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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/7

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/7

NC: Thousands of state employees in North Carolina to get Juneteenth or another floating holiday off

newobserver.com

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, signed an executive order designating an additional paid holiday for state employees in the agencies that report to him through his Cabinet.

NE: Nebraska announces veteran suicide initiative

nebraskaexaminer.com

In the past two years, 87 veterans have died by suicide in Nebraska. That sobering statistic prompted state officials to join a national effort to prevent suicides by veterans, active military members and their family members.

GA: Democratic crossover voting brings call to close Georgia’s primaries

ajc.com

Since tens of thousands of Democrats crossed party lines to vote in Georgia’s GOP primary last month, some Republicans are proposing a state law to restrict future primaries to voters who register as party members.

OK: Federal judge clears way for Oklahoma executions to proceed

oklahomawatch.org

Oklahoma may continue to use its three-drug lethal injection protocol to carry out executions, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot ruled. He said plaintiffs fell “well short” of proving Oklahoma’s protocol causes an unconstitutional level of pain and suffering.

TN: Tennessee governor signs executive order on school safety, but quiet on gun restrictions

tennessean.com

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed an order requiring school districts to update their school safety plans and conduct security assessments while also directing the department of commerce to evaluate law enforcement training standards in active shooter situations. Lee said his administration is not looking at any more restrictions on guns, such as registries or age requirements.

AZ: Judge rejects lawsuit to end early voting in Arizona

azcentral.com

There’s nothing unconstitutional about Arizona's early voting law, a county judge determined. The ruling, knocking down a lawsuit from the Republican Party of Arizona, is a win for the state’s election officials and the vast majority of Arizona voters who use the early-voting system.

CA: California lawmakers mull buying out farmers to save water

apnews.com

After decades of fighting farmers in court over how much water they can take out of California’s rivers and streams, some state lawmakers want to try something different: use taxpayer money to buy out farmers.

WI: Wisconsin launches new tracking system for sexual assault kits

jsonline.com

Wisconsin has launched a new system for tracking sexual assault kits as they move from hospital staff to law enforcement and crime lab testing, under a law enacted in December. It allows survivors of sexual assault to log onto a database using a barcode, and not any personally identifiable information, to view the status of the kit.

TX: Texas AG to investigate whether Twitter is understating the number of fake accounts

texastribune.org

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said he is investigating Twitter over its reporting of how many accounts on the platform are from bots and fake users. The inquiry comes as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is in negotiations to buy Twitter, also is raising questions about the number of fake accounts.

AR: Arkansas prisoners get $2.5M in repayments; court ruling forces agency to return some relief funds

arkansasonline.com

In the past two months, the Arkansas Department of Corrections has returned more than $2.5 million to prisoners after a court told the agency it had to return any federal relief or stimulus funds that weren't being used to pay prisoners' fines or fees.

FL: Florida governor seeks control over universities, targeting tenure, ‘politicized’ classes

orlandosentinel.com

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his GOP allies are seeking more influence in university classrooms, targeting tenure, waging a battle against what they call politicized courses and contemplating a significant change in how professors are hired.

DE: Delaware lawmakers to consider additional protections for abortion providers, seekers

delawarepublic.org

Democratic lawmakers in Delaware aim to protect people seeking, assisting with and providing abortions in the state as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. One bill would expand the list of medical professionals who can provide abortions and grant protections for abortion providers and seekers who could be targets of litigation and prosecution in states that outlaw abortion.

LA: Louisiana legislature passes bill to let adoptees access birth certificates

lailluminator.com

The Louisiana legislature passed a measure that would allow adopted people to obtain copies of their original birth certificates when they reach age 24. The legislation next heads to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards for consideration.

NJ: After success, New Jersey expanding pilot to reduce police use of force against people in crisis

northjersey.com

New Jersey will expand a pilot program that pairs plainclothes police officers with mental health experts and sends them on emergency calls that involve people in crisis. State statistics show that mental health calls often lead to officers using force on the people they're sent to help. 

ID: Local Idaho school board to revisit process after banning books ‘forever’

idahostatesman.com

After banning nearly two dozen books from its school libraries last month, the Nampa, Idaho, school board wants to implement clearer policies and procedures relating to challenged library books. Trustees discussed the potential changes after the board last month voted to remove 23 books from its libraries “forever,” before the district could complete its review of the titles.

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