Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/9

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/9

MS: As millions risk losing food benefits nationwide, Mississippians to see increase in assistance

mississippitoday.org

While millions of Americans will be kicked off food assistance under the Trump administration’s new restrictions, Mississippians stand to see their benefits increase. Researchers estimate another, lesser known provision will increase Mississippi’s food assistance allocation by $32 million, the most of any state.

MN: Minnesota counties say they won't reimburse DHS for $9M in overpayments

mprnews.org

Minnesota counties are refusing to reimburse the state for nearly $9 million in overpayments of federal funds because they say the state — not the counties — made the mistake.

AZ: Arizona will continue to resettle refugees, governor says

azcentral.com

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, has agreed to accept the resettlement of refugees into Arizona in 2020 under President Donald Trump's new executive order that for the first time gives cities and states the opportunity to bar refugees.

NE: Speaker proposes that Nebraska's Legislature should expand to up to 55 senators

omaha.com

The speaker of the Nebraska Legislature is proposing that the state’s unique, one-house body, after five decades of having 49 state senators, should be allowed to grow.

NJ: Meet the women behind New Jersey's tongue-in-cheek Twitter account

northjersey.com

On the day before Thanksgiving, New Jersey's official Twitter account made a butt joke. The cheeky gag was part of a strategy to lure in social media users with some on-brand Jersey personality so the state can hit them with more serious business, like urging people to sign up for health insurance.

VT: Vermont Governor Scott tells DMV to stop giving private investigators personal data

vtdigger.org

Republican Gov. Phil Scott has instructed the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles to stop providing personal information to private investigators after VTDigger published an investigation detailing the state’s practice of selling or giving away driver data.

WI: Report: Wisconsin cuts largest share of pollution control funding vs. other states

wpr.org

Wisconsin cut the largest portion of funding from its pollution control programs over the last decade compared to other states at a time when the federal government has slashed spending for the Environmental Protection Agency. That's according to a report from an environmental advocacy group.

CO: Colorado lawmakers seek to require genocide education in public schools

denverpost.com

In Colorado, where reported hate crimes are on the rise, Democratic state Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet is planning to bring a bill in 2020 designed to educate more young people about the Holocaust and genocide in general. Michaelson said that she wouldn’t want to see such education start before fifth grade, but that other details of the bill are flexible.

MO: In Missouri's juvenile justice system, kids can restrain other kids

columbiamissourian.com

In Missouri's juvenile corrections facilities, staff can call on the wards in their care to hold each other down. There's no opting out. Proponents of the policy say it helps youth offenders work through their emotions without being put into isolation. Critics say it re-traumatizes already emotionally scarred children.

OH, MI: Ohio troopers warn residents about buying Michigan pot

wtol.com

Ohio police said they're on the lookout for Ohio residents returning from Michigan with marijuana, which is not legal in that state. Marijuana will also be legalized in neighboring Illinois next year.

AK: Summer fires cost Alaska expenses to surge, diminishing budget cut

adn.com

Last summer’s wildfires and the high cost of health care for sick Alaskans will erase much of this year’s work to balance state revenue and spending, new estimates indicate.

PA: Pennsylvania governor puts House on timetable to pass minimum wage bill

apnews.com

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is giving the state House of Representatives until the end of the month to pass legislation he has long sought to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. If the House doesn’t pass the bill, Wolf’s office said he will let a rulemaking board proceed with a vote on a regulatory measure to extend overtime pay eligibility to tens of thousands of workers.

AL: Alabama doesn’t appeal injunction blocking abortion ban

apnews.com

Alabama’s near-total abortion ban will remain blocked by a federal judge as a lawsuit over the ban plays out in court. Alabama did not appeal the court injunction that blocked the state’s near-total abortion ban. The state has previously acknowledged the ban is likely unenforceable.

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