Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/28

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/28

UT: Coronavirus threat may kill a Utah tax cut

sltrib.com

Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said that a hoped-for tax cut may be dumped to handle health and economic threats from the coronavirus. Also, he said President Donald Trump has downplayed the seriousness of the disease.

HI: Hawaii expects to be able to test for coronavirus next week

apnews.com

Hawaii’s epidemiologist said the state should be ready to begin testing for the coronavirus next week. State officials have been eager to test for COVID-19 for weeks but haven’t been able to because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent defective test kits.

MO: Missouri House votes to exempt private and religious school workers from minimum wage

stltoday.com

On a 94-53 vote, the Missouri House approved a plan that could result in pay cuts for teacher aides, cafeteria workers and bus drivers at private and religious schools. It now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

MS: Why did a Mississippi welfare organization pay $5 million to build a volleyball stadium?

mississippitoday.org

Mississippi gave a politically connected nonprofit nearly $65 million in few-strings-attached welfare dollars. It seemed to fund anything but assistance for the poor — including pet projects for sports figures.

KS: Kansas Senate approves bill to allow on-farm raw milk sales

apnews.com

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would allow on-the-farm sales of raw milk so long as farmers have a label on their containers stating that the product is unpasteurized. The chamber sent the measure to the House. 

VT: Vermont rural hospitals continue to suffer losses

vtdigger.org

Vermont's rural hospitals are continuing to lose money, reporting higher costs and fewer patients to cover expenses. Six of the state’s 14 hospitals lost money in fiscal 2019 — twice as many as the previous year.

IL: Native American mascots may become banned in Illinois

newschannel20.com

A new bill would prevent Illinois schools and sports teams from having a Native American logo or mascot or any other Native American imagery, with some exceptions.

MD: Maryland lawmakers consider surveillance cameras in special education

capitalgazette.com

Three months after a special education student died after choking in a classroom, Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would mandate surveillance cameras in all special education classrooms by the start of the upcoming school year.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers hide details of why they spent tax dollars, claiming ‘legislative privilege’

spotlightpa.org

The Pennsylvania legislature is attempting to shield records showing why it spends some of the roughly $360 million in taxpayer money it receives each year, citing an obscure protection it claims gives lawmakers immunity from total transparency.

CT: Connecticut may remove ban on food in funeral homes

courant.com

Connecticut is one of just two states that prohibit funeral homes from providing food and beverages other than water to grieving families and mourners during services, an under-the-radar law that legislators have now turned their attention toward changing. 

GA: U.S. House investigation targets governor and Georgia voting problems

ajc.com

A congressional investigation criticized Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, for “mocking” allegations of voter suppression by using smiling emojis in emails and dismissing reports of inaccurate registration cancellations.

OR: Oregon House Democrat subpoenas absent GOP lawmakers after walkout

statesmanjournal.com

Oregon House Rules Committee Chairman Paul Holvey, a Democrat, subpoenaed 21 missing Republican House lawmakers, summoning them to testify about their walkout to block a vote on climate legislation.

ID: Idaho House passes anti-transgender birth certificate bill, defying court order

idahostatesman.com

In defiance of a federal court order, Idaho House Republicans pushed through legislation making it illegal for transgender people to change gender markers on their Idaho birth certificates.

NE: Debate on open carry at Capitol gets emotional as Nebraska lawmakers discuss threats

omaha.com

Voices rose and tears flowed as Nebraska senators again debated why open carry of firearms is allowed at the State Capitol. Several lawmakers related stories about threats that have been made against them and their families.

Milk Labeling Trump Medicaid Rule
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