Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/21

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/21

KY: Feds re-approve new rules for Kentucky Medicaid

apnews.com 

The Trump administration has again approved new rules for some of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, requiring them to either get a job, volunteer in the community or go to school to keep their government-funded health coverage.

OH: Ohio voter roll purges beginning again after new directive

dispatch.com  

Controversial purges of Ohio voter rolls will resume after a directive from Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, likely meaning that tens of thousands of inactive voters will become ineligible to cast a ballot.

IA: Iowa governor may restore felons’ voting rights

desmoinesregister.com

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds raised the possibility of automatically restoring voting rights to felons, a move that could affect at least 52,000 disenfranchised Iowans.

OR: Oregon officials call for changes of laws on criminally insane

propublica.org 

Oregon’s attorney general said the rate of recidivism among defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity is “too high,” and key lawmakers said they plan to rewrite the state’s laws after an analysis by the Malheur Enterprise and ProPublica.

CA: Bail bond industry moves to block sweeping California law

latimes.com

A new California law eliminating the payment of money as a condition of release from jail is expected to decimate the earnings of bounty hunters, surety companies and about 3,200 registered bail agents in the state. A coalition of bail bond industry groups has submitted more than enough signatures required for a statewide referendum to overturn the law in 2020.

TX: Texas governor has a plan for skyrocketing property values

dallasnews.com

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott‘s proposal appears far more conservative than two plans the Texas legislature rejected last year that would have capped city and county property tax growth at 4 or 6 percent a year. Rather than meet in the middle, Abbott is proposing a 2.5 percent cap, roping in school taxing districts and making it more difficult for voters to circumvent the caps.

CT: Connecticut governor, D.C. delegation tangles over telemedicine funding

ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s congressional delegation is at odds with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration over its failure to apply for an expansion of the HUSKY program that would give low-income residents access to new telemedicine services, especially for psychiatric care and substance abuse treatment.

VT: Vermont inmates can die at home, but law is hard to use

burlingtonfreepress.com

Vermont is one of 49 states to pass compassionate release legislation, which is a special dispensation for inmates suffering from terminal or serious illnesses to die outside prison. But while prison officials are supposed to initiate consideration of medical release when an inmate presents severe health issues, those providing inmate health care have sometimes failed to recognize terminal illnesses.

MT: Montana proposes 69 percent raise for lawmakers

apnews.com

The proposed increase would peg lawmakers' salaries to the average of neighboring states, boosting Montana lawmakers' pay by 69 percent, from $92 a day to $156 a day while in session.

ID: Idaho wages stagnant despite low unemployment

boisestatepublicradio.org

Idaho workers take home about $11,000 less a year than the average American, even when the state’s low cost of living is factored in.

NJ: New Jersey used car business remains plagued by deceit and fraud, panel says

nj.com 

New Jersey multi-dealer used-car malls remain plagued by "unscrupulous activity," the State Commission of Investigation said in a new report. Dealers at auto malls throughout the state engage in activity ranging from selling dangerous salvaged vehicles to "renting" dealer license credentials on the black market, according to the commission's follow-up report to a similar one three years ago.

PA: Legislative answer to Pennsylvania’s late absentee ballot problem seems simple but elusive

post-gazette.com

The courts may decide the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's absentee ballot deadline, but state legislative leaders are grappling with the idea of changing it through legislation.

MA: Massachusetts governor proposes new law in response to Lawrence gas explosions

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker proposed the first new state law in response to the Sept. 13 Merrimack Valley gas explosions. It would mandate that certified professional engineers be required to sign off on all serious natural gas work, one of the urgent recommendations made by federal regulators investigating the disaster that rocked Lawrence, North Andover and Andover.

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