Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/7

Top State Stories 5/7

TX: Texas officials ignore spread of carcinogenic dioxin in Houston waterways

houstonchronicle.com

Details about the toxic hotspots, never before made public, were withheld by Texas environmental regulators, who used more than $5 million in federal money to pay for research. In 2012, they shut down a fact-finding committee that oversaw the project.

CO: Marijuana social consumption bill reaches Colorado governor's desk 

denverpost.com

Licensed marijuana “tasting rooms” could be operating in Colorado by this time next year if Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a first-of-its-kind bill that state lawmakers sent to his desk last week.

IL: Illinois counties declare ‘sanctuary’ for gun owners

chicagotribune.com

Several rural Illinois counties have taken a stand for gun rights by co-opting a word that conservatives associate with a liberal policy to skirt federal immigration law — sanctuary.

KS: Kansas bill to restrict LBGT couples from adoption will become law

kansas.com

A bill that ensures faith-based adoption agencies can turn away gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs will be signed into law by Republican Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer.

MD: Maryland governor will sign bill offering many community college students free tuition

baltimoresun.com

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will sign a bill offering a chance for a free community college education to thousands of Marylanders. Under the legislation passed in the final minutes of this year’s General Assembly session, the state would spend $15 million a year on scholarships worth as much as $5,000 to low- and middle-income students starting their community college educations.

OH: Crackdown on amusement ride inspections introduced in Ohio Legislature

dispatch.com

Named after Tyler Jarrell, the 18-year-old from Columbus who was killed July 26 when the Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair broke apart, legislation introduced in the Ohio Legislature last week would toughen regulations on and inspections of amusement rides.

AZ: Wild horse deaths a sign of Arizona drought's extent

cbsnews.com

Almost 200 wild horse carcasses, scattered around a dried up pond bed, are a symptom of a burgeoning wild horse population and the scarcity of water during drought conditions in the Southwest. The horses were found on the western edge of the Navajo Nation following a dry winter and dismal spring runoff.

ID: Idaho looks to state-based health insurance

idahostatesman.com

Idaho officials say they may add more requirements from former President Barack Obama's health care law to their proposal to let health insurance companies sell so-called state-based policies that skirt some "Obamacare" rules. Their goal is to come up with a modified approach to the state-based plans that will pass federal muster while still ditching some Affordable Care Act provisions.

MI: Michigan state panel recommends medical pot for autism

detroitnews.com

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel has recommended adding 10 new conditions for patients to qualify for medical marijuana cards, including autism and Parkinson’s disease, setting the stage for a significant expansion of treatment options under the 2008 law.

WI: Wisconsin to decide on campaign donations made in cryptocurrencies

wpr.org

The ethics commission's administrator asked the chairmen of Wisconsin's Senate and Assembly elections committees to address the issue and "provide clarity to candidates and committees" about whether they may accept contributions of cryptocurrency. 

CO: ‘Red flag’ gun bill passes Colorado House

thedenverchannel.com

A bill that would allow judges to seize guns and ammunition away from people deemed to be in the midst of a mental health crisis has passed Colorado's Democratic-controlled House with very little Republican support. 

CT: Connecticut commits to national popular vote for president

ctmirror.org

With a state Senate vote, Connecticut is now committed to an interstate compact intended to sideline the electoral college. The national popular vote compact would not take effect until states representing 270 electoral votes — the magic number to elect a U.S. president — sign on.

CA: California now world’s fifth-largest economy, bigger than Britain

sacbee.com 

California’s 2017 Gross State Product was $2.747 trillion, surpassing the United Kingdom’s $2.625 trillion GDP. The state had slipped to the 10th-largest world economy in 2012, when its GSP was $2.003 trillion.

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