Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/14

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/14

OR: Revised climate bill to set battle lines for Oregon lawmakers

opb.org

A climate change bill that will dominate Oregon’s legislative session shows little sign that the political and cultural disagreements that scuttled a similar proposal last year have meaningfully changed in the last six months. The bill would force greenhouse gas emitters to obtain credits for each ton of gas they emit, and create an overall cap for emissions allowed in the state.

PA: Pennsylvania governor vows to veto looser rules for conventional oil and gas wells

post-gazette.com

A proposal to ease environmental regulations for the Pennsylvania's struggling conventional oil and gas industry advanced in the state House, despite a vow from Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, to veto it in its current form.

CT: Connecticut governor wants to double the urban population

courant.com

In a state that is losing residents, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and his economic development chief have set an ambitious goal to double the population of Connecticut cities in the next quarter century. But it is a daunting task, requiring a complex — and expensive — recipe of housing, transportation options and well-paid jobs.

OK: Oklahoma attorney general files lawsuit against opioid distributors

oklahoman.com

Oklahoma GOP Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a state lawsuit against three major opioid distributors, accusing them of helping fuel the state's deadly opioid crisis by oversupplying the state with the highly addictive painkillers. Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp., McKesson Corp. and related entities.

UT: Utah can’t find 76,000 driver’s license holders

sltrib.com

Utah officials can’t find correct addresses for over 76,000 redesigned driver’s licenses that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service. Without them, drivers will not be able to use their licenses as identification at airports beginning Oct. 1. The new design adds a gold star to show at a glance that the holder is a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

HI: Hawaii lawmakers focused on livability

civilbeat.org

The legislature will focus on ways to lower Hawaii’s high cost of living and make the state more livable for residents. Lawmakers are looking at solutions to some of Hawaii’s perennial issues like lack of affordable housing, increasing the minimum wage, rampant homelessness, the state’s slowing economy and the ever more apparent effects of climate change.

NJ: New Jersey governor expected to sign vaping ban

northjersey.com

New Jersey lawmakers voted to prohibit sales of flavored vaping products and cap the amount of nicotine in vaping liquids. The hotly contested bills would increase licensing fees and fines for selling flavored products, and limit the amount of nicotine that can be in vaping liquid to 2%. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is likely to sign the bills into law.

NY: New York lawmakers seek to ban sale of flavored nicotine products

timesunion.com

A group of New York state lawmakers called on their colleagues to swiftly pass measures that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the state, three days after a state Supreme Court justice struck down an emergency ban issued last year by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Health Department.

CO: Colorado bill would prohibit holding a cellphone while driving

denverpost.com

New Colorado legislation would make it illegal for adults to use a mobile device while driving, except through the use of hands-free equipment. It also would bar drivers under 18 years old from using any mobile devices.

DE: Delaware offenders get services aimed to stop recidivism

wdel.com

A former offender runs a mobile van that offers to connect recent Delaware inmates to counseling and mental health of substance use services and also do 24-hour, 48-hour, 7-day and 30-day follow-ups.

AZ: Arizona governor announces changes to state prison system

apnews.com

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, said he is renaming the state Department of Corrections to highlight a new focus on rehabilitation and closing the oldest state prison in a move that will save nearly $275 million over three years.

NV: Brothel fights for records after Nevada classifies sex workers as employees

thenevadaindependent.com

A Nevada brothel protesting that the state has classified sex workers as employees rather than as independent contractors — a change that could mean the brothel owes a large sum to the state’s unemployment insurance fund — is now arguing over public records before the state Supreme Court.

TX: Democrats launch largest registration drive in Texas history

abcnews.com

Texas Democrats, fueled by the party's nearly quarter-century-held dream of turning Texas blue, are mounting an aggressive ground-game operation with the largest voter registration program in the state's history. Democrats are also mounting an expansive voter protection effort ahead of the 2020 election.

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