By: - August 11, 2015 12:00 am

MA: Massachusetts proposal seeks to rein in prescription drug costs

Massachusetts lawmakers, consumers and health insurers are pushing for a law that would force biotech and pharmaceutical companies to justify their prices by disclosing how much they spend on research, production and marketing. It also would let the state Health Policy Commission limit prices of especially costly drugs—something done nowhere in the country.

CO, NM: Colorado, New Mexico declare emergencies over spill

Governors of the two states declared emergencies to free up state funds to help clean up a Colorado mine spill that sent millions of gallons of toxic sludge into stretches of the Animas and San Juan rivers.

OH: Ohio judges told they cannot refuse to conduct gay marriages

Ohio judges who perform civil marriages may not refuse to conduct a ceremony for a gay couple or refuse to do all marriages based on personal beliefs opposing gay marriage, the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board for Professional Conduct said.

OK: Oklahoma judge strikes down abortion drug law

An Oklahoma district judge threw out a law restricting medication abortions, saying it violated the state constitution. The law required doctors to follow label instructions when prescribing abortion-inducing drugs.

MD: Maryland lottery, casinos rake in record $1 billion in revenue

The take— million from the lottery and $487 million from casinos in the fiscal year that ended June 30—represents a 19 percent increase from the year before. The bulk of that came from the opening of Maryland’s fifth casino last year.

NJ: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoes pension payment bills

Republican Chris Christie vetoed a pair of pension-payment bills that would have directed $300 million in projected surplus money to the state’s retirement system and required quarterly payments to the fund. The New Jersey governor said the money is not in the state’s budget.

DC: District of Columbia looks to release most police body camera footage

Police in the nation’s capital would release more footage from body cameras than in any other major U.S. city under a plan from Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser that reverses her previous opposition to making such videos public.

KS: Kansas lawmakers question plans to purge ‘suspense’ voter list

Four lawmakers went on record opposing Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to cancel voter registration applications after 90 days if the would-be voters do not submit proof of citizenship or other required information. Kansas is holding “in suspense” the registrations of 31,000 applicants who have not provided the required documents.

US: Some states seek a constitutional convention for a federal balanced budget amendment 

With Republicans controlling more than half the state legislatures across the country, some want to use that power to push for a national constitutional convention so that a federal balanced budget amendment can be added.

WI: Wisconsin state workers to pay more for health care

Out-of-pocket costs for health care will double next year for Wisconsin’s 240,000 state employees and family members, as the state seeks to save $85 million over two years and avoid a “Cadillac” tax on rich benefit programs starting in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act.

VA: Battle over filling vacancy on Virginia Supreme Court heats up

Democrats and outraged lawyers called on Republicans who control the Virginia General Assembly to reconsider their plan to oust a state Supreme Court justice appointed last month by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. They also urged hearings on candidates when lawmakers return to the Capitol next week to act on the vacancy on the state’s highest court.

LA: Group calls for Louisiana’s next governor to raise gas tax

The next governor of Louisiana should support raising the state’s gas tax by 10 cents per gallon to repair the state’s decaying transportation infrastructure, an advocacy group urges. The state’s 20 cents per gallon tax has not been raised since 1990 and is among the lowest fuel taxes in the South.

ID: Idaho to use special fund to pay $900,000 for failed lawsuits

Idaho will pay roughly $900,000 in legal fees using the state’s Constitutional Defense Fund after recently losing three lawsuits on same-sex marriage, abortion and protester camping. The fund was created in 1995 to defend the state’s legal rights against the federal government.

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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.