What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/1

Top State Stories 11/1

MA: Massachusetts Senate bill would shame employers with most workers on Medicaid

Massachusetts senators tucked a provision in a new health care bill that would require an annual report identifying the 50 employers with the highest number of workers who get publicly subsidized health insurance. Many big employers should brace for some public shaming.

WA: Nine women say they experienced sexual inappropriateness at Washington state Capitol

Nine women told Northwest News Network, The News Tribune and The Olympian stories about the climate for women working at Washington’s Legislature in light of reports of male misconduct emerging from statehouses across the country.

CT: College students from Puerto Rico start school at Connecticut college

About 20 students from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico are expected to a begin an eight-week term of classes Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University, which designed the special program for students of the University of Puerto Rico to ensure that students are able to continue their education without interruption while the university and the island recover from Hurricane Maria.

AK: Alaska regulators launch wide review of North Slope oil fields following BP leak

Concerned that thawing permafrost might contribute to another oil and gas leak such as the one that BP experienced in April, Alaska oil-well regulators issued emergency orders to oil companies to provide details for a widespread review of all North Slope wells. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is concerned that wells with similar construction to that Prudhoe Bay well will be damaged if permafrost thaws too much, causing the ground to subside and put dangerous pressure on pipes carrying hot crude oil.

KY: Kentucky governor’s pension bill would end legal guarantee of paid sick days for teachers

Buried deep in Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed pension bill is a paragraph that would eliminate the legal requirement for Kentucky school districts to provide at least 10 paid sick days every year for teachers and other full-time employees.

OH: One in 14 Ohio adults now has a concealed-carry gun

More than 627,000 Ohioans — about one in 14 adults — now have a license to carry a concealed handgun, the Buckeye Firearms Association estimates.

CA: California business tax incentive program should end, legislative analyst says

California no longer should give specific tax incentives to businesses and instead should provide broad-based tax relief, the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in a new report. The analyst's office examined California Competes, a program that began four years ago to give tax credits to businesses looking to move to the state or remain there, and found it puts existing companies that don't receive the awards at a disadvantage without clear benefits to the overall economy.

WI: Wisconsin Senate passes ban on deadly synthetic versions of fentanyl

Wisconsin would close loopholes that allow drug dealers to sell versions of the fearsomely powerful drug fentanyl, under a bill passed by the state Senate.

LA: 1,400 prisoners set for early release in Louisiana

About 1,400 people will be released from jail earlier than they were sentenced because of a change in Louisiana law. Under the new laws, prisoners who are nonviolent and not sex offenders and meet the requirements can earn more time off of their sentences for good behavior. The change is expected to drop the prison population by 10 percent, reduce the number of people on probation and parole by 12 percent, and save taxpayers $264 million over the next 10 years.

OK: Oklahoma high court blocks new DUI law

The Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked a new drunken driving law from going into effect until justices resolve a legal challenge to its constitutionality. The new law revamped how drunken driving suspects were handled, including making it illegal to refuse a breath test.

ID: Uber-style Medicaid rides in Idaho may end

A California company's Uber-style independent drivers started providing rides for Idahoans on Medicaid last year. But its model caused concerns at the state Department of Health and Welfare about low pay for drivers and lack of experience with disabled clients.

MO: Veterans call for investigation into conditions at Missouri veterans’ facility

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, called for an independent investigation into complaints about poor treatment of veterans at a St. Louis veterans home. One hundred people appeared at a hearing and demanded an independent investigation of the home. They want top staff at the home and the Missouri Veterans Commission replaced.

NY: New York comptroller warns of 'triple threat' to state finances

New York could be headed for financial trouble because of the “triple threat” of federal spending cuts, a looming budget deficit and anemic tax revenues, the state comptroller warned, with the state projected to face a $4 billion deficit in the next fiscal year.

Estate Taxes Puerto Rican Teachers