Top State Stories 7/25
CA: Sexual misconduct reports spike in California prisons
California prison inmates filed 1,150 complaints last year alleging they were mistreated sexually behind bars, a 29 percent increase over 2016. The trend might reflect greater confidence among inmates that their complaints will be taken seriously since the department adopted policies complying with a federal rape-reporting rule.
NJ: New Jersey to delay marijuana prosecutions in step toward legalization
New Jersey will postpone marijuana prosecutions for 30 days while the state develops guidelines to downgrade or dismiss some offenses, according to a memo from State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. New Jersey lawmakers have yet to agree on a marijuana legalization bill.
MA: Massachusetts governor signs bill to designate cancer as firefighters’ work-related injury
Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, has signed legislation that will designate cancer as a work-related injury for firefighters across Massachusetts. The new law will cover all medical treatments for firefighters diagnosed with cancer as well as their time missed because of the illness.
TX: Texas lieutenant governor states opposition to ‘red flag’ gun law
Hours after a Texas Senate committee mulled “red flag” laws at the request of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested in a news release that any such law would be dead on arrival in the upper chamber in the next legislative session.
AK: Alaska Native corporations are a billion dollars deep in border control contracts
Alaska Native corporations and other Alaska-based companies have taken on at least a billion dollars in contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2012. Many Native corporations receive priority access to high-dollar, no-bid government contracts as minority-owned businesses.
CT: Panel looks for ways to stem skyrocketing pension costs in Connecticut
A new panel is exploring how Connecticut can use state assets — both physical properties and revenue streams — to mitigate pension costs expected to surge dramatically over the next 15 years. The plan could involve assigning assets such as annual proceeds from the Connecticut lottery to pension funds.
CO: Electric scooters return to Colorado city
After two months of wrangling with dockless scooter companies, Denver is moving forward with a pilot program that could allow electric scooters and bikes to hit the Colorado city’s streets by next week.
LA: Executions remain on hold in Louisiana for at least another year
At the request of state authorities, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick agreed this week to a 12 month extension of an order delaying all executions in Louisiana. The state is being sued in federal court over its lethal injection protocol for the death penalty. It hasn’t held an execution since 2010.
MI: Civil rights commission rejects Michigan attorney general’s discrimination opinion
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission directed an agency to continue investigating complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, days after the attorney general issued an opinion that state law does not protect LGBT people from discrimination.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.