CO: Vaping in, near public buildings banned in Colorado
Coloradans can’t use e-cigarettes inside or within 25 feet of commercial and government buildings. The law also expands the definition of smoking to include synthetic marijuana and other plant products.
CA: Gun groups sue over California law raising gun-buying age to 21
Gun groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging California’s new law banning the sale of firearms to people under 21, arguing those 18 and over are adults with legal rights to possess pistols and rifles.
MS: Company sues over ‘veggie burgers’ ban in Mississippi
Upton’s Naturals and the Plant Based Foods Association is suing top Mississippi officials over a new law that prohibits companies from using meat terminology when selling vegetarian and vegan products.
HI: Hawaii law on prostitution convictions is 1st in nation
Hawaii became the first state to remove a requirement that a person be a victim of sex trafficking to have a prostitution conviction erased. A new law signed by Democratic Gov. David Ige tosses prostitution convictions for those who avoid additional convictions for three years, even if they can’t prove they’ve been victims of sex trafficking.
OR: Oregon’s single-family zoning ban was a ‘long time coming’
Oregon’s upzoning bill, which has been approved by the legislature, would be historic. The state has long been a pioneer in tight land-use controls that promote dense urban development. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill.
GA: Georgia police write up 24,000 distracted drivers
A new report shows that state police wrote 24,862 distracted-driving citations in the first year of the Hands-Free Georgia Act. Traffic fatalities and collision insurance claims have fallen in the state since the new law took effect.
NJ: New Jersey governor won’t rule out decriminalization of marijuana
While New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a law to greatly expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, the fate of the state legalizing recreational pot is likely to remain up in the air until 2020, when state residents will vote in a referendum.
DE: Delaware overdose report finds another person was present in 80% of cases
A Delaware commission released its first report on the opioid epidemic, which claimed a record 400 people in the state last year. It found that someone else was present in nearly 80% of the deaths, and at least half of those who fatally overdosed had survived a previous overdose.
NC: North Carolina gerrymandering cases continue despite ruling
Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of North Carolina Republicans last week, upholding the state’s districts for its 13 U.S. House seats, that ruling did not stop the state-level case that’s challenging the lines used to elect members of the state legislature. A trial in that case is set to begin this month.
AZ: Arizona governor vows to pull incentives for Nike plant
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey slammed Nike for canceling the release of a shoe featuring an American flag, saying it had “bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.” The Republican leader vowed to withdraw recently promised financial incentives for opening a manufacturing plant with some 500 full-time jobs.
WI: Judges throw out Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case
The panel issued its decision five days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can’t consider allegations that election maps unfairly favor one political party over another.
MN: More Minnesota doctors dive into advocacy
In Minnesota, the number of doctor-legislators has jumped from zero to four since 2016. Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota has added an advocacy and community engagement program for medical residents. And participation in the Minnesota Medical Association’s annual Capitol advocacy day has nearly doubled.
UT: Utah county jail ends practice of charging inmates
Weber County Jail inmates are billed $10 a day to help defray the costs of their incarceration, but the Utah county’s sheriff’s office has decided to end the practice effective Aug. 1. Debts were making reentry harder, and collections were low.
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