What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/18

CA: California lawmakers approve landmark extension to climate policy

California's Legislature passed a package of bills that extends the state's signature plan to address climate change by a decade, sending Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown a cap-and-trade plan that uses market forces to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

US: U.S. adds visas for seasonal workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year, following heavy lobbying from fisheries, hospitality and other industries that rely on temporary foreign workers.

MA: Massachusetts lawmakers unveil proposed overhaul of marijuana law

The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to pass a broad overhaul of the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week, after House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill that would hike marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.

MO: Missouri governor launches painkiller database after lawmakers don't

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens issued an executive order to create a prescription drug monitoring program and bring Missouri in line with the rest of the nation. Most monitoring programs track when patients are prescribed an opioid painkiller, but Greitens’ plan would focus the data collection effort by the Department of Health and Senior Services on those who prescribe and distribute addictive drugs.

ID: Idaho is battleground as startups, old guard spar on noncompete pacts

A new Idaho law makes it easier for companies to enforce noncompete agreements, which prevent employees from leaving their company for a competitor.

ME: Maine regulators want to up prices of cheap liquor

Maine alcohol regulators are looking to raise the price of several less expensive categories of booze, including a 50 percent increase in the price of nips, the tiny 50-milliliter bottles.

IL: Even with a budget, eliminating Illinois' bill backlog will take time

Illinois' comptroller is warning that the end of the state’s budget stalemate — and the higher taxes that were approved as part of that deal — aren’t a quick fix for eliminating the stack of bills that total nearly $14.5 billion.

WI: Wisconsin governor signs bills to fight opioid abuse

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed 11 bills to combat Wisconsin’s opiate epidemic, including one that would establish a charter school for recovering addicts. Others would funnel more money into fighting opioid abuse, tighten the rules for getting some drugs from pharmacies, and give doctors more guidance on treating addiction.

ND: New distracted driving law to take effect in North Dakota

A North Dakota law set to take effect Aug. 1 adds a $100 penalty if a driver violating a traffic law was also doing something distracting. There's no set list of what counts as a "distraction," but the law says it includes any activity "not necessary to the operation of the vehicle" that impairs safe driving.

MD: Maryland police officers trained to save their drug-sniffing dogs from overdoses

Throughout Maryland, police departments have been training officers in their K-9 units on how to administer an opioid overdose reversal drug to their dogs in the event that they accidentally come in contact with these substances while sniffing for narcotics.


Gifts From Lobbyists Airport Parking