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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/22

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/22

OH: Four drug companies reach $260M settlement to avoid first federal opioid trial in Ohio

cleveland.com

Four major drug companies reached an agreement with Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties worth $260 million, hours before the nation’s first federal opioid trial was set to commence in Cleveland.

MI: U.S. Supreme Court reverses Michigan gerrymandering case

mlive.com

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court that found Michigan’s last redistricting process gave an unfair advantage to Republicans. The ruling was expected after an earlier decision that gerrymandering cases are political and not subject to court review.

CA: Lax oversight in California capital city leads to consolidation of marijuana businesses

sacbee.com

A Sacramento Bee investigation found that the California capital city’s lax oversight has allowed the pot industry to consolidate far beyond what elected officials imagined when they gave their blessings to the city’s 30 pioneering marijuana dispensaries years ago.

IL: Illinois probe shows lapses in protection by child welfare workers

chicagotribune.com

The brutal death of a 5-year-old exposed oversight issues at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Now a Chicago Tribune review of the state’s involvement with the child’s family found agency employees failed to properly assess the danger the boy faced. Workers seemed unable to piece together the extent to which the child was in peril.

NY: Local news is dying. New York may try to pass a law to save it.

nytimes.com

Two state lawmakers are proposing a requirement that any cable company operating in New York offer a local news channel with independently produced “news, weather and public affairs programming.” The proposed law, if passed, would be the first of its kind in the country.

WI: Wisconsin governor calls lawmakers into session to tackle gun violence

jsonline.com

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, is calling lawmakers to Madison to tackle gun violence, but his plan relies on placing more limitations on guns — drawing an immediate rejection by Republicans who control legislation in the state Capitol.

WA: Washington's affirmative action ballot measure exposes racial divide

seattletimes.com

Washington's Referendum 88, which seeks to overturn a legislature-passed bill allowing for affirmative action, has found support from some Asian American leaders, a few of whom have become the face of efforts to block affirmative action in the state. They say the policy allows racial profiling and would penalize Asians, but some have taken offense at comparisons to Jim Crow and international genocides.

HI: No one knows where Hawaii's recyclables go

civilbeat.org

Hawaii lacks its own recycling facility, and some local governments refuse to say where they send the paper, aluminum, glass and plastic they collect. It’s unclear whether the benefit of recycling offsets the carbon cost of shipping those items off island.

PA: Voting legislation package emerges in Pennsylvania Capitol

apnews.com

Legislation would change some aspects of how voters cast ballots in Pennsylvania while delivering much of the money counties need to buy voting machines ahead of next year’s presidential election.

MS: Mississippi billboards ask people to vote — on the wrong day

clarionledger.com

Election day in Mississippi is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Despite what some billboards in Jackson may say, it is not Nov. 16. That is Louisiana’s election day, and it appears incorrect billboards were a mistake. Photos of the misleading billboard were posted to Facebook, where some posts received hundreds of shares, with people concerned about political chicanery.

MN: ACLU-Minnesota lawsuit seeks to restore voting rights for felons

apnews.com

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state of Minnesota to restore the voting rights of convicted felons who are on supervised release or probation.

MA: Massachusetts on a timeline to ensure nicotine vape ban complies with existing law

masslive.com

A Massachusetts judge declined to lift Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s temporary prohibition on vaping products, but said the state must hold a public hearing on the ban and assess its fiscal impact on small businesses before it can continue.

OK: Oklahoma has no labs licensed to test medical cannabis, despite law requiring proof of testing

tulsaworld.com

An Oklahoma law that went into effect nearly two months ago states businesses can only sell medical cannabis products that have proof of testing. But there are zero laboratories properly licensed with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

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