Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/8

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/8

WA: Washington state considers abolishing death penalty

mynorthwest.com

When the state’s Supreme Court ruled last year that Washington’s death penalty was unconstitutional, it left the door open for the legislature to make fixes — so it could still be used. But it looks like lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction, as they look to take capital punishment completely off the books.

SD: South Dakota strikes parental right to deny kids’ transgender surgery

argusleader.com

Legislation was defeated to codify a South Dakota parent's right to deny medical treatment for their child if it encourages the child's belief that their gender identity differs from their biological sex. Supporters argued that parents know what is in their child's best interest.

NY: Wall Street’s slide hurts New York; city loses nearly $1B in tax revenue

nytimes.com

New York City officials are projecting that total personal income tax revenue will come in $935 million lower than the previous year, a sharp reversal of the nearly decadelong boom that accompanied Wall Street’s gains.

AR: Arkansas Senate OKs plan to ban most abortions

apnews.com

The Arkansas Senate voted to ban all abortions, except for medical emergencies, if the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned or the U.S. Constitution is amended to prohibit the procedure. Abortion opponents say they’re hopeful that sweeping abortion bans might have a chance of prevailing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

MS: Can tax breaks help Mississippi fight its 'brain drain' problem?

clarionledger.com 

Recent college graduates who return or move to Mississippi would receive state income tax breaks under a bill the House passed to fight "brain drain," the loss of educated population to migration to other states.

NE: Native American missing women bill moves ahead in Nebraska

apnews.com

The measure would require the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct a study on missing Native American women cases and identify what can be done to address the problem. The patrol would submit a report to lawmakers by June 1, 2020, with data on the number of missing Native American women. 

CA: Could California take public ownership of utility?

psmag.com

The fate of PG&E remains uncertain. While the financial sector cozies up to the company, the California Public Utility Commission is considering breaking up the regulated monopoly, and talks of a bailout linger. Yet a third option has slowly been gaining popularity among activists in the state: public ownership.

NC: North Carolina prepares crackdown on marijuana derivative

cbs17.com

North Carolina regulators will begin sending warning letters to businesses selling food products infused with cannabidiol or CBD,  a marijuana derivative with no consciousness-altering effects but popular with those who believe it is beneficial for pain treatment and mental health.

MT: Montana hospitals agree to help fund Medicaid expansion

apnews.com

Montana hospitals have agreed to pay a fee to help fund Medicaid expansion as the state’s share of the cost of the health care coverage increases, an official with the Montana Hospital Association said. State officials have estimated that Medicaid expansion cut hospitals’ $400 million in uncompensated care by half.

CO: Colorado House OKs bill on medical marijuana for autism

denverpost.com

Colorado’s House has passed a bill allowing medical marijuana use to treat autism spectrum disorders. The Senate is expected to do the same, and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has pledged to sign it. Current law allows medical marijuana use for cancer, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, seizures and severe pain.

KY: Part-time Kentucky legislators can collect $50k pensions

kentucky.com

Thanks to a pension-sweetening law the Kentucky General Assembly passed for itself in 2005, nearly two dozen past and present legislators collect or expect to get lifetime pensions above $50,000 a year — roughly twice the state’s income per capita. And that’s on top of whatever retirement plans they’ve made elsewhere in their full-time jobs.

NH: New Hampshire’s highest court to rule on topless case

apnews.com

Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro are part of the Free the Nipple campaign. They were arrested in 2016 after removing their tops at a New Hampshire beach and refusing to put them on when beachgoers complained.

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