What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/21

MD: Bail reform in Maryland clears major hurdle

Judges in Maryland would not be able to set bail that is too high for a poor defendant to pay unless the defendant is considered a flight risk or a danger to society, under a rule change that a key judiciary committee voted to recommend to the state’s highest court.

US: Many insured children lack essential health care, study finds

One in four children in the U.S. did not have access to essential health care, though a record number of young people now have health insurance, a new study finds.

WV: Three drug companies settle with West Virginia over painkillers

Three prescription drug companies — J.M. Smith Corporation, Top Rx and Masters Pharmaceutical LLC — settled lawsuits with the state of West Virginia for $800,000 over the huge numbers of pain pills they shipped into the state over several years.

LA: Louisiana legislators reject state employee health contract because of LGBT protections

The lawmakers’ decision places Louisiana state employees in the middle of a political fight between Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican officials. Edwards inserted the LGBT nondiscrimination clause into the health care contract by executive order.

WY: Wyoming internet sales tax bill sent to Legislature

Members of the Joint Revenue Interim Committee voted to send the full Legislature a bill that would require large online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made by Wyoming customers.

OH: Ohio mayors team up to voice concerns at the statehouse

The mayors of Ohio’s 30 largest cities have joined to better voice their concerns and needs to a Legislature they say has become increasingly anti-city and cut aid to local governments in the last six state budgets.

NJ: Hot-button pension bill could move forward in New Jersey

Lawmakers in New Jersey plan to send Republican Gov. Chris Christie a bill that would require the governor to make quarterly payments to the state’s public pension system, rather than one year-end lump contribution. Christie has twice vetoed the proposal, but there are indications he will sign it this time. 

TX: Texas blows bid for funds to combat opioids

Health workers and first responders hoped Texas might be awarded $1 million to buy an anti-overdose drug, but state officials never submitted an application for the federal grant.

KS: Kansas court system seeks budget increase to pay for salaries

The Kansas court system is seeking a $20.3 million increase in state appropriations in the next budget year to improve the pay of judges and court employees whose salaries are up to 22.2 percent below those of their peers in other states.

NV: Nevada’s rural residents face fraying safety net

A shortage of medical professionals, an increasingly strained emergency care network and escalating costs of health care are threatening to turn Nevada’s rural residents into health care have-nots.

VA: Lawmakers in Virginia propose stricter voter registration regulations

A Virginia lawmaker has filed legislation that would create stricter paperwork and reporting requirements for nongovernmental groups that want to register voters in the state.

FL: Little-known Florida law helps those who suffer calamities save on property taxes

The so-called calamity rule allows Floridians to rebuild after a disaster but keep their tax burden at the levels of their previous, less expensive home.

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Solitary Confinement
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