GA: Georgia might allow nonviolent felons to vote after imprisonment
A bipartisan group of state senators is reviewing Georgia’s broad restrictions on voting by felons, an effort that could result in legislation next year.
NJ: New Jersey law requires utilities to check for electricity-dependent customers
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed a package of legislation requiring utilities in New Jersey to check whether residential customers rely on “life-sustaining equipment” that uses electricity.
MS: Mississippi beaches closed as toxic algae bloom blankets state’s coast
All of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast beaches have been closed for swimming as the expanding bloom of toxic blue-green algae blankets the state’s waters.
LA: Louisiana lawmakers write rules for self-driving trucks
Louisiana lawmakers have written rules of the road for self-driving commercial trucks that won’t need a human in the driver’s seat. Though significant use of the vehicles may be years away, lawmakers said they want to embrace the new technology and try to lure companies that build the trucks.
WI: Critics question partial veto after Wisconsin governor used it to boost K-12 spending by M
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers didn’t have to veto the entire state budget to prove yet again the sweeping powers afforded to Wisconsin governors to bend biennial spending bills to their liking. He instead found sometimes creative ways to wield his veto pen 78 times, leaving both critics and good-government advocates again questioning whether such authority is appropriate.
AR: Judge blocks new rule to get parties on ballot in Arkansas
A federal judge in Arkansas has blocked the enforcement of six state laws that, among other things, require new political parties to obtain significantly more signatures than have been required in the past decade to obtain access to statewide election ballots.
OR: Oregon Dems preserve nation’s only non-unanimous juries
Legislative action that would have asked Oregon voters to end non-unanimous juries in Oregon quietly died in the Senate because top lawmakers weren’t confident they could muster a successful ballot campaign.
CA: The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea
Wildfire and drought dominate climate-related debates in California. Yet this less-talked-about reality has the state cornered. The coastline is eroding with every tide and storm, but everything built before we knew better — Pacific Coast Highway, multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, the rail line to San Diego — is fixed in place with nowhere to go.
DE: Delaware quietly creates ability to give millions to developers
Buried 30 pages deep in the epilogue of the state’s bonding legislation, the new legal authority stated that Delaware can fund 3% of the construction of facilities that cost at least million and would eventually employ 500 workers or more.
OH: Ohio lawmakers miss nuclear bail out deadline
A plan to rescue nuclear energy in Ohio is moving forward as lawmakers said they would continue working past a deadline on a bill aimed at keeping the state’s two nuclear plants running.
MD: Maryland Democrats deride governor as he withholds money intended for Baltimore
Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he was refusing to release funding for more than 70 of Maryland Democrats’ favored initiatives in the state budget — including more than a dozen that would have benefited deep-blue Baltimore.
ME: Bill to let Maine tribes address domestic violence in limbo
Tribal leaders and advocates say they’ll keep pushing for a bill that would give two Maine tribes jurisdiction over some domestic violence cases. Because there is often disagreement among federal, state and tribal authorities over who can prosecute what crimes, tribal leaders say domestic violence on their lands often goes un-prosecuted.
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