By: - November 15, 2019 12:00 am

ID: Idaho gets federal approval for Medicaid expansion

Idaho received approval from federal officials for the amendments to its state plan for Medicaid that allow Medicaid expansion to proceed on schedule Jan. 1. The plan amendments are for the basic program as approved by voters in November of 2018; they don’t affect a series of restrictions that state lawmakers voted to attach to the program.

NJ: New Jersey hits Uber with M employment tax bill

Uber owes New Jersey about $650 million in unemployment and disability insurance taxes because the ride-hailing company has been misclassifying drivers as independent contractors, the state’s labor department said.

KY: Bevin concedes Kentucky governor race

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin conceded, ending more than a week of speculation about whether he would contest the results of the Nov. 5 election, which he narrowly lost to Democrat Andy Beshear.

IL: Illinois lawmakers approve measure to cap insulin cost

The Illinois legislature voted to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply in the state, a measure advocates say is badly needed to address soaring prescription drug costs. The measure is now in the hands of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who supports it.

WA: Washington begins issuing nonbinary licenses

Washington became the 17th state to offer “X” as a gender marker on driver’s licenses and identification cards “to more accurately reflect the gender identity of Washington residents.” The aim is to create an option relevant for anyone who doesn’t identify as exclusively male or female.

MI: 79% of Michigan municipalities ban recreational pot

As the Dec. 1 date for legal recreational marijuana in Michigan approaches, Detroit became the latest city to ban pot businesses — temporarily, until the city can create regulations and allow sales early next year. Nearly 1,400 of the state’s cities, towns and villages have enacted bans, but others plan to be centers for recreational pot.

NY: New York to use 18K city workers to identify and help homeless

Workers from the New York City departments of parks, sanitation, buildings, fire and health and mental hygiene will be trained to use apps to send detailed service requests to the new homeless services joint command center. The information will help outreach workers identify the roughly 4,000 street homeless and convince them to accept services and shelter.

OH: Ohio governor plans to help farmers combat nutrient runoff

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, unveiled the details of his new water quality plan, a major portion of which provides economic incentives for farmers to control nutrient runoff that feeds the persistent toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.

PA: Pennsylvania medical marijuana sales skyrocket 500%

Dispensaries in Pennsylvania have sold more than half a billion dollars of medical marijuana since the state implemented the program just under two years ago. This February, total sales had amounted to just $132 million, per the state Department of Health. Fast forward nine months, and the tally stands at $524 million.

CA: California governor plans to give state more oversight of county jails

Faced with a surge of homicides in some of California’s largest jails, inmates held in inhumane suicide-watch conditions and elected sheriffs who rebuff state inspectors, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is crafting plans that would give the state more power to oversee local sheriffs and the lockups they run.

MS: In Mississippi, Jim Crow-era laws result in a higher rate of black kids charged as adults

In Mississippi, any child over the age of 13 who is arrested for a crime involving a weapon goes directly into the adult system. An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that police, prosecutors and judges today have continued that Jim Crow legacy in a way that ultimately ends the childhood of black kids far more often — and with far greater severity.

ME: New tax on internet sales pushes Maine’s budget deeper into the black

Maine has about $30 million more in its bank account than when lawmakers passed the most recent two-year budget in June. The biggest chunk of the increase, about $16.6 million, comes from a new law that requires sales tax collection by online retailers like eBay and Amazon. 

HI: Hawaii prepares for all-mail voting

In anticipation of Hawaii’s first elections to be conducted entirely by mail next year, county clerks are gearing up with new equipment. Maui, Kauai and Hawaii county have all purchased new vote counting machines, while Honolulu, which modernized its vote counting system in 2014, will purchase eight to 10 half-ton boxes for ballot deposit.

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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.