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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/4

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/4

TN: Tennessee governor proposes extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year

tennessean.com

Republican Gov. Bill Lee intends to extend TennCare’s postpartum insurance from two months to a full year in response to the preventable deaths of dozens of Tennessee mothers who were uninsured.

MN: Minnesota legislature begins considering facial-recognition technology regulations

minnpost.com

A Minnesota joint legislative committee has taken the first small steps toward considering what a handful of cities and states around the country have already done — regulating or banning the use of facial recognition software by business and government.

MI: Michigan legal marijuana sales, prices spike

mlive.com

Recreational marijuana retailers in Michigan have made $12.7 million in sales since legalization took effect in December, generating $2.1 million in state taxes. The price of marijuana flower, the most popular recreational product, increased to more than $500 an ounce.

CO: After a police shooting in Colorado, the public doesn’t always find out who pulled the trigger

denverpost.com

In Colorado, information about officer-involved shootings is not always accessible to the public even months after an incident. Two Democrats are pushing for statewide legislation to give more uniformity and oversight to law enforcement use of force.

OR: Oregon bill would prevent discrimination based on hairstyle

oregonlive.com

Oregon schools and employers could not ban braids, locs or natural hair under a proposal that has widespread support from state lawmakers. The bill would make it clear that racial discrimination includes treating people differently because of a hairstyle historically associated with race.

VA: Virginia Senate approves bill to bar driver’s license suspension for unpaid fines

richmond.com

The Virginia Senate has approved a bill that would bar the Department of Motor Vehicles from suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid court fines. The bill also would require the DMV to return or reinstate any driver’s license that was suspended before July 1, 2020, solely for the nonpayment of fines.

NC: North Carolina professors want to rename buildings at UNC

newsobserver.com

A group of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professors are petitioning the UNC Board of Trustees to allow the university to rename buildings and historical places on campus, particularly those tied to a racist or white supremacist history. The board voted in 2015 to freeze the renaming of any historical buildings, monuments, memorials and landscapes until 2031.

NY: New York to expand addiction services in hard-to-reach areas

timesunion.com 

New York announced it will award more than $3 million in federal grants to addiction treatment providers who pledge to bring services to hard-to-reach communities. The money will help expand a state initiative that uses mobile outreach and telemedicine to treat people closer to home.

IN: Indiana General Assembly gives schools a two-year reprieve from testing penalties

indystar.com

While teacher pay remains off the table, Indiana lawmakers did grant one wish made by Hoosier educators when they passed a bill to hold schools harmless from the consequences of poor performances on the state’s new standardized test.

AL: Alabama paroles bureau sharply increases number of hearings

al.com

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, which abruptly slowed the pace of parole hearings and the number of paroles granted after a change in leadership last year, will sharply increase the number of hearings. The ACLU said overcrowding in Alabama prisons was getting worse because of the low number of paroles granted.

GA: Georgia bill seeks referendum that could dump daylight saving time

ajc.com 

Georgians could soon vote on whether they want to keep springing forward and falling back under legislation in the Georgia House. Voters’ options in the referendum would be to keep the annual time change, switch to year-round standard time or to switch to year-round daylight saving time.

WA: Helping educators get credentialed could solve Washington's teacher staffing issues

seattletimes.com

Helping educators with "limited" teaching certificates get full credentials could help Washington state staff its hardest-to-full teaching jobs and make its teacher workforce more diverse. More than 1,800 educators in the state have only the one-year credential, a number that has tripled since 2013.

USDA Issues Third, and Final, Trade Payment to Farmers Cities vs. Cybercriminals
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