Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/26

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/26

US: 39 states to investigate Juul’s marketing

apnews.com

A coalition of 39 states will look into the marketing and sales of vaping products by Juul Labs, including whether the company targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in its devices.

CO: Colorado lawmakers vote for death penalty repeal

denverpost.com

A bleary-eyed Colorado House voted for a bill to repeal the death penalty around 4 a.m. after about 11 hours of discussion. The bulk of that time was taken up by Republicans either making speeches or bringing various unsuccessful bill amendments in an effort to slow the bill’s roll. 

NE: Bill to let college athletes in Nebraska make money clears first round of debate

omaha.com

Nebraska lawmakers moved closer to letting college athletes make money off their name, image or likeness. By a vote of 36-4, they gave approval on the first of three rounds of debate to a bill backed by some big-name former Husker athletes. 

NM: New Mexico governor signs red flag law

santafenewmexican.com

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico signed legislation allowing law enforcement to seek a court order to temporarily take away a person's firearms. She hailed the new law as a measure that can save lives.

GA: Georgia Senate approves bill aiming to allow patients to keep doctors

ajc.com

Georgia senators unanimously approved legislation that could allow patients to keep their doctors for the remainder of the year if their physician leaves the insurance network.

OK: Oklahoma Senate panel passes bill to prevent red flag gun policies

oklahoman.com

An Oklahoma Senate panel advanced legislation to preempt localities from implementing so-called red flag policies. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to prevent Oklahoma cities and towns from enacting policies allowing a court or other entity to restrict gun access to people deemed an imminent danger.

IN: Some doctors worried by Indiana ‘surprise’ billing proposal

apnews.com

Some Indiana doctors are raising fears about possible loss of emergency services under a plan to limit "surprise" medical bills that can plague patients who have been unknowingly treated by providers from outside their insurance networks.

CA: California farmers may only get 15% of water supply even though Trump promised more

sacbee.com

Less than a week after President Donald Trump told San Joaquin Valley farmers in Bakersfield, California, he was taking bold steps to increase their water supply, his administration announced farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley may only receive about 15% of their contracted water supply for the upcoming growing season.

VT: Minimum wage boost to be law as Vermont House overrides governor's veto 

vtdigger.org

The Vermont House voted to override Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $10.96 to $12.55 by 2022. The Senate successfully voted to override the veto of the legislation, earlier this month, meaning the wage increase will now become law.

NY: Trump administration may block New York’s congestion pricing plan

nytimes.com

The historic congestion pricing plan for New York City that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York state lawmakers pushed through last year to help pay for badly needed improvements to the subway was expected to raise up to $1 billion annually in fees. But souring relations between New York and the Trump administration could hold up the plan indefinitely. 

MD: Maryland bill aims to transition state away from coal

apnews.com

Maryland would phase out the state’s six remaining coal-fired plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a measure with bipartisan support. The legislation would set aside funds to help workers and communities that are affected by the closing of the plants.

NJ: New Jersey governor proposes raising cigarette tax to highest level among U.S. states

nj.com

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy proposes raising taxes on cigarette sales in New Jersey by $1.65 a pack — from $2.70 to $4.35 — as part of his state budget plan. It would tie the Garden State for the highest such tax with New York and Connecticut.  

UT: Utah Senate approves expansion of Medicaid coverage for birth control

strib.com

The Utah Senate passed with a single dissenting vote a bill that could mean a big boost in expanding access to contraceptives and, supporters say, a big drop in unwanted pregnancies and abortions. If passed by the House, the bill would provide coverage to approximately 10,000 Utahns who need family planning services.

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