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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/15

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/15

MO: Voter ID rules “eviscerated” by Missouri Supreme Court

stltoday.com

The Missouri Supreme Court delivered a blow to long-running Republican efforts to require photo identification at the polls. In a 5-2 opinion, the high court upheld a lower court’s decision that forbade the secretary of state from publishing information indicating photo identification is required to vote.

TN: Tennessee Senate passes legislation allowing adoption agencies to deny gay couples

tennessean.com

The Tennessee state Senate passed its first bill of the year: a measure that protects religious adoption agencies discriminating against same-sex couples.

WI: Wisconsin appeals court puts voter rolls purge on hold

apnews.com

A Wisconsin appeals court put on hold an order to immediately remove up to 209,000 names from the state’s voter registration rolls, handing Democrats who had fought the move a victory in the battleground state.

CO: Colorado cannabis growers hope volatile wholesale market is stabilizing

denverpost.com

In the six years since recreational legalization, Colorado’s $7.6 billion cannabis industry has been grappling with stabilization between the forces of supply and demand. And that’s perhaps no more evident than in the wholesale market.

CA: California can’t spend money for these programs fast enough

sacbee.com

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, noted billions of dollars for kindergarten, housing and mental health programs allocated in past years that still haven’t been spent. He’s threatening to take millions of unspent mental health dollars back from counties and proposing new uses for untouched kindergarten dollars.

AZ: 1 in 4 Arizona teaching positions vacant, report finds

tucson.com

A quarter of teaching positions in Arizona are vacant, according to a survey released last week by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association. The survey also found that half of teaching positions are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s certification requirements, equaling nearly 4,000 positions.

ID: Idaho opens 211 hotline to help high suicide rate

idahostatesman.com

Idaho has another tool to help people during a suicidal crisis. A simple three-digit telephone call to 211 will connect the person in crisis to the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

KY: Kentucky lawmakers seek to ban “conversion therapy”

kentucky.com

“Conversion therapy,” a discredited practice by which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are counseled to change their sexual orientation, would be banned for state-licensed mental health professionals treating Kentucky children under bills sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

VA: ERA ratification advances in Virginia

richmond.com

A Virginia House committee now controlled by Democrats advanced ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, a measure previously killed by Republicans on the same panel.

CT: Connecticut lawmakers set hearing on repeal of vaccine exemption

ctmirror.org

Lawmakers have scheduled a public hearing for next month to get input on a proposal to erase Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory vaccinations. Last month, a bipartisan working group of legislators debated whether to “grandfather in” children whose parents had claimed the religious exemption, but legislators now appear to be backing away from that idea.

NJ: New Jersey lawmakers approve $4.5M bill to make school lunches free

nj.com

New Jersey passed a bill requiring $4.5 million to pick up the tab for about 518,000 students eligible for reduced-price school meals. If signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, the legislation would erase the 30 cents those students currently pay for breakfast and the 40 cents for lunch.

ME: Report recommends sweeping changes to 1980 settlement act with Maine tribes

pressherald.com

Tribal leaders contend the 40-year-old land claims settlement with Maine infringes on their sovereignty, but a task force’s recommendations on gambling and other issues are likely to face opposition in the legislature.

WA: Washington governor calls on lawmakers to address homeless crisis

seattletimes.com

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, used the final State of the State address of his term to urge state lawmakers to address homelessness. “To be successful, our response level must match the scope of this crisis,” he said.

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