What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/3
TX: Texas governor threatens intervention over Austin homeless ordinances
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, threatened to bring in state troopers and other state officials to fight homeless camps in Austin if conditions continue to worsen. Since the city council lifted a camping ban, homeless encampments have arisen at alarming rates in some areas.
FL: Florida seeks funds for finding shooters before they attack
A project designed to detect "homegrown violent extremists and lone actors" before they attack is estimated to cost the Florida Department of Law Enforcement millions of dollars. The money would cover the cost of "cellular phone analytics" and eight full-time senior crime intelligence analysts.
NY: New York declares the end of the AIDS epidemic is near
State officials declared that New York is on track to meet its goal to end the AIDS epidemic in the state by 2020. After decades of fearsome infection rates, New York in 2018 had just 2,481 new diagnoses of the virus that causes AIDS, a drop of 11% from the previous year, and 28% lower than 2014, when the state began its initiative.
MI: Auto strike fuels recession fears in Michigan
Amid fresh evidence of contracting U.S. manufacturing nationwide, the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors Co. could be sending Michigan's economy into a decline for the first time since 2010.
NV: Nevada fines drug companies for noncompliance with drug pricing law
Nevada is imposing $17.4 million in fines on 21 diabetes drug manufacturers that have either failed to comply with or were many months late in complying with a drug pricing transparency law passed two years ago.
UT: Utah puts emergency limits on flavored e-cigarettes as vaping illnesses rise
Only tobacco specialty shops will be allowed to sell flavored e-cigarettes, and they will be required to post notices on the dangers of vaping unregulated THC products, under emergency rules announced by Utah officials.
OH: Despite law change, Ohio’s abandoned cemeteries still in limbo
Ohio cemeteries have been plagued with problems for almost a decade because of absent out-of-state owners. A new state law is giving cemetery volunteers hope that receivers could be appointed to care for the properties, but some say they’re still waiting for answers.
CA: Affordable housing coming to Sacramento on California-owned lots
An affordable housing complex will be built at a downtown Sacramento lot — one of the first projects to come to fruition from Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January executive order to encourage affordable housing projects on state-owned land.
NJ: Push on in New Jersey to ban vaping but legalize marijuana
In a panic over recent deaths and hospitalizations, New Jersey's political leaders are considering whether to ban e-cigarettes and risk driving the booming industry of vaping underground. At the same time, they plan to push once again to legalize marijuana and capitalize on an industry that has flourished for decades on the black market.
OK: Company claims Oklahoma judge miscalculated opioid award
An Oklahoma judge made a $107 million miscalculation when he ordered consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million to help clean up the state’s opioid crisis, attorneys for the company argue in a court filing.
DC: Solar permits more than doubled in District of Columbia last year
Solar energy is having a moment in the District of Columbia after years of efforts to get more people to make the switch. There were more than twice as many solar installation permits issued there in fiscal 2019 than the previous year, and more than three times than in fiscal 2015.
KY: Kentucky governor touts 'Bring Your Bible to School Day'
Kentucky’s Republican governor wants kids to bring the Holy Scripture to class and take part in "Bring Your Bible to School Day," an annual event that encourages students of all ages to take the religious text into the classroom. "I would encourage you, please, don’t just bring your Bible to school, but read your Bible.”
OH: Boozy ice cream to go? Ohio House OKs delivery of alcoholic treat
Lawmakers in the Ohio House passed a bill that would allow alcoholic ice cream businesses to ship their product to stores and individuals if the person is older than 21.