What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/1

TX: As drought returns, experts say Texas cities aren’t conserving enough water

As almost half of Texas deals with a drought still threatening to spread, a new study by the Texas Living Waters Project, a coalition of several environmental groups, recommends Texas cities limit outdoor watering for residences and businesses to no more than twice per week.

OR: Oregon governor to sign immigrant tuition, driver's license bills

Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is scheduled to sign two bills supporting immigrants living in the state. On May Day, the governor is set to sign legislation that allows undocumented students to continue getting access to lower tuition costs, as well as legislation that allows renewing driver's licenses for those affected by federal immigration policy changes.

MI: Michigan panel releases Detroit from state control

Detroit has regained local control over its finances after a state panel voted to release the city from state oversight. The unanimous decision by the state’s financial review commission comes more than three years after Detroit emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

WI: Wisconsin's long-term care workforce at 'crisis level,' report finds

A coalition of Wisconsin health care organizations is warning that the state's shortage of long-term care providers continues to grow. The study, put together by several groups, says 1 in 5 direct caregiver positions in the state is going unfilled and starting wages are so low that many potential workers never apply.

ME: Advocates take Maine Medicaid expansion fight with governor to court

Maine became the first state to pass expansion under the Affordable Care Act at the ballot box in 2017, but Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage — who has five times vetoed Medicaid expansion efforts passed by the Legislature — has blocked it thus far. Supporters of Medicaid expansion have now sued Maine to force state officials to implement the voter-approved law.

OK: New Oklahoma bill could have huge impact on large-school athletics

A new Senate bill could shift the landscape of large-school athletics throughout Oklahoma. Under the bill, which is being fast-tracked, any district with more than 2,250 students and just one high school would be placed into a separate classification. The bill could be on Republican Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk as soon as Friday, the final day of the session.

IA: Bill to combat opioid deaths clears Iowa Senate

The Iowa Senate overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation aimed at battling a crisis of opioid addiction. The bill would place limits on opioid prescriptions, implement good Samaritan laws for those who report overdoses, and require physicians to file every prescription electronically to avoid paper prescriptions.

OH: Ohio asks feds for OK to impose Medicaid work requirements

Ohio became the 11th state to seek approval from President Donald Trump’s administration to require thousands of able-bodied Medicaid recipients to be working, in school, or training for a job.

PA: Pennsylvania gerrymandering’s surprise co-conspirators: Democrats

Three dozen state Democrats joined Republicans to push through Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered congressional map; it would not have passed without the minority party’s backing. The answer to why they did that lies in a story of self-interest and parochialism that has been kept quiet outside of political circles.

CO: Colorado budget signed into law 

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a $28.9 billion state budget for fiscal 2018-19 into law. The spending plan makes major investments in Colorado’s largest unmet needs. It boosts funding to schools, roads and the public pension.

Overhauling Foster Care Electric Scooters
Philadelphia Museum of Art