What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/16

HI: False missile alert looms as a black eye for Hawaii and its governor 

The false alarm about an incoming ballistic missile that sent Hawaii into a panic this weekend threatened to turn into a major embarrassment for the state and Democratic Gov. David Ige. The Federal Communications Commission said its initial investigation of the mistaken alert had concluded that Hawaii did not have “reasonable safeguards or process controls in place.” 

MO: Missouri governor cuts public appearances; pledges to move forward on tax overhaul 

A statewide tour to promote a Trump-style overhaul of Missouri’s tax system has fallen victim to the extramarital sex scandal enveloping Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican. But Greitens' spokesman Parker Briden said the embattled chief executive still plans to release details of his tax plan sometime this week. 

WA: Washington state to require court order to release info to immigration authorities 

Following a Seattle Times report that the Washington State Department of Licensing was giving personal information to federal immigration authorities 20 to 30 times a month, the agency announced it will no longer release personal information to federal immigration authorities without a court order unless required by law. 

UT: Utah town earns ‘dark sky’ designation 

With new streetlights, bulb shields and a lighting ordinance, Torrey recently became the first town in Utah to be recognized as an International Dark Sky Community. The town’s residents and organizations raised about $20,000 last year to replace bulbs in streetlights and in outdoor lights at some prominent businesses. 

ID: Idaho plan for uninsured residents launched 

An Idaho Legislature committee introduced legislation aimed at allowing the state to subsidize health insurance for about 35,000 Idahoans who now fall into a coverage gap. 

WY: Wyoming's oil recovery adds millions to state coffers 

The Wyoming Legislature’s official revenue office estimates lawmakers will have $140 million more to use for the coming two-year budget cycle thanks to oil production increases and price increases. 

MI: Michigan bill would ban politicians from using public funds for sexual harassment deals 

A Michigan state legislator has introduced a measure that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment lawsuits against elected state officials. Another bill would ban tax dollars from being used to settle lawsuits involving gross negligence, intentional misconduct or criminal behavior by elected officials. 

KS: Guns on Kansas college campuses unlikely to end soon 

Students at Wichita State University and other public colleges in Kansas have been able to carry concealed weapons for half a year now, ever since a concealed-carry law went into effect last July. While enactment of the law brought out opponents last year, there is less talk about repeal this time around. 

NJ: New year brings new breastfeeding civil rights protections to New Jersey working women 

In his final weeks in office, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, approved a new state law that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against women who choose to breastfeed or pump milk at work. 

NE: 'Yes means yes'? Nebraska bill would change consent standard for sex 

A Lincoln senator wants to flip the script on giving consent for sex. Instead of the common rule of "no means no," which implies that unless a person says no, the other person in a sexual encounter assumes there's permission, an affirmative consent would be required under a bill introduced by Nebraska state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, a Democrat. 

AK: Alaska House members feud over handling of sexual harassment complaints 

In a dispute between two of the highest-profile women in the Alaska House, a legislator is demanding that a powerful state House leader step down over allegedly mishandling accusations of sexual misconduct. The House leader says she was never told of the accusations and lacked the power to respond to them. 

OK: Bill in Oklahoma Legislature would require disclosure of sources for legislation language 

A bill filed in Oklahoma would require legislators to disclose the source for legislative language, whether it be a state official, agency or organization. Lawmakers commonly use language borrowed from other state statutes or build their own proposals from model legislation endorsed by national policy groups. 

NY: In New York City, opioid addiction treatment is sharply segregated by income 

More affluent patients in New York City can receive new medication to treat opioid addiction directly from a doctor’s office. Many poorer Hispanic and black individuals struggling with addiction must rely on highly regulated clinics, which they must visit daily to receive their plastic cup of methadone. 

ME: Maine governor's support for offshore drilling may undermine effort to exempt areas off Maine 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, has lobbied to have offshore leases allowed almost everywhere. Of 16 contiguous states that are potentially affected by the Trump administration’s plan to open most U.S. federal waters to oil and gas exploration and drilling, he’s the only governor in firm support of the plan.

Juvenile Court Fees 'Safety Net' Hospitals
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