NY: New York moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes by emergency order
Amid a surge of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced he would pursue emergency regulations this week to quickly ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. The governor’s action comes days after President Donald Trump announced an effort to ban similar vaping products at the federal level.
VA: Virginia drops race reporting requirement for marriage
A Virginia couple who refused to fill in the race question on their marriage license application are delighted that Virginia Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring’s action will allow them to marry next month as planned. Herring sent a memo to county clerks saying that applicants can decline to answer the question and still get a license.
OR: Oregon schools rolling out indigenous studies curriculum
Starting this year, Oregon schools are required to teach tribal history and the Native American experience in class. The curriculum will roll out as 45 lessons for fourth, eighth and 10th grade classrooms, with plans to add more grades in the future.
CA: Abortion pills will be available on California college campuses if governor signs this bill
A bill to require California’s public universities to offer abortion medication through campus clinics now awaits Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.
PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers are paid more to work less
Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the nation and its lawmakers are among the highest-paid in the country, yet, increasingly, they’re doing less and less actual lawmaking.
WI: ‘Pay to stay’ fees can put Wisconsin jail inmates thousands in debt
At least 23 Wisconsin counties assess “pay to stay” fees, which charge inmates for room and board for the time they are incarcerated, according to a Wisconsin Watch survey of county jails. In some Wisconsin counties, inmates pay an average of a month in such fees, which advocates say can criminalize poverty.
MN: ‘Geography is destiny’ for families living with disabilities in Minnesota
Tens of thousands of Minnesota families’ lives are upended by the arbitrary and confusing way Minnesota distributes money designed to help people with severe disabilities. County policies are so inconsistent and capricious that some families have become nomads, moving long distances just to obtain the essential care to which they are entitled.
NH: New Hampshire’s GOP governor goes on veto streak
The governor has vetoed 55 bills this year, by far the most in modern New Hampshire history. It took three governors seven years to produce that many vetoes in the Granite State before the recent binge.
MO: Missouri AG to refer 12 cases of Catholic clergy sex abuse to local prosecutors
After a yearlong investigation of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he will refer 12 former clergy members for possible criminal prosecution. Schmitt, a Republican, said his office’s review of church personnel records, dating to 1945, uncovered 163 cases of abuse involving Roman Catholic clergy in Missouri.
TX: Company announces B deal to build Texas bullet train
A planned high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas reached another milestone as the sponsoring company announced a billion deal to build it — as soon as it obtains federal permission to do so. Texas Central announced it had signed a deal with an Italian construction giant and its American subsidiary to design and build the high-speed rail line.
CT: White men dominate city politics in Connecticut
White men maintain a grip on the top office in almost all of Connecticut’s big cities, from Stamford to New London, Danbury to Hartford, Waterbury to Norwalk. In a year when the Democratic Party is fielding a historically diverse slate of presidential candidates, the absence of people of color in the leadership ranks of Connecticut’s largest cities is an irony not lost on black political leaders.
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