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State legislature

How many state bugs and beans does U.S. need?

As U.S. states honour everything from bugs to beans, some lawmakers say 'Enough'
Rik Stevens, The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - Whoopie pies, the K4s steam locomotive, the Carolina Shag and Harney silt loam share a common bond: Each is a treasured member of the eclectic and, some say, out-of-control state symbol club.

Impact of Ohio's moves to reduce Lake Erie algae years away

Ohio's new rules aimed at cutting down Lake Erie's algae won't be a quick or complete fix
John Seewer, The Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio - Ohio's latest response to the toxic algae in Lake Erie that last year contaminated one of the state's largest drinking water systems will put a stop to practices that environmentalists have complained about for years.

Now the big question is will it make a big difference — but the answer won't come for at least several years.

That's because what's causing the algae blooms is a complicated mix of problems that have been blamed on farmers, changing weather patterns, aging wastewater systems, leaking septic tanks and invasive species in the lake.

Toilets, lingerie, shacking up: Some of Florida's odd bills

Toilets, lingerie, shacking up: Florida legislators take on odd topics in some bills
Brendan Farrington, The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida legislators filed more than 1,700 bills for consideration during their two-month session that ends in May. Some are routine, some deal with high-profile issues such as abortion and guns, and some are just odd. Here's a look at a few that fall into the last category:

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UNDERWEAR, OVERWEAR

It would be illegal for stores to let customers try on intimate apparel unless they do so over their clothes or with a protective shield. The bill describes intimate apparel as "lower undergarments, including lingerie and swimsuit bottoms."

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State lawmakers pass 1st US ban on abortion procedure

State lawmakers pass 1st US ban on procedure abortion foes describe as 'dismemberment'
John Hanna, The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas legislators Wednesday approved a proposed ban on a common second-trimester procedure described by abortion opponents as dismembering a fetus, making their state the first to adopt a national group's model policy.

The state House voted 98-26 to outlaw the dilation and evacuation procedure, which is used in about 8 per cent of all abortions in Kansas. The measure was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee.

Critics say Utah firing squad law tarnishes state's image

Critics: Decision to bring back firing squad as backup execution method tarnishes Utah's image
Brady McCombs And Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah lawmakers say they took a pragmatic approach in approving the firing squad as a form of execution if lethal-injection drugs aren't available.

Their thinking: Develop a backup plan in case a nationwide lethal-drug shortage persists.

But critics say bringing back the firing squad in Utah — the only state to use the method in the past 40 years — could tarnish the state's image with visitors.

Wrights' descendant testifies in Ohio on 1st-in-flight flap

Wright brothers' descendant testifies on resolution defending Ohio aviators' place in history
Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Supporters of the Wright Brothers, including one of their descendants, on Tuesday applauded state legislation defending the famous aviators' place in history as the first in flight.

Amanda Wright Lane, the great-grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright, impressed an Ohio House committee by brandishing a photograph of their famous Dec. 17, 1903, flight and pieces of wood from the Wright Flyer that travelled with fellow Ohio native Neil Armstrong to the moon and back.

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