What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/1

Top State Stories 12/1

AZ: Arizona moves closer to Medicaid work requirement 

The requirement calls for people receiving health care through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to be working, looking for work, training for employment or going to school in order to get benefits. 

MT: Montana property taxes rise to cover school cuts 

This month Montanans saw bigger property tax bills. That's because this spring state lawmakers cut block grants to schools in order to save the state $29 million amid the ongoing budget crisis. 

CO: Colorado fight over molybdenum pollution continues 

Colorado health officials have ignored state scientists and delayed for two years a decision on a mining giant’s push to weaken statewide limits on molybdenum pollution of streams. Chronic ingestion of molybdenum can cause diarrhea, sounded growth, infertility, low birth weights and gout. 

MI: Michigan Senate: No more sex between prostitutes, cops 

Police in Michigan would no longer be legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes during undercover investigations under legislation nearing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's desk. Michigan is believed to be the last state in the United States that gives police immunity from prosecution in such circumstances after Hawaii made a change in 2014. 

NJ: As New Jersey’s black bear population thrives, it’s the hunt that’s endangered 

It’s possible next week’s black bear “harvesting” will be the last such hunt for a while and the first of several potential environmentally related policy reversals the Garden State could face in the coming years as Democrat Phil Murphy replaces outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Murphy is pledging to institute a moratorium on New Jersey’s hunt. 

KY: Kentucky pays $43,000 to settle lawsuit alleging cover up in horrific child abuse case 

A former internal investigator at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who alleged that her superiors wanted her to cover up mistakes made in a horrific child abuse case has settled her whistleblower lawsuit. 

KS: Kansas Corrections Department officials call for private prison 

Officials at the embattled Kansas Department of Corrections said they would like to have one of the largest private prison operators in the country design and build a new Lansing prison in a lease-purchase arrangement. Under the 20-year agreement, the state would own the prison after the lease ends. Over that time, the new prison would cost Kansas roughly $362 million. 

WI: Wisconsin governor to sign bill legalizing hemp farming in the state 

Wisconsin farmers will be allowed to grow industrial hemp under a bill Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign into law. The measure passed the Legislature with unanimous support. 

OH: Ohio announces licenses for 12 large medical marijuana sites 

The state announced 12 provisional licenses for large operations to grow medical marijuana in Ohio, which is expected to be available in about a year. 

MD: Maryland governor, Democrats feud over who failed to negotiate on sick leave 

Maryland’s debate over paid sick leave has devolved into a series of arguments between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic legislative leaders. When Hogan unveiled his latest sick-leave proposal, he devoted much of his time to criticizing the Legislature for the sick-leave bill it passed early this year, which the governor vetoed. Hogan described that bill as overly intrusive and burdensome to small businesses. 

DC: D.C. food stamp recipients say new computer system left them without benefits 

Three more low-income D.C. residents have joined a group lawsuit against the District of Columbia’s Department of Human Services claiming that an electronic records management system implemented by the city agency last fall left their families without food. The D.C. Access System was supposed to be an upgrade to the way applicants are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. 

SC: Roadside assistance now offered on South Carolina 511 cellphone app 

Motorists can now use the South Carolina 511 app to summon emergency roadside assistance. 

HI: Firm says Hawaii tax officials told it to alter report in $60 million computer project 

A consultant hired by Hawaii to oversee the $60 million modernization of the Department of Taxation’s computer systems was instructed by state tax officials on which subjects “should and should not” be addressed in its supposedly independent monitoring reports to lawmakers and the public, according to a new report. 

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