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

US: States, localities scale back investment on infrastructure

As a share of the economy, state and local governments are investing less in capital projects than they have since the early 1980s — despite low interest rates.

AL: Alabama governor unveils lottery proposal

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley unveiled a constitutional amendment that would allow Alabama voters in November to decide whether they want a lottery, whose proceeds would go to the state’s general fund.

US: Back-to-school sales tax holiday may be skimpier this year

Many states, including Florida, Louisiana and Massachusetts, are scaling back or scrapping their annual holidays that exempt back-to-school clothes and supplies from sales taxes because they need the revenue.

TN: New brand of physician serves rural Tennessee

Primary care doctors in about 50 counties across Tennessee have formed a network to work with insurers and the government to control costs, maintain their independence and provide close doctor-patient relationships.

KY: Kentucky schools must stop using Aikido on students

The state’s education commissioner has ordered Kentucky public school superintendents to immediately stop using a form of Aikido training to restrain students because it can result in injuries, including broken bones.

DE: Medicaid will cover mosquito repellent in Delaware

In response to the “serious public health threat” of the Zika virus, Delaware will now pay for over-the-counter mosquito repellents for Medicaid recipients when prescribed by a health professional.

WI: Ideas to curb teen suicide in Wisconsin gain support

In response to a rise in teen depression and suicide, legislators say they want to screen more children for mental illness and expand mental health clinics in schools.

DC: District of Columbia med students join campaign against standardized test

Medical students in the Washington, D.C., area are joining students in other states to fight against a standardized test they say is repetitive and too expensive.

WY: Growing number of people leaving Wyoming after job loss

Since oil prices plunged in late 2014, workers are increasingly fleeing Wyoming. Nearly 25 percent of people claiming Wyoming unemployment benefits live in another state.

NJ: It could soon be illegal to drink coffee while driving in New Jersey

In an effort to tighten New Jersey’s distracted driving laws, legislators are considering a bill that could ban drivers from drinking coffee or eating while on the road. 

CO: Colorado’s rain barrel law to finally take effect

Years of acrimony over Colorado’s rooftop raindrops ends this week, as a new law takes effect making it crystal clear that household rain barrels are legal. Coloradans can store up to a total of 110 gallons of rainwater to use on their lawns and gardens in one or two rain barrels.

Opioid Addiction Top State Stories 8/5