Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/16

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/16

MD: Maryland election system has Russian ties

washingtonpost.com

Top Maryland officials have asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help ensure that the state’s election system is secure after learning that a Russian-backed firm is linked to the Maryland state Board of Elections.

AK: Alaska prisoners register to vote in November

juneauempire.com 

An Alaska program aims to boost voter registration by registering prisoners. Alaska felons who’ve lost their right to vote aren’t automatically registered upon release — they must re-register. And not everyone in prison is ineligible to vote, some are awaiting trial or pending release.

MO: Missouri bans marriage of 15-year-olds

kansascity.com

Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed a bill banning marriage for 15-year-olds. Before, Missouri was one of 25 states with no minimum marriage age. Children younger than 15 needed a judge’s approval.

VA: Virginia attorney general moves to dismiss lawsuit challenging abortion curbs

washingtonpost.com

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, has filed a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging state restrictions on abortion. The lawsuit put Herring in a politically awkward spot as a vocal supporter of abortion rights and the official tasked with defending Virginia in litigation.

NH: Trade war hits home for New Hampshire businesses

unionleader.com

Trade fights between the United States and both Canada and China are making some goods costlier and leading some New Hampshire companies to change their plans. The new tariffs threaten $29 million of exports from the Granite State, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.   

NJ: Environmentalists slam New Jersey-New York sea gate plan

northjersey.com

Federal officials are considering building a 5-mile sea barrier from Sandy Hook to Queens to protect northern New Jersey and New York from devastating storm surges — a proposal that has drawn overwhelming criticism from environmentalists.

NC: North Carolina leaders fined for illegal campaign contributions

newsobserver.com

North Carolina legislative leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein, both Democrats, were among 37 candidates fined because they accepted illegal campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s political action committee.

ME: Maine governor defends hold up on public campaign funds

apnews.com    

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage defended his refusal to release over $1 million in overdue public campaign funds to more than 120 legislative candidates and one gubernatorial hopeful. LePage’s lawyer argued that the candidates have failed to prove that the hold will cause “irreparable harm” to their campaigns.

OK: Despite improved economy, Oklahoma hiring freeze to remain

newsok.com

Despite the state's improved economy in recent months, a hiring freeze ordered by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, seven years ago, will continue until a new governor takes office, a Fallin spokesman told the Oklahoman.

FL: Florida governor asks counties to ensure access to beaches

miamiherald.com

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, issued an executive order requesting Florida counties to ensure beach access for the public, modifying a law he signed four months ago. The old law made it harder for local governments to prevent residents from blocking off their land from beachgoers.

CO: Colorado law to standardize ‘rolling stop’ for bicyclists

denverpost.com

Colorado ushered in a law that gives interested communities a framework to legalize the “rolling stop” for bicyclists. Previously, Colorado municipalities could implement the laws, but the specifics often varied city to city.

NV: Renewable energy measure qualifies for Nevada ballot

apnews.com

Nevada voters will be asked this fall if the state should require renewable energy production to accelerate. The measure would amend the state constitution to raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard for sources including solar, wind and geothermal from 20 to 50 percent by 2030.

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