Top State Stories 9/6
NM: New Mexico wants to review church files for sex abuse
The New Mexico attorney general’s office wants Roman Catholic church officials around the state to allow it to review personnel records for any material that might be related to past or present allegations of sexual abuse. The Diocese of Las Cruces said Wednesday it had received a letter from the office requesting the review and will cooperate.
NE: Nebraska attorney general wants 40 years of Catholic abuse, investigation records
The state’s top prosecutor has taken a step further into the priest sex-abuse scandal, asking Nebraska’s bishops for records of allegations and investigations dating back decades.
TX: Judge strikes down Texas law requiring cremation or burial of fetal remains
Under Senate Bill 8, passed in 2017, health care facilities in Texas including hospitals and abortion clinics would be required to bury or cremate any fetal remains — whether from abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth or treatments for ectopic pregnancy, regardless of patients’ personal wishes or beliefs.
AK: Meth use surging in Alaska
The amount of methamphetamine seized in Alaska increased more than four-fold from 5,434 grams seized in 2016 to 24,909 seized in 2017, according to a state report. Traffickers can get more money for drugs in Alaska due to how remote and difficult-to-access many locations are, the report said.
CA: California lawmakers OK a bill making it easier for them to live outside their districts
Under the measure awaiting Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, California lawmakers would have to be registered to vote in their districts. However, the bill specifies circumstances that cannot be used to prove residency, including owning or renting a residence outside the district, having kids in school tied to an out-of-district address, and receiving mail at an out-of-district address.
NV: Nevada city officials consider banning some weapons at protests
Las Vegas city officials are considering banning bats, wrist rockets, aerosol sprays, chains, swords and other potential weapons from public demonstrations. The ban the Nevada city is considering doesn’t include firearms.
MI:Michigan Legislature OKs minimum wage, paid leave initiatives
Michigan’s Republican-led Senate approved citizen-initiated legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to an hour and require paid sick leave, a move designed to make the proposals easier to amend and keep them off the November ballot.
RI: Rhode Island elections board OKs late additions to voter rolls
The Rhode Island Board of Elections gave the official go-ahead for the last-minute addition to city and town voter rolls of the names of more than 5,000 potential primary day voters caught in an electronic voter-registration snafu on the state Division of Motor Vehicles website.
OR: Oregon sawmill deal cost taxpayers millions. Was it a crime?
Last month, Oregon forcefully reasserted that a corporate arm of Portland-based Ecotrust unlawfully inflated project costs and omitted material facts to get millions in tax credits it didn’t qualify for. A question now, some legal experts say: Will the state investigate that as a potential crime?
PA: Nonbelievers win suit over Pennsylvania House prayer policy
A federal judge has halted the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ policy banning people who don’t believe in God from giving the invocations made at the start of each day’s legislative floor session.
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