Top State Stories 6/11
TX: Texas courtroom illustrates new immigration policy on children
For the first time, federal courtrooms in Texas and across the Southwest are being flooded with distraught mothers and fathers who have been charged with misdemeanor illegal entry and separated from their children — a shift in policy touted by the administration as a way to stop families from trying to reach the United States but decried by critics as traumatizing and inhumane.
VT: Vermont will require all residents to have health insurance
Vermont is moving forward with its quest to ensure that as many residents as possible have health insurance by enacting a law that will require all to be covered or be penalized. The law, enacted late last month, sets up a commission to work out the details. The mandate is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
KY: Kentucky’s public workers retire in droves
Nearly 1,300 more public employees than expected chose to retire during the fiscal year that ends this month, creating an 18 percent spike in the already cash-strapped Kentucky Retirement Systems, according to newly released data.
CA: Budget deal in California rejects health care and tax breaks for undocumented
California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders struck a billion budget deal that rejected two proposals that would have expanded access to health care and provided tax breaks to undocumented Californians.
WI: Older adults in Wisconsin overlooked in opioid abuse epidemic, state official says
One in six opioid overdose deaths in Wisconsin in 2016 were among people age 55 or older, according to a state health official. He said older adults are an overlooked group and present special challenges in combating opioid abuse, such as social isolation and symptoms of addiction mimicking dementia.
MN: In major shift, Minnesota expands work opportunities for young people with disabilities
Under new federal regulations, hundreds of young Minnesotans with disabilities are getting rigorous evaluations to identify their skills and interests, and then put on a path toward mainstream employment along with other working people.
NC: North Carolina police might soon be able to see if you’ve had a painkiller prescription
Police in North Carolina could gain access to a statewide database containing information from any doctor who has recorded prescribing controlled substances to their patients. It’s part of a continuing push to grapple with the opioid epidemic.
ND: North Dakota efforts to reduce wind energy impact to wildlife prompts controversy
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is working to reduce the impact of wind development on wildlife habitat, but the agency’s process to develop new guidelines has drawn opposition from the state’s energy and agriculture industries.
IA: Iowa auditor agrees to examine privatized Medicaid savings to see why estimates abruptly tripled
Iowa’s state auditor has agreed to look into see-sawing estimates of how much Iowa taxpayers are saving by having private companies run the state’s billion Medicaid program.
CO: Lax regulations fuel misconduct at Colorado funeral homes
At funeral homes and crematories across Colorado, bodies have been lost, mistaken, stolen and perhaps even sold. The state does not license funeral workers or conduct inspections of funeral homes.
CT: Feds OK first stage of Connecticut hospital taxing system
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a significant increase in Connecticut’s annual tax on hospitals — from roughly million to million. The state will redistribute much of that revenue right back to its hospital industry.
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