What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/12

US: Texas, other states seek to halt federal transgender policy

Texas and a dozen other states will ask a U.S. District Court judge in Fort Worth to halt Obama administration recommendations regarding bathroom access for transgender students, arguing they are unlawful "radical changes" being foisted on the nation. The other states: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

AZ: Arizona to vote on recreational marijuana

Arizona voters will decide in November whether to legalize cannabis for recreational use and establish licensed shops where sales of the drug would be taxed. If approved, the measure also would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes.

NY: Governor says new labeling program will give New Yorkers 'safest food on the globe'

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he hoped a new food labeling system — basically a New York-specific version of the federal certified organic program — will be replicated in states across the country.

US: Cost of Medicaid expansion higher than expected

The cost of expansion was $6,366 per person for 2015, about 49 percent higher than previously estimated, which raises questions about a vital part of President Barack Obama's health care law. The law called for the federal government to pay the entire cost of expansion from 2014 through the end of this year.

MA: Massachusetts will look at trading time zones

A state task force will study if Massachusetts should leave Eastern Standard Time and go on Atlantic Standard Time throughout the year. The goal: to harness the benefits of more sunlight at the end of the day during the gloomy winter months.

ND: North Dakota to vote on medical marijuana

If approved by North Dakota voters in November, qualifying patients could possess up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana for treatment of about a dozen debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, AIDS and glaucoma.

NJ: Gun rights group sues over New Jersey’s Taser ban

The suit filed in U.S. District Court challenges a law that prevents people in New Jersey from owing stun guns.

IL: Pastors sue Illinois over ban on gay conversion therapy

The pastors say the law that bars therapists and counselors from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation violates free speech and religious rights. Illinois is among five states with bans on so-called gay conversion therapy for youth under 18, a practice critics have decried as psychologically damaging.

NV: Nevada governor opposes expanded gun background check measure

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval came out against a November ballot initiative that would background checks to include private sales, saying the measure would unnecessarily restrict rights of law-abiding Nevadans.

OH: Lawyers barred from helping set up marijuana businesses in Ohio

The state Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct said lawyers cannot provide legal services to establish, operate, or help someone do business with a medical marijuana business in Ohio, even though the state is about to legalize its use.

Adoptee Access Missouri Policy Shows Way to Safely Reducing Probation and Parole Populations