What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/20

WI: Federal judge allows Wisconsin voters without ID to cast ballots

A U.S. district judge ordered Wisconsin to allow citizens who lack required identification to vote in the November election if they file affidavits attesting they couldn’t obtain the documentation specified by the state’s voter ID law.

FL: Florida health officials investigate possible first case of Zika spread locally

The Florida Department of Health said it is investigating what could be the first case of locally spread Zika virus in the continental U.S., but didn’t specify whether the virus was thought to have been transmitted via mosquito bite, sexual contact or other means.

CA: California’s health insurance marketplace announces double-digit rate increase

For the first time since launching three years ago, Covered California — the state’s health insurance marketplace — announced double-digit premium increases that could average 13.2 percent for 2017. Consumers were encouraged to “shop around” for cheaper coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And lawmakers were urged to do more to rein in medical costs.

KS: Kansas sued over dual voting system

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging a Kansas voter registration system that prevents at least 17,000 residents from participating in state and local elections this year unless they show proof of U.S. citizenship.

NY: New York to require $1 million brain-injury coverage for mixed martial artists

New York will require $1 million coverage for life-threatening brain injuries and other new health insurance for both professional boxers and its first group of licensed mixed martial artists under state regulations expected to take effect in September.

KY: Surge of Kentucky felons seek to have their records expunged

In just two and a half days since Kentucky’s new felony expungement law went into effect, 459 people have taken the first step toward having their records erased.

AR, OK: Arkansas execution case could lead U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Oklahoma decision

Lawyers for eight death row inmates in Arkansas say their challenge of the state’s execution procedures should warrant a U.S. Supreme Court review that would likely revisit the high court's ruling on an Oklahoma case upholding that state’s three-drug protocol.

US: Fighting Obama’s climate plan, but quietly preparing to comply

Some states that are fighting President Barack Obama’s plan in court are meanwhile taking steps to implement it because the sweeping plan would force them to fundamentally transform their electricity systems.

CT: Connecticut police cut traffic stops amid tensions

Some Connecticut police chiefs say their officers seem to be stopping fewer motorists because of increased tensions with the communities they serve.

AL: Alabama governor says no prison bill in special session

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said he would not include an ambitious prison construction bill, the centerpiece of his legislative agenda this spring, in any upcoming special session of the Alabama Legislature.

TN: Tennessee’s largest city delays proposal to require employees to live there

Memphis City Council members delayed making a decision on an ordinance that would require new city workers to live within the limits of the Tennessee city — a plan the police chief said could make it harder to hire new officers. The issue could go to voters. 

Restorative Justice Licensing Midwives