What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/9

  • December 09, 2015

SD: South Dakota governor proposes Medicaid expansion, tuition freeze in budget

rapidcityjournal.com

Bolstered by better-than-expected revenue, Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed an ambitious $4.8 billion budget for the upcoming year that includes a proposal to expand Medicaid in South Dakota and pay off debt to help public universities freeze tuition.

US: U.S. Supreme Court appears divided over ‘one person, one vote’

usatoday.com

A majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices agreed Tuesday that the standard by which election districts are drawn is imperfect. They just couldn't come up with a better way in hearing a case from Texas that seeks to redraw state legislative districts by using the number of eligible voters rather than by population.

KY: New Kentucky governor takes oath, outlines priorities

kentucky.com

New Republican Gov. Matt Bevin sketched out his priorities for coming months: shut down Kentucky’s state health exchange, reduce Medicaid rolls, create public charter schools, audit the state’s beleaguered pension plans and simplify the tax code.

MO: Missouri inmates suggest gas chamber for executions

ap.org

Attorneys for two Missouri death row inmates who claim their medical conditions would make lethal injection too painful have suggested the gas chamber as an alternative way to carry out their death sentences.

US: Campaign to lower voting age to 16 in local races ignites a debate

nytimes.com

A new campaign aims to lower the voting age for local elections to 16 from 18 to spur civic engagement by younger Americans. It is igniting a debate about voter competency, adolescent decision-making and whether allowing younger people to vote is the best way to politically engage teenagers.

MI: State super PACs, other voting law changes up for debate in Michigan

freep.com

Republicans in the Michigan Legislature are pushing measures that would end straight-ticket voting and open the floodgates to even more money in politics and elections by enshrining state-based super PACs into state law.

OH: Ohio moves forward on tougher police training standards

cleveland.com

Ohio law enforcement officials said they are moving ahead with toughening state requirements for police officer training, including drug screenings and physical and psychological exams. The changes are among reforms proposed by a state task force after a number of high-profile, police-involved deaths of black people around the country.

UT: Utah lawmakers will have $560 million more to spend next year

sltrib.com

Continued economic growth means Utah lawmakers will again have more than half a billion dollars to spend on education and other state programs when they gather next month for the 2016 legislative session.

HI: Hawaii governor weighs increase in public housing funding

civilbeat.com

Hawaii’s Department of Budget and Finance is recommending that Democratic Gov. David Ige allocate $31 million in his 2017 supplemental budget request for public housing repairs and maintenance, six times more money than Ige sought last year.

NC: North Carolina attorney general pushes for gun watch list

charlotteoberserver.com

Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper called on Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Legislature to use a national terrorist watch list to keep guns out of terrorists’ hands in the state.

NE: Nebraska Farm Bureau calls for limiting school property taxes

journalstar.com

The head of the Nebraska Farm Bureau said state tax policies are driving people off farms and ranches and called on legislators to change the way education is funded and to control local spending. More than 60 percent of property taxes collected in Nebraska go to pay for K-12 education.

DE: Delaware sued over mortgage settlement funds

delawareonline.com

A consumer advocacy group is suing the state of Delaware for allegedly misusing funds from a mortgage settlement with Bank of America to help balance the state budget rather than for programs related to the mortgage crisis.

CA: California city considers creating tent city for the homeless

mercurynews.com

San Jose's city council is discussing creating a tent city to house roughly 4,000 local homeless people, fearing that some will otherwise die in the streets this winter. Just a year ago, the city shut down one of the country's largest illegal homeless camps.

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