California lawmakers voted to raise the legal age for purchasing and using tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21; the nation's most populous state would be only the second after Hawaii to bar teenagers from lighting up, dipping or vaping.
The bipartisan bill authorizes the attorney general to provide grants to states, local governments and nonprofits for programs to strengthen prescription drug monitoring, improve treatment for addicts, and expand prevention, education and law enforcement initiatives.
The Louisiana Legislature approved a plan that averts a financial meltdown in the short term but fails to fully fund state services by as much as $30 million in the current budget cycle and as much as $800 million for the cycle that starts July 1.
Autism treatment would be included in all new health benefit plans in the state under legislation approved by the Oklahoma House. The bill would require insurers to cover autism treatment for children up to 9 years old, or for six years after diagnosis if the diagnosis is made after age 3.
As most Americans brace themselves for losing an hour of sleep this weekend, some New England lawmakers want to leave the Eastern time zone and throw in with Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico. “Once we spring forward, I don't want to fall back,” said Rhode Island state Rep. Blake Filippi.
Rebuking Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto for the fourth time this year, West Virginia lawmakers put a ban on a common second-trimester abortion method into law.
The failures of a dozen nonprofit health insurance plans created by the Affordable Care Act could cost the government up to $1.2 billion, according to a harsh new congressional report that concludes federal officials ignored early warnings about the plans’ fragility and moved in too late as problems arose.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved bills that would impose tighter deadlines on testing DNA rape kits and require Kentucky police or jailers to collect a DNA sample from anyone arrested, indicted or otherwise charged with a felony.
Nearly three years after Texas enacted a law requiring some applicants for unemployment benefits to pass a drug test, the state has yet to test a single applicant. The Texas Workforce Commission is still waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to designate which occupations will be subject to testing.
Nebraska is inching closer to allowing people with felony drug convictions to receive food stamps. States are allowed to opt out of a federal law making these individuals the only group ineligible for food stamps, and 18 others have already done so, including Nebraska's neighbors Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota.
Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit cities from enacting what often are called inclusionary zoning laws, which are aimed at promoting affordable housing and mixed-income neighborhoods.
Lawmakers approved a bill preventing Indiana’s alternative Medicaid program from being changed without the Legislature’s approval. The bill, which Republican Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign, also says the state’s share of the costs must be restricted.