What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 9/26

WI: Wisconsin faces billions in retiree obligations

Over the next generation, Wisconsin’s taxpayers and public workers must deal with at least $6.5 billion in unfunded retirement promises made by local governments, with more than $4.7 billion in the state's largest county alone.

US: Some insurers thwart efforts to use medication treatment for addiction

During a nationwide epidemic in which one American dies every 19 minutes from opioid or heroin overdose, addiction doctors say insurance barriers to medication that can save lives are instead putting them at risk for death.

OH: Ohio's purge of voter rolls violates law, federal appeals court says

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio's reliance on lack of voting activity as a trigger for purging people from the voting rolls violates federal law. It is unclear what effect the ruling will have on voters whose names already were removed from the rolls going in to the November election.

CA: No vouchers to buy diapers for California families on welfare

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an effort to subsidize diapers needed by California families receiving government assistance, calling the plan and several other efforts "an end run" around the annual budget process.

US: Goodbye to homework for some elementary school students

A small but growing number of elementary schools and individual teachers are doing away with the after-school chore to allow kids more time to play, participate in activities, spend time with families, read and sleep.

AZ: Federal judge rejects hold on Arizona “ballot harvesting” law

A federal district judge rejected a request from state and national Democrats to suspend Arizona's law that bans ballot collection. The judge said Democrats did not demonstrate that the new law would hurt minority voters more so than others, and said it would have a minimal effect, if any, on broader voting rights.

GA: Thousands of Georgia students dropped from rolls over unpaid tuition

Every year, Georgia’s public colleges purge between 20,000 and 30,000 students from their rolls for not paying tuition bills. The sums of money causing students to be dropped are small, often less than $1,000.

AK: Is methadone an answer to Alaska's heroin crisis?

The people who run a methadone clinic in Anchorage say demand for their services is high, but methadone is being passed over by policymakers as an effective way to help Alaska's addicts.

KS: Kansas governor abandons report on state's economy

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s advisory council has pulled the plug on a quarterly report developed to assure timely analysis of the administration’s economic policies and their effect on the Kansas economy.

SC: Disparities among South Carolina schools persist

More than 20 years after poor, rural schools in South Carolina sued the state for more support, little has been done to ensure that children in different ZIP codes have access to the same quality education.

KY: Kentucky judges need more pay, state's chief justice says

Chief Justice John Minton Jr. told lawmakers that Kentucky’s 284 justices and judges are among the lowest paid in the country and that he will seek a 10 percent increase in pay over the next two years. Annual salaries range from $140,504 for the chief justice to $112,668 for district judges.

PA: Program improperly granted bargaining rights for Pennsylvania home care workers

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that a state program inappropriately granted union rights to workers who care for elderly and disabled people in their homes.

OR: Some Oregon school districts to be reimbursed for lead testing

The Oregon Legislature will provide $5 million from its reserve of state emergency funds to assist school districts in paying for lead testing of their water sources used for drinking and food preparation.

Top State Stories 9/27 Opioid Addiction