US: Drug use rivals drunken driving as cause of fatal car crashes
An increase in the use of prescription drugs and the legalization of marijuana in some states are helping to lead to nearly as many drugged drivers’ deaths as drunken drivers’ deaths, says a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.
NH: New Hampshire to distribute 5,000 kits to combat drug overdoses
The state will distribute the overdose kits free across New Hampshire, as part of a campaign to combat an opioid addiction epidemic. The kits contain Narcan nasal spray, which can be used to help victims survive until emergency medical responders arrive.
AR: Arkansas governor’s Cuba trip aims to put state in ‘top tier’ for trade
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the first governor to travel to Cuba since the reopening of diplomatic relations with the U.S., said his trip is intended to put Arkansas in the “top tier” for trade. Hutchinson is traveling with a delegation of more than 40 people representing agriculture, small business and tourism.
IA: Judge upholds Iowa law disqualifying felons from voting
Although a state district judge upheld the law, he said the Iowa Supreme Court needs to sort out the confusion it caused last year when it ruled not all felons are automatically disenfranchised.
KS: Kansas governor to declare October ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s proclamation is designed to urge Kansans to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. “If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything,” Brownback said.
OR: Many communities opting out of legal pot sales Thursday
Some Oregon cities, including some Portland suburbs, won’t be allowing any storefront marijuana sales of any kind when recreational cannabis sales start.
AK: Alaska Legislature to press ahead in its Medicaid lawsuit
A joint legislative committee says the lawsuit aimed at blocking Medicaid expansion in Alaska can proceed. Independent Gov. Bill Walker has begun the expansion through executive action.
NC: Move to strip local governments of authority fails in North Carolina Legislature
The last-hour legislation would have prevented North Carolina cities, towns and counties from raising the minimum wage, interfering in some commerce, and could have restricted affordable housing.
CA: California hospitals struggle to serve immigrants who speak indigenous languages
A third of California farmworkers speak indigenous languages from Southern Mexico, and many don’t speak English or Spanish. Local hospitals lack access to interpreters, and improvised sign language isn’t enough when people are sick.
MN: Minnesota labor force to increasingly rely on African, Latino, Asian, Native Americans
Minnesota is increasingly going to rely on ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) communities to meet its labor needs and to support a growing elderly and young dependent population.
OK: Oklahoma commission orders removal of Ten Commandments monument
A commission that oversees artwork at the statehouse voted to authorize the privately funded monument’s removal after the state’s highest court ruled that it violated the Oklahoma Constitution.
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