What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/30

KY: Kentucky now a laboratory for retreat in Medicaid expansion

Kentucky captured the nation’s attention as the only Southern state to wholly embrace the Affordable Care Act. Now, the state may be a laboratory for the kind of rollback the law’s opponents have so far only dreamed of.

SD: South Dakota braces for heroin epidemic

South Dakota’s medical licensing board is considering rules that would let police and emergency personnel carry medicine that reverses opioid overdoses, as officials brace for a surging heroin epidemic.

DE: No oversight of Delaware police’s secret stash

Law enforcement agencies in Delaware have seized $5 million from people suspected of wrongdoing since 2012 under a law that lets police take property or money even if criminal charges aren't filed. Information about how much money is seized under civil forfeiture is kept secret because officials are shielded by state law from having to disclose any details.

OH: New legislation would slash unemployment benefits in Ohio

Ohio lawmakers are pushing new legislation that would cut unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to as few as 12, and impose new eligibility requirements to help strengthen the state's insolvent unemployment benefits system.

TX: As Texas grows, more languages are spoken at home

Of the 23.7 million people in Texas who are 5 years of age or older, more than a third speak a language other than English at home. That fact is creating challenges for the state’s schools.

OK: Tax amnesty collections brighten Oklahoma’s revenue outlook

A two-month Oklahoma tax amnesty brought in at least $129 million between Sept. 14 and Nov.13, and could net as much as $146 million if all promised payments are received.

RI: 10 percent of Rhode Island’s state business is supposed to go to minorities, but doesn’t

Rhode Island passed a law nearly 30 years ago mandating that at least 10 percent of state contracts and purchases go to minority- and women-owned businesses. But by the end of 2014, certified minority business enterprises received less than 5 percent of the state's contracts and purchase awards.

GA: Georgia under pressure to respond to claims of illegally segregating students

It has been more than four months since the U.S. Department of Justice charged Georgia with illegally segregating thousands of students with behavioral or psychiatric disorders. A coalition of advocacy groups is questioning why state leaders have done little since to address the problems.

MN: Minnesota legislative leaders lean toward tax cuts

Leaders say they want to use as much as a $1 billion surplus to cut taxes for Minnesotans in 2016, an appealing option in an election year.

NH: New Hampshire lawmakers to face drug abuse, Medicaid expansion

New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic is the biggest issue facing lawmakers when they return to Concord in January. The second is Medicaid expansion, which is receiving a boost from Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

PA: Pennsylvania’s courts for veterans stem recidivism

Veterans’ courts in Pennsylvania are recognized as some of the country’s most successful programs for preventing recidivism. Only about 10 percent of defendants in the program return to court.

MD: Tax relief for Maryland businesses turns out to be not so simple

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won the governorship by promising lower taxes and a friendlier stance toward business. His agenda has rekindled a charged debate over how much of a tax burden individuals and businesses can bear.

US: Gay marriage is legal in U.S., except on tribal lands

American Indian reservations are not bound by the U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage ruling, and many tribes continue to forbid gay marriages and deny insurance and other benefits.

Promoting High-Tech Welcoming Cyclists