What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/15
TN: More than 200,000 Tennessee kids faced loss of health insurance because of paperwork problems
At least 220,000 children were cut, or slated to be cut, from state health insurance in recent years in a Medicaid system that was dependent on hard-copy forms and postal mail, a Tennessean investigation found. The majority likely lost their coverage over late, incomplete or unreturned eligibility forms.
WI: Blacks arrested for pot possession at four times the rate of whites in Wisconsin
In 2018, blacks were four times as likely to be arrested as whites for marijuana possession in Wisconsin, a Wisconsin Watch review shows. Experts point to policing practices and the racial history behind marijuana prohibition as leading to arrest disparities.
OK: Tribes reject Oklahoma governor's call to negotiate gaming deals
The top leaders of five major Oklahoma-based tribes said that they reject Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s call to renegotiate gaming compacts and said his recent actions cause them to “question his sincerity to work with us in a cooperative manner.”
NE: Nebraska could see new debate over Indian mascots
Members of the legislature’s State-Tribal Relations Committee are considering whether Nebraska should require schools to replace Native American mascots and may hold a hearing later this year. Some members said they don’t see the need for statewide changes but would like school officials to discuss the issue.
HI: Police, protesters gird for Hawaii telescope conflict
The state of Hawaii last month issued a notice to proceed for TMT, a high-tech telescope expected to cost more than $1.4 billion. Opponents of the project condemn it as a desecration of a mountain that some Hawaiians consider sacred.
PA: Lottery gets win in Pennsylvania casinos’ gambling lawsuit
Pennsylvania’s casinos have lost a bid to shut down online lottery games that they say are too much like casino gambling, just days before the state’s first casinos launch their own online gambling portals.
CO: Colorado boat inspections finding more invasive mussels
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported 51 interceptions of boats infested with invasive mussels so far this boating season at waters across the state — the same number for the entire season last year. Most of these boats that contained invasive mussels were coming from Lake Powell in Utah.
MD: Maryland speaker: 1st bill introduced next session will add $2B to school construction
Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones, a Democrat, announced that the first bill introduced next legislative session will be to increase state funding for public school construction by $2 billion over a decade.
FL: Bad ballot design in Broward County, Florida, cost Bill Nelson 9,658 votes in ultra-tight loss to Rick Scott
An examination of votes from the 2018 midterm election in Florida found the way ballots were designed in Broward County could have cost Democrat Bill Nelson 9,658 votes in the U.S. Senate race against Republican Rick Scott. Nelson lost by 10,033 votes out of 4.19 million cast — a difference of 0.2%.
KY: Kentucky governor backs 'sanctuary policies' ban
Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin joined two Republican legislators to unveil a measure that would ban local governments and state universities from adopting "sanctuary policies" for immigrants in the country illegally.
NM: Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch linked to investigation
The scandal surrounding Jeffrey Epstein has still sent a jolt through New Mexico as it comes under scrutiny for laws that allowed him to avoid registering as a sex offender following a guilty plea a decade ago in Florida.