What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/15
PA: Pennsylvania names more than 300 accused priests in grand jury sex abuse report
More than 300 Catholic priests across Pennsylvania sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up, according to a sweeping state grand jury report. It called for the Legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecution of child sexual abuse and tighten laws that mandate abuse reporting.
TX: Texas juvenile prisons need $1.6M to fix faulty case management system
The Texas Department of Juvenile Justice's fragile and outmoded case management system has been spitting out unreliable data reports since January 2016, forcing staff to use faulty information to measure performance and make important decisions about kids behind bars, according to a new state audit.
TN: Tennessee safety reviews completed in almost every public school
Tennessee has nearly completed a review of the facilities and safety procedures of every public school in the state. The effort is the first-ever in the state's history to review school safety risks at each campus.
NY: New York sues OxyContin maker Purdue over opioid epidemic
New York is suing Purdue Pharma, the maker of a popular painkiller, for allegedly downplaying the risks and overstating the benefits of its opioid products, whose abuse has fueled a nationwide epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.
CA: Get ready for a big fight over California's property taxes in 2020
Supporters of a bid to increase taxes on commercial land in California have collected more than 860,000 signatures to force a vote on the issue. The proposed 2020 ballot measure would assess commercial and industrial properties at their current market value — a dramatic change to the tax system established by Proposition 13 four decades ago.
LA: Louisiana medical marijuana crop delayed by regulatory hurdle
Louisiana's first medical marijuana crop has been delayed by the regulatory process, testing the patience of the grower, pharmacy owners and patients.
SC: Economy hinder South Carolina’s chances to borrow up to $1B for colleges
South Carolina has enough money to borrow more than $1 billion to construct new buildings and fix others on college campuses, but expected budget surpluses next year could dampen enthusiasm in the Legislature to pad the state’s credit card.
DC: D.C. failed hundreds of emotionally disturbed children, lawsuit alleges
Attorneys at several disability rights organizations have filed a class-action lawsuit against the District of Columbia government, alleging that District officials have failed to provide adequate mental health services for hundreds of severely troubled children.
GA: Georgians turn to cannabis oil without legal way to buy medical marijuana
It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains.
NJ: New Jersey takes in tens of millions in sports bets in July
Sports betting is off and running in New Jersey, with three casinos and two racetracks taking in $40.6 million in wagers in July, the first full month it was legal.