Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/13

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/13

OH: Fueled by heroin, HIV in Ohio makes a comeback

cincinnati.com

A long-predicted surge in Ohio’s HIV cases has materialized due to needle-sharing among heroin addicts. Parts of Indiana and Kentucky are also affected.

ME: Maine governor says he'll go to jail rather than expand Medicaid

pressherald.com

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage vows he won't “put the state in red ink,” even if it means a jail sentence. But the Democrat who wants to succeed him, Janet Mills, says she'd act on expansion during her first day in office.

UT: Budget cuts could end Utah programs aiding ‘Obamacare’ enrollment

sltrib.com

A federal program aimed at helping people choose and enroll in Affordable Care Act insurance faces a fresh round of funding cuts so steep that two participating Utah organizations may no longer use it. Funding for the program has dropped from $62.5 million to just $10 million nationwide over the past two years.

SC: South Carolina's first hemp farmers face challenges

postandcourier.com

Being a farmer is hard enough. But South Carolina’s first hemp farmers in generations are trying to figure out on the fly — without chemical fertilizers or pesticides — how to cultivate a crop not legally grown in the state since World War II and are bankrolling the experiment on their own with no ability to get insurance if it flops.

NC: North Carolina prison workers mishandled drugs

newsobserver.com

Prison officials in North Carolina have agreed to pay the federal government nearly $200,000 to settle allegations of improper handling of drugs inside two prisons. An investigation found that prison workers gave out controlled substances, like prescription drugs, but failed to document what happened to those drugs.

AL: Latino voters move to defend new census in Alabama

npr.org

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is asking a federal judge in Alabama to allow a group of Latino voters and the advocacy group Chicanos Por La Causa to defend a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Census Bureau's policy of including unauthorized immigrants in census numbers used to redistribute seats in Congress.

LA: Louisiana seeks 1-year extension in halt to executions

apnews.com

Louisiana authorities are seeking a court order that would rule out any executions in the state for at least one more year. A lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection protocols has blocked Louisiana from carrying out any death sentences since 2014. Its last execution was in 2010.

MI: Michigan awards first medical marijuana licenses

freep.com

Michigan has awarded medical marijuana licenses to four businesses, launching what is expected to become a $700 million industry in the state. But the business owners won’t be able to operate for at least another month.

MO: Missouri governor signs tax cut bill

kansascity.com

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed a bill cutting individual income taxes, a key legislative goal of the state’s Republican lawmakers and one widely criticized by Democrats. The new law will deepen individual income tax cuts and limit some deductions and exemptions.

NJ: New Jersey to allow online voter registration

northjersey.com

To register to vote in New Jersey, residents need to fill out and mail a form or hand-deliver it. Democratic lawmakers want to change that by offering voter registration online.

PA: Pennsylvania to spend $2M to recruit and retain educators

philly.com

Pennsylvania wants to license more new teachers. The state is licensing about a third as many teachers as it used to, down from more than 14,000 new teachers a year to fewer than 5,000.

NY: Governor directs New York colleges to keep diversity policies

wamc.org

After the Trump administration said the federal government will let schools leave race out of admission decisions, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed New York's state university system to continue policies that promote racial diversity among students.

DC: D.C. ends license suspensions for drivers with unpaid tickets

washingtonpost.com

Washington, D.C., drivers with unpaid traffic tickets will no longer see their licenses suspended under a new measure approved by the City Council.

VA: Virginia records $550 million revenue increase

apnews.com

Rising income tax payments in Virginia drove an unexpected $550 million increase in state revenue. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said the surplus was a sign of economic momentum in the state.

Automatic Voter Registration Approved by Massachusetts Legislature Police Lineups
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