AL: Judge says Alabama must restore Planned Parenthood contract
A federal judge blocked Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s termination of a Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood Southeast, saying it left Alabama patients without access to the provider of their choice, and would allow states to cancel contracts arbitrarily without giving parties an adequate basis of appeal.
FL: New Florida congressional map gets Senate approval
The Florida Senate narrowly approved a redrawn congressional district map, although two prominent senators used the occasion to blame each other for the chamber’s redistricting mistakes.
AK: Alaska governor wants to restructure state finances
Seeking to insulate state government from swings in the price of oil, Gov. Bill Walker, an Independent, wants to create a sovereign wealth fund that would invest oil income and generate a steady stream of revenue for the government, as well as annual payments to Alaska residents.
NY: New York to require training for doctors who prescribe pot
New York state will require physicians to complete an educational course before they can authorize medical marijuana for patients—an unusual mandate not applied to other new drugs or seen in other states with medical marijuana programs.
MN: Minnesota Supreme Court mum on handgun policies at Vikings games
The state Supreme Court said it won’t review an appellate court ruling that went in the favor of the National Football League and the University of Minnesota, which want to enforce a league gun ban in stadiums for all but working officers and security personnel.
AZ: Private prison company facing sex harassment suit wins Arizona contract
The state of Arizona has awarded a multimillion dollar contract to run a private prison outside Kingman to the GEO Group, which is being sued by the federal government over sexual-harassment claims at another Arizona correctional facility.
MI: Detroit to get million more for blight demolition
The City of Detroit stands to receive an additional .25 million in demolition money from the federal government under a proposal authorized by the Obama administration and approved by a Michigan state housing board.
NM: New Mexico Medicaid costs called a ‘runaway train’
Top-ranking Human Services Department officials told New Mexico legislators they will need nearly billion next year for the state’s share of rapidly rising Medicaid costs—described by one key lawmaker as a “runaway train.”
GA: Georgia school districts still say no to arming teachers
A 2014 law that vastly expanded where Georgians can legally carry firearms allows school boards to authorize some teachers and other staffers to carry weapons if they complete training. But more than a year after the legislation took effect, no school district has taken that step.
UT: Utah Transit Authority top brass swear off bonuses for two years
Top executives of the Utah Transit Authority have pledged to forgo bonuses for the next two years for the benefit of the agency.
WI: Wisconsin’s high graduation rate doesn’t apply to all
While Wisconsin has the third-highest graduation rate in the U.S., it also has the largest gap between graduation rates for white and black students, according to federal data.
TX: Texas wildfires fueled by drought, growing population, sprawling suburbs
Larger, more threatening wildfires are occurring at greater rates as Texas faces lingering drought, the spread of outlying suburbs and changes in how the state’s land is used.
PA: Pennsylvania school system adopts new policy on teacher-student contact
With three teachers awaiting trial because they are accused of having sexual relationships with students, a Pennsylvania school district has added a policy that puts limits on student-teacher contact, including communication through social media.
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