What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/4

NY: New York governor proposes free tuition at state colleges for eligible students

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first-in-the-nation proposal would cover tuition for any New York student from a family earning less than $125,000 a year by 2019 at the state's public colleges.

MN: Federal appeals court says Minnesota’s sex offender program is constitutional

Minnesota's program for keeping sex offenders confined after they complete their prison sentences is constitutional, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, reversing a lower-court judge who said it violates offenders' rights because hardly anyone is ever released.

GA: Georgia students shielded from deportation may pay in-state tuition, judge says

A state court judge said the Georgia university system must allow immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they've been granted temporary permission by the federal government to stay in the U.S.

ME: Maine governor signs measure allowing recreational use of marijuana

Mainers will be able to legally possess and grow the drug Jan. 30. Republican Gov. Paul LePage made Maine the ninth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana by signing a proclamation verifying what voters approved in November.

MT: Montana fails to retain decades of emails despite open-government law

Not a single email is stored in the state archives, although Montana leaders have used them to conduct state business for decades and state law requires emails of importance to be preserved.

TX: 'Bathroom bill' fight brewing in Texas

Texas could soon follow in the footsteps of Indiana and North Carolina and pass its own "bathroom bill" in the upcoming legislative session. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made passage of such a bill, which could require transgender Texans to use the restroom which corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, a priority.

KS: Kansas tax receipts meet estimates in December

State tax collections were $6.2 million in December, which were slightly above newly revised estimates, suggesting that for the time being, Kansas’ financial condition is not getting any worse.

CO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised: Colorado pension stability again under scrutiny

Slower than expected investment growth, coupled with longer retiree lifespans and lower investment assumptions have combined to tip the bulk of Colorado’s state retirement system well below recommended funding levels.

UT: Unpaid taxes act as easy loans for many Utah developers

State law sets easy penalties for what Utah counties can charge for late property taxes. And many businesses — especially real estate developers — are taking advantage of what are essentially easy-to-obtain, short-term loans that are relatively inexpensive.

OH: Ohio law requiring patients receive cost estimates is delayed

An Ohio law that requires patients be informed of costs before receiving non-emergency medical treatment as a way to help hold down costs has been delayed from taking effect amid a pending lawsuit brought by the health care industry, which says it could delay treatment.

MS: Seized assets in Mississippi: Who should get funds?

The state public defender in Mississippi is advocating that forfeited funds go to the state rather than individual law enforcement agencies.

Farmworker Housing Telemedicine in Schools
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