Top State Stories 12/8
IN: Indiana sues TikTok over adult content, security
Indiana has sued the popular social media platform TikTok over allegations it fails to protect children from mature content, and that it deceived users about the Chinese government’s ability to access their data.
ME: Maine House makes history by electing first Black speaker
Democratic state Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross made history when her colleagues elected her the first Black speaker of the Maine House. As she was nominated and sworn in, Libby Mitchell, who became the first female speaker in 1996, beamed as she observed from the back of the House chamber.
OR: Oregon gun law has ‘life-and-death stakes,’ AG tells state Supreme Court
Citing “life-and-death stakes” in the case, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, filed a petition urging the state Supreme Court to order a judge to throw out his temporary restraining order blocking a new gun law from taking effect. Measure 114 requires Oregonians to acquire a permit to buy a gun, and it bans the sale, transfer and manufacture of magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It also requires a background check of the buyer.
OH: Ohio Senate passes bill expanding drilling on state land; dubbing gas ‘green energy’
Within 24 hours of unveiling the idea, Ohio Senate Republicans passed legislation that would expand the ability to drill for oil and gas on state-owned lands, including state parks.
FL: Florida’s surgeon general repeats opposition to COVID vaccines
As federal health officials embark on a campaign to get more Americans boosted for COVID-19, Florida’s surgeon general is digging in on social media on an earlier claim that the mRNA vaccines are unsafe and linked to deaths from myocarditis.
MO: Marijuana legalization in Missouri takes effect
Marijuana legalization in Missouri has taken effect, capping a 50-year effort to end prohibition and allowing individuals to legally possess 3 ounces or less of marijuana flower.
DC: District of Columbia AG files lawsuit against Amazon, alleging stolen tips
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, a Democrat, announced his office had filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the e-commerce giant stole tips from drivers and deceived consumers about the tipping model. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon used deceptive methods to lead consumers to believe that tip money went directly to drivers when it was being used to subsidize wages.
MI: First wired public road in US will be built in Michigan
By summer 2023, about a mile of road in Detroit, Michigan’s, bustling Michigan Central Station district should contain inductive charging coils, the first step in a program that aims to address some of the biggest challenges to EV adoption: cost, weight, range and electricity generating capacity. The joint project includes the state of Michigan, city of Detroit and several private companies.
TX: Some Texas cities and counties had to return millions in pandemic housing aid
For some local relief programs in Texas, a lack of staffing, political support and effective community outreach got in the way of spending federal funds to prevent evictions, a new report found. More than million went unspent and had to be returned.
MA: Outgoing Massachusetts governor appointed more than half the state’s judges
As Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker prepares to leave office after eight years, the Republican has appointed nearly 60% of the state’s 418 judges, installing judges who will oversee murder trials, reshape constitutional law and unknot thorny civil litigation for years, if not decades, to come.
PA: Pennsylvania’s marijuana pardon program was supposed to benefit thousands, but only a few are getting relief
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced the marijuana pardon project as a program that could potentially help thousands of Pennsylvanians and more than 2,600 people submitted 3,539 applications. The vast majority of applications were denied.
NV: Nevada inmates on hunger strike to protest food quality, prison conditions
Prisoners at a Nevada state prison kicked off a hunger strike that advocates say is meant to protest inadequate food portions and caps on commissary purchases, as well as alleged correctional abuse and extreme lockdown conditions stemming from pandemic-related issues.
NE: Nebraska governor’s mansion will stay unoccupied
Incoming Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen’s administration will mark the third gubernatorial term in a row that the Nebraska governor’s mansion in Lincoln will lack a full-time resident. Like his predecessor, Pillen, a Republican, plans to commute to work and use the 27-room mansion only for meetings and other events.
WI: Wisconsin sues huge farm, contractors over spreading of polluting manure
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is suing a large dairy farm, a manure hauler and a crop consultant for falsifying a report to cover up overspreading of manure. Some environmental advocates say the case highlights the state’s over reliance on self-reporting for regulating concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.
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