MI, OH, PA, WI: Trump trails in four key states: poll
President Donald Trump trails in four key Great Lakes states he won in 2016, indicating the extent to which he’ll have to entice wavering voters — especially women. January polling across Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin found support for a still-to-be-determined Democratic candidate near a majority in each state.
TX: Texas refugee agencies resist governor’s call to switch to homeless
Texas agencies that resettle refugees said they can’t pick and choose how to spend federal funds meant for refugees. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott dug in his heels on the issue, saying homeless and other Texans in need should come before refugees.
MN: Minnesota grants M for rural broadband
Thousands of Minnesotans previously left in the dark will now be plugged into the internet thanks to million in grants from the state. Nearly 11,000 homes and businesses in 30 communities will benefit from state and local funding.
NJ: New Jersey governor signs vaping ban
Vaping products with tempting flavors must disappear from store shelves and gas station counters in New Jersey in about three months. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy also signed bills to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, to give more students free meals, and creating more perks for movies and television shows shot in New Jersey.
FL: Florida chill brings falling iguana warning
Florida was so cold that cities in Colorado, Montana and Alaska were all warmer than Jacksonville and Tallahassee. The National Weather service warned that cold-stunned iguanas could fall from trees in Miami and Key West.
UT: Utah judge upholds state’s lewdness law
A Utah judge upheld the state’s lewdness law after a challenge by a woman facing charges for being topless in her own home. Her attorneys had argued that the law targets and discriminates against women.
NY: New York governor lays out plan to close .1B budget gap
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a .6 billion budget that would close a looming .1 billion deficit with a combination of stronger-than-anticipated tax revenue and changes to Medicaid.
WA: Washington bill would make seawalls more fish-friendly
One year after Washington state lawmakers stiffened restrictions on shoreline “armor” that drew bitter opposition from the building industry, Democrats have put forward what amounts to a soft sell. Legislation would require Puget Sound homeowners to consider fish-friendly fixes to prevent erosion.
HI: Hawaii to add mental health treatment options
A new vision for creating a unified, comprehensive mental health system in Hawaii is laid out in a legislative report prepared by the state Department of Health. A key feature would divert the mentally ill from emergency rooms to outpatient or residential programs.
AK: Judge pauses Alaska governor recall to wait for state Supreme Court
The order grants a stay requested by the group defending Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy from a campaign to put recall on the ballot. The campaign must stop gathering signatures until the state Supreme Court hears the case.
NM: New Mexico governor calls for legal pot, free college
In her State of the State address, New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pitched her priorities as the state’s 30-day legislative session opened. The session, shorter than it is in odd-numbered years, is reserved for mostly budget and tax proposals.
DE: Why doesn’t Delaware tax Airbnb, VRBO?
Delaware is known as a tax haven, and for lodging sites like Airbnb and VRBO, that label is especially suitable. Some think that could change in 2020.
VT: Vermont Democrats want faster climate action
Vermont Democratic lawmakers, who face mounting pressure to drastically cut carbon emissions, are teed up to pass their own legislation, despite Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s opposition.
ME: Maine bill would target insurance, HIV prevention
Life insurance companies in Maine would be banned from denying coverage to people taking preventive HIV medication under a bill making its way through the state legislature. It would be illegal for insurance providers to discriminate against people who opt to take pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly referred to as PrEP.
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