What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/10

CA: California approves solar-panel requirement for new homes

Beginning in 2020, California will be the first state in the country to require new homes to have solar panels on their roofs. The solar rules are likely to add $9,000 to construction costs per home.

LA: Louisiana nursing home residents could face eviction

More than 30,000 Medicaid recipients in Louisiana, many in nursing or group homes, could lose their benefits due to proposed state cuts — a situation that could force thousands to move. The proposed cuts could leave more than 25,000 people unemployed.

VT: Vermont governor could sign drug importation bill

Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott plans to study a bill passed by the Vermont Legislature that would set up a first-in-the-nation system to allow the state to import prescription drugs from Canada before deciding whether he will sign it.

OK: Oklahoma high court upholds voter ID law

An Oklahoma voter identification law approved by state voters in 2010 meets constitutional requirements, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled. The state law that was being challenged gives individuals several options for verifying their identity to obtain a ballot and vote.

AK: Alaska lawmakers approve permanent fund draw

For the first time in the Alaska Permanent Fund’s 40-year history, the Legislature has adopted a plan to draw money from the fund to pay for state government. Alaska’s state government is spending $2.4 billion more than it is collecting in taxes, fees and oil royalties. 

IL: Illinois debt hits $11,000 per resident

Three years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state's attempt to cut its employees' pension benefits. Since then, Illinois' credit rating was downgraded to the verge of junk, its bonds have tumbled, and its largest city, Chicago, was stripped of its investment-grade status by Moody's Investors Service.

KS: Kansas Medicaid data defies analysis, auditors say

A debate has raged in Kansas for years over KanCare, the privatized Medicaid plan enacted by Sam Brownback in 2013, over whether the program works. After a year of study, state auditors said the state’s data is so bad, there’s no way to know. 

MI: Michigan Senate panel wants to ban marijuana-infused beer, wine

The production, sale and use of marijuana-infused beer, wine and spirits would be banned under a bill that unanimously passed the Michigan Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. Colorado is the only state that allows for marijuana-infused beer.

AL: Alabama teacher salaries worth less than a decade ago

Alabama lawmakers agreed to fund a 2.5 percent pay raise next year, but the looming question is whether it will be enough to stave off the growing angst over low pay and challenging working conditions of teachers.

CO: Colorado lawmakers approve transportation bill

After months of debate, the Colorado Legislature has passed a bill that dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars to transportation projects and could prompt voters to decide whether the state borrows $2.34 billion to go toward an estimated $9 billion in infrastructure needs over the next decade.

WY: Wyoming’s 2017 births lowest in a decade

There were fewer than 7,000 babies born to Wyoming residents last year, the first time the birth total dropped below that level since 2005, according to the state Department of Health.

NC: North Carolina city shuts down scooter share program

Charlotte, North Carolina, said that Lime's new electric scooter ride-share program "has not been approved by the city” and is shutting it down after a day of operation.

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