By: - February 6, 2015 12:00 am

KY: Bill to end landline phone service for many Kentuckians advances

A House committee has approved a bill that would deregulate landline telephone services and allow carriers such as AT&T to drop basic service to Kentucky customers in urban areas.

CT: Connecticut governor offers ‘second chance’ plan for drug offenders

Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is calling for sweeping changes to the state’s drug laws, including reclassifying certain nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for narcotics possession.

AR: Funding for Arkansas Medicaid alternative, governor’s tax cut win final passage

Arkansas lawmakers gave final approval to keep the private option alive for another year and to give middle-class Arkansans a $90 million tax cut.

WA: Travel giant Expedia could owe U.S. counties and cities millions

Bellevue -based Expedia could owe more than $800 million in tax payments to scores of U.S. city and county governments for online hotel bookings over more than a decade, according to a review of dozens of lawsuits and tax revenue records.

US: States probe massive data breach at health insurer Anthem

Attorneys general of Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Arkansas and North Carolina are looking into the breach, according to representatives of their offices and internal documents. California’s Department of Insurance said it will review Anthem’s response to the data attack.

RI: Bill would make Rhode Island first state to set 21 as tobacco-purchasing age

State Rep. Teresa Tanzi, a Democrat, said she introduced the bill because she believes the state needs to send a stronger anti-smoking message to youths and to promote public health. The legal age is now 18.

AZ: Tesla pushes bill to bypass Arizona car dealers

Tesla Motors wants to sell its showy electric cars directly to customers, without the aid of a dealer, which would upend the decades-old system that prohibits manufacturers from competing with dealerships through direct sales. Similar laws and legislative skirmishes have played out in recent years in New Jersey, Michigan and Texas.

MN: Governor says Cabinet members’ raises are necessary to keep talent

Members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Cabinet are getting raises of tens of thousands of dollars, a move the Democrat says is necessary to keep and attract the best candidates.

KS: Governor orders new spending cuts for Kansas public schools, universities

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback used his executive authority to order $44.5 million in budget cuts in state appropriations to public universities and K-12 schools in response to an unanticipated drop in tax revenue.

WV: State tax collections fall on lower energy prices

West Virginia tax collections fell $8.2 million short in January, pushing the running budget year deficit to $42.2 million, with a drop in coal, oil and natural gas prices largely to blame.

TX: Drug testing for welfare benefits back on the table

After a few failed legislative attempts, Republican lawmakers are once again working to make drug testing mandatory for some Texans who receive state welfare benefits. Eleven states have instituted drug testing measures for welfare recipients similar to what Texas lawmakers are proposing.

HI: Bill challenges counties’ rights to regulate farming

A tug-of-war over control of the agriculture industry’s use of pesticides and genetically modified crops is playing out in the Hawaii Legislature as lawmakers consider bills that would limit counties’ regulatory abilities and create pesticide buffer zones around schools.

SD: Panel rejects bill on paid employee sick leave

A South Dakota Senate committee has defeated a measure to require businesses in the state to offer workers paid sick leave.

ID: Bill would allow concealed guns without a permit

Idaho residents would be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit under a new bill that would not affect places, such as college campuses, which require permits for concealed weapons.

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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.