What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 3/8

IA: More than 4,000 Iowa rape kits untested

Iowa has 4,265 untested rape evidence kits held in storage by the state's law enforcement agencies, a new survey has found. Testing on the kits will begin in June after a private laboratory is selected to do the work.

MO: Missouri counties do what state won’t: track opioid sales

Fed up that Missouri is the only state that doesn't track the prescription and sale of opioids, some of its biggest cities and counties have created their own monitoring system to help combat the increasingly popular and highly addictive drugs.

UT: Bill advances to allow Utah voters to make their voting records private

The Utah House voted to allow voters to choose to make their voting registration records private — a seismic change in policy where the records now are generally public.

WI: Wisconsin Senate approves elimination of state treasurer’s office

Supporters of the amendment, which still must be approved by the Assembly and by Wisconsin voters, say it doesn’t make sense to keep the state treasurer’s office because its duties have largely been eliminated. Opponents argue the office should have its duties restored so it can serve as a check on the executive branch.

NM: Indoor vaping is out, New Mexico Senate decides

New Mexico senators voted to add electronic cigarettes and marijuana to New Mexico’s prohibition on indoor smoking, with limited exceptions.

AL: Alabama Senate votes to do away with marriage licenses signed by judges

The Alabama Senate approved a bill that would do away with the requirement that probate judges sign marriage licenses. The bill comes as a few probate judges in the state continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses so they do not have to give them to gay couples.

WV: Drug overdose deaths rise again in West Virginia

Fatal drug overdoses rose last year in West Virginia, where the overdose death rate still far outpaces any other state. At least 818 people in the state died from overdoses in 2016, including 703 that involved at least one opioid. In 2001, 212 overdose deaths were reported statewide, with 147 listed as opioid-related.

NV: As part of treatment plan, Nevada moves inmates with mental health issues

Most of Nevada’s most seriously mentally ill inmates have been relocated to a correctional facility in the capital as the Department of Corrections moves to implement a policy to treat prisoners with psychiatric issues.

NE: Lawmakers kill bill allowing private energy developers to compete in Nebraska

A legislative committee voted to kill a proposal that would have allowed private energy developers to enter Nebraska’s unique public power-only market.

FL: Under Florida proposal, suppliers of fentanyl could be tried for murder

Florida lawmakers could close a loophole with a bill that would make prosecuting drug dealers easier if their product — a wide array of synthetic drugs including fentanyl and, more importantly, a mixture of those drugs – causes a fatal overdose.

GA: Georgia’s high court sets precedent in dog-bite cases

In what could be a far-reaching decision for dog-bite cases, the Georgia Supreme Court this week said a jury must decide whether a woman viciously attacked by a pit bull named “Rocks” can collect damages from her neighbors. 

Absent State Action, Missouri Localities Launch Opioid Prescription Database Occupational Licensing
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