Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/27

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/27

OR: Oregon Health Plan considers stricter opioid limits

bendbulletin.com

Oregon could have some of the country’s strictest limits on opioids for chronic pain patients under a proposal being considered for the state’s Medicaid program. The proposal would limit coverage for five chronic pain conditions to 90 days of opioid pain relievers and would force patients who have been taking opioids for longer to be tapered off those medications within a year.

ID: Idaho inmates hacked tablet computers to get credits

apnews.com

Idaho prison officials say 364 inmates hacked their JPay tablets and collectively transferred nearly a quarter million dollars into their own accounts. The hand-held computer tablets are popular in prisons across the country.

PA: Attorney general asks Pope Francis for help in Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse case

philly.com

Amid an ongoing legal battle over a secret grand jury report into alleged Catholic clergy sex abuse across Pennsylvania, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro has appealed to Pope Francis to step in and persuade opponents to drop their bid to block the report’s release.

TN: Tennessee to appeal federal court ruling on driver's license reinstatement

tennessean.com

Tennessee is appealing a federal court decision that opened the door to the state reinstating driver's licenses for potentially more than 150,000 residents. In early July, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger ruled it unconstitutional for Tennessee to revoke someone's driver's license if they could not pay court costs. 

AZ: Arizona lawmakers explore taking over river protection program

azcentral.com

Arizona is looking at taking over a federal program intended to protect rivers, streams and wetlands from construction and mining. Conservation groups are voicing concerns that the state lacks the funding and expertise to properly run the program.

CO: Consultant takes signatures for Colorado anti-fracking initiative

nytimes.com

Thousands of signatures that would help put a high-profile anti-fracking measure on the Colorado ballot have gone missing, according to a lawsuit filed in Denver District Court. A political consultant hired to gather the signatures took the signed petitions after a contract dispute.

MN: Online shoppers to begin paying taxes in Minnesota

apnews.com

The Minnesota Department of Revenue said it’s requiring online sellers operating out of state to start collecting state sales taxes from online shoppers by Oct. 1, in response to last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that makes it easier for states to collect taxes on online sales.

WI: New hotline will help Wisconsin doctors address substance abuse

madison.com

A statewide hotline, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, is aimed at helping Wisconsin doctors treat patients with substance abuse problems in light of the opioid crisis. The initiative will give physicians access to on-call experts in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine.

ND: Funding plan proposed for infrastructure projects in North Dakota’s non-oil producing counties

bismarcktribune.com

On the heels of encouraging oil prices and production — and therefore tax revenue — North Dakota Republican legislators announced a $280 million funding proposal for infrastructure needs in North Dakota’s non-oil producing counties, cities and townships.

MT: Tobacco tax, mining cleanup headed for Montana ballot

apnews.com

The Montana Secretary of State’s Office has approved November ballot initiatives to raise the tobacco tax and set stricter cleanup standards for new hard-rock mines. Voters will also decide on referendums that would restrict collection of absentee ballots and extend a property tax that supports universities.

MA: Massachusetts governor signs budget, rejects lower off-peak tolls

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker all but nixed an effort to relieve the growing congestion around Boston by offering a discount on highway tolls to drivers who commute during off-peak hours. Baker signed the budget, which contained the provision, but sent that item back to the Legislature with instructions to conduct a study.

NV: Tax revenue from marijuana sales in Nevada hits a new high

lasvegassun.com

Tax revenue from marijuana sales in Nevada continues to increase, setting a new high of more than $7.1 million in May, the 11th month of legal recreational pot sales. The state has already brought in more money this fiscal year than expected.  

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