What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/10

NY: Goal of New York’s opioid court: Keep users alive

Buffalo, New York, is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews.

IL: Illinois' financial challenges remain despite income tax increase

A new Illinois income tax increase means workers soon will see 1.2 percent more taken out of their paychecks. But the state still has unpaid bills hovering around $15 billion, and that number could rise as more come in with the fog of the record-setting budget impasse lifting.

TX: With 2018 election looming, Texas back in court over political maps

Texas and minority rights groups have been squabbling for six years over new political district boundaries drawn following the 2010 census. A panel of three federal judges this week will reconvene to consider the validity of the state’s political maps and whether changes should quickly be made to the state’s House and Congressional boundaries ahead of the midterm elections.

NV: Nevada officials to consider pot distribution emergency rule

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval authorized Nevada regulators to consider whether the state has enough marijuana distributors to keep its retail shops supplied. Sandoval's approval came after dispensaries across the state reported higher than expected demand for marijuana since recreational sales of the drug became legal in Nevada last week.

NM: New Mexico was double-counting permanent fund money for years: report

An annual audit of New Mexico’s finances found that officials had double-counted over $750 million dollars. And that’s not the first time something like this has happened.

VA: Virginia plans to spend over $1M to shore up dams around state

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office announced $1.15 million will go to dam owners and Virginia localities to help enhance public safety, reduce the risk of dam failures, and prevent property damage from flooding.

RI: Some Rhode Island lawmakers reject pay raise

At least 19 of Rhode Island’s 113 lawmakers have said “No, thank you” to a $200.59 raise. On July 1, the annual salaries paid to Rhode Island’s part-time lawmakers increased by 1.3 percent from $15,429.72 to $15,630.31.

OR: Contractors win, housing advocates lose in Oregon state budget
Construction contractors were among the victors in the Oregon state budget battle, as a $5.3 billion transportation plan will rev up the market for their services; while housing advocates regret the state's failure to allow cities to regulate rents and evictions.

GA: Blue Cross ‘Obamacare’ prices could spike in Georgia

Prices for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia customers on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange could spike over 25 percent next year. In 96 of Georgia’s 159 counties, Blue Cross, owned by Anthem, is the only remaining insurer on the exchange.

DC: D.C. Council bills take aim at pay-to-play

The Washington, D.C., city council is considering a package of bills that would limit government contracts awarded to political donors.

WI: Wisconsin Supreme Court rules in favor of homeowners who barred assessor

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has sided with two homeowners who argued their constitutional right to challenge their tax assessment was violated after they refused to let the town assessor inside their home.

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