Top State Stories 6/13
MA: Massachusetts attorney general sues opioid maker
Attorney General Maura Healey is suing Purdue Pharma, the maker of powerful opioids like OxyContin, alleging the company misled doctors and consumers about their risks, with the aim of getting more people to take them at higher doses for longer periods of time — to boost the company’s bottom line.
CA: Theft rises after California reduces criminal penalties
California voters’ decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft, researchers reported.
OH: Ohio health insurers moving to better battle, treat opioid addiction
Representatives of major Ohio health insurers joined Attorney General Mike DeWine to outline recommendations and roles they can play to help reduce the use of pain pills, heroin, fentanyl and other opioids.
NC: North Carolina House speaker blocks Medicaid expansion
An amendment from North Carolina’s House Democratic leader avoids using the term “Medicaid expansion” but would order the Department of Health and Human Services to study “whether there are changes to the Medicaid Program that will increase preventative health services, improve health outcomes, and lower the overall costs of care” and include the total cost of any recommended changes.
AL: Alabama town bans media, out-of-towners from meetings
A tiny Alabama town, Paint Rock, issued written rules that prohibit media members and nonresidents from attending Town Council meetings without prior approval of the members. That position appears to contradict the Alabama Open Meetings Act.
LA: Louisiana regulators prepare for rollout of expanded medical marijuana program
Regulators crafting Louisiana’s medical marijuana policies affecting physicians expressed concern that key rules still need to be revised, while the growing number of state-approved treatable conditions will likely cause the state’s nascent program to grow significantly.
MI: Michigan schools look to panic button in emergencies
In the wake of violent attacks on public schools across the United States, Michigan lawmakers want to offer school districts million in school safety grants they can use to subscribe to a panic button app system and other security measures.
IL: Chicago mayor calls for new Airbnb fee
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, wants to up the cost for people who rent homes or rooms through Airbnb and other online platforms, calling for a new 2 percent fee which will go toward adding shelter beds for domestic abuse victims. The mayor’s administration says the new fee would raise about .3 million.
NJ: New Jersey welcomes a new surveillance state
A program, called Citizen Virtual Patrol, began in Newark, New Jersey, with 62 cameras placed in locations with heavy foot traffic (nearby signs alert pedestrians, “This Area Is Under Video Surveillance”); eventually, there will be more than a hundred additional cameras installed around the city, with video footage accessible from anywhere with a smartphone app.
US: Mayors form coalition to push for marijuana policy reform
Mayors from seven U.S. cities in states with legal marijuana formed a coalition to push for federal marijuana policy reform just days after President Donald Trump expressed support for bipartisan congressional legislation to ease the federal ban on pot.
NV: Alleged scam used Nevada secretary of state website
The Nevada attorney general’s office is investigating a claim that a scammer stole land in Las Vegas through false business documents filed with the Nevada secretary of state.
KY: Lawmaker accuses Kentucky State Police of unfairly targeting anti-poverty group
Kentucky State Police are treating anti-poverty demonstrators who want access to the state Capitol unfairly, a state lawmaker said. Democratic state Rep. George Brown Jr. said the dispute between the Poor People’s Campaign and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration may have to be settled in court.
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