What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/28

  • November 28, 2016

PA: Pennsylvania increases access to long-term contraceptives

lancasteronline.com

Hospitals in Pennsylvania will now get reimbursed by the state’s Medicaid program if they give new mothers intrauterine devices or birth control implants right after delivery.

TN: Tennessee parents lose custody of kids as opioid crisis rages on

tennessean.com

Between 2010 and 2014, there was a 51 percent increase in the number of Tennessee parents who had their relationship with a child severed, and the number of children waiting to be adopted increased by 56 percent. Judges, temporary guardians and lawyers involved in the cases said the state’s opioid addiction epidemic is a key driver.

OH: Ohio governor, lawmakers want to reduce medical licensing boards

dispatch.com

Republican Gov. John Kasich and legislative leaders are working to reduce the number of Ohio's medical licensing boards from 16 to eight to reduce costs and respond to antitrust concerns.

US: Despite action by states, federal government could slow or stop legal marijuana

ap.org

The federal government has several options if it wants to enforce the Controlled Substances Act, which bans pot even for medical purposes.

CA: California bar association considers ban on attorneys having sex with clients

latimes.com

The nation's largest state bar association is overhauling ethics rules for attorneys for the first time in 30 years, and some California lawyers are unhappy about a proposal that would open them up to discipline for having sex with clients.

WI: For unions in Wisconsin, a fast and hard fall

jsonline.com

No state has lost more of its labor union identity than Wisconsin, where Act 10 dramatically curtailed collective bargaining for most public employees, including teachers.

MO: Missouri looking for ways to cut cost of burying dead prisoners

stltoday.com

Faced with an aging inmate population, the Missouri Department of Corrections is seeking bids from funeral homes across the state in a search for the best deal on burial and cremation services for prisoners.

AL: Alabama Medicaid change to managed care postponed

al.com

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama’s plan to shift Medicaid to managed care will be pushed back from July to October amid uncertainty about funding and what changes the Trump administration might bring to Medicaid.

NE: Nebraska tax incentive program shows mixed results

omaha.com

A new state report finds that Nebraska’s main business tax incentive program has helped lure just nine new companies to the state in eight years, and each new job cost state and local governments between $24,500 and $320,000. But the program also encouraged 69 existing businesses to add jobs and increase investment from 2006 through 2014.

MT: Montana governor proposes using state wildfire fund for other efforts

billingsgazette.com

To help make up budget shortfalls caused by the state’s declining revenue, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s proposed budget for the next two years earmarks about $25 million from Montana’s wildfire suppression fund for other state forestry programs.

VA: Virginia studies industrial hemp

washingtonpost.com

Politicians are pushing to bring industrial hemp production to Virginia and the state has been growing the plant for research. Some see hemp as a potential replacement to the tobacco and manufacturing industries in the state.

NV: Nevada’s new execution chamber is finished but gathering dust

reviewjournal.com

Nearly $860,000 was approved for Nevada’s new execution chamber at Ely State Prison. But the state can no longer obtain the drugs it needs to proceed with an execution and there is no expectation that it will be used any time soon.

TX: The University of Texas at Austin is growing, but its energy bills and emissions are shrinking

texastribune.org

The University of Texas at Austin energy system operates as an island, outside of the electricity grid that covers most of Texas. It's getting more efficient over time, avoiding millions of dollars in fuel costs.

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