PA: Pennsylvania locks down all prisons following employees being sickened
In an unusual and dramatic move, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ordered all 25 state prisons to be locked down after unknown substances sickened more than two dozen employees at multiple institutions throughout the state in recent weeks.
NC: North Carolina Supreme Court halts election ballots amid NAACP challenge
The North Carolina Supreme Court ordered the state’s elections board to halt preparation of voting ballots amid a legal challenge from the NAACP over four proposed constitutional amendments.
CA: California’s plan to rely entirely on clean energy by 2045 heads to governor’s desk
In addition to phasing out fossil fuels by 2045, the measure would require California’s electric utilities and other service providers to generate 60 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030.
CO: Colorado to vote in November on proposal to toughen oil drilling rules
A Colorado ballot initiative that would sharply increase the required distance between new oil wells and populated areas will go before voters in November, Colorado officials said.
NJ: New Jersey to resume prosecution of marijuana offenses
With lawmakers still stuck on the question of lifting criminal penalties for marijuana, Democratic New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has ordered prosecutors to resume cases against people charged with possessing the drug, which the state’s top prosecutor had paused last month.
MI: Michigan Republicans weigh fate of minimum wage hike, paid sick leave proposals
Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature is considering whether to adopt minimum wage and paid sick leave proposals rather than allowing them to proceed to the November ballot. While conservatives usually oppose the proposals, adopting them would give lawmakers greater flexibility to eventually amend measures that could otherwise drive Democratic voter turnout.
VA: Virginia lawmakers will start redrawing districts this week
Another special session looms over Virginia state lawmakers. This time, their job is to start redrawing 11 House of Delegates districts. But that doesn’t mean that some Virginians will have new voting districts and new state delegates any time soon.
ID, WY: Judge to decide fate of rare bear hunt
A judge will rule on the first grizzly bear hunting season to be held in the Lower 48 states in more than four decades. Wildlife advocates and Native American tribes are asking the federal judge to reinstate federal protections for 700 grizzlies before hunts begin in Wyoming and Idaho.
DC: How a ‘cashless’ future could leave many D.C. residents shortchanged
There’s a heated debate over whether it’s OK to go cashless, when more than a third of District of Columbia residents — mainly low-income people of color — still rely on cash. A new bill would force food businesses to accept hard currency.
AK: Alaska governor announces trooper pay raises amid statewide ‘retention crisis’
Alaska has more than 50 funded, but empty, trooper positions. The 7.5 percent pay raise is meant to entice new troopers and keep current troopers from leaving for better-paying jobs at the Anchorage Police Department or other agencies.
RI: Rhode Island governor announces ban on carrying guns on school grounds
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, said the move was necessary to close a loophole lawmakers left open last session. That loophole allows concealed guns in schools, while other state laws ban them in public buildings, such as state offices and courthouses.
NE: Drug companies withdraw from Nebraska execution drug lawsuit
Two national drug manufacturers have withdrawn from a lawsuit filed earlier this month to prevent the state from using any of their drugs in an execution.
ME: Maine governor urged to apologize for last week’s outburst at lawmaker
The Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee, in an unprecedented move, sent a letter to Republican Gov. Paul LePage condemning his actions at a public meeting last week during which he called a lawmaker “the most repugnant human being” he’s ever seen.
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