Top State Stories 11/1
WI: Wisconsin governor’s Medicaid work requirement approved; drug screening rejected
The federal government has approved Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial plan to require childless adults on Medicaid to work or lose coverage, but it rejected his proposal to require drug screening and testing.
ND: Emergency motion seeks relief from North Dakota voter law for Native Americans
The Spirit Lake Tribe and voters who are challenging North Dakota’s voter identification law filed an emergency motion seeking relief from the requirements for Native American voters living on or near reservations.
LA: Louisiana high court upholds block on paroled felons voting
Louisiana’s Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a ruling allowing the state to deny the right to vote to felons on probation or parole.
CA: California a national battleground for rent control as money flows in from landlords
Many of the landlords who have contributed money to oppose California’s rent-control ballot measure are publicly traded real estate investment companies with portfolios that span the country. Their goal is not just winning in California, but also preventing a wave of rent control measures that might follow nationwide.
OH: Federal judges order Ohio to allow purged voters back in
Federal judges ordered Ohio to allow voters who had been purged for not voting over a six-year period to participate in this year’s election. A divided 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted an emergency motion sought by voting-rights groups.
NC: Hurricane Florence damages in North Carolina approach B
North Carolina now estimates that Hurricane Florence did nearly $17 billion in damage to homes, businesses, farms and governments, and that as much as half of that may not be covered by private insurance or government aid.
TX: Over a million Texas children could qualify for subsidized child care; 1 in 10 get it
An increase in federal funding for subsidized child care has slashed waitlists for care across Texas, but advocates argue that it’s still not enough to fully serve the number of low-income children who qualify for care.
MS: Mississippi seeking Medicaid work requirements
Mississippi wants Medicaid recipients to work 20 hours a week, either in a job or self-employment, to keep their health care coverage, unless they fall under a list of 14 exceptions as both doctors and patients are warning about the rule pitfalls.
OR: Oregon ballot measure would ban future taxes on groceries
Oregon is one of just a handful of states without a sales tax. This election, a ballot measure asks voters to enshrine that opposition in the state constitution — at least, when it comes to groceries. Measure 103 would ban lawmakers from imposing any future taxes or fees on the sale or distribution of groceries and non-alcoholic beverages.
WY: Federal court rules against Wyoming’s ‘data trespass’ laws
A federal judge has ruled that Wyoming laws outlawing trespassing to collect research data are unconstitutional. Activist groups say the laws, passed in 2015 and amended in 2016, would chill activity undertaken by whistleblowers and citizen scientists.
AZ: Water wrangling threatens to sink Arizona’s drought planning
A dispute between Central Arizona’s cities, tribes and farms might drag down a plan to protect state water supplies during droughts.
SC: Voters to decide whether to stop electing South Carolina’s education superintendent
Two South Carolina superintendents of education from different political parties are urging voters to stop voting for them, or anyone else who might run for the office in the future. Both want voters to approve a referendum that will allow the governor to name the head of the state’s education department, starting in 2024.
RI: Rhode Island House speaker defends handling of sex harassment allegations
Rhode Island Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello removed Democratic Rep. Cale Keable as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee this week, soon after a months-old email to Mattiello surfaced in which a Democratic representative accused Keable of sexual harassment.
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