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Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at a press conference. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Department of Justice will implement new rules for federal monitors charged with overseeing mandated police reforms.

Why it matters: The DOJ is currently pursuing "pattern or practice" investigations into police misconduct at the Phoenix, Louisville and Minneapolis police departments.

The big picture: If the investigations show that those city police departments engaged in patterns of discrimination or excessive force, the federal government could intervene with a consent decree that sets out reforms to follow, according to The Washington Post.

  • Such monitoring has in the past drawn complaints for being costly and time-consuming, writes the Post.
  • Garland said the Justice Department intends to adopt 19 steps to increase the "efficiency and efficacy" of the consent decrees and monitorships.
  • The steps include budget caps to contain costs, barring monitors from serving more than one jurisdiction at a time, and term limits.

Go deeper

What's in Rogers' $71.1M budget?

Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

The Rogers City Council approved next year's budget earlier this week. We'll break it down for you.

Why it matters: Annual city budgets are more than housekeeping items. They show how much money the city expects to have and how city leaders plan to spend it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

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