Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
US: Most states have no plans if health insurance subsidies are struck down
The vast majority of the 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance exchange have taken few steps to fill the gap if the U.S. Supreme Court blocks premium subsidies for more than 6 million residents. Pennsylvania and Delaware are the best prepared.
HI: Hawaii raises legal smoking age to 21
Hawaii will become the first state to outlaw smoking for anyone under 21 next year after Democratic Gov. David Ige signed a bill raising the smoking age from 18.
KS: Kansas’ tax plan ratchets down future spending, tax rates
Kansas’ new tax and budget plan contains a provision that guarantees future revenue growth will go not to new spending, but to further lowering state income tax rates in what some call a “march to zero” that would eventually eliminate state income taxes.
TX: Texas Supreme Court upholds same-sex divorce
Justices ruled the state had no standing to intervene in the case of two women married in Massachusetts in 2004. In 2009, a Texas county judge granted the couple a divorce. But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, then attorney general, appealed, arguing that since Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage, it cannot recognize a same-sex divorce.
UT: Night road work vs. noise ordinances? Utah lawmakers are all ears
The Utah Legislature is considering ways to force counties to alter noise ordinances to enable road construction and repair at night, which the state transportation department says reduces traffic congestion.
KY: Drug to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic poses new problem
Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.
WA: Washington fears bad fire season during drought
Hundreds of acres have already burned in Washington, where Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a statewide drought emergency. If predictions bear out, dry conditions and summer storms could set the state ablaze, something scientists expect to be a familiar problem with few easy answers in coming years.
DE: Delaware’s Markell signs marijuana decriminalization bill
The bill allows for the possession and private use of up to an ounce of marijuana in Delaware without facing criminal penalties, although police can confiscate the drug.
NJ: New Jersey lawmakers consider paid sick days for all workers
A Senate committee will consider legislation that would require all New Jersey employers provide paid sick days to their workers. Employees could use the leave to recover from an illness, care for a sick family member or to seek help related to domestic violence.
WI: Wisconsin jobs agency gave loans, credits without financial review
A Wisconsin jobs agency created by Republican Gov. Scott Walker gave businesses more than two dozen awards worth million in its first 15 months without a formal review of the deals by underwriters.
AK: Three insurers leave Alaska’s individual health insurance market
Three insurance companies — Aetna, State Farm and Assurant Health —have announced that they are leaving Alaska’s market for individual health insurance plans, leaving more than 5,000 Alaskans to find new health care coverage.
IL: Illinois can’t find a bank for marijuana tax collections
The state of Illinois is having trouble finding a bank or financial services company to process the large amounts of cash it anticipates receiving for taxes and fees from the new medical marijuana industry.
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