CA: Small businesses can keep health plans next year
California small businesses will be allowed to keep health insurance plans that don’t conform to the federal Affordable Care Act through next year.
MT: FWP commission works out details of landowner wolf-killing allowance
A new Montana law allows private landowners to kill up to 100 wolves a year if they think they are a threat to people, dogs or livestock.
TX: Texas company to pay millions over 'predatory' lending
Texas-based payday lender ACE Cash Express has agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it used harassment and other illegal tactics to push borrowers into a cycle of debt.
LA: New Orleans VA Regional Office misdiagnosed 42 of 90 disability claims
The VA’s inspector general said it uncovered 238 improper monthly payments to 17 veterans, totaling approximately $132,878.
RI: First arrest made under new ‘hot dog’ law
Johnston police say they have made the first arrest under a new Rhode Island law that makes it a misdemeanor to leave an animal in a car under circumstances that threaten its health. A black poodle was left in a car in the parking lot of the BJ’s Wholesale Club. The car’s interior temperature was 124 degrees.
MA: GOP gubernatorial candidate backs away from Hobby Lobby remarks.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker backed away from remarks he made downplaying the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on insurance coverage for contraception. Baker said he was wrong to suggest that the ruling would not affect Massachusetts.
KY: Koch brothers’ group sets up in Ky. seeking tax cuts
Americans for Prosperity, which receives money from prominent Republican donors Charles and David Koch, has started a Kentucky branch to advocate for conservative issues, including a cut in business taxes.
UT: Senate approves Utah land exchange
The U.S. Senate approved a land exchange in Utah and a minor correction to a law with big implications for the Provo River Water Users Association during a flurry of activity Wednesday, and the two bills are now headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.
NV: Congress clears Henderson to buy, clean up toxic mine site
An abandoned mine outside Henderson could go from toxic eyesore to residential high-rises after Congress approved the sale of more than 900 acres of federal land to the city of Henderson.
MN: MNsure monthly premiums likely to increase significantly
The head of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans told recent symposium that she would "not be surprised if the health plans increased their rates by 8, 10, or even 12 percent.”
FL: Proposed medical marijuana rules leave questions unanswered
At a Department of Health workshop in Tallahassee, hopeful marijuana growers, lobbyists and others voiced concerns about Florida’s proposed rules governing medical cannabis.
NE: Nebraska, Iowa National Guard join modern era with ritzy new 'readiness centers'; price tag for upgrades: $258M
The federal government has paid more than $30 million to build two new headquarters for Nebraska’s National Guard.