Top State Stories 9/3
FL: Hurricane Dorian: Florida governor cautions against complacency as storm idles
Floridians should remain prepared and stay patient, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said as the state entered into the fifth day of watching Hurricane Dorian, a massive storm with 155 mph sustained winds sitting about 100 miles east of West Palm Beach.
SC: South Carolina orders evacuations as storm approaches
Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Sunday announced evacuation orders for parts of eight coastal counties as Hurricane Dorian moved slowly toward the East Coast. The plan could affect millions of residents.
NC: North Carolina’s Outer Banks evacuated
A mandatory evacuation for all visitors and residents in Dare County in North Carolina’s Outer Banks oceanfront has been issued ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Ocean swimming was also restricted because of rip currents.
TX: Odessa shooter failed background check, Texas governor says
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, tweeted that the gunman in Saturday’s mass shooting in Midland and Odessa had previously failed a gun purchase background check and did not go through a check to buy the gun he used to kill seven people and injure 22 others.
MA: Massachusetts housing agency didn’t warn families when placing them in shelters with sex offenders
A state auditor’s report found that the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development from July 2016 to June 2018 didn’t routinely check the Sex Offender Registry Board before making emergency housing placements to determine whether offenders were staying there, even in shelters where families live in close proximity and share common areas.
NM: New Mexico justices lift ban on spousal testimony
New Mexico’s highest court has lifted a ban on testimony that stems from private conversations between spouses. The state Supreme Court’s ruling came in its decision to uphold a first-degree murder conviction. While the court upheld his conviction, the “spousal communication privilege” remained in effect for his case. The justices’ decision on spousal testimony applies to all criminal and civil cases moving forward.
NY: New York’s Child Victims Act leaves many with no path to justice
Of more than 500 lawsuits filed under New York’s new Child Victims Act since Aug. 14, nearly 97% have identified large institutions — namely the Catholic church or the Boy Scouts of America — instead of individuals. Fewer than 20 cases have named solely individuals.
WI: Labor report chronicles severe decline of unions in Wisconsin
Republican efforts to eviscerate unions in Wisconsin have been wildly successful, according to a new report. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy found that since the passage in 2011 of Act 10 — the law that stripped public unions of bargaining rights — union membership has declined by 53.9%, more than double the decline nationally.
MN: Minnesota faces a labor growth slowdown. This data helps explain why.
Over the next 10 years, Minnesota is forecast to have far fewer people entering the labor force than previous decades. Employers may have problems filling critical jobs as baby boomers retire and others drop out of the workforce. About 30% of working-age Minnesotans are not looking for jobs.
KS: Popularity of vaping among Kansas students raises concerns
Kansas schools are struggling to prevent vaping among students, even as growing cases appear nationwide of a mysterious lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes. A Kansas Department of Education survey of 2,000 high school students in 2017 found that 32.2% had tried vaping.
TN: ACLU sues Tennessee election commission
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal suit against Tennessee’s secretary of state, aimed at protecting grassroots voter registration drives. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to stop a new law from going into effect Oct. 1 in a state with the 49th-lowest voter turnout.
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