CO: Colorado seeks ‘urgent’ decision from Supreme Court on faithless electors
Colorado is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the people picked to cast Electoral College votes are bound by their state’s rules on how to vote — a decision that has the potential to upend the way America picks its president ahead of the 2020 election.
NY: New York law amended to weaken president’s pardon powers
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that narrows New York state’s double jeopardy provisions to make it easier for state and local prosecutors to take up cases that have already been resolved at the federal level. Democratic lawmakers and Cuomo were motivated to act after close allies of President Donald Trump became the subject of criminal investigations for activities in New York.
MI: Michigan bills pass to raise the age for prosecution
Bipartisan legislation headed to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk would raise the age at which teenagers are automatically prosecuted as adults in Michigan. Michigan is currently one of four states that treat all 17-year-olds charged with crimes as adults.
WI: Wisconsin Supreme Court takes case challenging governor’s vetoes
The Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted a case challenging budget vetoes Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued this summer. Three taxpayers represented by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty asked the high court to take their challenge directly, without making them first go through the lower courts.
ID: Idaho city uses local funds to urge citizens to fill out census
With cuts to federal spending for the 2020 census, Boise, Idaho, will spend ,000 of its own money to make sure as many people within city limits as possible take the federally mandated survey next year. The state will receive an additional ,473 of federal funding for every resident who fills out the survey.
IN: Indiana attorney general wants to block testimony against him
Indiana’s Republican attorney general is trying to block the testimony of two women who allege that he engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior. Curtis Hill is facing disciplinary charges before the Indiana Supreme Court on separate claims by four women who reported that he touched them inappropriately.
CA: California power company defends blackout
Pacific Gas and Electric is continuing to defend last week’s massive, three-phase blackout that cut power over four days to more than 730,000 customers, a coverage area servicing an estimated 2 million or more Californians across 35 counties, declaring in statements that the shutoff was the “right call.”
NM: New Mexico maps out marijuana legalization
A plan to make New Mexico the nation’s 12th state to legalize recreational marijuana was released by a state working group for consideration in the legislature. A 17% tax on marijuana would help fund the state’s medical marijuana program.
OK: In Oklahoma, governor tests power of tribal gambling
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, plans to renegotiate the state’s share of casino revenue, which now ranges from 4% to 10% and funds mostly schools. Stunned, the tribes have unleashed a multimillion-dollar advertising and political offensive to kill the idea.
IA: Sexual harassment findings increase in Iowa executive branch
The number of known cases of sexual harassment committed by employees in Iowa’s executive branch spiked last year after responsibility for conducting investigations was shifted to a central agency. Multimillion-dollar settlements of earlier cases prompted calls for Iowa to overhaul its procedures for handling complaints and investigations.
MD: Maryland to propose payments to wrongfully convicted men
Top Maryland officials pledged to come up with a compensation plan by the end of the month for five men who were wrongly convicted and imprisoned for decades ― an action the state hasn’t taken in 15 years.
HI: Hawaii will need B for infrastructure, climate and retirement, report says
Over the next 30 years, expect the costs to fix Hawaii’s aging infrastructure, protect its islands against climate change and meet the state’s public employee retirement obligations to exceed billion, a new report from influential local executives warns. The magnitude of such a steep price tag, the report’s authors say, could reshape the role of government in Hawaii since statehood.
AK: Alaska to look at oil spill plan requirements
Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the state of Alaska is looking at whether to change its requirements for oil spill prevention and response plans. Some say Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration has failed to adequately explain the need for any changes and fear the process could lead to a watering down of environmental regulations.
NC: North Carolina fines energy company in deadly explosion
The North Carolina Department of Labor has fined PSNC Energy and two subcontractors ,100 in April’s deadly gas-line explosion in downtown Durham. In a statement, the energy company said it is committed to learning from “this tragic incident” but disagrees with the state’s findings.
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