What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 9/29

US: 604,000 veterans to be uninsured without more Medicaid expansion, report warns

More than 600,000 military veterans are likely to be without health coverage next year unless more states expand income eligibility for the Medicaid program, the Urban Institute reports. Of 327,000 uninsured vets in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, only 39 percent currently qualify for Medicaid or subsidized marketplace coverage.

US: Congress approves funding bill averting government shutdown

The House gave final approval to a stop-gap funding bill that will keep the federal government operating until Dec. 9 and which provides $1.1 billion in urgently needed money to help battle an outbreak of the Zika virus.

US: Federal appeals court backs federal say-so on proof of citizenship for voting

The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, which earlier this month blocked Alabama, Georgia and Kansas from requiring proof of citizenship for residents registering to vote using federal forms, said only a federal elections agency — and not the states — should have final say over the matter.

US: FBI warns hackers are probing other states’ voter registration systems

Hackers have been scanning state-controlled voter registration databases beyond Arizona and Illinois, FBI Director James Comey said.

NH: New Hampshire’s ban on voting-booth selfies overturned

New Hampshire voters seeking to express themselves in the voting booth with a so-called ballot selfie will be able to snap freely after the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a ban against the practice infringed on free speech.

KS: Kansas secretary of state ordered to tell thousands of voters their fall ballots will count

A state district judge ordered Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to instruct county election officials to notify more than 19,000 Kansans who registered on federal forms without proof of citizenship that their votes will be counted for all races on the November ballot.

AL: Federal appeals court upholds Alabama ban on state payroll deductions for political groups

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Alabama law that prohibits payroll deductions from state and local government employees to pay dues to organizations that use part of the money for political purposes.

IA: Audit shows Iowa job incentives often fail to deliver

Only about 20 percent of the jobs the Iowa Economic Development Authority contracted with businesses to create or retain over an 11-year period have come to fruition. In exchange for jobs, the authority gave companies $309.9 million in financial assistance.

US: Of the top 10 causes of death, suicide is the only one increasing every year

There are approximately 120 suicides a day. A substantial number of these are military veterans. And for every suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts.

TX: Texas is desperate for bilingual teachers

The number of limited-English speakers in Texas has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last decade, with about one in five students struggling with the language. During the same period, there was a 20 percent drop in the number of educators working in bilingual and ESL classes.

ID: Idaho lawmakers consider plans for low-income uninsured

At issue is how Idaho should address the needs of 78,000 lower-income residents who either don't qualify for standard Medicaid or for subsidized health coverage. The options are a modified expansion of Medicaid or a more limited, state-financed program.

OK: Some Oklahoma drivers with DUI arrests will get to keep their licenses

Many motorists accused of drunken driving in Oklahoma won’t be losing their licenses after the Oklahoma Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision that found problems with breath testing.

NJ: New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on asking for salary history

A pair of lawmakers want to keep New Jersey employers from asking potential workers about their past salaries. Advocates of the proposal say setting salaries based on past wages perpetuates the wage gap between women and men. 

Top State Stories 9/30 Father Time
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