What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/7

KS: Kansas Legislature overrides veto of bill that rolls back governor’s 2012 tax cuts

The Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature voted to roll back Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax cuts, backing a tax plan estimated to bring the state more than $1.2 billion over a two-year span.

OH: Anthem will drop out of Ohio's Affordable Care Act market

Health insurer Anthem said it will effectively exit its Affordable Care Act individual plan business in Ohio, leaving potentially 18 counties in the Buckeye State with no insurer selling plans in 2018. The company this year sold individual health plans in all 88 counties in Ohio, the only “Obamacare” insurer to cover the whole state.

US: States with more black people have less generous welfare benefits, study says

States with a larger share of African-Americans tend to have less generous welfare benefits and more restrictive policies, according to a new study by the Urban Institute. These states also have shorter periods of eligibility for assistance, stricter requirements to maintain benefits and more severe sanctions for people who don’t abide by state welfare rules.

NY: New York Senate approves bill to raise the age for marriage

The New York Senate approved legislation to raise the minimum age to marry to 17 years old. Under current state law, children age 14 and 15 can be married if they receive parental consent and sign-off from a judge.

TX: Texas governor calls special session on bathrooms, abortion, school finance

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session of the Texas Legislature starting July 18. At the top of the agenda is a bill to keep some state agencies from shuttering, but Abbott also will ask lawmakers to approve a so-called bathroom bill and overhaul the way public schools are funded.

SC: South Carolina governor signs pain pill monitoring bill into law

Doctors in South Carolina will now have to check a state database before prescribing powerful pain pills such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

LA: Campus 'free speech' bill backed by Louisiana lawmakers

Legislation seeking to protect controversial speakers' appearances at Louisiana colleges and calling on campuses to penalize students who disrupt them won final passage from state lawmakers, but only after its punishment provisions were watered down.

CA: California governor signs deal with China to combat climate change

The nonbinding agreement signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown aims to expand cooperation between China and California on renewable energy, zero-emission vehicles and low-carbon urban development.

NC: Surviving families of North Carolina eugenics victims lose latest court fight

The surviving families of people who were involuntarily sterilized by the state of North Carolina decades ago were unsuccessful in the latest phase of a court battle that would have made them eligible for a state compensation program.

ME: Maine House upholds governor’s veto of bill to encourage reporting of overdoses

Members of the Maine House upheld Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that sought to encourage people to seek help for drug overdose victims without fear of being arrested themselves.

CO: Why Colorado’s governor refused to sign two bills that will become law

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said he will allow two measures meant to address mental illness in Colorado’s criminal justice system to become law without his signature, saying he wanted to protest last-minute changes by lawmakers to delay the implementation — and shroud the price tag — of the legislation.

HI: Hawaii programs fail to bring rooftop solar to low-income families

Hawaii’s wealthy make up the majority of residents who have rooftop solar, and two programs the state created to change that are floundering. So far the only incentives that have boosted solar adoption have gone primarily to the wealthy.

NE: New law requires Nebraska districts to spell out policies to support pregnant and parenting students

All Nebraska schools must now accommodate teen mothers who breast-feed, and public school boards must develop policies that address student absences, provide alternate coursework such as tutoring or online classes, and identify quality child care options, or borrow a model policy to be created by the Nebraska Department of Education.


Green Highway Child Abuse