What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/21

US: Trump administration pulls health law help in 18 cities

President Donald Trump's administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance into libraries, businesses and urban neighborhoods in 18 cities, meaning shoppers on the insurance exchanges will have fewer places to turn for help signing up for coverage.

AR: Arkansas governor says statewide school broadband upgrade is complete

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Arkansas had completed a two-year project to deliver a high-speed broadband upgrade for every public school in the state. Arkansas is one of six states to achieve at least 100 kilobits per second per student in all of its school districts.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers mull 'satellite casinos' to balance state budget

To help balance Pennsylvania’s still-unfinished $32 billion budget, lawmakers have proposed establishing up to 10 new "satellite" casinos to be scattered around the state.

CA: California truckers would get fewer breaks under federal proposal 

Truckers rolling down California’s highways are entitled to take more breaks than drivers in most of America. But that would change under legislation moving through Congress that would prevent states from setting their own rules for truck drivers’ work hours.

OH: 10-year committee to streamline Ohio Constitution ends work 4 years early

The Ohio Legislature's lofty goal of streamlining the state's sprawling constitution died this month, when the state budget ended the 10-year study panel's work four years early. The state spent more than $1.6 million on the effort, but critics say it accomplished little.

DE: Under new Delaware law, pharmacists can sell overdose antidote over the counter

Delaware Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed a bill into law that will allow anyone to walk into a participating Delaware pharmacy and purchase naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug, from a pharmacist.

NY: 75,000 applicants for New York's free tuition program

About 75,000 people who applied for New York's first-in-the-nation tuition-free college program are finding out whether they will start the fall semester without a tuition bill to pay. New York set aside $87 million for the program’s first year after projecting about 23,000 people would qualify and officials are standing by that estimate, saying many applicants will not qualify for or accept an award.

LA: Louisiana prepares to borrow $500M to pay its bills if cash runs low

Louisiana’s State Bond Commission has agreed to initiate the process for taking out a short-term loan worth up to $500 million in case the state government needs the money. The state took out a similar loan last year totaling $370 million, which it ended up paying back early.

TN: June saw lowest unemployment in Tennessee history

Tennessee had a preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in June, beating the previous historic low of 3.7 percent in March 2000, and the first time it was below 4 percent since 2001. Michigan and Wisconsin also released new unemployment figures with rates among the lowest they’ve been in nearly two decades. 

MN: Minnesota Department of Education approves toolkit to help transgender students 

A Minnesota Department of Education advisory council approved a nonbinding guide with information about providing welcoming environments for all students and guidelines for school officials to support transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

WA: Washington state to kill more wolves to protect livestock

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife says it will start killing wolves in order to protect cattle grazing on public land in Stevens County. Wildlife department staff plan to use a range of methods, including shooting from helicopters, shooting from the ground and trapping.

AK: Alaska lawmakers are collecting big overtime checks

Fourteen Alaska lawmakers have collected more than $40,000 each to cover their food and lodging over six months in Juneau, including three months of extra time and two special sessions — even though legislators' actual expenses can be far less. The daily expense rate they could claim for the past two and a half months: $295.

AIDS in D.C. Top State Stories 7/20
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