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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/3

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/3

US: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows

politico.com

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by Politico.

TX: If Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Texas and more than half the states could ban abortion

texastribune.com

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it would virtually eliminate abortion access in Texas. Last year, the legislature passed a so-called “trigger law” that would go into effect 30 days after such a ruling, making performing abortion a felony. More than half of the states are expected to ban abortion if the ruling is overturned.

TN: Ivermectin for COVID soon will be available in Tennessee pharmacies

tennessean.com

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a law allowing Tennessee doctors to prescribe, and certain pharmacists to sell, the human-designed form of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19—even though large, controlled scientific studies say it doesn’t work for such infections.

WA: Measure to decriminalize all drugs rolls out in Washington

kuow.org

Drug decriminalization advocates, doctors and politicians announced a proposed ballot measure to remove the penalties for possessing drugs of any kind in Washington state. Supporters say the war on drugs needs to end, and that they want the measure on a statewide ballot this year.

FL: Florida to dedicate $30M to saving manatees amid die-off 

tampabay.com 

As manatees continue to die in record numbers, Florida is poised to spend more than $30 million on efforts to rescue the iconic animals and restore their habitats. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his support for the funding, which was included in the budget the legislature passed in March.  

AK: Alaska's isolated wetlands could soon lose their protected status

alaskapublic.org

An environmental case before the U.S. Supreme Court could determine how much of Alaska’s wetlands are subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. If the ruling goes the way the administration of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy would like, Alaska will have oversight over pollution and contaminants in its isolated wetlands.

OR: As embryo donation gains popularity in Oregon, parents grapple with complicated questions

oregonlive.com

Though embryo donation is relatively new, a small but growing number of Oregonians are becoming parents this way. But the process these new parents must navigate is only lightly regulated and comes with its own set of difficult questions.

MN: Minnesota leaders celebrate frontline worker bonuses, unemployment insurance deal

startribune.com

Nurses and employers gathered with state leaders at the Minnesota Capitol to celebrate the biggest accomplishment so far this legislative session, which will result in hundreds of thousands of pandemic frontline workers receiving payments of roughly $750 and prevent sizable tax increases for businesses.

GA: Special grand jury selected for Georgia district attorney’s election investigation

ajc.com

A judge selected nearly two dozen Fulton County residents who will help prosecutors determine whether former President Donald Trump and his allies unlawfully tried to meddle in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

NY: New York legislature passes law to get indicted former lieutenant governor off ballot

buffalonews.com

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an unprecedented law allowing an indicted candidate for office to get off the ballot. The law permits Hochul’s running mate Brian Benjamin, the former Democratic lieutenant governor who resigned in April after his arrest on bribery and campaign finance charges, to leave the ballot.

IA: Iowa parents receiving child care aid could pay more

idahocapitaldispatch.com

Child care providers may ask low-income parents to make up the difference between a state subsidy and the market-rate cost of child care under a bill passed by both chambers of the Iowa legislature. It’s a recommendation from GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds’ task force, which determined that the current program may “be a disincentive for child care providers to accept children receiving” assistance.

DE: Delaware launches program addressing substance misuse in restaurant industry

delawarepublic.org

Delaware’s Division of Public Health launched the Restaurant Accolade Program to address substance misuse and opioid overdoses in the local restaurant industry. The agency is working to train and educate staff, managers and owners how to reverse an opioid overdose and support coworkers battling addiction.

CA: Some California school districts that grew during the pandemic feel shortchanged

calmatters.org

Last school year, growing California school districts weren’t funded for all their students. Their leaders say they’ve been hurt by efforts to protect the majority of the state’s districts experiencing declining enrollment.

MI: Plummeting Michigan cannabis prices are good news for consumers but not for small sellers

freep.com

At a time when gas prices, food prices, home prices and more are all going up, there's one consumer item in Michigan that's doing the opposite: cannabis. For consumers, this is good news. But smaller cannabis companies say they can't compete with the low prices that larger, often vertically integrated, companies are offering.

CO: “No compassion”: Colorado families say police fail to investigate loved ones’ fentanyl deaths

denverpost.com

In public testimony at the Colorado Capitol and in interviews with The Denver Post, family members have said that police seemed disinterested in investigating their loved ones’ fentanyl deaths. Police and prosecutors have charged a handful of dealers in the death of their customers, but those prosecutions represent a tiny fraction of the hundreds of drug deaths in Colorado every year.

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