Cincinnati’s New Challenge Grants; Federal Lawsuit Over Kansas Voter Purge

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Also: Oregon celebrates legalized marijuana sales and class-action litigation over Mississippi prison conditions moves forward.

Here’s some of what we’ve been reading today ...

CINCINNATI, Ohio: The city of Cincinnati is rolling out its 2016 Engage Cincy Challenge Grant program, where five grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to participants to develop, launch and promote “plans that offer cutting-edge ideas for bettering a specific place, or all of Cincinnati,” according to a city announcement. "The best way to invigorate a community is to engage the people who live there and keep them interested," said City Manager Harry Black, who proposed the idea for Engage Cincy Grants, which was supported and approved by the Mayor and City Council. "Here, we're giving community members a say but also the money, resources and support needed to think, and act, outside the box." Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2015. [City of Cincinnati]

TOPEKA, Kansas: A Lawrence attorney has filed a federal lawsuit against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach over new rules that will purge names from a list of suspended voters. The rules, as The Wichita Eagle reports, stem from new requirements that mandate that voters be able to prove U.S. citizenship. That resulted in around 37,000 voters from being put on a suspended voter list, which are subject to be purged after 90 days. [The Wichita Eagle]

HARTFORD, Connecticut: Among the new laws that go into effect on Thursday in the Nutmeg State: Employees cannot be compelled by employers to hand over passwords to their Facebook or Twitter accounts. And employers also can’t punish employees if they refuse to do so. [Hartford Courant]

MERIDIAN, Mississippi: A U.S. District judge this week greenlighted a class-action lawsuit brought by inmates of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, who allege that conditions at the privately-run facility are “barbaric,” according to The Clarion-Ledger, which reports that the “ligitation alleges there is sex between officers and inmates, widespread contraband and weapons, a ‘buddy’ system where officers cover up the beatings of inmates and the rehiring of former employees who used excessive force.” [The Clarion-Ledger]

PORTLAND, Oregon: The start of October has ushered in the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes, which is now legal in the state of Oregon. As The Oregonian reported, “as midnight approached, a line of about 75 had amassed outside AmeriCanna Rx. Would-be customers ate Voodoo Doughnuts provided by the dispensary and pumped each other up about their participation in what they described as a historic day.” [The Oregonian]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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