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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/9

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/9

MD, PA: Maryland governor seeks lawsuit against EPA, Pennsylvania over Chesapeake Bay cleanup

baltimoresun.com

Amid signs that the Environmental Protection Agency may not force Pennsylvania to reduce the pollution it sends downstream to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan demanded that the state attorney general sue the federal agency and Pennsylvania.

RI: Rhode Island governor to propose $74M modernization of state computer system

providencejournal.com

Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo will seek approval to launch a $73.7 million, multiyear replacement of the decades-old computer technology behind basic state government functions, from payroll to day-to-day accounting.

WI: Lawmakers release $10M plan to address water contamination in Wisconsin

jsonline.com

State lawmakers introduced a $10 million plan to reduce bacteria, nitrates, poisonous lead and long-lasting chemicals in Wisconsin's groundwater.

MN: Minneapolis Fed calls for constitutional amendment to tackle Minnesota's education disparities

mprnews.org

Two prominent Minnesotans launched a campaign to change the state’s constitution to eliminate persistent disparities in education. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and former Supreme Court Justice Alan Page say the constitution’s call for a "uniform system of public schools" isn’t good enough.

MO: New perk for Missouri lawmakers: Valet parking

stltoday.com

Nearly four years after floating the idea, Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson has launched a valet parking service in the Capitol parking garage. As lawmakers streamed back to Jefferson City for the start of the new legislative session, those with access to the basement garage were greeted by a taxpayer-paid parking attendant.

NJ: State leaders tackle “toxic culture of abuse” for women in New Jersey politics

northjersey.com

New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg is working with Lieutenant Gov. Sheila Oliver, both Democrats, to form a committee to investigate the "toxic climate of misogyny, harassment and sexual assault that continues to pervade New Jersey politics."

VA: First woman House speaker in Virginia history takes office

richmond.com

Democratic state Del. Eileen Filler-Corn became speaker of the Virginia House, the first woman to hold the position in a chamber that has been in operation for 400 years.

NY: New York will legalize marijuana in 2020, governor vows

nytimes.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his annual State of the State speech to promise that New York state would legalize marijuana in 2020. But Cuomo also suggested that the state university system be enlisted to do research on the drug and its effects.

PA: Republicans “got greedy” in drawing Pennsylvania congressional maps, new documents say

inquirer.com

A trove of documents recently released by the daughter of a deceased GOP strategist includes some clues about what Republicans were thinking almost a decade ago when they redrew Pennsylvania’s congressional maps in a way that was later ruled unconstitutional.

MA: Massachusetts moves to prevent surge in HIV infections among homeless drug users

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts officials alerted Boston-area health care providers about a growing risk of HIV infections, asking for enhanced vigilance after seven new cases were identified recently among homeless people who inject drugs.

MI: Cellphones must be allowed in Michigan courts

lansingstatejournal.com

State courts must allow the public to carry cellphones and to photograph court records by May 1, under a Michigan Supreme Court ruling. Justices adopted amendments to court rules that had previously allowed local courts to enforce varying rules about phones and electronic devices.

CO: Colorado fight over public health insurance option heats up as legislative session begins

denverpost.com

Proponents say a public option will reduce health care costs and increase consumer choice, but the plan has received pushback from the Colorado Hospital Association and insurance companies who say it will have unintended consequences such as a decrease in competition and reduction in services and access to care.

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