What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/5

US: Western governors pledge to create recharging network for electric cars 

The governors of Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a network of recharging stations to allow electric vehicles to travel easily along the 5,000 miles of freeways in their region.

NV: Nevada governor wants guidance on background-check law

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is seeking legal guidance into whether Nevada can implement a stalled background-check law for private gun sales and transfers that voters approved in 2016.

AK: Alaska to make reduced payout to residents from oil fund

Nearly every Alaskan will be $1,100 richer, thanks to this year’s payout from the state’s oil wealth investment fund. But it’s just half of the expected $2,200 windfall, which was reduced for the second straight year to help the state pay its bills amid a recession due to continued low oil prices.

NJ: New Jersey pension investments had a strong year

New Jersey's pension fund returned more than 13 percent in the last fiscal year, its strongest performance since 2014. But the state still has more than $135 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, when measured under national accounting standards, and the gap between what the state has on hand and what it owes current and retired public workers is the worst among U.S. states.

MI: Michigan Senate votes to ban local soda taxes

The Michigan Senate voted to prohibit local governments from taxing food, drinks or chewing gum, a pre-emptive strike against local control over so-called soda taxes enacted in other parts of the country.

VA: Judge says Virginia law protecting war memorials applies to Lee statue in Charlottesville

A Virginia circuit judge said a state law protecting war memorials applies retroactively to Charlottesville’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but he wants more proof that the statue of a single historical figure counts as a military monument.

TX: Texas charter schools to get state funding for facilities for the first time

A new Texas school finance law includes up to $60 million annually to pay for leasing and maintaining buildings and facilities at charter schools. That funding will be divided per student among the charter schools that meet state standards.

PA: ‘Right to try’ bill heading to Pennsylvania governor

Pennsylvania is on its way to joining the vast majority of states in allowing terminally ill patients the opportunity to seek experimental treatments. The state House concurred with Senate changes to the so-called "right to try" bill, sending it to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is expected to sign the legislation into law.

CA: With pot legal across California, San Diego OKs supply chain for marijuana operations 

San Diego finalized its legalization of marijuana cultivation and manufacturing, becoming one of the few cities in California to have a fully regulated supply chain for the drug.

OR: State fails to protect frail residents from potential harm, Oregon audit finds

A state-funded program that aims to help elderly low-income people and those with disabilities get care to stay in their homes has failed to fully protect them from potential harm, according to an audit by the Oregon secretary of state's office.

NE: Nebraska governor urges Trump to negotiate Japan trade pact

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts urged the Trump administration to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with Japan following news that U.S. frozen beef exports to Japan have declined by more than a quarter. Japan is Nebraska's No. 1 export market for beef products, with a value of more than $316 million in 2016.

Kids’ Health Insurance Wildfire Costs