CA: Kincade fire has Northern California under siege; governor declares emergency
Fueled by powerful winds, the massive Kincade fire continued its southwest march across Sonoma County, burning winery properties. More than 2 million people across the region were thrown into darkness because of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. blackouts. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, declared a statewide emergency as wildfires spread.
MO: Hearing to decide fate of Missouri’s only abortion clinic
A battle over Missouri’s last abortion clinic continues this week, as a state commission weighs arguments in a licensing dispute that could level a blow to abortion access. If the St. Louis clinic loses its license, it would make Missouri the first state in decades without a medical abortion clinic.
TX: Texas college students go hungry without handouts
Food insecurity at universities is a growing problem across the nation, but especially in Austin, Texas, where the cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years. As the problem becomes more apparent, many universities are working to fill in the gaps for their students, who sometimes go days without a meal.
CT: Police in Connecticut struggle with new state transparency law
Some police departments are wrestling over whether to release dash or body camera footage upon request no later than 96 hours after an incident, as required under a new transparency law passed by the Connecticut state legislature.
NY: Amazon deliveries and other online orders bring chaos to New York City streets
The 1.5 million packages delivered daily in New York City are worsening gridlock, roadway safety and pollution. Delivery trucks operated by UPS and FedEx double-park on streets and block bus and bike lanes, and the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey has become the most congested interchange in the country.
NJ: New Jersey targets pollution in poorer areas with 6 lawsuits
New Jersey sued a mix of companies and individuals over a half-dozen polluted sites across the state, mostly in poor and minority communities.
FL: Florida must pay .2M fine in prison magazine censorship case
The nine-year-old lawsuit centered on the Florida Department of Corrections rejection of all issues of a news magazine for prisoners based on the content of its advertisements. Florida is the only state that censors Prison Legal News, a 30-year-old national publication.
NC: North Carolina Senate may vote to override governor’s budget veto
The Republican-led North Carolina Senate may vote to override the governor’s budget veto. The House overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto in a surprise vote last month when almost half of the House members were absent. The vote drew national attention, and a video of Rep. Deb Butler, a Wilmington Democrat, objecting to the move went viral.
RI: Lawsuit filed over treatment of inmates with mental illness in Rhode Island
Civil liberties advocates are suing the Rhode Island prisons department over its treatment of inmates with mental illness. They allege that prisoners with serious mental illness have had their constitutional rights violated.
MI: Recreation pot sales postponed in Michigan over shortage fears
Sales of marijuana for adult recreational use probably won’t begin until March or April in Michigan. That’s because the state is worried about a shortage of pot for medical marijuana users.
WV: Revenue lag sparks call for spending cuts in West Virginia
West Virginia state agencies are being asked to cut $100 million from this year’s budget, and to reduce next year’s budget as well. State tax collections have fallen short of projections for the first three months of this budget year, which began July 1.
OR: New tax could challenge Oregon’s business-friendly reputation
Oregon’s tax structure, long regarded as one of the most business-friendly in the nation, will be considerably less amiable when a new $1 billion corporate tax kicks in next year to help support the state’s schools and other educational programs. Oregon’s new gross-receipts tax will be levied on companies’ sales inside the state rather than on their profits.
WI, NC: Frustrated Democratic governors in Wisconsin, North Carolina find ways to sidestep GOP
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried for months to get the Republican-controlled legislature to take up a pair of gun control bills. When Republicans wouldn’t budge, Evers turned up the heat by turning to other powers of his office. Democratic governors in North Carolina and other states are getting creative to advance their agendas.
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