Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/24

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/24

CA: Trump’s EPA threatens California with highway funding cuts over ‘worst air quality’

sacbee.com

The Trump administration is ratcheting up its threats against California with a letter warning the state faces sanctions — including cuts in federal highway funding — over its “failure” to submit complete reports on its implementation of the Clean Air Act. This is the latest front in a protracted battle with the state over climate change.

MI: Michigan Senate GOP leader: Return some paved roads to gravel

freep.com

As Michigan struggles with having enough money to fix its crumbling roads, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, has a new proposal — get rid of some of them.

FL:  Florida influencers say state should limit coastal development, toughen building codes

miamiherald.com

In a new survey, a group of 50 prominent Florida political and policy figures agree that change should be at least considered, if not made soon, to address climate change issues.

HI: Hawaii wrestles with record heat

civilbeat.org

Hawaii has broken a heat record almost every day since April. Meteorologists primarily blame the ocean for the hotter weather. It’s been several degrees higher than normal, so the trade winds — which are also increasingly less frequent thanks to climate change — are failing to blow in the relief they usually bring.

NY: Citing attacks, New York wants more animals to be named 'dangerous'

timesunion.com

Everyone knows that lions and tigers and bears are dangerous. Even the New York Department of Environmental Conservation says so, with such creatures listed along with wolves, large reptiles and gorillas. Now, the department wants to add more animals to the list, including Eurasian lynxes, arctic foxes, swift foxes, squirrel monkeys and Capuchin monkeys.

UT: Utah leaders announce $2M suicide prevention campaign

sltrib.com

Utah will soon launch a three-year, $2 million campaign aimed at combating stigmas surrounding mental and behavioral health and encouraging Utahns to seek out and secure the help they need. The campaign will be paid for using public and private money.

GA: Georgia senators consider statewide e-scooter rules

ajc.com

A Georgia Senate committee is studying statewide regulations that could set limits on electric scooters. Advocates say the devices can be part of the solution to the region’s traffic mess, but critics say they’re a menace to public safety.

NH: Now-defunct Medicaid work requirement cost New Hampshire $187,000

concordmonitor.com

New Hampshire state officials spent over $187,000 this summer attempting to get low-income residents into compliance with the now-defunct Medicaid work requirement, according to calculations released this month.

SD:: Why lawmakers are calling for a fix to South Dakota's drug laws

argusleader.com

South Dakota's prosecutors and law enforcement are asking legislators to not "kick the can down the road" when it comes to fixing the state's drug laws. South Dakota is the only state that criminalizes ingestion of a controlled substance as a felony offense.

TX: Unconstitutional anti-abortion law costs Texas another $2.5M

houstonchronicle.com

As Texas defends abortion laws in federal court that mandate fetal burials and seek to outlaw certain medical procedures, the state has been ordered to pay abortion-rights attorneys $2.5 million. The order is seemingly the final decision in a battle over a 2013 Texas abortion law the U.S. Supreme Court struck down.

WA: How restoring old-growth forest in Washington state could help fight climate change

seattletimes.com

Old-growth trees were common across the coastal Northwest, before decades of clear-cutting stripped them from the land. Restoring landscapes like these in Washington state helps take up and store more carbon, part of the solution to reduce the impacts of climate change.

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