What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 2/5

  • February 05, 2016

NY: New York to offer free Zika testing to pregnant travelers


Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would offer free testing to all pregnant women who had traveled to a country experiencing a Zika outbreak, regardless of whether they were showing symptoms.

US: President proposes oil tax for roads, rails and ‘clean’ tech


President Obama is proposing a $10-a-barrel oil tax to provide for the long-term funding of the Highway Trust Fund and to pay for new rail corridors, transit systems and new technologies such as self-driving cars.

NM: Measures support storing spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico


New Mexico lawmakers are considering a pair of nonbinding measures that would signal support for the development of a temporary storage facility to house spent nuclear fuel that has been piling up at reactors around the nation.

US: FDA adds measures to combat epidemic of opioid abuse


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would convene an expert panel before approving some new opioids, strengthen requirements to study a drug after it has come to market, and increase access to training on pain management for doctors and other prescribers.

UT: Utah bill would require computer techs to report child porn


Professional computer technicians who trip across child pornography may be required to report it or face misdemeanor charges under a bill being considered by the Utah House.

WV: West Virginia Senate gives final approval to repealing prevailing wage law


The measure, headed for the desk of Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, repeals West Virginia’s 81-year-old law that requires workers be paid prevailing wages on public construction projects.

CA: California revenue dips; Sign of more to come?


Preliminary tax revenue for January stands $167 million less than Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget estimated. The weak stock market is partly to blame, and analysts warn the slump in income tax receipts could last into June. 

VA: Virginia Senate passes gun rights bill in bargain with governor


Virginia senators approved the first piece of a gun deal hashed out with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe that expands the right to carry concealed weapons in return for strengthening some gun laws. The compromise would reinstate a reciprocity agreement with 25 states to recognize their concealed permits.

AZ: Arizona's public students could get state money for private schools


Every Arizona public-school student could get state money to attend private schools by 2020 under a vast expansion of a school-voucher program lawmakers are attempting to fast-track.

WI: Wisconsin bill would forgive student loans for fledgling farmers


The bill, designed to encourage young people to consider farming as a career, would reimburse new farmers up to $30,000 of their student debt over a period of five years.

MO: Missouri governor criticizes plan to redirect money to roads


Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon says he opposes legislative efforts to fund Missouri roads and bridges with general state revenue instead of dedicated sources such as fuel taxes, saying the approach could mean less money for other services such as mental health care and education.

SD: South Dakota bill aims to protect conservative views on sex, marriage


South Dakota lawmakers advanced a bill that would allow people or organizations to discriminate against same-sex couples, unmarried pregnant women or transgender people without jeopardizing state contracts or employment.

NE: Judge rules that Nebraska inmates can marry via video conference


A Nebraska judge has ruled that a pair of prison inmates should be allowed to marry via video conference, rejecting arguments from the Department of Corrections that such a ceremony would be a waste of time and money because it would not be legally valid.