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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Positive Covid-19 case in Pennsylvania legislature causes stir … New York City mayor eases retailers ability to walk away from leases … Oklahoma governor vetoes medical marijuana delivery bill.
In the third night of protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd in police custody, people set fire to a police precinct, while also burning and looting other businesses in the area. In an early morning news conference on Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called protesters' actions "unacceptable" and said he ordered the evacuation of the building. On Thursday, Frey told protesters he understood their anger over Floyd's death and sought to reassure residents that the case will be investigated thoroughly. Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday activated the National Guard, saying they would assist local law enforcement. As looting spread to neighboring St. Paul, Frey had declared an emergency in his city. Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins noted that a few of the stores that were burned sell prescription drugs or other goods that people need during the coronavirus pandemic. "We need peace and calm in our streets and I am begging you for that calm,” she said, while also emphasizing she shares protesters’ pain and frustration. Frey has urged the Hennepin County prosecutor to charge the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck before he died, which was captured on a bystander video. Floyd can be heard repeatedly telling the officer he can’t breathe. The U.S. Department of Justice, which is conducting one of the investigations into Floyd’s death with the FBI, said the federal probe “is a top priority.” Bridgett Floyd, the 46-year-old man’s sister, told “Good Morning America” that she wants to see criminal charges, emphasizing it is not enough that the involved officers were fired. "They murdered my brother. They killed him," she said. [Minneapolis Star Tribune; Minnesota Public Radio; Washington Post]
PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE | Some Democratic members of the Pennsylvania House expressed outrage that they weren’t immediately told about a Republican legislator who tested positive for the coronavirus. State Rep. Andrew Lewis said he immediately began isolating after his test and worked with House officials to tell people he came into contact with. But Democrats argued he should have informed colleagues more broadly. [Spotlight PA]
PERSONAL LIABILITY | New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a measure this week that removes the personal liability clause from retailers’ leases with corporate landlords. This means that during the pandemic landlords can’t go after personal life savings and assets if their tenants miss rent or close down mid-lease. [BisNow]
BALLOT INITIATIVE | One group sponsoring a ballot initiative in Michigan is arguing in federal court that its proposal should be allowed to appear on the ballot in November despite falling more than 100,000 signatures short of the threshold normally required to qualify. The organizers argue that they could not gather signatures under the government-ordered stay-at-home restrictions that have been in place. [The Detroit News]
MARIJUANA DELIVERY | Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed a bill that would have allowed medical cannabis dispensaries in his state to make deliveries within a 10-mile radius of their stores. Several states have authorized home delivery at least temporarily during the pandemic. [Marijuana Business Daily]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor at Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.