rights of the press and public by closing courtrooms and keeping records secret when some teenagers are charged with the most serious felonies such as murder, armed robbery and rape.

IL: Advocates warn immigrants against buying ‘legal’ weed in Illinois

chicago.suntimes.com

Advocates are warning all immigrants in Illinois — even those with legal status — to stay away from cannabis as dispensaries across the state prepare to dole out the drug in less than three weeks.

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