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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/24

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/24

TN: Former Tennessee House speaker, aide plead not guilty to federal corruption charges

tennessean.com

Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, a Republican, and his onetime top aide Cade Cothren have been indicted on federal charges following a monthslong corruption investigation. Both face charges ranging from money laundering to bribery.

OH: In Ohio, new efforts to tighten voter ID laws, cut early voting days underway

dispatch.com

A GOP-backed plan pending in the Ohio legislature would limit the number of ballot drop boxes, reduce the time to request absentee ballots and eliminate voting on the Monday before Election Day.

ID: Idaho governor calls lawmakers back for special session

idahocapitalsun.com

Republican Gov. Brad Little has officially called for a special session of the Idaho legislature beginning Sept. 1 to consider a bill aimed at cutting taxes and increasing education funding.

WA: Half of Washington residents eligible for free or discounted hospital care

seattletimes.com

Millions of Washingtonians became eligible for free or discounted hospital care after an update to a state law went into effect last month. All Washingtonians within 300% of the federal poverty level now qualify for charity care for their full out-of-pocket hospital bill, as long as care is considered “medically necessary.”

AK: Last remaining bidder in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge leasing sale pulls out

alaskapublic.org

The last remaining private company that bid in last year’s controversial Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lease sale has pulled out of its lease. It’s another blow for drilling advocates hoping to develop the northernmost slice of the refuge, called the coastal plain, in northeast Alaska.

UT: Utah gerrymandering lawsuit will move forward

sltrib.com

A lawsuit alleging that Utah’s new congressional maps are an unconstitutional gerrymander will be able to move forward without delay, a judge has ruled. The plaintiffs claim that the maps leave the roughly 30% to 35% of residents who support Democrats without meaningful representation.

NJ: New Jersey rental assistance programs failed hundreds of residents. Some are now being evicted.

nj.com

Hundreds of tenants who were approved for New Jersey’s rental assistance programs haven’t received the payments, and in dozens of cases, the missing payments have led to eviction proceedings.

MT: Montana lawmakers set to debate child welfare overhaul

montanafreepress.org

After six months of study, state lawmakers are set to debate a draft bill that could bring significant reforms to Montana’s child welfare system — changes some lawmakers and legal observers say are long overdue.

MN: Minnesota AG issues consumer alert about crisis pregnancy centers

minnesotareformer.com

Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, issued a consumer alert for Minnesotans warning that crisis pregnancy centers tout comprehensive health care but actually push pregnant people away from abortion — often through deceiving messaging and methods.

KY: Kentucky governor calls special session of legislature to address flood relief

courier-journal.com

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced he is calling a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to address financial relief for the areas of Eastern Kentucky devastated by deadly flooding in July.

TX: Scorching heat in Texas prisons revives air-conditioning debate

texastribune.org

Texas heat has killed prisoners and cost the state millions in wrongful death and civil rights lawsuits. Prison rights advocates hope a budget surplus next year will finally push lawmakers to invest in air conditioning.

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