What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/12

Top State Stories 10/12

TX: In Texas, new mental health task force to address post-Harvey trauma

Three state agencies in Texas will help connect public schools and universities with counselors, funding and training as students and staff work to overcome the traumatic effects of Hurricane Harvey.

MA: Massachusetts House votes to ban bump stocks on firearms

Massachusetts House lawmakers voted to ban bump stocks and any other device that could be used to turn a legal gun into one capable of firing like an automatic weapon.

AR: Rule change threatens disabled care in Arkansas

Some 4,000 disabled and elderly Arkansans who rely on a Medicaid waiver program to receive in-home services have seen their benefits cut by the state Department of Human Services due to an unannounced rule change.

NV: Nevada gets $1M grant to assist with mass shooting response

Nevada has received a $1 million federal grant to assist with the cost of local and state law enforcement response to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.

CT: Crossing the aisle to walk the aisle: Two Connecticut lawmakers will get married Saturday

Signaling hope for bipartisanship everywhere, a Democratic state representative and a Republican state senator from Connecticut are getting married this weekend. A colleague says the perfect gift for the couple would be a bipartisan budget deal to end the state’s long impasse.

LA: Only 2 Louisiana doctors apply to dispense medical marijuana

As Louisiana's medical marijuana program edges closer to kickoff, only two doctors in the state have applied for permission to dispense the drug, raising questions about whether patients struggling with chronic pain and suffering will gain access to the treatment they lobbied so hard to get.

OK: Uncollected online sales tax costs Oklahoma City up to $15M annually

Online sales tax that goes uncollected costs Oklahoma City an estimated $10 million to $15 million in lost revenue each year, the city's finance director said. The impact on the budget is expected to increase as internet retailing grows, particularly among younger customers. Under state law, cities in Oklahoma must rely on sales tax to cover day-to-day operating expenses for services such as police and fire.

OH: Fireworks may become legal in Ohio

Shooting off fireworks in Ohio, a time-honored tradition of lawbreaking across the state, would become fully legal just in time for July 4, 2020, under a bill that passed the House.

CO: Colorado cities demand stiffer state oil and gas regulations

A coalition of local governments in Colorado is forming to ask the state to provide better regulatory safeguards against the potential health and safety hazards of oil and gas operations.

NY: Some charter schools can certify their own teachers, New York board says

The State University of New York took a step that will make it easier for some charter schools to hire teachers, approving new regulations that will allow some schools to design their own teacher-training programs and certify their own teachers.

ND: Native American student graduation rates lag behind North Dakota average

While the overall high school graduation rate in North Dakota remains high, Native American students continue to lag behind. The total graduation rate in 2015-16 was about 87 percent, but for Native American students, the graduation rate was roughly 65 percent.

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