What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/1

Top State Stories 8/1

AL: Judge strikes down Alabama law requiring girls to get court permission for abortion

A federal judge has struck down a 2014 Alabama law that enabled judges to put minors seeking abortions through a trial-like proceeding in which the fetus could get a lawyer and prosecutors could object to the pregnant girl's wishes.

HI: Hawaii allows first lab to begin testing medical marijuana

Hawaii approved its first laboratory to begin testing samples of medical marijuana 17 years after use of the drug was legalized in the state.

CT: Connecticut lawmakers approve labor pact with pension concessions

Connecticut lawmakers narrowly approved a new labor contract with public employees that is expected to save the state at least $1.2 billion — largely through pension concessions — and could clear the way for lawmakers to agree on a past due budget.

OH: Insurers to fill gaps in Ohio health care marketplace

Five insurance companies have stepped in to offer plans on the federal exchange in 19 of the 20 Ohio counties that otherwise would have had no marketplace options for 2018.

CA: ‘Calexit’ backers confident about latest plan for California to leave the US

The people behind California’s latest effort to leave the U.S. are preparing to fan out across the Golden State to collect signatures for a 2018 ballot initiative. It would repeal a provision of the California Constitution stating that the state is “an inseparable part of the United States ... up to and including agreement establishing California as a fully independent country.”

MI: Record number of Michigan schools to start early

A total of 123 school districts across Michigan have received waivers from the Michigan Department of Education allowing them to bypass the state’s 17-year ban on starting school before Labor Day and open their doors to students in August.

GA: Georgia leaders eye Medicaid waivers after Obamacare repeal fails

The collapse of the GOP health care overhaul in Congress has Georgia’s leaders wrestling over whether to stand pat and let a funding crisis continue to threaten the state’s fragile hospital system or seek changes that could open the spigots for more federal dollars.

TX: Texas House passes four maternal mortality bills

House lawmakers tentatively approved a series of bills aimed at helping Texas curb its unusually high rate of women dying less than a year after childbirth.

UT: Many Utah jails don’t have quick access to doctors or nurses

A small medical team is responsible for the care of hundreds of inmates in nine county jails across a massive expanse of land in Utah and Wyoming. Prison watchdogs and groups that advocate for inmates say hundreds are receiving a low level of medical care.

MN: New Minnesota guidelines aim to reduce bullying of transgender students

Minnesota’s School Safety Technical Assistance Council has approved an 11-page document designed to help schools provide safety and support for transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

AR: Arkansas physicians prepare for medical marijuana

Medical professionals across Arkansas are joining the state's budding medical marijuana business, though many health care providers remain ambivalent or are opposed to participating. Almost 300 Arkansans have been approved to use the substance, which isn't yet legally available in the state.

SC: Why half of South Carolina school districts aren’t complying with testing law

A new South Carolina law requires school districts to give their students statewide tests online, using computers. But 47 of the state’s more than 80 school districts requested waivers, opting for paper-and-pencil tests instead. Forty districts said they didn’t have enough computers, and 36 said they didn’t have adequate internet access.

CO: Marijuana grow operations damaging Colorado homes

Denver police estimate that marijuana is grown in one of every 10 homes in the Colorado city. Law enforcement authorities say they’re seeing more houses that have been left with thousands of dollars in damage — such as extensive mold — from the grow operations.

Hispanic Exodus Health Care Bipartisanship