What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/24

  • February 24, 2016

OK: Oklahoma Supreme Court says anti-abortion law constitutional


Justices upheld a state law aimed at limiting the use of abortion-inducing drugs by requiring Oklahoma doctors to administer them only in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocols.

MD: Maryland Senate passes bill to rigorously cut greenhouse gas emissions


Senators voted to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state to 40 percent below 2006 levels by 2030, which would give Maryland the third most rigorous emission-cutting requirements behind California and New York. The bill goes to the House.

KY: Kentucky chief justice: Budget cuts would close courts


Kentucky's Supreme Court chief justice warned that 4.5 percent budget cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin would shut down the state's court system for about three weeks.

TX: Texas hospitals develop rapid Zika test


Two Texas hospitals — Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital — have developed a rapid test for the Zika virus, a milestone in responding to the outbreak. The tests, which can be performed on blood, amniotic fluid, urine or spinal fluid, will provide results in just a few hours.

NY: Mayor in New York wants space where addicts can inject heroin safely


The mayor of Ithaca wants his city in upstate New York to host the nation's first supervised injection facility, enabling heroin users to shoot illegal drugs into their bodies under the care of a nurse without getting arrested by police.

NE: Nebraska accounts to be available nationwide for people with special needs


An unexpected change in federal law means states can offer their tax-free savings plans for people with developmental disabilities, which let them save money without it counting against their asset limits for federal programs, across the country. Nebraska's plan to do so is expected to be one of the first on the market.

NJ: ‘Angry Birds’-like games headed to New Jersey casinos


A change in regulations will allow gaming companies to put skill-based gambling machines in New Jersey’s eight casinos. The games are said to be more attractive to millennials who might bypass traditional slot machines. 

VA: Virginia bill would require tracking officer-involved shootings


Lawmakers are advancing a bill that would require that shootings involving police officers be included in Virginia’s annual crime report. At present, there is no national standard for cataloging police-involved shootings.

FL: Florida Senate votes to require joint custody in divorce cases


The bill would require Florida judges to presume that it's best for children in divorce cases to split time equally with both parents.

VT: Vermont governor calls on pension plans to divest from coal companies


Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin says he wants the board overseeing Vermont’s state retirement funds to divest from coal companies and oil giant Exxon-Mobil as part of an effort to combat climate change.

GA: Georgia House votes to allow concealed handguns on college campuses


Concealed handguns would be allowed on Georgia's public college campuses under a measure that cleared the House and heads to the Senate over the objections of university leaders.

IA: Iowa Senate acts on teen dating violence


Iowa high schools would be required to provide instruction on teenage dating violence under a bill approved by the Iowa Senate and sent to the House. The bill is designed to raise students' awareness about dating violence and prevention, and equip students with skills to address abusive dating relationships.

KS: Kansas House rejects raising speed limit to 80 mph on interstates


Kansas House members voted to raise the speed limit on some highways to 70 mph, but refused to increase it to 80 mph on interstates as other sparsely populated states such as South Dakota have.