What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/15

NY, WA: New York, Washington AGs to sue FCC over net neutrality repeal

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had argued that the Federal Communications Commission should delay its vote on scrapping net neutrality rules because of the millions of fake comments he found that were filed during the agency’s call for public feedback on the proposal. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson also said he would sue to block repeal of the rules.

CA: California lawmakers propose health coverage for undocumented immigrants

California, flush with cash from an expanding economy, would eventually spend $1 billion a year to provide health care to immigrants living in the state illegally under a proposal announced by Democratic lawmakers. The proposal would eliminate legal residency requirements in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, as the state has already done for young people up to age 19.

OH: Ohio lawmakers OK Down syndrome abortion ban

Ohio's GOP-controlled Legislature sent a bill to Republican Gov. John Kasich that would penalize doctors who perform abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Kasich said in 2015 that he would sign such a bill.

TX: Texas Education Agency waives some testing requirements for Harvey-affected students 

With the announcement from the Texas Education Agency, Hurricane Harvey-affected school districts will have more leeway to decide whether to require high school students who have twice failed a required standardized test to re-take the test a third time. Districts may decide locally whether students who fail the tests can graduate.

AZ: Arizona lawmakers' effort to raise funds for border fence ends — with nothing built

Six years ago, Arizona lawmakers championed a plan to build a fence along parts of the border with Mexico using money raised from private donors. This week, a legislative-advisory committee decided to spend the last of that money — more than a quarter of a million dollars — with none of the fence built.

US: Treasury watchdog questions meals, bonuses paid out from housing relief funds

A Treasury Department watchdog has identified $3 million in questionable expenses by housing agencies in 18 states and the District of Columbia that used federal funds to assist homeowners in danger of losing their properties. The expenditures include payments for bonuses, barbecues and even a vehicle allowance.

CT: Connecticut Board of Regents votes to consolidate all 12 community colleges

The governing board of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges backed a controversial plan intended to merge the schools into a single accredited institution. The proposal would create the nation’s fifth-largest community college and would not close any campuses or cut faculty or student support functions, such as advisers and counselors. Faculty and students worry that campuses would lose their autonomy and that student services would suffer.

MO: Missouri Senate candidate accepts bitcoin donations

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Austin Petersen said he has accepted bitcoin contributions from about a dozen donors to his campaign. Federal records show his is one of a handful of campaigns that have accepted donations in the virtual currency.

UT: Education receives 72 percent of new money in Utah governor’s budget

Utah estimates that it will receive an extra $382 million in ongoing tax revenue next year and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has proposed spending 72 percent of the new money on education, with the bulk of it going to grades K-12. 

MD: Maryland judge rules state must pay governor’s disputed appointees 

Two Maryland officials appointed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan who are at the center of a standoff between him and top Democrats must be paid the salaries that the state began withholding this summer, a judge ruled. 

NM: New Mexico brokers deal on plans for massive wind farm

New Mexico's attorney general and advocacy groups have brokered an agreement with a utility that is planning to build a massive wind farm near the Texas-New Mexico border to ensure that local businesses and vendors will have a shot at being hired once construction begins. 

DE: Former University of Delaware execs get millions in payouts

Since 2007, the University of Delaware has distributed more than $6 million in payments to top administrators who have voluntarily left their posts or were forced out.

NV: Nevada board of agriculture votes to hand over control of wild horses 

The Nevada Board of Agriculture voted to hand over control of as many as 3,000 wild horses in the Virginia Range to a yet-to-be-determined nonprofit group. The move came despite opposition from wild horse enthusiasts who say it puts the horses at risk of slaughter and business interests who say horses on the range are integral to the state’s frontier image and business recruitment.

Community Health Centers Cuts to the West
Philadelphia Museum of Art