What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/8

IN: 'There's something wrong': Indiana lawmakers concerned over number of kids in child welfare system 

Indiana has more children in its child welfare system than any surrounding state — including those with nearly twice Indiana’s overall population — and Republican legislative leaders say those numbers indicate that the Indiana Department of Child Services has problems that go beyond funding. 

OH: Ohio purge of voter rolls gets Supreme Court scrutiny this week 

To the state of Ohio, it is nothing more than a housekeeping device to keep the voting rolls up to date. To opponents, it is a system that deprives legal voters the right to cast a ballot in a federal election. 

IA: Medicaid privatization is saving Iowa 80% less money than predicted: report 

Iowa’s controversial shift to privately managed Medicaid will save the state 80 percent less money this fiscal year than originally predicted, a recent state estimate suggests. 

ID: Federal tax change could cost Idaho taxpayers $100M 

Idaho taxpayers could end up paying roughly $100 million more next year as a result of the Republican tax overhaul that President Donald Trump signed into law last month, according to a recent analysis from the head of Idaho's tax commission. 

IL: Illinois transgender inmate seeks transfer to women’s prison 

A 26-year-old transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence in Illinois for burglary is seeking a rarely granted transfer to a female prison where she says she’ll be less vulnerable to the kinds of sexual assault, taunting and beatings she’s been subjected to in male prisons. 

TX: Amid sexual harassment concerns, Texas lawmakers consider how to check their own power 

Calls for independence between sexual misconduct investigations and those in power have grown in recent months, and experts and several lawmakers agree that impartiality is crucial for building trust in a reporting system at the Texas state Capitol, where repercussions for elected officials are virtually nonexistent. 

SC: 'Modern day slavery' of human trafficking still prevalent in South Carolina: report 

Human trafficking remains a significant public safety and human rights problem in South Carolina, according to a new report. 

CO: Federal tax changes put financial stress on Colorado college athletic programs 

Included in the sweeping tax legislation passed last month is a provision ending tax deductions for ticket-related donations to universities. The University of Colorado and Colorado State University combined to generate roughly $12 million annually through these specific gifts. 

NV: Nevada governor says gun background check law is defective 

Nevada's Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt are telling a judge that a strict gun background-check ballot measure that voters passed in November 2016 can’t be enforced. 

CT, DE: Half of Connecticut, Delaware’s hospitals hit with Medicare safety penalties

As the federal government penalizes 751 hospitals for having too many infections and patient injuries, some states are feeling the cuts in Medicare payments more than others. This year’s punishments landed the hardest in Connecticut and Delaware, where Medicare penalized half of the evaluated hospitals, federal records show. 

AR: Arkansas budget request for Medicaid falls $478M 

Thanks to efforts to reduce Arkansas' Medicaid spending and enrollment, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, his request for federal and state funding for the program during the fiscal year that starts July 1 will be about $478 million lower than what he had first planned.  

WV: Free community college plan picks up steam in West Virginia Legislature 

The Legislature is likely to tackle a plan to make community college more affordable — perhaps going so far as to make it free for West Virginia students — agreed lawmakers participating in an education panel for the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead. 

CA: California proposal would make it a ‘sanctuary state’ for marijuana 

A Democratic state lawmaker from Los Angeles is proposing a measure that would prevent state and local agencies from helping federal drug enforcement agencies target California’s burgeoning marijuana industry without a federal court order. The proposal is modeled after a new state law that restricts law enforcement agencies’ ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

More, Higher Tolls Marijuana Banking