What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/23

CA: California cap-and-trade program gets a shot in the arm

Cap and trade requires oil refineries, food processors and other facilities to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, and California regulators auction off the permits several times a year. During August’s auction, every emission permit offered by the state was sold, and prices reached their highest level since the program launched five years ago.

CO: Social use marijuana clubs to launch in Colorado city

Denver, Colorado, is on the brink of licensing some of the nation’s first legal marijuana clubs. But Denver’s elaborate hurdles for potential weed-friendly coffee shops and gathering places may mean the city gets few takers for the new licenses.

NJ: New Jersey is becoming the warehouse state, and that means more jobs

As more shopping shifts online, retailers are leasing warehouses across New Jersey, and growth in warehouse jobs in the state is fast outpacing retail. Those e-commerce jobs may require more technical skills so they can bring higher wages than traditional retail jobs.

NV: Members of Congress propose legislation to address Nevada’s doctor shortage

A bill co-sponsored by two Nevada Democrats would increase the number of Medicare-supported residency positions in order to address the state’s physician shortage. In Clark County, home to Las Vegas, there are only 189 physicians per 100,000 residents.

OR: Oregon's homeless population grows 6 percent in last two years

Despite the roaring job market, 13,953 people in Oregon are homeless, 6 percent more than the last time the official survey was conducted two years ago. Unlike in Portland, where shelter capacity has expanded, more of those people live under bridges, in fields and along sidewalks than in 2015.

OK: Oklahoma City School Board presses plan to sue legislature over education funds

The Oklahoma City Public Schools are planning to sue the state Legislature for ignoring its “constitutional responsibility" to provide textbooks for every child by eliminating funding for instructional materials. Lawmakers are considering whether to convene a special session to handle a $215 million shortfall after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a new cigarette fee.

WI: Bill would end Wisconsin moratorium on sulfide mining, create easier path to future mining

The measure in the Wisconsin Legislature is sure to spark a big fight between environmental and business interests over whether sulfide mining can be carried out safely in the state and whether the bill, in effect, would roll back protections.

ND: Dakota Access Pipeline developer sues groups over protests in North Dakota

Energy Transfer Partners filed a federal lawsuit in North Dakota against Greenpeace and other organizations, claiming they incited “rogue eco-terrorist groups” to spread false and misleading information about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

OH: Ohio mayors urge governor to do more about ‘unfolding catastrophe’ of drug crisis

Warning of an “unfolding catastrophe” in the drug epidemic, a bipartisan coalition of Ohio mayors is asking GOP Gov. John Kasich to help shape a “more coordinated and comprehensive strategy between all levels of government” to fight the deadly crisis.

KY: Kentucky's pension crisis can't be solved with 401(k) plans, group says

Moving public employees into 401(k)-style pension plans would not help Kentucky dig its way out its pension funding crisis, according to a report released by the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition.

AZ: Judge says racism behind Arizona ban on Mexican-American studies

The law prohibits courses that promote resentment toward a race or a class of people or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treating people as individuals. A federal judge found that Arizona enacted the ban with discriminatory intent.

WY: More than a million people visited Wyoming for the eclipse

Wyoming’s population almost tripled for a day during Monday’s eclipse, according to early estimates. Overall traffic increased by 536,000 vehicles, almost 68 percent more than normal.

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