Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/2

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/2

MD: Maryland to allow designated guardians for immigrant children

baltimoresun.com

Immigrant parents in Maryland concerned about being deported may now designate someone to care for their children under an expansion of emergency guardianship measures that take effect this month.

VA: Wary of opioid abuse, Virginia veterinarians look for red flags in pet owners

pilotonline.com

Virginia has recently established new policies for veterinarians on how they can use opioids for acute and chronic conditions, and in the 2018 General Assembly session, lawmakers expanded the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program to include veterinarians.

CA: California youth football enthusiasts go on the offensive

latimes.com

California youth football supporters who defended their sport against a proposal last year that would have barred tackling are taking a new approach. Under a bill supported by a coalition of youth football groups, California, beginning in 2021, would limit children to two 60-minute practices of full contact, while barring tackling in the sport’s offseason.

AK: New food-stamp work requirements stir hunger worries in Alaskan villages

adn.com

A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has drawn alarm from food security advocates in Alaska because it would make it tougher to waive work requirements for food stamps. Some are concerned about the impact that would have on people who live in subsistence-dependent villages where there are few jobs.

OR: Oregonians have new dinner option: roadkill

katu.com

Oregonians have a new option for picking up dinner under a new law allowing people to harvest and eat roadkill. People must complete and submit an application for a permit within 24 hours of salvaging the elk or deer.

MT: Montana plans tougher drunken driving penalties

billingsgazette.com

The Montana Department of Justice wants to overhaul the state’s DUI laws in the upcoming legislative session. A draft bill would allow warrants for blood checks even for first offenses, make ignition interlocks mandatory on second offense, ensure that out of state offenses count toward license suspension, and increase penalties for a fifth offense to 10 years in custody.

AZ: Arizona lacks funding to secure dangerous abandoned mines

azcentral.com

Arizona has an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines, but state officials have identified only about 19,000 of them, and they’ve secured even fewer. Two state supervisors face the daunting task of searching 9.3 million acres for mines and keeping the public away from them.

NY: Burnout, low pay take toll on New York human service agencies

timesunion.com

Annual turnover in the human services industry is greater than 30 percent and the average salary ranges from $23,000 to $30,000 a year. As New York lawmakers return to work, the human services industry is asking that state-contracted human services providers get a 2.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment in the upcoming state budget.

VT: Vermont wages stuck at 2010 levels, report finds

vtdigger.org

Seventeen percent of young adults in Vermont lived in poverty in 2017, and the average income at the top 1 percent was 16 times the average income of the bottom 99 percent, a pattern seen nationally. The report from Public Assets Institute found that the share of households earning less than $50,000 was the same as in 2010.

KS: Kansas had 5,000 more children without health insurance in 2017

kansas.com

Kansas had 5,000 more children without health insurance in 2017 than it did the year before, placing the state slightly above the national average as lawmakers prepare to again debate Medicaid expansion in 2019.

CA: New California law mandates in-car breathalyzers for repeat drunken drivers

sacbee.com

Starting in 2019, almost all California drivers convicted of a second DUI offense are required to have a breathalyzer installed for one year on all vehicles they own. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, it locks the ignition and the car won’t start.

NE: Nebraska must replenish rainy day fund, panel says

journalstar.com

During the past two biennial budgets, Nebraska's cash reserves were approximately halved, from about $730 million to $330 million. Most concerning was that the reduction occurred during relatively good times.

SC: South Carolina still fixing security after big data breach but ends victim credit monitoring

postandcourier.com

Six years after one of the nation’s worst data breaches, South Carolina efforts to protect computer records from hackers remain a work in progress, but that did not prevent the end of free credit report monitoring for millions of taxpayers whose information was stolen.

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