VA: Virginia governor restores voting rights
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has restored voting and other civil rights to more than 22,000 felons who have completed their sentences. Virginia is one of a handful of states that require a governor’s intervention to restore civil rights after a felony conviction.
IA: Iowa Supreme Court prohibits courthouse security test break-ins
Miscommunications and ill-considered strategies set in motion the unexpected burglary arrests of two men hired to test the Iowa judicial branch’s digital security. The court issued new policies requiring police notification before any more security tests.
CO: Colorado health exchange premiums dropping
For the first time since Colorado opened its health insurance exchange, the prices people pay for coverage will drop — by a statewide average of 20.2%. The biggest reason for the price drop is a reinsurance program created by state lawmakers this year.
DC: District of Columbia bill to restore vote to imprisoned felons receives support
Legislation that would make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction in the country to restore the right to vote to imprisoned felons got widespread support at a public hearing held by District of Columbia lawmakers.
WA: Washington state to turn back clock despite new law
Washington state residents will have to go through the November clock-changing ritual at least one more time, despite a new state law putting the state on permanent daylight saving time. The change requires congressional approval which has yet to materialize.
SC: South Carolina group sues to reinstate GOP primary
A group suing the South Carolina Republican Party over its cancellation of the Republican presidential primary is asking a judge to file a permanent injunction, forcing the party to hold the contest.
CA: Outages spread to Southern California as fires spread
Power outages spread into the Los Angeles area as California utilities struggled to prevent more wildfires fed by high winds and sparks from electrical transmission lines. Fire danger spread from the Sacramento area in northern California as far south as San Diego.
SD: Number of vaping-related illnesses doubles in South Dakota
Vaping-related illnesses have nearly doubled in South Dakota in the past two weeks. Symptoms include cough, chest pain and shortness of breath.
AK: Alaska wants to hire conservative firm to fight public employee unions
Alaska plans to spend $125,000 on the legal firm as it gears up for a fight with public unions. Employees unions and the state have traded lawsuits over Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s plan to require employee union members to reconsider union membership annually.
NJ: New Jersey governor wants M bond question on 2020 ballot to remove lead pipes
New Jersey voters will decide in November 2020 whether to spend $500 million to remove lead drinking water pipes that have caused elevated levels of the toxic metal in some of the state’s largest water systems.
OR: Oregon ballot items rarely get through long process
In Oregon, initiatives face a long and winding road to the ballot. Most never make it. Between 2010 and 2018, only 1 in 3 initiatives received approval from the Elections Division to circulate for signatures.
VT: Vermont city moves to let noncitizens vote in local elections
Supporters on the Burlington City Council in Vermont said it’s a matter of fairness because legal immigrants participate in the community and pay taxes. The plan, which would apply only to legal refugees and green-card holders, goes to city voters in March.
AR: Arkansas returns Little Rock schools to local control
Arkansas’ state school board rejected a plan to keep state control of the lowest-performing schools in the state capital. Little Rock schools have been under state control since 2015 when six schools were declared in “academic distress.”
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