Top State Stories 10/17
FL: Florida governor to Verizon: Restore service and waive cellphone bills for October
Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott issued another rebuke of Verizon, telling the cell provider in a terse press release that he expects the company to give him a plan to restore service to the areas hit by Hurricane Michael, and that all cell providers should waive bills for October.
CA: California tax revenue beats expectations by B over the summer months
The new tax windfall comes on the heels of successive years in which revenue has bested expectations, a streak that has allowed California to push toward its largest long-term cash reserve ever — .8 billion by next summer.
ID: Governor: Idaho’s reputation ‘tainted’ by commissioner’s hunting photos
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, a Republican, said former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer’s hunting photos “tainted” Idaho’s reputation as they drew criticism from around the world. Fischer resigned at Otter’s request after photos surfaced of him with dead exotic animals.
DC: D.C. Council repeals initiative which would have raised pay for tipped workers
After hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending, tens of thousands of votes and hundreds of angry calls and emails to lawmakers, a contentious fight over restaurant workers’ pay in the nation’s capital ended with a quick vote by the Washington, D.C., Council to repeal Initiative 77, a ballot measure passed by 55 percent of voters in June.
MO: Missouri owner of doomed duck boat wants to settle cases
Ripley Entertainment, owner of the Ride the Ducks operation in Branson, Missouri, where 17 people died in July when one of its boats sank in Table Rock Lake, has asked victims to consider entering into mediation to settle legal claims.
AR: Arkansas kicks another 4,000 off Medicaid rolls due to work rules
For the second month in a row, over 4,000 Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries lost their health insurance after failing to meet work requirements for the program, according to a state report.
CO: Colorado Supreme Court hears arguments in oil and gas drilling case
Colorado communities and oil and gas industry groups — who have the backing of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican — are clashing in a state Supreme Court case. City and county attorneys want the court to uphold a ruling that requires oil and gas regulators to ensure protection of the environment.
PA: Pennsylvania Senate security force convulsed by harassment complaints, lawsuits
Over the last year, the state-funded security force that watches over the Pennsylvania Senate has been hit with a string of firings, employment complaints, and lawsuits alleging a culture of harassment and discrimination, court documents and Senate records show.
NJ: Marijuana prices can now be published in New Jersey
Prices for medical marijuana may now be posted by the six existing dispensaries in New Jersey. For the first time since the Garden State program was launched in 2013, consumers can see the difference in cannabis costs between the retail outlets, called Alternative Treatment Centers.
MS: Mississippi will stop investigating city’s officer-involved shootings
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is no longer conducting the examinations of officer-involved shootings in Jackson, citing major issues with recent mandates by its mayor, including releasing the identities of officers in officer-involved shooting deaths in a 72-hour time frame absent a credible threat to the officer’s safety.
MD: Five kids in Maryland may have a polio-like disease
Health officials said five kids in Maryland are believed to have contracted a virus this fall that has symptoms similar to polio. The state’s health department said the five reported cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) also are being investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
LA: Louisiana Department of Education falls short on child care, report finds
The Louisiana Department of Education lacks an effective process to investigate child care complaints, failed to quickly check on reports of providers operating illegally and sometimes neglected to issue enforcement actions when problems were found, Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said in an audit.
KY: Kentucky senator appeals ‘Marsy’s Law’ ruling
A Kentucky state senator has appealed a judge’s ruling not to certify results of a constitutional referendum on “Marsy’s Law,” which would amend the state’s constitution to include rights for crime victims, like the right to be notified of and present for most court proceedings.
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