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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/1

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/1

MA: Massachusetts Legislature sends automatic voter registration bill to governor

masslive.com

The Massachusetts Legislature sent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker a bill that would institute automatic voter registration in the commonwealth. Under the bill, an eligible voter who applies for a license or identification card at the Registry of Motor Vehicles or completes a transaction at MassHealth or the Health Connector would be automatically registered to vote. 

NJ: Community college in New Jersey will be free for some students come spring

northjersey.com

Several thousand low-income students will be able to attend community college in New Jersey without tuition or fees next spring under a program that Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s office announced.

NV: Nevada officials hustle to fix technical issues before election day

reviewjournal.com

Nevada election officials want to hit a reset button before state residents cast ballots for the Nov. 6 general election. A combination of problematic new software and human error allowed up to 43 Clark County voters to cast two ballots in the June 12 primary — six of whom are being investigated by the state for potential voter fraud.

KY: Thousands of new child abuse background checks are big back-to-school issue in Kentucky

kentucky.com

A Kentucky law with “good intentions” is causing serious problems for school districts around the state, just as teachers and staff prepare for the beginning of the school year.

NY: New York bars insurers from hiking rates due to mandate repeal

apnews.com

New York state is moving to prevent health insurers from raising premiums because of the repeal of a federal requirement for most people to carry insurance. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will direct state regulators to reject rate hikes from insurance companies that cite the repeal of the individual mandate as justification.

CO: Colorado governor joins other Democratic governors in rejecting federal abortion proposal

gazette.com

Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is urging the Trump administration to scrap its rules aimed at putting more distance between federal dollars and abortions. The administration wants to ensure no federal money for family planning and related services goes toward abortion-related services.

AL: An Alabama coal mine that credits Trump for its revival

theatlantic.com

Buoyed by President Donald Trump’s support for the industry, a veteran miner is putting his cash on the line and reopening his business in Bessemer, Alabama.

RI: Rhode Island advocates say parental rights is next priority in LGBTQ equality

providencejournal.com 

It’s been five years since Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. And while some safeguards are in place, advocates for the LGBTQ community say more protections are needed, especially around areas of parentage as reproductive technology changes and evolves.

PA: Pennsylvania OKs 13 more medical marijuana growers

philly.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Health awarded 13 permits to cannabis cultivators, bringing the number of companies licensed to grow and process medical marijuana in the state to 25.

CA: California says this chemical causes cancer. So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?

sacbee.com

California last year added glyphosate, the active ingredient in America’s most widely used weed-killing herbicide, to its official list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Nevertheless, the state’s Division of Boating and Waterways has been spraying it directly into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the nexus of California’s water system.

AZ: Hundreds of new Arizona laws take effect this week

tucson.com

Women who want an abortion in Arizona will be asked new questions, consumers can have their credit frozen for free, Grade A eggs can stay on the shelf longer, and 15-year-olds won't be able to legally marry. Those and hundreds of other new state laws will take effect this week. 

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