NY: Pharma sues New York over ‘unconstitutional’ opioid tax
A national trade group representing drug distributors is suing to block a New York law that holds distributors financially responsible for the havoc wrought by the opioid epidemic.
CA: University of California opens doors to record number of Californians
The University of California has opened its doors to a record number of Californians, hitting a historic high of 24,568 transfer students as campuses respond to political pressure to admit more state community college applicants. Overall, the public research university’s nine undergraduate campuses offered seats to 95,654 Californians, nearly 3,000 more students than last year.
OH: Ohio governor targets fertilizer runoff in water quality order
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, signed an executive order to reduce agricultural runoff that contributes to toxic algae in Lake Erie by tightening state oversight in eight Northwest Ohio watersheds. It will affect 7,000 farms and 2 million acres of land.
ND: North Dakota becomes 48th state to make insurers cover autism treatments
All insurance companies doing business in North Dakota will soon be required to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorders. Only Wyoming and Tennessee don’t require such coverage.
NE: Lawsuit seeks to keep Medicaid expansion proposal off November ballot
A state lawmaker and former lawmaker filed suit seeking to keep a Medicaid expansion proposal off the November ballot. Last week, leaders of Insure the Good Life submitted more than 135,000 signatures on a petition seeking to expand Medicaid to about 90,000 more Nebraskans.
IA: Iowa nursing homes benefit from Trump’s regulatory rollbacks
Lobbyists for Iowa’s nursing home industry called federal regulators last month and thanked them for lowering fines on facilities that deliver substandard care. Iowa Health Care Association President Brent Willett told the regulators that “2016 cannot happen again,” referring to the record .6 million in federal fines that Iowa homes paid under the Obama administration.
AZ: Arizona business takes case against anti-discrimination ordinance to court
A Christian law firm is making a last-ditch effort to convince the state’s high court that businesses — at least some of them — have a constitutional right to refuse to sell their services and products to gays.
OK: Oklahoma governor quickly OKs new marijuana rules
Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, signed emergency rules regulating Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry a day after they were introduced by the State Board of Health. The rules bar smokable marijuana and require that each dispensary hire a pharmacist.
NV: Judge blocks execution in Nevada
Nevada’s first state execution in 12 years has been blocked, after a judge sided with a pharmaceutical company that objected to its drug being used in the lethal injection. The drugmaker, Alvogen, sought an injunction to stop the state from using its sedative in the execution of Scott Dozier.
UT: Utah officials race to save trout in wildfire’s path
Bracing for the loss of a restored fishery in the path of the now-slowing West Valley Fire, wildlife officials rescued 400 Bonneville cutthroat trout from a stream in southern Utah’s Pine Valley Mountains. State officials predict that sediments unleashed from the fire will flush into the stream, asphyxiating fish and rendering the waterway uninhabitable for years.
AL: Alabama moves to ban sheriffs from pocketing jail food money
Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has cut off a gravy train for the state’s sheriffs: the unspent money for prisoners’ meals that the sheriffs have long been allowed to keep for themselves. The practice, born of a bickered-over ambiguity in a state law, has let sheriffs pocket millions of tax dollars over decades.
LA: Environmentalists file suit for federal protection of Louisiana black bear
Environmentalists want the Louisiana black bear to regain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, and have filed a lawsuit to challenge the federal government’s 2016 decision to remove the bears from the protected list.
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