Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/14

Top State Stories 12/14

US: Enrollment in ACA health plans up from same time last year, but sign-up chance dwindling

washingtonpost.com

With just days remaining in most of the country to buy Affordable Care Act coverage for 2018, enrollment is ahead of the same time last year but is almost sure to fall short in the end because of a compressed enrollment season.

TX: Texas land grab: How the federal government abused power to seize property for border fence

texastribune.org

An investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune shows that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cut unfair real estate deals, secretly waived legal safeguards for property owners, and ultimately abused the government’s extraordinary power to take land from private citizens in Texas and other border states.

WA: Washington will keep net neutrality in state if FCC won’t for the nation, governor says

spokesman.com

If the Federal Communications Commission changes national net neutrality rules, internet service providers that restrict access, block content or charge varying rates to different customers could find themselves facing sanctions from Washington state, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said.

HI: Hawaii’s mayors pledge to halt use of fossil fuel vehicles by 2045

staradvertiser.com

To help lay the groundwork for the 2045 goal, Hawaii’s mayors will work with private partners to develop the infrastructure necessary to accommodate new types of fuel including electricity, hydrogen and renewable diesel. The mayors also committed to using only renewable energy to power government vehicles by 2035.

RI: Rhode Island computer science education initiative has a long way to go

providencejournal.com

Since Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, announced her Computer Science for Rhode Island initiative in March 2016, she has frequently touted her goal that every public school student in Rhode Island will be taught computer science. But a vast swath of high schools don't even offer computer science classes. It's taught at just a few middle schools and not at all in elementary schools.

AK: Alaska forecast for 2018 revenue jumps as oil prices rise

adn.com

Thanks in part to increased oil prices, Alaska expects to earn $2.1 billion in unrestricted general fund revenue in the current budget year, up by $247 million from a preliminary report issued just weeks ago. Unexpected production tax payments made after the preliminary report was issued and an adjustment to mineral royalties being deposited into the general fund also contributed to the increase.

DC: Public financing of political campaigns moves forward In D.C. Council

wamu.org

A Washington, D.C., Council committee gave unanimous approval to a bill creating a program to provide qualified candidates with taxpayer funds to run their campaigns. These candidates would have to swear off any contributions from large donors, corporations and political action committees.

NY: New York bars auto insurers from charging more based on education, job status

timesunion.com

New York is barring insurance companies from charging more for drivers based on their occupation or level of education, under rules announced by the state Department of Financial Services. A multi-year investigation found some insurance companies have been using such factors as whether a person lacks a college degree or works in a low-paying job to charge more for auto insurance, officials said.

PA: Law makes aerial fireworks legal for Pennsylvania residents

poconorecord.com

A law quietly slipped in October’s state budget allows Pennsylvania residents to enjoy what only out-of-state-residents could previously — aerial fireworks.

AZ: Arizona proposal would crack down on ticket-hogging bots

azcentral.com

An Arizona lawmaker wants to make it cheaper and easier for music fans to see concerts by stopping bots from scooping up hundreds of tickets that are resold on sites like StubHub.

CO: Colorado country will allow tiny homes in unincorporated areas

denverpost.com

El Paso County commissioners have voted to amend the land use code to permit tiny houses wherever mobile homes are allowed — agricultural zoning districts, on some residential lots and in recreational vehicle parks. The Colorado county’s change will also let residents live in the homes permanently.

NV: Nevada awards $2.7 million to Las Vegas police for rape kit testing

reviewjournal.com

Nevada is awarding $2.7 million to Las Vegas police to continue to pay for testing a backlog of thousands of sexual assault evidence kits, including some that went untested for up to 30 years.

VA: Hell yes! Virginia legislator pushes to decriminalize swearing in public

wamu.org

The Virginia Code has long made it a misdemeanor to “profanely swear or curse” in public, and any transgression can result in a $250 fine. But when state delegates and senators gather in Richmond in January for Virginia’s annual legislative session, one Republican delegate will try to change that.

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