WA: With nearly all ballots counted, voters reject Washington’s affirmative-action measure
Supporters of a Washington affirmative-action ballot measure have conceded defeat. The measure would have reinstated affirmative action for public contracting, employment and education.
VT: State auditor slams Vermont program to attract new residents
The program reimbursing workers up to ,000 to move to Vermont is catching flak from the state auditor. His report suggests the Remote Worker Grant Program suffers from a “serious structural flaw” that has “undoubtedly resulted in wasted taxpayer funds.”
NY: As push for higher minimum wages grows, New York offers a test case
Federal research suggested higher minimum wages did not cost jobs in New York border counties. Industry-level analysis and real-life stories back that up — with caveats.
PA: FBI eyes how Pennsylvania approved pipeline
The FBI has begun a corruption investigation into how Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration came to issue permits for construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline project to carry highly volatile natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned.
CO: Noncitizens can’t vote in Colorado, but GOP collects signatures to make extra sure
Conservative organizers say they have submitted more than 200,000 signatures for a ballot measure that would fortify a current ban on noncitizens voting in Colorado. The proposed initiative is backed by Republican state Rep. Patrick Neville, the House minority leader.
WI: Governor and Democratic legislators tackle discrimination in Wisconsin
The poverty rate for black Wisconsinites is three to four times that of white residents. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his allies in the state legislature want to change that with a new executive order and bill.
GA: Georgia medical marijuana program starts after 7-month wait
Georgia’s top elected leaders moved forward with a program to provide medical marijuana to the state’s 15,000 registered patients, nearly seven months after Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law.
IL: As Illinois prepares to legalize pot, public housing tenants not allowed to partake
Recreational pot is about to become legal in Illinois, but Chicago’s Housing Authority says not in our backyard or front yard or anywhere on public housing premises, for that matter.
WY: Wyoming doctor, medical groups laud early Medicaid expansion approval
The Medical Society and the Hospital Association welcomed a legislative committee’s vote for a bill to expand Medicaid in Wyoming, bucking lawmakers’ years-long trend of rejection. The bill approved by the Joint Revenue Committee probably will be introduced for consideration in the 2020 legislature.
ID: Idaho sees large jump in uninsured children
The number of children who don’t have health insurance has been increasing faster in Idaho than the rest of the country. In Idaho, 4.9% of children were uninsured in 2016, 4.6% in 2017 and 6.1% in 2018.
MD, VA: Maryland and Virginia to cooperate on major bridge project
Virginia and Maryland will partner to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge in a billion-dollar project to relieve congestion in the Washington region’s worst traffic bottleneck. In an unusual example of interstate cooperation, Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project even though most of the bridge — like the Potomac River flowing beneath it — belongs to Maryland.
OK: Oklahoma criminal justice reform supporters file sentencing reform ballot initiative
The Oklahoma initiative would end the use of certain sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenses. To get the issue on the ballot in 2020, they will need to collect nearly 178,000 valid signatures within a 90-day window.
HI: Meth deaths climb in Hawaii
Last year, methamphetamine was listed as the main contributing factor in 147 fatal drug poisonings in Hawaii — nearly quadruple the number a decade ago. Deaths related to the use of psychostimulants such as meth in Hawaii have quietly outpaced other drug overdose fatalities in just five years.
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