Top State Stories 8/3
KY: Kentucky schools take millions from debtors without a court order
The Kentucky Department of Revenue has collected at least million since 2006 from students who owed money to nearly all of Kentucky’s public universities, and gotten millions more in fees. Much of that money has come from garnishing paychecks and tax refunds, which the revenue department, unlike a regular collections agency, can do without a court order.
OH: For many Ohioans, a job doesn’t mean health insurance
For thousands of working Ohioans, a job does not come with health insurance. Four in 10 uninsured adults in Ohio work full time, according to a report released by Policy Matters Ohio. More than 60 percent without health coverage are employed if you include those with part-time and seasonal jobs.
CA: California vows to fight EPA’s move to freeze fuel economy rules
The Trump administration’s plan would freeze mileage targets in 2020 for six years and move to end California’s power to set its own, tougher greenhouse gas emissions standards. EPA officials sought to portray the proposal as the administration’s opening bid in a negotiation with California, but state officials denounced the plan as too extreme.
NM: New Mexico county plans village of tiny houses for homeless
Bernalillo County and the city of Albuquerque have narrowed the search to six possible sites for a village of tiny transitional houses for the homeless in New Mexico. Voters approved a million bond issue to pay for 25 to 35 homes.
MD: Maryland House speaker aims to strengthen state protections for women’s health
Maryland’s House Speaker Michael Busch, a Democrat, plans to lead an effort to enshrine in the state constitution a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, joining a number of other states attempting to preempt any move by the U.S. Supreme Court to erode abortion protections.
CO: Colorado decision to legalize sports betting rests with Legislature, AG says
It’s going to take a change in the law — but not Colorado’s Constitution — before people can legally sit inside the Broncos’ stadium and bet on a field goal, said Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican.
MO: Missouri mayors push new governor to give local control over gun laws
The mayors of the two largest cities in Missouri are pushing the state’s new Republican governor to support greater local control over gun policy, a request they acknowledge could be difficult in the mostly rural state. GOP Gov. Mike Parson joined Kansas City Mayor Sly James and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.
NY: Lack of dental coverage hampers New York Medicaid recipients, suit says
A class action suit filed in Manhattan federal court against the New York State Department of Health says the state is denying medically necessary treatments for thousands of low-income residents with its Medicaid program’s categorical ban on dental implants and limits on replacement dentures.
NJ: Why New Jersey cops are the nation’s toughest weed enforcers
Marijuana users in New Jersey — which is on the verge of legalizing weed — are arrested at the highest rate in the nation by local police departments, some of which report that more than a third of their arrests were for pot.
LA: Louisiana starts work to offer more services to mentally ill
Louisiana is spending million this budget year to start obeying terms of a federal legal settlement aimed at resolving accusations the state illegally warehouses mentally ill people in nursing homes rather than helping them live in their communities.
TN: Appeals court stumped by conflicting Tennessee sentencing laws
The federal appeals court considering the case of a Nashville woman serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she committed at 16 is stumped by Tennessee’s contradictory sentencing laws. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to weigh in before it rules on the case.
OR: Half of Oregon in ‘severe drought’ following record-setting July heat
More than half of Oregon is now experiencing severe drought, according to a report by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The current drought is the worst the state has seen since 2015, but has already brought considerably more wildfires.
NE: More drugmakers object to use of products in Nebraska execution
Two more pharmaceutical companies are objecting to Nebraska’s use of lethal injection drugs that may have come from them. Sandoz and Hikma are among several manufacturers of drugs that are part of Nebraska’s lethal injection protocol. The companies say using their drugs in an execution contradicts their values.
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