What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/12

FL: EPA grants pollution waiver to Florida utilities after Irma

State and federal environmental regulators issued a blanket waiver for Florida electricity companies to violate clean air and water standards without penalty for the next two weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency said the move will provide Florida utility generators needed flexibility to maintain and restore electricity supplies in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

CA: California sues Trump administration over plan to end DACA

The lawsuit comes a week after 15 other states, led by New York and Washington, filed a similar legal challenge. Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he filed a separate suit because California is home to a quarter of the 800,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and thus will be especially harmed by the president’s action.

MD: Maryland governor offers $500M over four years in Metro funding — with a catch

Two weeks after declaring his adamant opposition to giving the D.C. region’s transit system more money, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, changed his mind, offering an additional $500 million a year over the next four years — as long as D.C., Virginia and the federal government match it.

MA: Pro-charter school group pays largest campaign finance penalty in Massachusetts history

A wealthy New York organization that poured $15 million into last year’s unsuccessful ballot question to expand charter schools in Massachusetts was hit with a $426,466 fine after officials found the group was illegally hiding the identities of its donors.

OH: Ohio law may shield Fire Ball manufacturer in fatal fair accident

The manufacturer of the Fire Ball ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing one person and injuring seven others, could be protected from liability by a state law approved more than a decade ago. The law set a 10-year limit on a manufacturer’s liability for a product’s defects, and the ride that broke apart was built in 1998.

IA: AG tells agency to halt part of Iowa's medical marijuana law

An unusual attempt by Iowa to work with another state to transport medical marijuana oil across state lines is on hold amid legal concerns it could invite scrutiny from the federal government.

NY: New York governor signs law that gives unlimited sick time to ill 9/11 responders

The new law grants unlimited sick time to any government employee in New York who became ill from working at the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort. The measure allows people who now work for government entities outside of New York City to receive the same benefits already offered to city cops, firefighters, correction officers and sanitation workers.

NE: Unclear how much extra money helped Nebraska prisons: report

A $1.5 million effort to reduce staff turnover in Nebraska's prisons produced mixed results, but corrections officials say the problem would have been worse if lawmakers hadn't approved the money last year, according to a new report.

CO: Colorado schools turn to voters for more funding

With a long-term fix to Colorado’s school funding challenges proving elusive, nearly 20 school districts will ask voters for more money this fall.

NJ: New Jersey funds project to improve end-of-life care

New Jersey officials will spend $5 million this year to develop a comprehensive state model for end-of-life care, develop education and training protocols for health care providers, and study the impact of hospice placement on patients’ experience.

TX: Now you can carry any knife (almost) anywhere in Texas

A new state law eliminates the category of "illegal knives," effectively expanding knife owners' freedom to carry blades almost anywhere in Texas.

Mothers and Prison Homegrown Marijuana