Editor's Picks From Around the Web
US: Health care co-op closings narrow consumers’ choices
About a third of alternative health insurers created under President Barack Obama’s health care law to spur competition and make coverage less expensive for consumers are shutting down. Only 14 of the so-called cooperatives are still standing, some precariously.
CA: California fire prevention fee may undermine local efforts
California levies a fee on properties in rural, fire-prone areas to help pay for wildfire mitigation. Local officials contend the fee has undermined local agencies' ability to raise their own money for fire protection and prevention efforts.
PA: Juvenile offenders in Pennsylvania given psychiatric drugs at high rates
An analysis of Pennsylvania’s youth correctional facilities found that during a seven-year period enough antipsychotic medications were ordered to treat a third of the state’s confined youth.
TX: Texans to vote on constitutional amendment to fund transportation
If voters approve the amendment on Nov. 3, the Texas comptroller would direct some of the taxes collected on car sales to the State Highway Fund. The money would be used for road projects and to decrease transportation-related bond debt.
FL: Florida bear hunt called off after two days
Wildlife officials called off Florida's bear hunt after 295 bears were killed by hunters in two days. State officials had planned to allow 320 bears to be killed over a seven-day period.
ME: Maine legislative leaders reject Planned Parenthood defund bill
Maine lawmakers won’t be debating bills to defund Planned Parenthood in the next legislative session, but the Legislature will hear bills to improve ferry safety, delay implementation of new educational assessment tests and give preference to Maine vendors and American-made products when issuing state funding.
MO: Missouri House releases changes to intern, sexual harassment policies
Sexual harassment complaints against state legislators would automatically trigger an investigation by an outside attorney, and romantic fraternization between Missouri lawmakers, staff and interns would be banned under recommendations presented by House Speaker Todd Richardson, a Republican.
SD: South Dakota considers alcohol sales at campus events
A South Dakota Board of Regents task force will decide whether to recommend the sale of alcohol at campus events—a proposal that would have to be enacted by the Legislature. Selling alcohol could increase revenue for campus activities and scholarships, but it could also exacerbate binge drinking.
IL: Illinois cutting “Obamacare” navigators
Amid a sharp reduction in federal funding, Get Covered Illinois has only enough money this year to pay for about 150 counselors who help consumers buy health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act, down from about 400 last year.
WI: GOP proposals would limit Wisconsin school districts' ability to raise revenue
Republican legislators in Wisconsin are proposing bills that would restrict when and how local school districts can raise money from taxpayers.
TN: Memphis plans mow-to-own program for vacant lots
Those living next to vacant government-owned lots could be credited $25 a cut toward buying a lot, in a bill now before the Memphis City Council. The city and county together spend about $8 million annually to cut the grass and maintain empty properties.