Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/25

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/25

FL: Can Florida import cheaper drugs from abroad? Not so fast, says Senate president

miamiherald.com

A proposal from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to reduce prescription drug prices by importing medications from Canada is drawing concerns from the leader of the Florida Senate, who said he worries parts of the plan sketched out by the House might run afoul of Congress’ jurisdiction.

WA: Washington lawmakers consider bill that would provide the homeless with a free ID card

seattletimes.com

A measure in the Washington state legislature is aimed at eliminating barriers to identification for homeless people by creating a program to provide people without homes a free ID card, also known as an “identicard.” People without identification have a harder time renting an apartment, opening or accessing a bank account, using medical insurance, qualifying for federal benefits, like food stamps, or even staying in some homeless shelters.

AR: Arkansas grapples with ethics cleanup amid federal probes

apnews.com

Legislative leaders in Arkansas unveiled a package of ethics bills aimed at cleaning up the Capitol’s image, including increasing the maximum fines the state’s Ethics Commission can levy and making personal use of campaign funds a felony rather than a misdemeanor. They’re also backing a proposal to make elected officials convicted of certain crimes ineligible to receive their retirement benefits.

NC: Judge tosses North Carolina amendments

newsobserver.com

A Superior Court judge has just thrown out two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that voters approved in November. One of the amendments was to implement a voter ID requirement, and the other was a cap on the state income tax rate.

MI: Michigan attorney general reversing 16 years of GOP ideology in her office

freep.com

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, has withdrawn the state from 23 controversial cases that former Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, joined during his eight years in office. They range from abortion and gun rights cases to environmental issues and religious freedom battles.

MA: Massachusetts House speaker proposes plan to counter climate change 

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Democrat, wants to allocate $1 billion over 10 years to fund municipal efforts to build renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar grids and electric vehicle charging stations, and invest in climate resiliency programs.  

IL: Illinois governor banking on $200M from legal sports betting

chicagotribune.com

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is counting on $200 million in licensing fees from legalized sports wagering to help plug a $3.2 billion hole in next year’s state budget. But years of failed efforts to expand gambling in Illinois suggest his plan is no sure thing.

US: Group of Democratic governors call for restoration of the full property tax deduction

apnews.com

The Democratic governors of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon and Illinois are teaming up to fight the 2017 federal tax overhaul’s $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes. With the cap, residents in high-tax states could see substantial increases in federal taxes.

NV: Nevada lawmakers consider $6M in new family planning spending

thenevadaindependent.com

A proposed sixfold expansion over the family planning dollars included in Nevada’s last two-year budget would allow the state to bolster care in rural areas, where the state is the provider of family planning services, and offer prenatal care education and disease prevention in urban Nevada.

VA: Virginia lawmakers pass compromise budget that includes education funding

apnews.com

Virginia lawmakers wrapped up this year’s scandal-marked legislative session after passing a state budget that includes pay raises for teachers and state employees and significant new spending on public education. Lawmakers also passed a tax overhaul that will mean refunds of up to $220 for many taxpayers.

TX: Texas lawmakers hope to save ‘revenge porn’ law

statesman.com

With Texas’ highest criminal court weighing whether to overturn a “revenge porn” law, a House Democrat and a Senate Republican have introduced legislation designed to protect criminal penalties for those who share intimate or sexually explicit photos and videos without consent. The proposals target violators who knowingly post revenge porn images with the intent to harm the person pictured.

DE: Federal government shutdown over, but Delaware SNAP recipients still feel effects

delawareonline.com

The partial federal government shutdown that lasted from late December through January threw off the food stamps issuance schedule, meaning some of Delaware 136,0000 food stamps recipients haven't seen a payment since Jan. 17, when February payments were issued.   

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