Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: Jersey City transgender employees win expanded benefits and damning data on racial profiling piles up in Connecticut.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading today…
SEATTLE, Washington: What about the kids? For now, the state plans to give money to nine public charter schools, despite a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that found the schools ineligible to receive tax dollars, reports the Seattle Times. Officials on Tuesday explained that the court is still weighing appeals, that the school year has begun and that the charter schools serve about 1,200 students. For now, the state plans to release $770,000 to the schools. Lawyers and school officials are muddled about what will happen in the coming months. [Seattle Times]
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: India-based Sun Pharma has a message for Arkansas: It wants its drugs back, the Associated Press reports. Arkansas announced this month that, after years of trying, they had succeeded in buying drugs needed to resume executing death-row inmates. They also refused to say where they got the drugs, citing state secrecy laws. But AP reporters noted Sun Pharma packaging in a redacted photo obtained through an open-records request. Sun Pharma, like many other drug makers, prohibits customers from selling its products for executions. Arkansas won’t confirm or deny that it plans to use Sun Pharma drugs and is in the process of scheduling eight executions. [The Associated Press via the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey: Officials announced on Tuesday that the city will provide expanded health coverage to transgender employees, according to PolitickerNJ. “Difficult decisions come across my desk every day, but I am happy to say this was not one of them,” said Mayor Steve Fulop at a City Hall press conference. “Government has a responsibility to be a legitimizing force, to pull people in the direction of what is right … Today, we’re making sure that our transgender neighbors get the care they need,” he said. [PolitickerNJ]
HARTFORD, Connecticut: Black and Latino drivers are pulled over and their cars are searched at greater rates than are white drivers, even though police more often find contraband in the cars of white people, according to data collected on nearly 850,000 traffic stops made in the state over the last two years, reports the Hartford Courant. Black and Latino drivers are also more often issued tickets than are white drivers for committing the same violation. The Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project crunched the data. Analysts with the project are now working on breaking the numbers according to officer and municipality. [Hartford Courant]
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Comic Con really packs them in, so the Utah Transit Authority will be giving them more room, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The UTA is adding more TRAX cars to trains that will make more frequent runs during the city’s biannual comic book convention, which will be held this week at the Salt Palace. UTA ridership records have been set twice previously during the convention. [Salt Lake Tribune]
John Tomasic is a journalist who lives in Boulder, Colorado.