What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/1

US: Ohio and Colorado governors detail plan to break health care stalemate

A bipartisan pair of swing-state governors from Colorado and Ohio hopes to break the stalemate over health care, sending Congress a proposal that aims to bolster the individual market, increase state flexibility, and restrain rising premiums.

FL: Florida Supreme Court backs governor in Orlando death-penalty dispute

Republican Gov. Rick Scott was within his executive authority in reassigning more than two dozen potential death penalty cases away from an Orlando state attorney who declared she wouldn’t pursue the punishment for any case prosecuted in her district, the Florida Supreme Court ruled.

CA: California Supreme Court decision could end secrecy over police capture of license plate images

The California Supreme Court decided that data from millions of vehicle license plate images collected by police are not confidential investigative records. The latest legal dispute arose when the two groups sought data from about 3 million license plate images that the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department collected in a week, with the goal of analyzing the data to determine if police were disproportionately capturing license plates in particular neighborhoods.

LA: Louisiana prisons to treat addicts with craving-blocking drug

Prisons in Louisiana are now giving some inmates a dose of Vivitrol, a medicine that blocks drug and alcohol cravings, upon their release. The ex-offenders can receive the medication once a month for up to a year.

GA: Georgia shoppers can now buy beer, spirits directly from its makers

Let Georgia’s new happy hour begin: For the first time since Prohibition, local craft breweries and distilleries, beginning Friday, will be legally allowed to sell limited amounts of their beer and spirits directly to customers.

ME: Laughing gas makes a comeback as painkiller in Maine ambulances

Using nitrous oxide gives advanced emergency medical technicians in Maine a way to help relieve patients’ pain and anxiety on what can sometimes be long trips to a hospital.

NJ: At least 253 New Jersey schools reported high lead levels, study says

At least 253 New Jersey schools have reported high levels of lead in drinking water over the past year, according to the first statewide compilation of school districts' tests for lead in their facilities' drinking water. Lead was found in districts of all types and sizes and in all geographic areas of the state.

NY: New York school board members support teaching climate change

Seventy percent of school board members across New York state support teaching the subject of climate change in public schools, according to a new survey. But the state School Boards Association warned that what children are currently being taught on the subject might be too dependent on a teacher's own views.

WV: West Virginia lottery fund woes continue

A new budget year brought more dismal financial numbers for the West Virginia Lottery, as July gross revenue of $92.1 million was down $6.7 million, or nearly 7 percent, from July 2016.

IN: Indiana considering in-state tuition for undocumented students

Several Indiana state lawmakers said they would support a bill to extend in-state tuition to Indiana's undocumented students. Indiana is one of just three states that prohibit undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

MD: Maryland governor seeks $67M in cuts to current budget

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed cutting $67 million from Maryland’s current budget ahead of expected shortfalls in future years. The proposed cuts include reducing health department spending by $22 million, eliminating 30 positions at public higher education institutions to save $8 million, and trimming more than $8 million from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. 

MI: ‘Nonpartisan’ redistricting board in Michigan has partisan ties

A majority of leaders behind a “nonpartisan” plan to reform the Michigan redistricting process has supported partisan Democrats in the past, fueling criticism from a conservative group opposing the effort.

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