Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
CO: Nebraska and Oklahoma sue Colorado over marijuana legalization
Two neighboring states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s laws legalizing recreational marijuana. The states argue that “Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system.”
AL: Alabama takes step toward overhauling Medicaid delivery
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley announced the formation of six regional care organizations aimed at moving health services for the poor from a fee-for-service model to one closer to managed care. The goal: improving patient outcomes and saving the state money.
CA: California approves perks for plug-in cars
The California Public Utilities Commission added new financial incentives for electric vehicle owners and invited utilities to invest in car-charging infrastructure.
LA: Feds reject Louisiana’s Medicaid drug reimbursement formula
Louisiana used an improper reimbursement formula to pay pharmacists for the last two years through the state’s Medicaid program, the federal Medicaid agency informed state officials this week. The state could be on the hook for up to million in repayments.
US: Lawyers create big paydays by coaxing state attorneys general to sue
A flourishing industry pairs plaintiffs’ lawyers with attorneys general to sue companies, setting off a furious competition among trial lawyers and lobbyists to influence these officials.
OH: Kasich pledges crackdown on poorly performing charter schools
Republican Gov. John Kasich pledged to get tough next year on Ohio’s underperforming charter schools, which have been likened to the Wild West by one national pro-charter schools group.
WA: Washington governor makes case for new taxes
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee wants to raise .4 billion in new revenue, including a new capital gains tax, as part of his billion two-year budget proposal. The plan drew some praise for boldness, but breaks his campaign pledge not to raise taxes.
MI: Lawmakers approve deal to put sales tax increase on May ballot
Michigan voters will be asked to approve increasing the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to raise .2 billion a year to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, under a deal reached by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders from both parties.
AK: Second credit ratings agency issues warning on Alaska budget risk
Standard & Poor’s raised a warning flag Thursday about Alaska’s state budget, saying “to avert credit quality deterioration, we believe the state must make material progress in reducing the deficit in its fiscal 2016 budget.”
WI: Governor’s top 2015 priority: Cut property taxes
Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he still wants to cut Wisconsin property taxes even though the state faces a .2 billion budget shortfall.
IA: Iowa makes economic gains, but faces challenges
A new report says Iowa has rebounded from the recession but its long-term outlook is challenging because of predicted declines in key segments of its economy.
TX: Amid tension, Texas mulls oversight of urban drilling
The Railroad Commission of Texas is mulling how to beef up oversight of oil and gas operations in cities, aiming to ease tension between the industry and growing numbers of urban Texans who live next to well pads, compressor stations and disposal wells.
MN: Minneapolis pension plan hits recovery milestone
A state taxpayer bailout in 2010 and a soaring market recovery have brought the city’s pension fund to 80 percent of full funding. That milestone allows the fund to merge into a statewide pension fund that enrolls newer employees.
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