By: - January 30, 2015 12:00 am

GA: Autism measure heads to a skeptical House

Young children with autism would get insurance coverage under a mandate passed unanimously Thursday by the state Senate, despite warnings it would increase health insurance premiums across Georgia.

ME: Medical marijuana can factor in custody cases

Medical marijuana use may be legal in Maine, but the state’s Supreme Judicial Court has found that it could make a person unfit as a parent and be used against the parent in child custody disputes.

LA: Louisiana regulations become latest flashpoint over abortion

Abortion rights supporters say a rewrite of Louisiana’s abortion clinic regulations are aimed at forcing clinics to close, as leaders in conservative Southern states continue to add new limitations to the procedure.

WA: $12 minimum wage bill advances after fiery debate

A bill to boost the state minimum wage to -an-hour over four years passed out of a House committee, but not before a GOP lawmaker ripped minimum-wage activists.

CA: State lawmakers want to raise the legal smoking age

The legal minimum smoking age would increase from 18 to 21 under a bill introduced today in the California legislature. If the bill becomes law California would be the first state in the nation to raise its minimum smoking age to 21.

TX: Study touts community programs for juvenile offenders

Juveniles in Texas who break the law are less likely to reoffend if they’re placed in community supervision programs instead of state facilities, according to a report by criminal justice researchers.

AR: State Senate OKs ‘private option’ Medicaid plan, task force

Crafted two years ago as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law, the program uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

DE: Marijuana decriminalization introduced in Dover

Delawareans caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face just civil fines, not a criminal record, under decriminalization legislation introduced by a Wilmington lawmaker in the state House of Representatives.

MS: Cities could seize income tax refunds for unpaid bills

A Mississippi House committee has passed a measure that would let state and local government agencies collect unpaid bills by taking people’s state income tax refunds.

WI: GOP lawmakers unveil plan to fight Milwaukee poverty

Many of the proposals are controversial, including creating urban zones without corporate taxes, typical union rules and state markup requirements on retail sales, and a plan to convert struggling public schools in Milwaukee into independent charter schools answering to a new board.

OH: Kasich budget to propose income tax cuts

Ohioans will see a half-billion-dollar cut in personal and business income taxes proposed when Republican Gov. John Kasich unveils his two-year state budget proposal Monday.

WV: West Virginia lawmakers seek to repeal prevailing wage law

The GOP-led Senate began an effort to repeal West Virginia’s longstanding prevailing wage law, which requires that state-funded construction projects pay a minimum hourly wage similar to rates paid by the private sector for similar work.

AL: New prison reform policies could help crowding, report says

If Alabama wants to get its prison crisis under control, it should begin moving nonviolent offenders into alternative sentencing programs; divert the least serious felony offenders into those programs; ensure supervision is a mandatory component of sentences and make new investments in staffing at the Board of Pardons and Parole.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.