Top State Stories 11/29
OH: Ohio recreational marijuana backers hope for 2023 ballot initiative
Backers of an Ohio recreational marijuana legalization proposal aim to place the initiated statute before voters in November 2023, an attorney representing the group said. Meantime, the General Assembly may pass by the end of the year a bill that would allow the drug for any condition “that the patient’s symptoms may reasonably be expected to be relieved from medical marijuana.”
CT: Connecticut House extends gasoline tax cut, free buses around state
The Connecticut House voted overwhelmingly to extend the gasoline tax cut and free public buses — saying that cash-strapped consumers need extra spending money into 2023. On a bipartisan vote of 134-7, lawmakers said they were providing relief to taxpayers from the highest inflation in the past four decades.
MT: Montana officials urge judge to lift limit on wolf kills
Environmental groups told a judge that the wolf population in Montana and Yellowstone National Park would be irreparably harmed if he lifts a temporary restraining order that restricted wolf hunting and trapping following concerns that too many of the animals could be killed this winter.
SD: South Dakotans worry about choice of hunting or marijuana
Since federal law prohibits gun ownership by habitual marijuana users, can South Dakota residents get both a medical marijuana card and a hunting license? Calls asking about the issue started shortly after state voters rejected legalized recreational cannabis.
NY: Lobbyists spar over New York revisions to wrongful death system
Just a month shy of New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s end-of-year bill signing deadline, advocacy groups have organized a flurry of lobbying efforts on legislation that would overhaul New York’s wrongful death system, the latest of years-long efforts to bring the state’s compensation policies in line with much of the country.
KY: Here’s why Kentucky is auditing 12 counties’ general election results
A dozen Kentucky counties — including the commonwealth’s most populous, Jefferson County — will have their 2022 general election results audited by the Office of the Attorney General. The audits are required by state law, following the passage of a bill earlier this year that increased the number of randomly audited counties from six to 12.
KS: Kansas telemedicine abortions can restart after judge blocks ban
Telemedicine abortions may soon be offered by a Kansas clinic after a judge in Topeka blocked enforcement of a state law banning the procedure.
AK: Voter approval of Alaska judges is hitting an all-time low
This year, Alaska state judges’ median approval rating is going to hit a record low. Nineteen of them will be retained with less than 60% percent of the vote. The trend suggests lots of qualified judges could be ousted in future elections, creating huge headaches in the justice system.
TX: Texas Republicans are optimistic about enacting school choice in next year’s session
Advocates say discontent with public schools’ pandemic rules and teachings on race and gender identity have helped raise Texans’ support for school choice to an all-time high.
NJ: New Jersey may soon set standards for students to learn how to separate fact from fiction on social media
With the internet and social media now firmly established as dominant places to get news and information, New Jersey may soon create standards for students in all grades to learn how to discern trustworthy sources, conduct research using facts and data, and avoid misinformation.
PA: Pennsylvania film credit for ‘small companies’ goes to big mogul
With HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” and other big-budget productions taking most of Pennsylvania’s film subsidies, Harrisburg fattened the film tax credit pot by 43% to million and set aside million for Pennsylvania-based small companies. But the entire million was steered by a state agency to one of the state’s big-time filmmakers, M. Night Shyamalan, maker of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Sixth Sense.”
CA: In red California, LGTBQ people still feel under threat. ‘There’s no safe place anywhere.’
In politically red stretches of California — from the old logging towns in the north through the dusty farmlands of the Central Valley — the Colorado Springs massacre was yet another devastating reminder of how difficult and lonely it can be to be queer in conservative America.
MA: About 25M people voted in Massachusetts midterms, surpassing projections
Slightly more than 2.5 million registered voters cast ballots in Massachusetts for the Nov. 8 election, besting projections thanks to far more people voting in person on Election Day than expected, state officials said Monday. It marked the second highest number of ballots cast in a midterm election, topped only by the 2.7 million who voted in 2018.
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