What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/28

  • October 28, 2016

AL: Federal judge blocks two Alabama abortion laws

reuters.com

A U.S. district judge blocked abortion restrictions in Alabama that limit how close clinics can be to public schools and ban a procedure used to terminate pregnancies in the second trimester, saying the laws are likely to be unconstitutional.

AR: Arkansas Supreme Court disqualifies one medical marijuana proposal

arkansasonline.com

The Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified a medical marijuana proposal from the ballot less than two weeks before the election and with thousands of votes already cast. But voters still will be able to consider a competing plan.

OH: Medicaid expansion credited for getting record number of kids insurance in Ohio

dispatch.com

More than 95 percent of Ohio children have health coverage, as the uninsured rate fell to historic lows after the state expanded Medicaid, a new analysis finds. In all, 26,000 children gained coverage between 2013 and 2015. An estimated 115,000 under the age of 19 still are without health insurance.

IA: Iowa reaches milestone in wind power

dailyprogress.com

Iowa is the first state to generate more than a third of its electricity from wind energy, the American Wind Energy Association said. The state generates power from more than 3,700 turbines, and ranks third nationally in the number of turbines.

PA: Pennsylvania is about to liberate the six-pack — for beer distributors

post-gazette.com

In a change in liquor laws that date to the end of prohibition, beer wholesalers in Pennsylvania soon should be able to sell six-packs of beer, growlers and single cans directly to the public. Right now, they can only sell cases, 12-packs and kegs of beer. 

KY: State says Kentuckians won’t notice state health care exchange is gone

kentucky.com

After scrapping Kentucky’s health care exchange, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it expects a smooth transition Nov. 1, as open enrollment begins for health insurance on the federal exchange. But health care advocates worry that some people will be left behind.

MI: Michigan governor vetoes change in Medicaid tax

freep.com

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation that would have maintained Michigan’s 6 percent "use" tax on Medicaid managed care organizations, more quickly ended a broader health insurance tax and changed the pot of state money used to draw federal matching dollars.

MO: Big Tobacco spending big money on Missouri cigarette tax question

stltoday.com

Tobacco companies have funneled more than $18 million into dueling campaigns to raise Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax. But this time, the makers of big cigarette brands are the primary supporters of the initiatives. One reason: One proposal would require retailers to impose an additional 67 cents in taxes on a pack of smokes made by small brands.

IL: Illinois governor spending big in legislative races

chicagoreporter.com

Wealthy Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is on track to spend $50 million in Illinois legislative races this year after having much of his agenda blocked in the Democratic Legislature.

GA: State leaders to ‘pray for rain’ as drought grips Georgia

ajc.com

Georgia’s leaders have a long history of asking for divine help to break droughts. Now, Republican Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins want God’s help to end the latest drought to parch Georgia’s fields and streams.

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