Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/2

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/2

OH: Ohio governor OKs tougher sentencing for fentanyl

dispatch.com

While signing into law a bill imposing longer prison sentences for “merchants of death” dealing fentanyl, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he is leaning toward supporting a ballot issue to prevent many low-level drug use and possession offenders from being sent to state prisons.

NY: New York development cash favors white communities, report says

nytimes.com

As New York has poured billions of dollars into economic development and trumpeted the rebirth of once-blighted regions of the state, the money awarded through one of the governor’s signature programs has flowed disproportionately to predominantly white communities, according to a new report.

AZ: Arizona sees 10-year high in traffic deaths

apnews.com

A new Arizona report says 1,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year, the highest number since 2007. Nearly a quarter of the victims were pedestrians.

VA: Medicaid expansion to boost Virginia hospital ratings, study says

richmond.com

A national bond rating agency predicts Virginia's hospitals and health systems will receive a boost to their bottom lines when the state expands its Medicaid program Jan. 1.

PA: Pennsylvania medical marijuana program starts dry leaf sales

apnews.com

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana patients are now able to access the medicine in dry leaf form, the result of a recent change in state policy.

MD: Maryland governor: Pennsylvania, New York need to ‘take responsibility’ for debris

baltimoresun.com

Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan set off a testy interstate exchange as he decried a recent surge of debris and sediment flowing into the Chesapeake Bay after last month’s heavy rainstorms and charged that upstream states are failing to do their part to curb pollution.

NJ: With lawsuits, New Jersey signals tougher stance on the environment

nytimes.com

New Jersey officials announced that they were pursuing several lawsuits targeting former industrial sites around the state where communities are still grappling with the persisting effects of pollution that has seeped into soil, groundwater and nearby waterways.

MI: Wary Michigan towns slow to accept medical marijuana

freep.com

Michigan communities are grappling with whether to allow medical marijuana businesses in their towns. Of the 1,773 cities, villages and townships in Michigan, only 103 have agreed to allow medical marijuana businesses, according to an unofficial list compiled by the state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

CO: Colorado takes 15,000 tablets away from inmates

denverpost.com

The Colorado Department of Corrections has taken away 15,000 tablets from prison inmates across the state because of unspecified security problems. Two years ago, Colorado became the first state in the country to provide tablets to inmates.

MN: Autism, sleep apnea now qualify for medical marijuana in Minnesota

apnews.com

Minnesota residents with autism or obstructive sleep apnea can now qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program. It marks the latest expansion of a program that launched in 2015.

MA: Massachusetts Legislature sends bill to governor on opioid treatment in prisons

bostonglobe.com

Compromise opioid legislation, including a three-year pilot program to provide addiction treatment medications to some inmates, was approved in the waning hours of the Massachusetts legislative session. Currently, people who are addicted to opioids and in prison are forced into withdrawal and then denied access to treatment drugs. This increases their chances of overdose upon release.

NM: New Mexico festival drops reenactment of Spanish conquest

abqjournal.com

Months of negotiation over the Entrada — a re-enactment of the Spanish reoccupation of Santa Fe, New Mexico after the 1680 Pueblo revolt — resulted in an announcement that the pageant would not take place again. Native American protests of the Entrada had grown in size and force recently. 

TN: Tennessee town’s public housing won’t enforce new national ban on smoking

nashvillepublicradio.com

A national ban on smoking in public housing is in effect, but not in Nashville. The local housing authority in Tennessee says it has decided not to enforce the new rules, even though many residents have been under the impression the blanket ban applies to them.

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