NJ: New Jersey marijuana legalization to be decided in the 2020 election
After nearly two years of back-and-forth over legalizing marijuana, New Jersey legislative leaders announced that legal weed is heading to the polls, setting up a pivotal ballot question in the 2020 election. If voters approve the measure, New Jersey would become the 12th state to legalize marijuana for adult use.
CA: California sues vape manufacturer Juul
California is taking Juul Labs to court, alleging that the e-cigarette company unlawfully targeted minors through advertising and flavors that appeal to young people.
WI: Wisconsin delays Medicaid work requirement until early next year
Wisconsin’s work requirement for Medicaid recipients was supposed to take effect Nov. 1, but the state has delayed implementation until early next year. Nine states have had Medicaid work requirements approved, but courts have set aside the programs in three of them.
PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers want an earlier presidential primary — and the attention that comes with it
Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering moving up the state’s presidential primary election beginning in 2024, which would give Pennsylvania more say in picking the Democratic and Republican nominees for the White House. Currently, Pennsylvania has little voice in presidential nominating contests because the primary is held at the end of April, after most other states have already voted.
SD: South Dakota: ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ Twitter: You guys OK?
South Dakota’s new anti-meth campaign is catching a lot of attention nationwide, and people are now asking “Hey, what’s up with South Dakota?” Republican Gov. Kristi Noem launched her new anti-meth campaign featuring the phrase, “Meth. We’re on it,” over an outline of South Dakota. The ad and posters feature people of differing ages and races saying, “I’m on meth.”
HI: Climate change could eliminate many Hawaii surf spots
Rising sea levels caused by climate change will make waves in Hawaii break further inland, and swells will have to be larger to break in the deeper water, eliminating many surfable breaks. Coral bleaching could affect many other spots that rely on reefs to create waves.
OR: Court rules tribes’ water rights outrank farmers in Oregon watershed
A federal appeals court has found that the water rights of Klamath Basin tribes take priority over those of farmers in the watershed that spans the Oregon and California border. The decision is a key step forward toward the tribes’ goals of restoring the Klamath Basin ecosystem.
CO: Colorado Supreme Court rules that criminal defendants can use medical marijuana while on probation
The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously agreed that a person who is sentenced to probation can use medical marijuana unless there’s evidence that it would counter the goals of a sentence. Attorneys across the state have said the issue comes up regularly with defendants and the decisions often are highly subjective, depending on the judge and the county.
AZ: Navajo power plant in Arizona shuts down
The Arizona coal plant was the largest in the West and its closure will affect the entire region. The decision to close came after years of the utilities fighting to keep the plant running economically while remaining in compliance with air-quality regulations.
SC: South Carolina DMV officials accused of taking bribes to let people skip the line
Lots of people joke about the long line at the DMV, but South Carolina investigators accused one man of cheating his way around it. Now three people face bribery charges. Investigators arrested the man who cheated and two employees for taking bribes.
LA: Attempted cyberattack disrupts Louisiana state government
Many of Louisiana’s state government websites and email systems are shut down because of what newly re-elected Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office is describing as an attempted ransomware attack. The problem disrupted business operations and online services across state agencies.
ID, WY: Forest Service opposes bear-baiting ban in Idaho, Wyoming
Federal authorities are contesting a lawsuit filed by environmental groups seeking to ban using bait to hunt black bears in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming. The U.S. Forest Service says the decision to allow using bait to attract bears should continue to be made by the states.
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