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

NC: US Supreme Court again faults North Carolina on voting rights

The U.S. Supreme Court faulted North Carolina again in a racially tinged voting rights case, upholding a lower court's ruling that Republican lawmakers mapped state legislative districts in a way that diluted the clout of black voters. But the justices threw out another ruling ordering special elections by November to fill the state Legislature seats at issue in the dispute.

AZ: Arizona declares opioid crisis a public health emergency

With 790 Arizona residents dead from opioid overdoses last year, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey moved to require health providers to more frequently update state health officials on overdose deaths and opioid-related encounters, expand distribution of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, develop new guidelines for prescribing opioids, and increase access to medication-assisted treatment. 

NY: New York governor moves to enshrine Affordable Care Act protections

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to require insurers in his state to stick with broad-coverage mandates, hoping to lock in the Affordable Care Act’s gains for New York residents even as Republicans are trying to repeal the law in Washington. Cuomo also finalized rules mandating commercial health policies to cover contraceptives at no additional cost to female enrollees.

OR: Oregon lawmakers propose employee cost-sharing in pension fund

Democratic leaders have settled on a disputed method to shave the crippling increases in pension costs forecast for Oregon's public employers over the next six years: employee cost sharing. The plan, along with other cost-containment measures, is the opening gambit in an end-of-session tug of war over new revenue proposals and the effort to plug the state's $1.4 billion general fund deficit.

IL: Illinois years behind in scoring state science tests

Three years after Illinois made a bold change in how science would be taught and tested, little is known about how students have performed because neither schools nor families have seen state science exam scores since 2013-14.

AR: Officials expect 20,000-40,000 Arkansas medical marijuana registrants

The state Health Department's chief lawyer told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Health Committee that running Arkansas' medical marijuana program will cost about $1.5 million over the next year. Medical marijuana registration cards will cost about $50, and an Arkansas driver's license or state ID will be required to obtain one.

FL: Florida House has plan for new economic development fund

After spending the session peeling back what they deemed taxpayer-financed “corporate welfare” in the name of jobs, the Florida House is returning with a plan to replace those programs with a new $85 million economic development fund that gives Republican Gov. Rick Scott exclusive control — and few strings attached.

NV: Nevada Legislature OKs education budget — minus private school funding

A Nevada program to help parents put kids in private school is unfunded in an education budget bill that has now passed both the Senate and the Assembly. That leaves Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to decide whether to veto a budget without the $60 million he asked for to fund the education savings accounts.

NM: New Mexico puts aside plans for furloughs— for now

Unpaid furlough days for state workers will not be ordered before the end of this month, after an infusion of roughly $80 million in one-time money for New Mexico’s cash reserves was approved during a special session that ended earlier this week.

MI: Tesla suit could shine light on back-room lobbying at Michigan Capitol

Tesla, which is suing the state in federal court in Grand Rapids, has subpoenaed records of communications between the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association, key state lawmakers, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder just prior to the passage of a 2014 law that bars manufacturers from selling directly to customers and requires them to sell through franchised dealerships.

LA: Louisiana's school aid plan clears final hurdle in Legislature

The $3.7 billion package for the 2017-18 school year freezes per-student spending for Louisiana's roughly 700,000 public school students. However, it includes $10 million more for “dual enrollment,” which allows high school students to earn college and career credit, and an $8 million hike for high-needs students.

SC: Despite gas tax, South Carolina roads won’t be fixed overnight

South Carolina’s gas tax hike will take effect July 1, but it will take time — years, in some cases — before drivers will see orange cones go up at road-repair projects.

Arizona Governor Declares Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency Online Gambling