What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/29

  • March 29, 2016

GA: Georgia governor vetoes religious liberties bill


Republican Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a religious liberties bill that triggered a wave of criticism from Hollywood, sports leagues and Georgia business leaders for what they saw was its discrimination against gay and transgender people.

US: Man-made earthquakes put 7 million at risk in central U.S., geologists say


The U.S. Geological Survey released maps that for the first time show the potential risk of man-made wastewater wells in parts of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas can be equal to quake hazards in California.

KY: Kentucky budget stalemate continues as end of session nears


Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo warned that the Kentucky Legislature could adjourn without a budget, as House and Senate negotiators cannot find common ground on a $21 billion spending plan for the next two years.

UT: Utah governor signs bill requiring abortion anesthesia


Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill that makes Utah the first state to require doctors to give anesthesia to women having an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later. The bill is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point.

HI: End to Hawaii’s solar incentive program rocks industry


Fewer homeowners have signed up for rooftop solar systems since Hawaii’s public utilities commission stopped offering net energy metering, which the solar industry says has led some companies to lay off workers.

MD: Maryland House, Senate negotiators strike deal on state budget


Negotiators agreed on the details of a $42.3 billion budget that has no new taxes, but which provides enough money for Maryland’s public colleges and universities to hold tuition increases to no more than about 2 percent and pay Baltimore $18 million to demolish vacant houses.

AL: Federal judge declares Alabama abortion restriction unconstitutional


The judge struck down part of an Alabama law that required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital.

VA: Virginia governor tells college presidents to limit tuition increases


Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants college presidents to cap tuition increases at 3 percent. Language in the state budget, which he has yet to sign, provides greater state oversight of tuition rates.

ID: Idaho governor won't call special session for Medicaid expansion


Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says he will not take executive action to expand Medicaid in Idaho after the Legislature adjourned without passing legislation to deal with the problem. He said he would work with lawmakers toward a solution next year.

TN: Tennessee governor proposes new spending


Republican Gov. Bill Haslam proposed additional spending on transportation, Tennessee’s Medicaid program and education beyond the state budget request he sent to the Legislature nearly two months ago.