What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 4/26

US: States losing federal dollars for Zika, other health emergencies

Cities and states preparing for possible Zika outbreaks are losing millions of federal dollars that local officials say they were counting on, not only for on-the-ground efforts to track and contain the spread of the virus but to respond to other emergencies that threaten public health.

NC: Federal judge upholds North Carolina’s voter ID law

A U.S. District Court judge upheld a North Carolina law that requires voters to show certain forms of photo identification at the polls, saying the state had shown it had legitimate interests for the requirement.

CA: California lawmakers call for affordable housing funding

Assembly members have proposed a $1.3 billion package of local grants and tax credits to promote affordable housing development across California, including multifamily apartments, homes for farmworkers and housing with supportive services for homeless people.

WV: West Virginia warns Medicaid payments may not be made on time

West Virginia’s 24,000 Medicaid health care providers were told they may not get paid on time if an ongoing state budget impasse and projected shortfalls aren’t resolved.

VA: Virginia establishes fund (without funding) to help prepare for sea-level rise

Virginia has set up a revolving loan fund to help homeowners and businesses make changes to their properties in anticipation of sea-level rise — a step the program’s advocates say no other state has taken. But, there’s no money in the fund and may not be for several years.

OK: Oklahoma bill tying abortions to doctor licenses draws criticism

The state’s medical association is among those criticizing an Oklahoma bill that would strip doctors who perform abortions of their license to practice. If approved it would be the first law of its type in the nation.

KS: Two-thirds of new Kansas voter registrations are on hold, lawsuit alleges

Voting rolls in Kansas are in "chaos" because of the state's proof-of-citizenship requirements, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in challenging the requirements, saying about two-thirds of new voter registration applications submitted during a three-week period in February are on hold.

LA: Louisiana budget gap projected to shrink to $600 million

Louisiana officials say the projected shortfall for the coming fiscal year has shrunk from $750 million to $600 million primarily because of savings expected from Medicaid expansion. Two of Louisiana's privatized former charity hospitals, however, are questioning the projected savings.

WI: Wisconsin governor signs harsher penalties for multiple drunken driving offenses

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill, which makes a fourth drunken driving offense an automatic felony. The new law also increases the maximum prison sentence for a fifth or sixth offense to five years instead of three, and bumps prison time for a seventh, eighth and ninth offense up to seven and a half years from five.

HI: Hawaii to continue to house some prisoners out of state

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is moving to award a new multimillion dollar contract to a private corporation to continue housing excess prisoners on the mainland.

NE, OK: Nebraska and Oklahoma take new tack in challenging Colorado’s marijuana law

After the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Nebraska and Oklahoma’s bid to overturn marijuana legalization in Colorado, the two states are asking to be added to a case at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver challenging Colorado's law.

Smart City? Traumatized Vets