What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/9

Top State Stories 5/9

VA: Driver’s ed in Virginia now includes how to behave with police

Under a new Virginia law, driver’s ed programs in public schools must teach students how to handle themselves during a traffic stop. Illinois enacted a similar measure last year. Texas, North Carolina and Mississippi are among states currently weighing their own legislation.

DE: Delaware lawmakers push abortion bill, fearing Trump's judges

Some Delaware legislators are taking steps to make sure abortion would remain legal in the state even if a future Supreme Court — stacked with President Donald Trump's nominees — overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that made the procedure legal nationwide.

WY: Wyoming lacks data to gauge overdose severity

Authorities know the opiate crisis has come to Wyoming. But its exact toll is hard to gauge. Officials say the difficulty starts on the local level, with county coroners and health care providers, and is made worse by a patchwork of incomplete indicators, such as ambulance rides, police calls and the number of people seeking help for drug abuse.

TN: Tennessee Senate sends $37 billion budget to governor

The $37 billion budget sent to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam includes $113 million in franchise and excise tax cuts and provides pay raises to Tennessee teachers, district attorneys, law enforcement officials and state employees.

FL: Florida Legislature fails to agree on medical marijuana

The Florida Legislature couldn’t agree on rules and regulations governing the medical marijuana industry before the session ended last week. That means it will be up to the Florida Department of Health to regulate the industry created by voters with their approval of a constitutional amendment in November.

AK: Local government was a growth industry in Alaska in 2016 

Alaska has shed thousands of jobs over the past year, largely in oil, construction, state government and professional and business services. Just three areas saw growth: health care, leisure and hospitality, and local government — a category that includes Alaska’s expanding tribal governments.

TX: Texas House aims to improve process of removing kids from dangerous homes

The Texas House voted to streamline how courts work with the state's child welfare agency to protect abused and neglected kids — and laid out concrete reasons children can be removed from their homes.

NJ: New Jersey governor vetoes bill turning state pensions over to unions

Republican Gov. Chris Christie said he would only give New Jersey police and firefighters control of their $26 billion pension fund if lawmakers enact a series of revisions, including one to cap sick time payouts that can send workers into retirement with six-figure "golden parachutes." 

IN: More than half of Indiana's alternative Medicaid recipients didn't make payment required for top service

More than half the low-income people who qualified for Indiana’s alternative Medicaid program failed to make a monthly payment required for the top tier of service — a key feature of the program Vice President Mike Pence insisted on as a condition of expanding the health care program when he was Indiana’s governor.

WI: Wisconsin governor asks lawmakers to back switch to self-insurance plan for public employees

Republican Gov. Scott Walker is asking members of the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee to back his proposal to move state employees' health plans to a self-insurance model, saying it would save the state $60 million.

Top State Stories 5/10 ‘Essential Health Benefits’