AZ: Human smugglers create humanitarian crisis in Arizona, border patrol says
More than 1,400 Central American migrants, primarily from Guatemala, have been found since August traveling in large groups in remote areas of the Arizona desert after being abandoned by human smugglers.
NJ: New Jersey schools can keep transgender kids’ secret from parents, state says
After years of school officials using their own best judgment, New Jersey has weighed in, siding with students and telling schools they must allow kids to change genders — even if their parents aren’t aware or don’t want it to happen.
VA: Virginia has a fund to help people prepare for sea level rise. The only problem? It has no money.
In the spring of 2016, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, signed a bill that gave Virginia a first-of-its-kind loan program. Instead of just trying to mitigate current flood damage, the new revolving fund would help homeowners and businesses elevate their properties to prepare for sea level rise. The program came with no dedicated funding, and more than two years later, that well is still dry.
US: Are wireless voting machines vulnerable? Florida, other states say they’re safe enough
Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting.
DC: Repeal of ballot measure angers D.C. residents
District of Columbia lawmakers have long complained that residents of the nation’s capital pay federal taxes and serve in the military, yet are denied self-governance because they lack a vote in Congress. But last week, the D.C. Council reduced voters limited ability even more.
WI: Wisconsin prison officials investigated more than 100 claims of sexual abuse, harassment
Wisconsin prison officials investigated 132 complaints about correctional officers and staff sexually abusing or harassing inmates in one year, state records show. Department of Corrections officials found enough evidence to prove just 11 percent of the claims, or 15 cases involving correctional staff in positions of power.
ND: North Dakota citizenship measure viewed as ‘get out the vote’ effort for some candidates
Political scientists see a North Dakota ballot measure aimed at ensuring only U.S. citizens can vote in state and local elections more as an effort to boost support for its sponsor’s state Senate campaign.
MO: Missouri report: Blacks 85 percent more likely to be stopped
Nearly four years after protests in Ferguson raised concerns about racial profiling of blacks in Missouri, a report from the state attorney general shows that African-American drivers are 85 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites — the highest percentage in the 18 years the state has compiled data.
NV: Medicaid expansion means more mental health care fraud in Nevada
The expansion of Medicaid in Nevada in 2014 made mental health care much more widely available, but it also provided a great opportunity for bad actors. Catching people who abuse the Medicaid system is a tortuous process that can either come too late or result in relatively minor penalties.
NY: Post-Janus ruling, New York teachers, public employees are sticking with unions
Three months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, New York teachers appear to be sticking with their union, even though they are no longer required to pay dues or a fee in lieu of their dues.
PA: Voters reported being blocked from Pennsylvania election site — and from obtaining absentee ballots — as early as 2016
Pennsylvania election officials say they just learned that their new security measures blocking foreign access to state election sites were preventing voters abroad from accessing their absentee ballots. But voters living outside the country reported trouble much earlier.
OH: Ohio taxpayers may be paying twice for the same Medicaid drug services
The team that discovered Ohio taxpayers were overcharged up to million for Medicaid prescription drugs last year has uncovered an additional million that might have been wasted to fund services for which taxpayers already were paying.
SC: South Carolina has a M surplus. State workers, teachers want their cut.
South Carolina’s state workers and teachers say they should get most of the state’s million budget surplus. That would amount to .5 million for state workers and .5 million for teachers — both underpaid compared to their Southeastern neighbors.
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