RI: Rhode Island General Assembly passes ‘red flag’ legislation on guns
Under the Rhode Island legislation, state or local police could petition the Superior Court to issue an “extreme risk protection order” upon receipt of “credible information” of a significant and imminent risk. A judge could issue a temporary gun-removal order, but a hearing would be required within 14 days to determine if a one-year ban on buying or possessing a firearm was warranted.
ID: Women sue Idaho over law on do-not-resuscitate orders
Under Idaho law, if a woman has a directive for end-of-life care, it becomes invalid if she is pregnant. Four Idaho women are challenging this law, saying it violates people’s constitutional rights to legal equality and to direct their own medical care.
CO: Tensions escalate over fracking in Colorado towns
Along Colorado’s Front Range, a fracking boom is colliding with a population explosion. Drilling applications in the state have risen 70 percent in just a year, while the area north of Denver is expected to double in population by 2050.
WA: More homeless people outside than in shelter, Seattle count finds
For the first time, the annual one-night count of homelessness in King County, Washington, home to Seattle, found more than half of homeless people were sleeping outside versus in shelter, with a stark increase in the number of vehicle campers. Overall the annual snapshot counted a 4 percent increase in homeless people, to 12,112.
AZ: Arizona law gives delivery robots the same rights as pedestrians
In Arizona, robots zigzagging across a sidewalk will have the same rights as everyone else – and they will have to follow the same laws. A new law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey will allow delivery robots, or personal delivery devices, to operate on sidewalks throughout the state, but the robots must be courteous and use crosswalks.
CT: Students who led gun protests witness Connecticut governor sign bump stock ban
Two high school juniors spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of student voices in catalyzing a collective call to action on issues that affect them. Connecticut, the site of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, is one of the handful of states to criminalize bump stocks thus far.
MI: Republican leaders in Michigan spar over legalized pot proposal
Michigan GOP House and Senate leaders are at odds over a push to adopt and amend a marijuana legalization initiative. It calls for lawmakers to spend an estimated $300 million in projected marijuana tax revenue on schools, road repairs and local cities and counties that allow marijuana facilities.
CA: Audit faults California law enforcement agencies for failing to identify hate crimes
The Los Angeles Police Department and other California law enforcement agencies need better policies and training so officers can recognize the specific characteristics of hate crimes, the state auditor said. The audit found flaws in the categorizing of hate crimes by the LAPD, San Francisco State University Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
NY: billion in repairs on tap for New York City’s public housing
New York City would be forced to spend at least $1 billion and accept a federal monitor to oversee its dilapidated public housing system, as part of a broad consent decree being finalized by the Justice Department. The consent decree would bring an end to the federal government’s sweeping investigation into conditions at the New York City Housing Authority, which houses more than 400,000 poor and working-class New Yorkers.
MA: Pension and a paycheck: Massachusetts may loosen ‘double dipping’ rules
Massachusetts government retirees who are already collecting a public pension could be allowed to work up to 30 hours a week at another taxpayer-funded job, under a legislative proposal that would ease the limits designed to curb “double-dipping.” The change is likely to end up on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk as part of the budget.
TX: Texas tries to define pickle as cucumbers-only, and these farmers said no
A Texas couple just wanted to sell their pickled beets at a farmers’ market. In the Lone Star State, it turns out that’s not an easy task. “It turns out it’s just very difficult to meet all of the rules to make a pickled beet,” said Anita McHaney. “You’d think that it would be easy, but it’s not.” She and her husband plan to sue the state.
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