Top State Stories 7/24
NY: New York City’s young inmates held in isolation despite ban
Since New York City banned solitary confinement for inmates younger than 22 and curtailed it for others three years ago, the city has stepped up a long-standing practice of transferring some inmates to correctional facilities elsewhere in the state where no such restrictions exist. Several teenagers have ended up in solitary.
CA: California teachers call to end investments in detention companies
Hundreds of California teachers and a handful of left-leaning organizations are urging the billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System to pull its money out of for-profit prison companies and immigrant detention centers. Their petition is the latest in a string of calls for California public pension funds to divest from industries such as fossil fuels and guns.
NH: Group plans to attract non-white residents to New Hampshire
Representatives from dozens of organizations — ranging from large employers and state agencies to nonprofits and the NAACP — are convening in New Hampshire to jumpstart what some participants believe will be the first large-scale effort to consciously diversify a state.
NJ: Why demand for New Jersey medical marijuana program is exploding
Adding chronic pain and anxiety to the list of qualifying conditions has done more than any other change by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to expand New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana program, according to health department data.
US: Extreme measures taken to save wild horses from drought
As parts of the American West witness some of the driest conditions on record, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote horse grazing grounds. Federal land managers also have begun emergency roundups of wild horses in desert areas of Utah and Nevada.
RI: Rhode Island governor pledges to expand free tuition program
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, said that if re-elected she would expand the free college tuition program at the Community College of Rhode Island to the state’s two four-year colleges at an estimated cost of million.
CT: Suit accuses Connecticut prisons of failing prisoners on hepatitis C
A class-action lawsuit says the Connecticut prison system failed to screen for, treat and accurately report on the hepatitis C virus behind prison walls, even in the face of the opioid epidemic. The accusations mirror lawsuits in a dozen other states.
OH: Ohioans will vote on drug offense issue in November
A proposal that would lower the penalties for drug possession from felonies to misdemeanors to keep low-level offenders out of prison garnered enough signatures to be on the November ballot as a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.
ND: Anti-corruption measure headed for North Dakota ballot
Voters will decide whether to add anti-corruption language to the North Dakota Constitution this fall. The measure would prevent lobbyists from giving gifts to public officials and would establish an ethics commission that could investigate public officials, candidates and lobbyists.
TX: With loss in court, Texas still fights to keep execution drug supplier secret
With new execution drugs in stock, the state is fighting a June Texas Supreme Court decision that would identify a 2014 supplier, claiming it would disrupt the state’s ability to carry out the death penalty. It is unclear whether the 2014 supplier is the same pharmacy that provided new drugs bought last month.
VA: Need bees? Virginia is giving away hives to help pollinators
Honeybees have been on the decline for decades, because of diseases and pesticides, but this past winter was an especially bad one for bees. A new program in Virginia provides free hives to residents in an effort to boost the bee population.
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