What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/22

WY: Wyoming governor announces massive budget cuts

Republican Gov. Matt Mead announced proposed budget cuts of more than $248 million, as tax revenue is falling short of projections. Spending on healthcare will take the biggest hit, and an estimated 677 jobs in Wyoming’s private healthcare sector could be lost.

CO: Colorado eyes potential budget deficit

Days before the state’s $25.8 billion budget takes effect, Colorado lawmakers were told that they could face a deficit in it that ranges from $11 million to $268 million and which would require spending cuts.

RI: Rhode Island governor vetoes “revenge porn” bill

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the posting of nude or sexually explicit images of someone on the internet without their knowledge and consent. She said the bill could chill free speech in Rhode Island.

MA: Massachusetts sales tax holiday could fall victim to budget shortfall

Massachusetts lawmakers are assessing what to cut to close a budget gap estimated at between $320 million and $370 million before the end of the month. Among the options: Trimming the state’s sales tax holiday, which costs the commonwealth roughly $25 million annually.

ME: Maine governor threatens to end food stamp program

Republican Gov. Paul LePage threatened to end Maine’s administration of the federal food stamp program if Washington won’t allow the state to ban the purchase of sugar-sweetened drinks and candy with the stamps.

NC: North Carolina governor signs bill widening access to overdose antidotes

In response to a growing opioid addiction problem, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill that immediately allows participating North Carolina pharmacies to dispense naloxone hydrochloride to anyone who indicates an ability to help prevent an overdose.

FL: Federal appeals court takes up challenge to Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” law

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a challenge to Florida’s 2011 law that requires doctors to have a legitimate safety concern before they start asking a patient about guns. Doctors who violate the law could face professional discipline, such as a fine, or even lose their medical licenses.

CA: California’s nuclear era drawing to a close

California's last nuclear power plant will close by 2025 under a proposed agreement between the state's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and environmental groups. Solar power and other energy sources that do not produce climate-changing greenhouse gases would take its place.

KS: Kansas election officials unsure which voters can vote for what

With advance balloting for the 2016 primaries to begin in less than a month, county election officials in Kansas are unsure which voters will be allowed to cast ballots in which races. Three lawsuits are pending that challenge different aspects of state voting laws that require people to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote.

PA: Pennsylvania House votes to expand restrictions on abortion

House members voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks instead of 24 weeks under current Pennsylvania law, and criminalize the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure.

NE: Many Nebraska county election officials may be denying voting rights

Nearly half of the county election officials contacted by the ACLU of Nebraska provided inaccurate information on the voting rights for people with felony convictions, the organization said. State law allows a convicted felon to register to vote two years after completing all of the terms of a sentence, which include parole and probation.

IA: Iowa judges can advertise their wedding services, with limits

Iowa judges and magistrates may advertise their availability to perform wedding ceremonies for a fee, but only if they carefully avoid the appearance of using a public position to line their own pockets, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled.

OH: Can Ohio lawyers use marijuana? State Supreme Court asked to weigh in

Ohio's new medical marijuana law prohibits disciplining professionals for working with marijuana businesses or patients, but it's not clear whether that applies to attorneys. So lawyers have submitted at least two requests for formal opinions on the matter to the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct. 

Top State Stories 6/23 Generation Gap