OR: Oregon OKs largest expansion of federal free lunch program
Oregon is spending million to dramatically expand its federal free breakfast and lunch program, ensuring that more than 60% of its 400,000 public school students will be included, the largest statewide effort in the country.
AK: One in three Alaska villages have no local police
More than 70 Alaska communities — places with some of the highest rates of sexual assault in the United States — have no local police protection.
US: Alabama boycott builds as states retaliate against abortion law
A movement to boycott Alabama over its near-ban on abortion gained momentum as officials in Maryland and Colorado called for economic retaliation.
MN: Minnesota legislature backs bill aimed at lower drug costs
The Minnesota legislature approved the final version of a bill designed to ensure that pharmacy benefit managers — the companies that act as middlemen between insurers and patients — fulfill their intended role of holding down drug expenses.
NY: New York lawmakers push for tampon transparency
Legislation making its way through the New York Capitol would ensure women can know what’s in the tampons they use. The measure, which passed the state Senate, requires each package of tampons sold in New York to display the materials used and their quantity.
SC: South Carolina governor vetoes bailout for wealthy residents with seawalls
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has stopped a last-minute plan to let wealthy oceanfront property owners rebuild a seawall on an eroding public beach in South Carolina. He said it was wrong for the legislature to “hastily enact” a special exception to the state’s beachfront management law.
TN: Tennessee’s rural hospitals are dying off. Who’s next?
Ten rural Tennessee hospitals have closed since 2012, and others have ended all inpatient services, becoming shadows of their former selves. Most likely, the closures are not over.
CA: California bill to add housing in single-family home neighborhoods blocked by lawmakers
A high-profile bill that would have increased home building near mass transit and in single-family home neighborhoods across California has been killed for the year, ending a major battle over how to address the state’s housing affordability crisis that has attracted attention nationwide.
VA: Virginia federal court to hear challenges to state abortion restrictions
As abortion opponents cheer the passage of fetal heartbeat laws and other bans, abortion-rights groups have been waging a quieter battle in courthouses around the country to overturn less direct state restrictions passed in recent years. The first federal lawsuit to make it to trial is set to begin Monday in Richmond.
OK: Oklahoma budget deal marks million for untested rape kits
The million in earmarked funds accompany several bills signed into law this session that aim to improve and streamline the process of testing and maintaining rape kits, as well as how law enforcement is trained to respond to calls of sexual assault in Oklahoma.
FL: More than a dozen Florida counties hacked by Russians
A South Florida Sun Sentinel investigation found that at least 13, and as many as 20, elections offices in Florida were sent an email by GRU, a Russian military intelligence agency. Two of them were hacked.
KS: Kansas governor cancels no-bid contracts approved by predecessor
Kansas is terminating two no-bid technology contracts valued at more than million that the previous Republican governor’s team helped secure. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly canceled the agreements with CGI Technologies several months after state officials said the company was having trouble doing the work.
MO: Pill abortions in Missouri decreased after doctors began performing pelvic exams on patients
The number of pill abortions in Missouri decreased last year after the state began requiring pelvic exams on patients prior to the procedure, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Senior Services.
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