CA: California has billions in extra money. Why don’t taxpayers get a refund?
California state government has so much money this year that it’s opening two new savings accounts so it can keep socking away even more cash for the rainy day that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown says is just over the horizon.
AL, GA, LA: Lawsuits claim congressional maps dilute black voters in 3 states
Attorneys for a Democratic political group filed separate federal lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, challenging congressional maps lawmakers in each state approved in 2011 that they say discriminate against black voters.
TN: Tennessee must rely on ‘black market drugs’ for executions, attorney says
Tennessee prison officials do not have all the drugs needed to carry out lethal injections, but the state’s prison chief says he’s confident those drugs can be obtained. An attorney for death row offenders told a judge the only way the department could get those drugs was through shady channels.
MS: Choctaw casinos could be first in Mississippi to offer sports betting
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is expected to soon offer sports betting — probably the first casinos in the state to do so. Choctaw officials also anticipate being the first Native American tribe in the United States to offer sports betting.
CO: Denver launches legal defense fund for renters
Struggling renters who face eviction in Denver can now receive help from a pilot legal defense program funded by the City Council. To qualify, residents must have incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line.
WV: West Virginia revises workplace security policy to allow guns in vehicles
West Virginia workplace security policies are undergoing revisions to accommodate a new state law that prohibits private businesses, nonprofits and government entities from prohibiting firearms in personal vehicles parked on their property.
TX: Texas is a hotspot for vaccine exemptions for children
A new study found Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and Plano are among the nation’s cities with the highest number of kindergartners not getting vaccinated for nonmedical reasons. Since 2009, the proportion of children opting out of such recommended vaccines increased in Texas and 11 other states, the study showed.
NJ: New Jersey governor signs gun control laws
New Jersey enacted a half-dozen new gun control laws, tightening its already strict statutes as advocates applauded and critics questioned whether they will achieve their aims. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation that was advanced after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February.
HI: Hawaii workers must earn K a year to afford a 2-bedroom apartment
Hawaii residents need to earn an hour, or ,000 annually to rent a two-bedroom residence —more than any other state, according to a new report by The National Low Income Housing Coalition.
CT: Connecticut joins offshore wind rush
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection awarded its first offshore wind project to an installation off the coast that could begin providing electricity by 2023 — enough to power about 100,000 homes.
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