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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/28

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/28

MO: Federal judge pauses Missouri’s 8-week abortion ban

kansascity.com

A federal judge temporarily blocked part of Missouri’s new abortion law, pausing prohibitions against abortion based on gestational age, but letting stand the provision barring the procedure for reasons of sex, race or Down Syndrome diagnosis.

OH: Ohio AG may take over local opioid lawsuits

daytondailynews.com

Ohio lawmakers are considering giving Republican Attorney General Dave Yost exclusive authority to file and settle civil lawsuits over statewide issues, including pending litigation filed against the pharmaceutical industry over the cost of the opioid addiction crisis.

TX: Snubbed by Texas lawmakers, local officials look to children to avoid a census undercount

texastribune.org

With billions in federal funding at stake and a possible undercount of the state's Hispanic and black population looming, counties and community groups across Texas plan to rely on children to break down theingrained fear and mistrust of government some families cite as the reason they don't participate.

WA: Washington state considers overhaul of pot regulation

apnews.com

Five years after Washington state launched its pioneering legal marijuana market, officials are proposing an overhaul of the industry’s rules. Plans call for boosting minority ownership of pot businesses, paving the way for home deliveries of medical cannabis, and letting the smallest growers increase the size of their operations.

CA: California could shut down popular car subscription services

nbcnews.com 

California regulators have launched an investigation of a pioneering Volvo program that many industry observers have forecast could usher in major changes in the way Americans acquire new vehicles. The program enables motorists to “subscribe” to one of several models. The concept is like a lease, but it bundles in insurance, maintenance and other fees.

ME: Maine Senate passes ranked-choice voting for March presidential primaries

pressherald.com 

The Maine Senate gave final approval to a bill that would allow Mainers to rank candidates when they head to the polls March 3 to participate in the Super Tuesday presidential primary elections. Ranked-choice voting is now used in primary elections for governor and the legislature and in both primary and general elections for Maine’s representatives to Congress.

VA: Local residents, not Amazon newcomers, fuel Virginia housing frenzy

washingtonpost.com

Even though the first Amazon employees have barely arrived in Northern Virginia, the housing market close to the company’s new headquarters in Arlington County is behaving as if all 25,000 workers are moving in next week. But real estate agents say current residents of the region are the ones driving the lightning speed of sales, the shortage of homes on the market and the elevated prices for available stock.

KY: Kentucky pension funds don’t meet transparency law, audit finds

courier-journal.com

Kentucky's big public pension systems fall "drastically short" of complying with a two-year-old law that requires them to disclose how they invest their money and how much they pay money managers, a state audit has found.

WI: Wisconsin governor broadening efforts to regulate 'forever' chemicals in water

jsonline.com

Wisconsin's governor is taking steps to regulate “forever” chemicals both in drinking water and in lakes, streams and rivers. The state Department of Natural Resources said Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has directed the agency to take additional steps to address the chemicals.

MN: Scientists studying effects of climate change, invasives in Minnesota — plant by plant

mprnews.org

Minnesota's new ecological monitoring network includes hundreds of small plots in prairies and forests where researchers meticulously document every plant species. They hope to gather enough data — and return to each site enough times over the years — to be able to tell the story of Minnesota’s changing landscape, and predict where those changes might lead.

NY: Feds: New York should improve nursing-home oversight

timesunion.com

Federal regulators say New York state needs to do more to ensure nursing homes are protecting residents after an audit revealed numerous safety and emergency preparedness deficiencies at 20 homes.

HI: Homeless people with mental illness to get court-ordered help in Hawaii

staradvertiser.com

State and local officials in Hawaii are teaming up on a new approach to deal with homeless people with mental health issues by trying to get court-ordered help for the first of potentially hundreds of homeless people on Oahu. The state enacted a law last year to make it easier for judges to order homeless people with mental health issues to receive treatment.

IA, KS, MO, NE: Midwest states to fix Missouri River flood bottlenecks

apnews.com

After a year of devasting flooding, several Midwestern states are trying to identify bottlenecks along the Missouri River that can worsen flooding in certain areas. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska submitted a study proposal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages dams and helps design many of the major levees in the Missouri River basin.

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