What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/27

US: State and local governments express concerns about Trump tax plan

Groups representing state and local governments said they are extremely concerned about President Trump's tax plan that would eliminate the federal income-tax deduction for state and local taxes, arguing it would amount to double taxation.

AZ: New Arizona law offers consumers relief from surprise doctor bills

As a result of the new law, signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, patients in Arizona can challenge out-of-network medical bills that exceed $1,000 through arbitration.

ND: North Dakota governor signs bill aimed at property tax relief

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill that enables the state takeover of social services costs for North Dakota’s 53 counties under a two-year program that eliminates the counties' ability to tax for those services.

TX: Texas Senate approves bill to require seat belts on school buses

The bill would require three-point seat belts on all school buses purchased starting this year and would not allow schools to opt out. Texas lawmakers passed similar legislation a decade ago but left it to school districts to decide whether to apply for state money earmarked for the effort. Few did.

WI: 'Cookie Bill' would allow home bakers to sell their goods in Wisconsin

By this summer, Wisconsin may become the 49th state to allow home bakers to sell their cookies, muffins and cakes at farmers markets, bed and breakfasts and more without a license.

OK: Oklahoma prison population reaches record high

More than 62,000 offenders are in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections system. And more than half — nearly 34,000 — are outside prison walls on parole, probation, under community supervision or on GPS monitoring.

SC: South Carolina Senate passes increase in gasoline tax

Senators approved a 12-cent-a-gallon increase in South Carolina’s gasoline tax. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has said he will veto any hike, urging lawmakers to borrow up to $1 billion instead to pay for road repair.

AK: Alaska marijuana retailer blocked from paying taxes

The U.S. Postal Service blocked the first legal marijuana retailer in Alaska’s capital city from mailing a regularly scheduled state tax payment to Anchorage — the only city in the state equipped to take cash deposits. It’s illegal under federal law to mail drug proceeds.

IL: Illinois House approves bill aimed at closing pay gap between men, women

Proponents say the bill would help close the pay gap between men and women by barring Illinois employers from asking job applicants for their wage or salary history unless it's already public information or the applicant is moving within the company.

MO: Lawmakers weigh creation of four adult high schools in Missouri

A bill moving through the Missouri Legislature would establish four adult high schools in the state where adults 21 and older could attain a high school diploma. The schools also would provide job-training workshops with local community colleges and other programs.

NE: Nebraska tax forecast projects lower collections

Nebraska's economic forecasting board revised the state's projections for tax collections over three years downward about $55 million. That means the Legislature will have to come up with about $50 million more to balance its budget.

FL: Florida Legislature passes bill to allow liquor sales in grocery stores

Grocery store shoppers in Florida could soon pick up vodka with their vegetables or bourbon with their bread, as the Florida House gave final approval to a bill that would allow grocers to sell hard liquor.

OH: Ohio House scraps plan to make teachers job shadow at businesses

Ohio teachers won't have to complete an externship or job shadow at a business to renew their licenses, as Republican Gov. John Kasich proposed for them regardless of grade level or subject area they teach.

State, Local Government Groups Decry Trump Tax Plan Rural America