What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/20

US: Justice Department OKs seizure of cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged

The Justice Department announced a new federal policy to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, reversing an Obama administration rule prompted by past abuse by police.

WI: Senate Republicans in Wisconsin reverse course and break out credit card for roads

GOP state senators in Wisconsin are embracing a plan that would borrow $712 million over the next two years for roads. The move comes two years after they tried to prevent the state from issuing more bonds to build roads, declaring they were dead set against relying on borrowing for highways.

PA: Pennsylvania can't retroactively apply sex offender registry law, state court says

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that changes enacted five years ago to toughen reporting requirements under the state’s sex offender registration law cannot be applied retroactively.

VA: Transportation officials work to connect elderly, disabled to ride-hailing in Virginia

Officials in Richmond, Virginia, have launched a pilot program to expand access to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft for the elderly and disabled. 

MD: Maryland counties expand needle exchange programs to protect public health

Needle-exchange programs for drug users could be coming to six counties across Maryland, as state health officials work with local leaders to stop the spread of infectious diseases in the face of a heroin epidemic.

OH: Billions in state tax breaks going unexamined in Ohio, despite new law

Eight months ago, lawmakers approved the creation of a board designed to take a hard look at the more than $9 billion in annual tax credits, deductions and exemptions in Ohio’s tax code. But a meeting of the board has yet to be scheduled.

TX: Federal judge orders air conditioning at Texas prison

Most Texas prisons remain un-air conditioned, but a federal judge's ruling called conditions at one prison cruel and unusual and ordered temporary air conditioning for heat-sensitive inmates.

CO: Colorado passes a milestone for pot revenue

Colorado has pulled in $506 million in taxes and fees since retail sales of recreational marijuana began in January 2014, according to a pro-legalization research company. That includes taxes and fees from medical marijuana, which was legalized years earlier, but the vast majority of the revenue came from recreational sales.

UT: New 50-year water plan marks a new era, Utah governor says

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert formally accepted Utah’s new 50-year water management plan, which maps strategies for water conservation as the state's population grows and calls for the construction of big-ticket water projects at Lake Powell and the Bear River.

FL: Law enforcement cracks down on Florida drug treatment centers

State and federal law enforcement made a sweep of arrests last week in South Florida, targeting owners of drug treatment centers in the state's large — and troubled — rehab industry.

AZ: Arizona mayors call for overhaul of financially fragile public-safety pension system

Arizona mayors and lawmakers stung by rising pension costs for police officers and firefighters are calling for more changes to the financially troubled Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

Top State Stories 7/21 Helping Cops Cope