Top State Stories 7/19
ME: Maine governor to expand aid to asylees
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, is relaxing restrictions on General Assistance eligibility to allow more asylum seekers to qualify for the welfare benefits, reversing an administration policy of her Republican predecessor in response to a recent surge in migrants.
MD: ICE could open detention center near Baltimore
Federal immigration enforcement officials are exploring the possibility of opening a detention center near Baltimore that is capable of housing 600 to 800 men and women. A new facility would join Maryland’s three existing ICE detention centers in Worcester, Frederick and Howard counties.
VA: Remote Virginia valley flooded by opioids
Opioids by the tens of thousands, then by the hundreds of thousands and ultimately by the millions found their way to this remote city tucked amid rugged, lush mountains in southwest Virginia’s coal country. Those numbers come from a Washington Post analysis of a newly released Drug Enforcement Administration database.
KY: Overdose deaths decline in Kentucky
Fewer Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2018 than the previous year — marking the first time the state saw a decline in overdose deaths since 2013, according to a report by the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy.
NY: New York awards offshore wind contracts in bid to reduce emissions
New York state, which passed an ambitious law to reduce the emissions that cause climate change, said it had reached an agreement for two wind farm projects, which will be the country’s largest.
WA: Montana, North Dakota push against Washington state rail law
Attorneys general for North Dakota and Montana asked the Trump administration to overrule a Washington state law that imposed new restrictions on oil trains from the Northern Plains to guard against explosive derailments.
NM: New Mexico state income from gambling declines over time
An analysis of tribal casino revenue and taxes from racetrack gambling in New Mexico suggests the local industry may be static or contracting.
NC: North Carolina governor pushes for hurricane funds
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, expressed concern to Trump administration officials about how long it is taking disaster relief grants to reach North Carolina, including a million package that state officials have been awaiting more than a year.
TX: Texas cities set to lose income under new state laws
Property tax reform and a ban on red-light cameras are among bills that will hit the budgets of Texas cities. Local officials across the state are trying to calculate just how much money they’ll forgo as the laws take effect.
MN: Minnesota’s medical pot program working for PTSD
More than 7 in 10 survey respondents said that after a few months, medical pot was helping with their post-traumatic stress, and a similar percentage showed “clinically meaningful” reductions on a screening tool that measures the severity of their symptoms, a Minnesota Department of Health report shows.
VT: Vermont program aims to promote hunting, fishing to locavores
Vermont millennials aren’t heading out to hunt game the way their forebears did. In a bid to inspire more of them to try, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is casting Vermont wild turkey, deer, fish and bear as hyper-local food that is fresh and natural.
ND: North Dakota sues over cost of policing pipeline protests
North Dakota wants to recoup the million it spent to police the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The federal lawsuit claims the Army Corps of Engineers allowed protestors to illegally camp on federal land in 2016 and 2017.
NV: Former Nevada state Senate Majority Leader to serve two years in prison
A federal judge ordered former Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, a Democrat, to serve 27 months in prison and pay ,900 in restitution for his misuse of campaign funds.
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