Top State Stories 5/30
OK: Oklahoma AG blames greed for opioid crisis as J&J trial begins
Oklahoma’s Republican Attorney General Mike Hunter blamed Johnson & Johnson and its affiliates for helping cause the “worst manmade public health crisis in the history of our country” as the nation’s first opioid lawsuit gets underway.
CO: ICE: New Colorado law will have “tragic” consequences
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fired back after Colorado prohibited police from holding immigrants at ICE’s request, calling the new law “dangerous” and suggesting it will lead to violence. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill to end compliance with ICE detainers.
AL: Equal pay bill moves closer to becoming law in Alabama
Alabama lawmakers could give final passage to a bill to prohibit employers from paying employees differently based only on race or sex. Alabama would be the 49th state to enact an equal pay law, said the sponsor, state Rep. Adline Clarke, a Democrat who has worked on the bill since 2016.
OR: Oregon adds Holocaust to school curriculum
Oregon lawmakers unanimously voted to add Holocaust instruction to the school curriculum starting in the 2019-2020 school year. Ten other states require some level of genocide education in schools.
TX: Texas law will outlaw minors from buying popular cough medicine
Texas joins 18 other states that have passed similar laws restricting access to over-the-counter cough medicines like Nyquil and Robitussin that include the ingredient dextromethorphan. In a 2017 federal study, about 3% of high school seniors reported taking large doses of cough medicine to get high.
ME: Maine on track to pass nation’s strictest internet privacy law
A bill that has received majority support in both houses of the Maine legislature would create the toughest state internet privacy law in the nation, prohibiting carriers from selling customers’ data without their permission.
NC: North Carolina city 1st to try underground garbage containers
North Carolina’s capital city, Raleigh, is ditching some downtown garbage carts in favor of new, partly underground trash containers. The containers were developed in Finland in 1991 to keep the smell and clutter of garbage away from city sidewalks.
GA: Georgia unveils rural internet plan
A newly released Georgia broadband plan outlines a path for rural areas to get online, a key step toward building internet lines to some of the roughly 1.6 million residents who lack fast connections.
CT: Insurance companies oppose Connecticut public option
Legislation to establish government-subsidized health care in Connecticut is dead following a threat by the CEO of Cigna Corp. that the insurer would leave Connecticut if lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont enacted the measure, Comptroller Kevin Lembo said. A spokesman for Cigna said the insurer lobbied hard against the bill, but denied that any threat was made.
MS: Leaked Mississippi prison photos of skimpy meals, moldy showers prompt call for investigation
A national criminal justice reform group wants a federal investigation into the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
FL: Florida governor signs bill that takes aim at anti-Semitism
The proposal will add religion as a protected class when it comes to discrimination against students and employees in Florida.
CA: America’s tech giants are fighting to change California’s new privacy law
The world’s fifth-largest economy, California, will soon enforce strict new electronic privacy laws that give consumers vastly increased authority over the collection and use of their personal information.
NH: New Hampshire sues 3M, DuPont over drinking water contamination
New Hampshire is taking some of the biggest chemical companies in the world to court, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up groundwater contamination from highly toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam and Teflon pans.
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