Top State Stories 6/13
TX: After Uvalde, Texas experts wonder how much police training is enough
Police officials and law enforcement experts across Texas say there’s no guarantee that officers will follow their training and confront a shooter—no matter how much training they have.
AK: As energy markets spiral up, a gas pipeline could be closer than ever, Alaska politicians say
A war-driven spike in global natural gas prices is creating new hope for Alaska’s long-sought gas pipeline, elected leaders say, even as the $38 billion project still lacks binding promises from customers and a clear picture of who would build it.
NY: Recent New York gun law may be amended to guard against hard body armor
Critics say the new law in New York doesn’t ban sale of body armor like the accused Buffalo gunman used. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, says she will work with the legislature to amend a law she just signed that restricts the purchase of soft body armor by citizens but not hard body armor plates.
GA: Under Georgia voting law, absentees decline but turnout resilient
Georgia’s voting law was designed to tighten regulations on absentee voting—the word “absentee” appears 343 times in the 98-page voting bill legislators approved in 2021. It worked as intended in this year’s primary.
IN: Pandemic caused drop in Indiana college attendance
The pandemic caused the percentage of Indiana high school graduates pursuing college or other post-secondary training to fall by six percentage points to 53% in 2020, the state’s Commission for Higher Education said. That drop also marked an 18% decline from where it stood in 2015.
NV: Rising home prices lock out more than a quarter of Nevada workforce
As home values continue to hit record highs in Nevada, a new report indicates that rental costs are outstripping most workers’ income, and about a quarter of Reno and Las Vegas’ workforces cannot afford the mortgage payment on a median-valued home in those areas, assuming they were able to make a 3% or 10% down payment.
NM: Biden pledges help with New Mexico fire recovery
President Joe Biden said he would support the federal government assuming the full cost of the 320,000-acre Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, which has devastated a 500-square-mile chunk of Northern New Mexico and shaken its small, hardy villages to their core. Those costs would include firefighting, debris removal and protective measures for affected communities.
SD: Embattled South Dakota AG won’t run for reelection
South Dakota’s embattled attorney general has officially declared that he will not seek reelection. Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, faces an impeachment trial in the state Senate for his conduct related to a fatal crash in 2020.
OK: Oklahoma AG seeks execution schedule for 25 inmates
Oklahoma’s execution chamber would become the busiest in the nation, under an ambitious schedule proposed by the attorney general. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is being asked to set executions for 25 of the 28 convicted murderers who lost a legal challenge to the state’s lethal injection protocol.
WA: Washington Supreme Court tries to chart a different path on racism
In 2020, all nine members of the Washington state Supreme Court signed a letter calling on lawyers, judges and courts across the state to do more to address longstanding institutional racism. In the two years since their letter, the court has overturned decades-old hateful precedents.
OR: Oregon State Police may renew investigations of people who fail gun background checks
Momentum is building in Oregon to reinstate a state police task force that investigates people who try to buy guns but fail background checks. The unit focused on the misdemeanor crimes of lying on the federal background check form and trying to buy a gun illegally.
MI: Michigan motorists can now buy digital license plates
Michigan drivers now have the option of a digital license plate. The digital license plates come with a smartphone app that includes the ability to switch the plate’s display between a light and dark mode, personalize a banner message on the plate, receive alerts if the vehicle is moving and report the vehicle stolen.
LA: Louisiana nursing homes could have licenses blocked under new hurricane plan review process
Louisiana is expected to adopt a new set of rules for nursing home emergency preparedness that gives the state Department of Health the authority to block nursing home licenses if their emergency preparedness plans are deemed inadequate.
MN: Poll shows support for stronger Minnesota gun laws following Uvalde massacre
A new poll, conducted in the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting in Texas, found strong support of some tighter gun control measures among the Minnesota electorate. It found a sizable majority of Minnesota voters in support of stronger background checks, red flag laws and requirements that gun buyers to be 21 or older.
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