Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/31

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/31

OR: Oregon marijuana regulators fail to meet even basic standards

oregonlive.com

Oregon’s marijuana program has failed to keep up with mandatory inspections, its weak testing system threatens to expose consumers to contaminants, and regulators have done little to address black market diversion, according to an unsparing new audit from the secretary of state.

NV: Federal government shipped plutonium to Nevada without state’s knowledge or consent

thenevadaindependent.com

Federal officials have disclosed that they shipped radioactive plutonium to Nevada in spite of the state’s vehement opposition to the idea and concerns that doing so would be a slippery slope to opening the state up to further nuclear waste dumping. 

SD: Bill allowing concealed handguns without a permit heads to South Dakota governor’s desk

argusleader.com

A bill allowing South Dakota residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit, also called “constitutional carry,” is heading to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem for a decision. Noem has said she supports permitless concealed carry.

IA: California’s primary could pose an existential threat to Iowa’s caucuses

desmoinesregister.com

Since the 1970s, Iowans have cast the first votes in the presidential nominating races. But in 2020, as first-in-the-nation Iowans will be making their presidential preferences known, so will voters in California. Still technically a month later than Iowa’s prized caucuses, Californians can begin casting their ballots the same day Iowans caucus: Feb. 3.

WY: Wyoming is the closest it's ever been to repealing the death penalty

trib.com

In one of the most personal and reflective hearings in the Wisconsin House of Representatives this year, lawmakers chose to forward a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, bringing the state closer to repealing the death penalty than it has been at any point since it was reinstated more than 40 years ago.

WI: Review of Wisconsin voting machines could be made public

apnews.com

Election security experts are watching a Wisconsin court case stemming from the 2016 presidential recount that could result in the first public conclusions on whether closely guarded ballot-counting machines were hacked or failed to perform.

TN: Tennessee governor, top lawmakers back heartbeat abortion ban

apnews.com

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee and the top two GOP state lawmakers say they support a push to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. 

MN: Prince’s cousin joins push for Minnesota to tax opioid makers

startribune.com

A push to force drug companies to pay more to curb Minnesota’s opioid epidemic got a boost from the family of the late artist Prince, as advocates rallied in support of new proposals to combat the epidemic.

MS: Broadband bill becomes Mississippi law at lightning speed

mississippitoday.org

New law gives Mississippi’s rural electric cooperatives the authority to offer high-speed internet service. The cooperatives, under fire over lack of diversity, are nonprofits and are supposed to return excess money to members.

CT: Connecticut psychiatric patient was restrained while choking, report says

courant.com

As he was choking to death, a Whiting Forensic patient’s arms were being restrained by two Connecticut staff members until a nurse ordered them to let the patient go so life-saving efforts could begin. The nurse ordered the patient released so staff could attempt to clear fig bars that the patient had gobbled.

VA: Virginia bill would override local limit on short-term rentals

washingtonpost.com

The debate over how to regulate the booming short-term-rental market found new life in the Virginia General Assembly under a bill that seeks to override how the state’s largest jurisdiction chose to handle the issue.  

NC: Democrats push for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina

apnews.com

Energized legislative Democrats kicked off their strongest push yet to expand Medicaid, seeking to remove North Carolina from the dwindling number of states still refusing a federal bargain to cover hundreds of thousands of additional residents.  

OK: Oklahoma Senate GOP takes aim at court fees, four-day school weeks

tulsaworld.com

The Oklahoma Senate Republican Caucus announced it was backing a measure that could help those who have trouble paying court fines and fees.

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