What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/10

NY: New York lawmakers approve free middle class tuition

Lawmakers have signed off on making tuition at New York’s public colleges and universities free for middle-class students, a plan proposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo that will cost an estimated $163 million.

AL: Alabama Supreme Court allows impeachment of governor to proceed

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that impeachment proceedings against Republican Gov. Robert Bentley can start, halting a court order that had blocked hearings stemming from his relationship with a former aide.

OR: Oregon budget gap grows despite booming economy

The state faces a $1.6 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget cycle, and even if the economy stays healthy the gap is likely to grow again the next time Oregon tries to balance the books.

VT: Federal judge dismisses challenge to Vermont ‘death with dignity’ law

A U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by religious groups that challenged Vermont's “death with dignity” law that authorizes doctors to talk to terminally ill patients about end-of-life medication. Vermont became the first state to legislate an aid-in-dying option for terminally ill patients. Four other states have similar laws.

CA: California governor lifts drought emergency

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown ended California’s drought emergency after the state experienced one of its wettest winters, but warned that water conservation must be a permanent part of life as the state adapts to climate change.

WV: West Virginia Legislature approves bill to expand broadband access

Lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that would ease the way to expand access to broadband across West Virginia by allowing communities to form cooperatives to set up internet providers.

NE: Bill would help rural Nebraska towns with few houses for workers

A bill moving through the Nebraska Legislature would provide grants for nonprofit development corporations that build or rehabilitate homes in any county with fewer than 100,000 residents. Groups that receive the grants would have to match the funds.

MO: Missouri bill aims to block forced underage marriages and trafficking

The proposal would change the current practice of granting 15- to 17-year-olds a marriage license with parental consent by requiring a court to make the final judgement, a move the sponsor said would prevent Missouri from being a travel destination for marriage trafficking and forced unions.

CO: Colorado House gives preliminary nod to $26.8 billion state budget

The House gave preliminary approval to a $26.8 billion state budget proposal that covers a $400 million shortfall through steep cuts to Colorado hospitals, schools and taxpayer refunds, but punts a long-term solution to the state’s intractable financial challenges.

VA: To fight drugs, Virginia prison inmates will change underwear before visits

Starting this month, inmates in many Virginia state prisons will change into state-issued underwear for visits with outsiders, vending machine purchases by visitors will be restricted, and incoming mail will be photocopied for delivery to inmates and the original mail shredded.

KS: Kansas lawmakers approve amusement ride law following child's death

Kansas lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that would tighten regulations and inspections of amusement rides following the death of a state representative's son last year on the world's tallest water slide.


Uninsured Rate for Poor, Childless Adults Declines Cybersecurity Grants