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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/10

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/10

MT: Governor signs Montana’s Medicaid expansion bill

apnews.com

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, has signed a bill to continue Montana's Medicaid expansion program for another six years, as long as federal funding continues. The program provides health insurance to about 95,000 low-income adults and would have ended June 30. 

OR: Oregon dentists become first in US to be able to give all vaccines

oregonlive.com

In a year marked with heated debate about Oregon’s involvement in boosting vaccination rates, the bill was quietly passed and signed into law with little fanfare. But it sets a new precedent for the role dentistry plays in the health care system.

AL: Alabama Senate strips rape exception from abortion ban, delays vote

al.com

The Alabama Senate delayed until next week a vote on a bill to ban abortion after an uproar over a key amendment. The Senate abruptly removed a rape and incest exception from the bill without allowing a roll call vote on that decision.

MI: Michigan governor signs bills to limit asset forfeiture in drug cases

freep.com

Law enforcement will be unable to permanently take ownership of cash and other property seized in drug cases in Michigan unless certain conditions are met under legislation signed into law by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

WA: Washington governor signs range of bills aimed at helping orcas

apnews.com

Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed several bills designed to protect the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas, measures that he said gave him hope the species might be saved.

NH: New Hampshire governor vetoes paid family leave legislation

unionleader.com

The bill would have provided 60% of wages for up to 12 weeks of qualified leave annually, funded by 0.05% universal withholding from paychecks. New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has proposed a very different paid family medical leave plan of his own.

FL: Governor signs bill creating Florida’s fifth school voucher program

orlandosentinel.com

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill creating a path for up to 18,000 more students to receive state scholarships to attend private school and expanding what is already the nation’s largest school-choice effort.

NY: New York lawmakers vote to let inmates use phone before solitary

apnews.com

Inmates sent to solitary confinement would get to make a phone call first under legislation heading to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk after passing the Democrat-led legislature. Inmates would also be allowed to make one phone call a week while held in isolation.

ND: North Dakota eliminates jail time for small amounts of marijuana

valleynewslive.com

Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, has signed a bill into law making North Dakota the 25th state in the nation to eliminate the threat of jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The maximum penalty for possession of up to half an ounce will be a $1,000 fine.

CT: Connecticut House OKs $15 an hour minimum wage

courant.com

After an epic, 14-hour debate, the state House of Representatives voted to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont urged the state Senate to adopt the measure so he could sign it into law.

MO: Missouri GOP reverses move to grant in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants

stltoday.com

The Missouri House doused a move that would have allowed public funds to go toward in-state tuition for students with unlawful immigration status. Earlier this week, lawmakers had included the provision in budget plans.

OK: Oklahoma lawmakers again pass prescription drug bill after governor's veto

tulsaworld.com

The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 96-0 to pass and send to the Senate a prescription benefit manager bill similar to one vetoed by GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt last week after the state Chamber of Commerce and health insurance companies objected.

TX: Texas narrows law barring contractors from boycotting Israel

texastribune.org

Two weeks after a federal judge blocked the enforcement of a state law that prohibits government agencies in Texas from doing business with contractors who boycott Israel, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill narrowing the law to exclude individual contractors.

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