What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/10

NM: New Mexico governor orders agencies to trim spending by 5 percent

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez told executive branch agencies to immediately cut spending in their approved budgets by at least 5 percent. New Mexico faces projected budget shortfalls that could exceed $700 million.

US: Unsafe levels of industrial chemicals found in water supplying 6 million people

Harvard University researchers found 194 of 4,864 drinking water supplies across nearly three dozen states had detectable levels of the chemicals. Sixty-six of those water supplies, serving about 6 million people, had at least one sample that exceeded the federal safety limits.

NJ: Federal appeals court rules New Jersey’s sports betting law void

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said New Jersey cannot enforce its 2014 law permitting sports betting, saying it violates federal law that limits the wagering to a few states, including Nevada and in lotteries in Delaware and Oregon.

MN: Minnesota special session with tax relief still a possibility

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said he will meet with legislative leaders at the end of the week to discuss whether to call lawmakers in to consider cutting taxes and providing more state aid to localities.

NY: New York doled out $2.3 million in Medicaid payments to dead people in past year

The state comptroller found $2.3 million in Medicaid payments for 1,296 patients who had already died. About $2.1 million has so far been returned to the state.

SD: Marijuana industry watches “game changer” cases in South Dakota

Industry officials think South Dakota is the first state to bring charges against marijuana consultants — in this case two who helped an Indian tribe cultivate its crop on its reservation. At issue is how the seeds got there. States where marijuana is illegal have the discretion to press charges for transporting or ordering seeds.

GA: Georgia university opens first-of-its-kind housing for homeless students

When fall classes begin later this month, one of Georgia’s largest colleges, Kennesaw State University, will open with a new housing option to help homeless students.

OK: Earthquake with 4.0 magnitude hits Oklahoma

The quake was widely felt in central Oklahoma and as far north as Wichita, Kansas. The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes has skyrocketed in the state, from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 900 last year. 

FL: Florida lawmakers mulling ways to make state universities more affordable

Among the ideas: Rebuilding Florida’s “Bright Futures” scholarship so that its top award again covers 100 percent of tuition and fees, a new focus on making students finish school in four years and a major overhaul of how tuition is paid.

MO: Contribution limits, tobacco tax increase cleared for Missouri ballot

The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office certified four initiative petitions to appear on the November ballot, including proposals to reinstate campaign contribution limits and increase the tax on tobacco. 

Aging Caregivers Welfare Restrictions