What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/22
NY: New York AG sues Trump, family for fraud
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, his children and several of his family businesses, alleging widespread fraud. James, a Democrat, said Trump and his family members and associates had inflated his net worth over a period of years to "cheat the system" to induce banks to loan hundreds of millions of dollars to his companies at favorable rates and to pay less in taxes.
CA: California seeks to ban sales of diesel big rigs in a bold bid to cut pollution
Saying they had a “moral obligation,” California regulators could soon ban the sale of diesel big rigs by 2040, ending a long reliance on the polluting vehicles that are the backbone of the American economy.
WA: Smoke pours into Seattle area, air quality plummets
Smoke made the air quality in downtown and North Seattle in Washington unhealthy for everyone, even netting for a few hours the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality in the world. Seattle even had the dubious distinction for a few hours of having the worst air quality in the world, according to the World Air Quality Index.
MA: Fake Massachusetts flag on bogus ‘brochures’ for jobs, help given to migrants
Before nearly 50 migrants arrived in Massachusetts from Texas on planes chartered by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, lawyers said, they were handed brochures containing erroneous information about cash assistance and other benefits they would receive in Massachusetts. The brochures also included an obscure drawing of a reimagined state flag, rather than the real one.
DE: As vet tranquilizer arrives in Delaware's drug supply, users and experts search for responses
Drug users and harm reduction workers in Delaware report the veterinary tranquilizer Xylazine is increasingly seen in the state’s drug supply, especially in fentanyl sold in New Castle County. Xylazine isn’t yet well-understood by drug and public health researchers, leaving users and outreach workers to begin searching for ways to adapt.
CO: Colorado accepts cryptocurrency to pay taxes, moving the state ‘tech forward’
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said Coloradans can pay their taxes using cryptocurrency, making good on a plan he announced earlier this year.
OR: National Republicans inject big money into races for Oregon legislature
A wing of the national Republican party is pumping big money into races for the Oregon legislature, including launching an ad blitz for four GOP candidates in state Senate districts where party leaders think supermajority Democrats are vulnerable. The national Republican State Leadership Committee has doled out an eye-popping $800,000 this year to Oregon Republican candidates and political groups.
OK: Oklahoma recreational cannabis question won't make November ballot
A question to legalize recreational cannabis in Oklahoma won't land on the general election ballot after the state Supreme Court rejected a request to ensure the measure gets voted on this year. Oklahoma voters will still get a chance to vote on the issue at some later date.
WI: Wisconsin Elections Commission will continue mailings aimed at catching fraudulent absentee ballot requests
Aiming to thwart potential absentee ballot fraud, the Wisconsin Elections Commission will continue sending postcards aimed at catching people impersonating other voters online. The decision comes after a man requested ballots for GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Racine Mayor Cory Mason without their knowledge to prove it could be done.
NJ: New Jersey will increase targets for offshore wind production to help battle climate change, governor says
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced he wants New Jersey to rely more on offshore electric wind generation to help the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions and use renewable energy to fight climate change.
MT: Montana again has same-day voter registration
The Montana Supreme Court released an opinion reinstating Election Day voter registration and blocking new voter identification requirements in advance of this year’s Nov. 8 general election. The opinion upheld an injunction that had barred the Montana secretary of state from enforcing two laws passed by Republican legislators last year.
NM: Education leaders forecast drop in New Mexico’s student population
Experts told a legislative task force that younger adults in New Mexico are not having babies as often as they have in the past — a phenomenon that is combining with the state’s inability to attract or retain younger adults raising families and a rise in the population of older residents.
TX: As fentanyl plagues Texas, governor directs state police to focus on cartels
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Department of Public Safety to boost efforts to collect intelligence on cartels and investigate gangs in Texas that support drug and human smuggling.