What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/6

US: Arkansas governor asks Trump administration to approve Medicaid cap

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he has asked members of President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration to allow states to set stricter eligibility standards for their expanded Medicaid programs without giving up federal funds provided under the Affordable Care Act.

TX: Following North Carolina's lead, Texas GOP unveils ‘bathroom bill’

Texas Republicans unveiled a bill which would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex.” The measure also would pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

KY: Kentucky Senate passes 20-week ban on abortion

Senators passed a bill that would prohibit abortion in Kentucky after women reach the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill, which could become law by the end of the week, provides exceptions to save a woman’s life but not for cases of rape or incest.

OH: Ohio governor signs opioid abuse prevention bill

The measure signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich would tighten restrictions on the prescribing of opioid painkillers in Ohio, ease the way for for-profit methadone clinics to open and make a medication that reverses overdoses more available.

DE: Delaware shellfish farmers frustrated by permit, lease delays

More than three years after the Legislature made Delaware the last state in the East to adopt a commercial aquaculture law, clam and oyster farmers are still waiting for permits, state leases and seed stock.

NE: Nebraska governor unveils budget-cutting plan

Facing a nearly $900 million budget gap, Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts unveiled a budget proposal that would spare K-12 education, corrections and some Health and Human Services programs, while making across-the-board cuts to most state agencies and dipping into Nebraska’s rainy day fund.

AZ: Arizona Legislature opens door for people with hearing loss

With new technology installed in the Capitol, the Arizona Legislature became only the second in the country to provide looping technology that directly broadcasts amplified sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants. 

NH: New Hampshire governor calls for business regulation moratorium, school choice

In his inaugural address, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu called for a 90-day moratorium on any new business regulations, urged approval of a controversial hydroelectric project and said parents of school-age children in New Hampshire should be able to send their children to the school of their choice "regardless of income."

KS: First bill introduced in Kansas session would repeal reporting requirements for asset forfeiture

Despite increased scrutiny of the seizure of property by police, the first bill to be introduced in the 2017 session of the Kansas Legislature calls for repealing a law that requires local law enforcement agencies to file annual reports about the money and other assets they seize from criminal suspects and what they do with those assets.

VA: Virginia governor bans contracts with businesses that discriminate

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order banning state contracts with firms that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The policy applies to all executive branch contracts in Virginia, but not to those entered into by the Legislature or the courts.

MT: Montana agencies volunteer to return $5.5 million to help state budget

Montana government agencies volunteered to return a combined $5.5 million that had been budgeted to them this year, which is about $15 million short of what Republican legislative finance leaders had been seeking to help the state's bottom line.

NY: New York governor proposes doubling of child care tax credit benefits

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a new tax credit to help New York families cover the cost of child care. The proposal would increase existing benefits for families earning between $50,000 and $150,000 annually, which would affect an estimated 200,000 taxpayers.

Costs of Care for Uninsured Would Rise Steeply With Repeal of ACA Vacant Lots