CA: Thousands flee California fire; 600 acres burned
A wind-driven brush fire in California chewed through hillside communities on the west side of Los Angeles, burning homes and prompting widespread evacuations. The Getty fire rapidly burned more than 600 acres and sent people fleeing.
NC: New maps ordered for North Carolina 2020 congressional races
In a win for Democrats, a panel of judges ruled North Carolina’s 2020 congressional elections must happen under new maps, saying that the current Republican-drawn maps are unfair to many voters. The legislature must now redraw the state’s 13 U.S. House districts.
GA: Purge of about 300K voter registrations planned in Georgia
About 330,000 voter registrations in Georgia could soon be canceled because registrants haven’t participated in elections for several years. The purge comes after Georgia canceled 534,119 registrations in July 2017, the largest single removal of voters in U.S. history.
OK: Oklahoma governor, lawmakers tell judge opioid payments should not be limited to one year
Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislative leaders told a judge in the state’s opioid lawsuit that they believe Oklahoma law requires him to come back year after year and order Johnson & Johnson to pay more money until the opioid crisis has been fully resolved.
MO: Missouri study calls for tubed transport testing
Missouri should build a 15-mile track to test the feasibility of tubed transport, recommends a 176-page report from Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr, who formed a task force on the issue in March.
WY: Wyoming sets out to document hate in the Equality State
Wyoming — with the help of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — has been looking to understand the prevalence of hate and determine whether state and local leaders can do more to fight discrimination.
HI: Drug companies paid M to Hawaii doctors last year
Hawaii doctors received $4.29 million in total payments from drug companies for promotional talks or consulting work in 2018. The payments raise concerns that drug companies could be encouraging doctors to prescribe pharmaceuticals from a particular company even when another drug may be more beneficial to the patient.
MN: Bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers back raising tobacco age to 21
Lawmakers are planning a slate of proposals, some with bipartisan support, to try to change the perceptions of e-cigarettes and help Minnesotans, especially students, better understand the dangers. Among the proposals is raising the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21.
AK: Alaska to appeal judge’s decision to let ranked-choice voting measure proceed
An Anchorage judge has ordered the state of Alaska to allow signature-gathering for a ballot measure that would introduce ranked-choice voting in statewide elections, but the state plans to appeal its defeat to the Alaska Supreme Court.
CT: Utility shut-offs in Connecticut have more than doubled
Utility shut-offs, a hidden measure of the economic struggle for many in Connecticut, have more than doubled in the last four years, according to regulatory records. Advocates say low-income families are being kept in the dark about how to prevent them.
NY: New York ‘doggie bag’ bill aims to cut back on single-use plastic
New legislation would allow New Yorkers to bring reusable containers to restaurants or other food establishments to pack up leftovers or take beverages to go. There is currently no law forbidding consumers from bringing their own boxes, cartons or cups to food establishments, but restaurants can ban the practice at will.
IL: Illinois governor backs bill to let collegiate athletes make endorsement deals
Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker backed legislation to allow college athletes to make money from endorsements. House Republicans are likely to oppose it. The legislation filed by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, a Democrat, would put the state in line with California, which has a similar law.
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