Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s public safety commissioner said the state will use the Maine State Police intelligence center and additional resources from the National Guard to combat the drug trafficking trade in Maine.
Supporters say a proposal to raise the tobacco tax by $2 per pack of cigarettes has a better chance of passing during a special session on health care because the money could be used to cover the cost of care for low-income residents. It’s one of several anti-smoking bills up for consideration during the special session.
A state court judge has denied a move by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to quash a lawsuit challenging Kansas’ two-tier voter registration system and said Kobach has exceeded his authority with the way he runs elections. The suit alleges voters have been frozen out of elections because they registered using federal registration forms and didn’t provide proof-of-citizenship documents required by Kansas law.
Missouri's budget leaders said they oppose spending taxpayer money on a new St. Louis football stadium, casting doubt on whether supporters can cobble together enough money to pay for the estimated $998 million stadium before an approaching NFL vote on whether to relocate the Rams to the Los Angeles area.
An organization campaigning to reinstate Nebraska's death penalty said it has collected enough signatures to suspend a repeal of the law before it goes into effect on Sunday, and to place the issue before voters in 2016. The group needed roughly 57,000 valid signatures from registered voters to force a statewide referendum, and double that number to immediately halt the repeal, which was approved by the legislature in May.
New York is launching a special police unit to help crack down on sexual assault on college campuses. A law signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month allocates $4.5 million for what officials have said is a first-in-the-nation police unit that will train college officials and local police.
The Arizona Legislature needed only a simple-majority vote to expand the state’s Medicaid program in 2013, a Superior Court judge ruled.
Iowa Department of Transportation employees have started testing a mobile app that displays a person’s driver’s license on a smartphone. The pilot program also is testing the efficiency of updating some records through the app, such as making changes to addresses, organ donor status and license restrictions.
West Virginia lawmakers are looking at setting up an independent state inspector general’s office that would investigate government waste, fraud and corruption. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have a state inspector general post.
Nevada's health insurance exchange is losing its only locally based carrier. Nevada Health CO-OP, a nonprofit insurer created by the Affordable Care Act and federally funded to offer health coverage through the Nevada Health Link marketplace, said it cannot make enough money to stay in business after Jan. 1.
A paperwork bottleneck at the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families is causing a significant delay in getting the necessary waivers to bring new foster homes online, according to several workers at the outside agencies that arrange for intensive foster care. It’s partially because the department was hit hard by new retirement packages.