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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/30

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/30

US: States charge more for electric cars as new laws take effect

apnews.com

The new year will bring new charges for some owners of electric vehicles, as an increasing number of states seek to plug in to fresh revenue sources to offset forgone gas taxes. In Hawaii, the charge will be $50. In Kansas, $100. In Alabama and Ohio, $200.

IL, MI: Legal marijuana sales may spark tension among Midwest states

apnews.com

Retailers legally selling marijuana for the past month in Michigan say they have drawn customers from surrounding Midwestern states where the drug remains illegal and, as Illinois prepares to join the recreational market, officials are renewing warnings to consumers against carrying such products over state lines.

NY: New York governor proposes banning flavored e-cig sales, ads targeting kids

timesunion.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will propose a ban on the sale of all flavored vaping products, including menthol, and give the New York Department of Health the power to regulate vaping carrier oils, such as vitamin E acetate, that are linked to respiratory illnesses. The measure would codify regulations officials adopted in September.

TN: Tennessee law makes it easier to obtain concealed carry handgun permit

tennessean.com

Obtaining a concealed carry handgun permit in Tennessee will become easier. Per a 2019 law passed by the state legislature, Tennesseans will be able to take an online course to receive a permit, a significantly faster, cheaper alternative to the state's existing process that will require no hands-on training.

ME: Slippery salvation in Maine: Could seaweed as cow feed help climate?

apnews.com

Coastal Maine has a lot of seaweed, and a fair number of cows. A group of scientists and farmers think that pairing the two could help unlock a way to cope with a warming world.

VA: Some Virginia Democrats want to hit the brakes on nonpartisan redistricting plan

washingtonpost.com

The vast majority of Virginia legislators voted in 2019 to curb their own power, passing a measure meant to stop them from drawing political maps for partisan gain. But gerrymandering in the Old Dominion is not dead yet.

WA: Washington governor proposes diversity spending after failed affirmative action measure

seattletimes.com

Following the failure of a ballot measure that would have reinstated affirmative action in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has proposed spending $5.5 million on new diversity efforts. That includes $1 million to create an Office of Equity to help state agencies reach inclusion goals.

AL: Alabama inmate deaths rise despite national attention

apnews.com

Inmate homicides are on the rise in Alabama’s prisons despite a national spotlight on its corrections system and an acknowledgement of the state’s crisis behind bars, according to numbers from the Alabama Department of Corrections.

GA: Few consequences when Georgia seniors harmed in care facilities

ajc.com

Thousands of vulnerable Georgians live in private-pay senior care homes that the state of Georgia licenses and inspects. But those elderly residents can’t count on the state to carefully monitor the homes or to crack down on those that break the rules.

MN: Minnesota medical pot growers seek OK for smokable cannabis

startribune.com

Minnesota’s two medical marijuana makers say it’s time the state program shed its restrictive reputation and let sick patients smoke cannabis. The state’s medical cannabis program has been hamstrung by high costs since its inception.

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