Top State Stories 9/23
AR: Arkansas Supreme Court clears recreational marijuana for November ballot
The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a decision by the state Board of Election Commissioners, paving the way for legal recreational marijuana to be included on the ballot for the November general election.
MA: Half of Massachusetts’ small businesses still making less than before pandemic
About half of the small businesses in Massachusetts are still making less revenue than they were before the pandemic, a recent poll shows. And businesses owned by people of color are more likely to report difficult business conditions.
NJ: New Jersey governor vetoes law that would give temp workers more rights, money
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation that would have given sweeping new rights to temporary workers across New Jersey in a proposed law that was strongly opposed by business leaders. Murphy sent the bill back to lawmakers for large and small revisions detailed in a 21-page letter.
OH: Two Republicans on Ohio Supreme Court won’t weigh in on 2020 election results
The three Republican justices running for the Ohio Supreme Court acknowledge that Joe Biden is president, but two of them sidestepped the question of whether the 2020 election results are legitimate.
NY: Plan to pay parents to drive kids to school gains in Buffalo, New York
The Buffalo Board of Education in New York approved a key step in the Parent Transportation Reimbursement Pilot Program that would allow 1,500 parents to be paid for the mileage required to drive their children to school. The move is one strategy to overcome a nationwide bus shortage being felt locally. Buffalo would be the first large school district in New York to attempt reimbursing parents.
CO: Colorado legislature faces inflationary budget crunch as risk of recession grows
Inflation and rising interest rates aimed at reining in consumer costs are causing Colorado’s economy to slow and stagnate, according to two economic and tax revenue forecasts presented to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.
OR: Oregon needs to crack down on drug use, experts tell lawmakers
A day after the Oregon Health Authority declared a new era in the state’s approach to drug addiction had begun, experts warned legislators that the state’s drug epidemic is worsening. They said the state’s shift away from prosecuting people with addiction problems toward boosting medical and social services lacks a push for people to stop using drugs and seek treatment.
CA: Inside California’s pot legalization failures: corporate influence, ignored warnings
Architects of the effort to legalize pot in California made big promises to voters. But six years later, California’s legal weed industry is in disarray with flawed policies, legal loopholes and stiff regulations hampering longtime growers and sellers.
OK: K pay raise proposal for Oklahoma teachers passes first hurdle
A ,000 teacher pay raise proposal will advance to the state legislature after passing a vote by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. If the legislature approves it, Oklahoma’s average teacher pay would rise to ,000, and the minimum starting salary would exceed ,000.
ID: Among anti-abortion groups in Idaho, exceptions and criminalization cause divisions
Prominent anti-abortion groups in Idaho say they are opposed to forcing a woman to give birth when her life is at risk, but the Idaho Republican Party platform is more extreme, with no written support for exceptions in anti-abortion law. Organizations and politicians also disagree on whether there should be exceptions for rape and incest survivors who become pregnant.
TN: Proposed amendment to Tennessee Constitution would ban slavery
Although the Tennessee Constitution was amended in 1865 to prohibit nearly all forms of slavery, a single line lingered to allow slavery and involuntary servitude for people convicted of crimes. The proposed amendment, which will appear on the November ballot, would replace this line with an unmistakable ban: “slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this State.”
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