What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 10/14

US: More than 1 million in Obamacare to lose current health plans

At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now because big insurers, such as Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, and some state or regional insurers are leaving markets.

VA: Virginia governor calls for pay cuts, job freeze to address budget shortfall

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in an attempt to balance Virginia’s $1.5 billion budget shortfall, plans to eliminate planned pay raises for state employees and teachers, and will ask the General Assembly to dip into the rainy-day fund to keep funding intact for education, public safety and Medicaid.

OH: Ohio proposes culled voters be allowed to cast ballots

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted proposed that voters who were purged from voter rolls last year be allowed to vote in November using provisional ballots. The proposal comes after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the way Ohio cleared some inactive voters off voting lists violated federal laws.

CT: Connecticut approves medical marijuana for children

Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed legislation that allows patients under 18 in Connecticut to use marijuana for medical purposes starting this month.

ME: Maine governor slams minimum wage proposal, urges two proponents be jailed

Republican Gov. Paul LePage urged voters to reject five referendum questions on the Nov. 8 ballot, including an increase in Maine’s minimum wage. Two leaders backing the wage hike should be jailed, he said, on the grounds the hike would hurt elderly people.

US: FBI to begin collecting data on police shootings

The FBI is expected to launch the federal government’s pilot program to collect data on police-involved shootings and other incidents of lethal and non-lethal force by early next year. The collection effort comes in the aftermath of persistent, racially charged police encounters over the past two years.

AR: Arkansas Supreme Court strikes casino measure from ballot

Justices disqualified a proposal from the Nov. 8 ballot that would have given three private companies rights to run casinos in three Arkansas counties.

WI: Wisconsin corrections officials want minors out of adult prisons

State corrections officials will ask the Wisconsin Legislature to change state law so that 16- and 17-year-olds with criminal sentences are sent to juvenile facilities for the first years of their sentences rather than to adult prisons.

WA: Washington state overestimated carbon tax impact on electricity bills

The State Department of Commerce overstated by about fourfold the impact that a carbon tax ballot measure would have on the price of electricity in Washington state in 2020. The measure would raise electricity bills by about 5 percent, not 20 percent as previously stated.

IA: Farm slowdown lowers Iowa’s tax revenue projections

Iowa now expects to collect $7.31 billion in the current fiscal year. That’s about $49.3 million less than state officials had anticipated in March, though still 5.6 percent more than was collected the previous year.

PA: Pennsylvania toll booths take credit cards

Toll collectors on the Pennsylvania Turnpike now accept credit cards, though officials say cards should only be used as a backup payment method. Cash and E-ZPass remain the preferred method of payment.

Soda Tax Fighting Addiction