What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/9

VA: Virginia becomes first state to regulate fantasy sports

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill that makes Virginia the first state to regulate fantasy sports. The measure mandates that players be 18 or older, offers limits on how much they can bet, requires annual audits and bars employees from competing in company contests.

UT: Small-scale Utah Medicaid expansion wins final approval

Ending years of fighting, the Senate gave final approval to a compromise bill expanding Medicaid coverage to 16,000 of the poorest Utahns. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to sign the measure.

CT: Connecticut governor wants more budget cuts 

Faced with increasing budget deficits this year and next, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy outlined nearly $129 million in new cuts and asked Connecticut’s legislative leaders to find an equivalent amount of additional reductions.

KY: Democrats increase their majority in the Kentucky House 

Democrats won three of four state House seats up for grabs in Kentucky’s special election Tuesday. The wins increase the party’s majority to 53-47 there, the last state legislative chamber in the South in Democratic control.

FL: Florida Legislature poised to ban local Styrofoam bans

If approved, the bill would allow seven South Florida cities that adopted bans on Styrofoam containers before January 2016 to keep them in place. But communities like Coral Gables and Orlando that adopted bans this year or are in the process of adopting bans would have their measures reversed.

CA: Court win for California’s high-speed rail project

A Sacramento judge has rejected claims by opponents of California's high-speed rail project that plans for the bullet train system violate state law. 

MD: Tensions mount over Maryland governor’s plan to restrict automatic spending increases

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 budget appears set to sail through the Maryland Legislature, but a separate administration proposal to limit automatic spending increases has emerged as a major point of contention for Democratic lawmakers and organizations that say they depend on the regular funding bumps.

US: New rule extends stay for some foreign graduates

Under the new rule, which takes effect May 10, international students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in the U.S. will be eligible to stay for three years of on-the-job training, seven months longer than is now permitted.

SC: South Carolina Senate approves abortion compromise

The South Carolina Senate has approved a compromise on a bill banning abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, permitting an exception in cases of fetal anomalies but without any exceptions for rape or incest.

OH: 17-year-olds sue Ohio over right to vote

A national voting rights organization — along with nine 17-year-old plaintiffs — is suing Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted for his refusal to allow 17-year-olds to vote in Ohio’s presidential primary next week.

OK: Oklahoma House not ready to tap state's Rainy Day Fund

Oklahoma House Republicans aren't ready to endorse a plan backed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and Senate Republicans to dip into the state's Rainy Day Fund to ease this year's budget cuts to schools and prisons.

MS: Mississippi health department cuts price of water testing kits

The Mississippi Department of Health is reducing the cost of water sampling kits available through the state laboratory to $15 for customers who get their water from the city of Jackson, as fears of high concentration of lead in drinking water spreads across the U.S.

TX: Texas insurers want more room for generic drugs in Medicaid

Health plans say they could save Texas roughly $100 million per year in Medicaid costs if lawmakers gave them more freedom to choose generic drugs over name brands. A study commissioned by the Texas Association of Health Plans found that Texas pays about the national average cost per prescription but prescribes name-brand drugs at a higher rate than all but five other states.

Newest Immigrants Taxing the Wealthy