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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/4

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/4

MI: Former Michigan governor’s phone among several seized in Flint water investigation

apnews.com

Authorities investigating Flint’s water crisis have used search warrants to seize from storage the state-owned mobile devices of former Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 other current or former officials.

DC: Lawmakers to propose voting rights for imprisoned DC felons

washingtonpost.com

Several Washington, D.C., lawmakers and City Council members are expected to propose legislation to restore voting rights in the District for incarcerated felons. The bill would remove language from a 1955 law that strips voting rights from convicted felons.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers back legislation to legalize hemp, regulate CBD products

theadvocate.com

Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to legalize the growth of hemp and allow the sale of some CBD products, sending two pieces of legislation to the governor’s desk that would create a highly regulated program in line with the federal farm bill.

MA: Parents, doctors, students urge tighter food allergy safety laws in Mass. schools

bostonglobe.com 

Roughly 7% of students in Massachusetts have a food allergy, yet not all schools stock epinephrine to treat a severe reaction, or train staff to deal with such emergencies. The prevalence of food allergies has shot up at least by half since the late 1990s.

UT: More poop on public lands prompts federal agencies to crack down on dispersed camping

kuer.org

Human feces don’t decompose as quickly in Utah’s arid country as it does in wetter environments, such as forests. If cat holes are too shallow or a dispersed camper doesn’t carry their waste out, it can contaminate nearby water supplies and lead to unsanitary conditions. Plus, it’s gross.

OK; New Oklahoma budget backs concurrent enrollment program

oklahoman.com

More than $13 million of Oklahoma’s budget will help state colleges pay for high school seniors to take college classes, an increase of nearly $3.3 million over last year.

OR: Oregon lawmakers want to exempt farmers from new business tax

oregonlive.com

The Oregon law already contains exemptions for groceries, gas, hospitals and long-term care businesses. The 0.57% tax takes effect in 2020 and businesses will be allowed to subtract 35% of either their labor or capital costs from their sales.

ME: Assisted suicide bill passes Maine House by one vote

pressherald.com

A bill to legalize medication-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients received final approval in the Maine House by a single vote. The final tally was 73-72, sending the bill back to the Senate where it received preliminary approval last week on a vote of 19-16.

NV: Public records bill meets resistance in Nevada Assembly

reviewjournal.com

A bill that aims to ease access to public records was left in a holding pattern after more than two hours of contentious debate on the last day of Nevada’s legislative session. Local governments and agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County School District, argued the bill would invite costly lawsuits.

NM: New Mexico courts push online tool for resolving debt

apnews.com

New Mexico’s judicial system began rolling out a tool aimed at making the process of settling credit card, medical and other debt more convenient by allowing people to handle cases against them online rather than in court. People who prefer to resolve their cases in court will still have that option, officials said.

NJ: Feud between New Jersey governor, Senate leader imperils marijuana bill

nj.com

Hours after New Jersey’s Department of Health unveiled a plan to grow the state’s strained medical marijuana program, the state Senate president bashed the move, furthering a feud with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy that’s seeping into everything in Trenton.

TX: Texas combats patient confusion and price gouging in freestanding ERs

texastribune.org

One bill awaiting action by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott would require freestanding emergency rooms to clearly disclose the in-network health plans they accept and the fees patients may be charged. Texas has more than 200 freestanding ERs.

PA: Big marijuana firms ‘rolling up’ local dispensaries and growers, skirting Pennsylvania’s laws

inquirer.com

Since Pennsylvania launched its medical marijuana program in 2018, large multi-state marijuana companies have planted their flags in the state or are expanding their footprint through backdoor arrangements. Pennsylvania lawmakers said they didn’t anticipate the era of publicly traded cannabis companies when the state passed a medical marijuana law in 2016.

$19B Disaster Relief Bill Ready for Trump Food Banks
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