Top State Stories 11/18
LA: Democratic governor re-elected in Louisiana despite Trump campaigning
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards claimed a second term, winning a stunning victory in a heavily Republican state and beating back repeated attacks by President Donald Trump in a race closely watched nationwide. Edwards defeated Republican businessman Eddie Rispone with about 51% of the vote.
ME: Crystal meth resurfaces as increasingly deadly threat in Maine
Highly pure crystal methamphetamine is flowing into Maine and New England at an unprecedented rate, alarming police and substance abuse recovery advocates who say the drug has contributed to added violence at Portland, Maine’s homeless shelter and an increasing number of overdose deaths statewide.
US: Climate change said to imperil Superfund sites
At least 60% of U.S. Superfund sites are in areas vulnerable to flooding or other worsening disasters of climate change, and the Trump administration’s reluctance to directly acknowledge global warming is deterring efforts to safeguard them, a congressional watchdog agency says.
NJ: Black New Jersey leaders want to explore reparations over slavery in the state
Leaders of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus introduced a bill that would establish the New Jersey Reparations Task Force. If approved, the panel would research the history of slavery in the Garden State, any racial discrimination and disparity that stemmed from it, and how the state could help make up for it.
NC: North Carolina lawmakers OK new congressional maps, now courts will weigh in
The Republican-led North Carolina Senate approved a new congressional district map to be used in 2020 that is likely to shrink the GOP’s edge in the state’s congressional delegation. But Democrats plan to challenge the map in court again.
GA: Violence permeates youth prisons in Georgia
The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice fired at least 60 officers from 2015 to 2018 for using excessive force on youths, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found by reviewing personnel files, investigators’ reports, law enforcement certification records and other documents. At least six more officers resigned under investigation of their use of force.
TX: Texas had seven mass shootings over 10 years. Meanwhile, gun control has loosened.
All but one of the laws passed over the past decade by Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature have expanded where guns are allowed, who can have a firearm in schools and the right to openly carry guns.
MA: For low-income students in Massachusetts, the suburbs are no sure path to a college degree
Low-income students in Massachusetts are only half as likely to graduate from college as their more affluent peers even when they attended top suburban high schools, according to first-of-its-kind state education data analyzed by the Boston Globe.
NE: Low Medicaid payment rates blamed as rural nursing home closures increase in Nebraska
Fifteen nursing homes — all but one in rural counties — have closed in Nebraska this year. Nebraska’s rural nursing homes have about two-thirds of residents on Medicaid, compared with 53% statewide.
MO: Missouri lawmakers frustrated with GM job-retention promises
After scrambling to pull together million in tax breaks for General Motors, some Missouri lawmakers say the company is coming up short so far with its promises for job retention at a suburban St. Louis plant.
CA: Black male attorneys in California more likely to be disciplined than whites
Black male attorneys in California are more likely to be disciplined than their white male counterparts, according to a new report released by the State Bar of California. The study examined “probations, disbarments, and discipline-related resignations” for the last 28 years during which time black male attorneys had a probation rate of 3.2%, compared to 0.9% for white male attorneys.
WY: Wyoming is about to start banking with cryptocurrency
Wyoming passed legislation earlier this year authorizing charters for something called Special Purpose Depository Institutions (or SPDI — pronounced “speedy” — banks) a first-of-their-kind commercial-grade bank that allows companies dealing in cryptocurrencies to conduct business the same as any other company.
AZ: Democrats want to scrap Arizona law protecting short-term rentals
Democrats who want municipalities to crack down on troublesome short-term vacation rentals in Arizona submitted a bill that would repeal protections for such rentals. In some towns, full-time residents are complaining about noise, parties, rude or drunken behavior and dangerous driving in usually quiet neighborhoods.
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