Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/8

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/8

WV: Lawyer for West Virginia governor says federal probe is closed

wvgazettemail.com

Federal prosecutors have closed a nearly yearlong investigation into Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's administration and his family business empire without bringing any criminal charges, a Justice family attorney said. The announcement was made one day before the state’s legislative session is scheduled to start. Justice is seeking re-election this year.

DC: Longest-serving D.C. lawmaker to resign over ethics violations

washingtonpost.com

Jack Evans, a longtime District of Columbia council member, announced that he will resign later this month, ending a 29-year political career that was tainted by ethics violations.

TN: Tennessee governor calls for 12 weeks paid leave for state employees who are new parents, caregivers

tennessean.com

Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, says Tennessee will soon offer its state employees three months of paid leave for new parents and caregivers of sick relatives, in what could make the conservative state the first in the nation to enact such a wide-ranging policy.

AZ: Arizona AG announces lawsuits against major vaping companies

azcentral.com

Citing an epidemic of vaping among Arizona youths, Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the state is suing two major vaping companies — JUUL Labs Inc. and Eonsmoke — for consumer fraud. Both lawsuits, which allege violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, were filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.

ME: Maine will receive $5.3M to help new mothers with opioid use disorder

pressherald.com

Maine is among 10 states that will get federal funding over the next five years to improve access to and coordinate treatment for women with opioid use disorder who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

MA: Massachusetts state payroll grows to $7.4B

bostonglobe.com

The Massachusetts state payroll jumped 3.4% over the previous year and the number of state workers earning six figures grew by more than 10% from 2018, according to new data from the state comptroller’s office.

CA: California bill bans flavored tobacco devices, “no exceptions”

sacbee.com

A California lawmaker has announced a renewed effort to ban flavored tobacco products, and he’s gotten the lieutenant governor and nearly 30 other legislators to sign on. State Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat, announced the bill would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarette products such as Juul pods.

TX: Tax cuts helped Texas high earners

dallasnews.com

Texas, along with some other states, got a bigger boost that added more momentum to an already strong economy. And the highest-paid in Texas had a much bigger upside than high earners in the rest of the country.

NC: UNC will pay $4.5M after years of accounting errors led to extra federal grant money

newsobserver.com

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will pay the federal government $4.5 million after the university admitted it made accounting errors for its grant funding for six years. UNC was overpaid in grant money as a result of the errors, which UNC self-reported and attempted to fix.

MD: EPA official’s comments on Chesapeake Bay cleanup stir fear and confusion in Maryland

baltimoresun.com

Maryland environmentalists and politicians worry Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts could be weakened, if not doomed, days after the federal official overseeing that work called an agreement to reduce water pollution an “aspirational” goal and not rules to be enforced.

CT: Connecticut task force recommends eliminating statute of limitations for sexual assault lawsuits

courant.com

An eight-member legislative task force unanimously recommended Connecticut eliminate the statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases, opening a legal window for those abused decades ago to seek justice in civil court.

AK: Alaska state justice worries about turnover

adn.com

One day after announcing his plans to retire June 1, Alaska Supreme Court Justice Craig Stowers said his intent is to blunt the impact of a wave of high-court retirements expected in the next five years. Alaska judges are required to retire at age 70, and four of the Supreme Court’s five justices will hit that benchmark between February 2023 and February 2025.

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