Top State Stories 11/26
MI: Michigan lawmakers’ new gig: consulting, not lobbying
More Michigan lawmakers who left the legislature because of term limits at the end of 2018 are using their skills as consultants — positions that fall outside disclosure requirements — than as lobbyists whose clients must be publicly disclosed, according to a Detroit News analysis.
NY: New York law bans lenders from using social networks to compute credit scores
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to prevent consumer reporting agencies and lenders in New York from determining someone’s credit rating by factoring in the credit scores of their friends or online social network.
HI: Mental health services on Hawaii campuses don’t meet demand
Hawaii college students are waiting weeks, sometimes months, to see mental health counselors on their campuses. As anxiety and depression swells among students, counseling centers in Hawaii appear unable to keep up with demand.
TX: Texas law to prevent surprise medical billing is hard to enact
Texas’ bipartisan effort to shield patients from surprise medical bills could be weaker than lawmakers intended when it takes effect Jan. 1. Advocates say some narrow exceptions have been broadened as state officials write new rules.
SD: Last carver of South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore dies
The last living person who worked on the carving of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Donald Leo “Nick” Clifford, of Keystone, South Dakota, died at age 98.
NJ: New Jersey lawmakers advance bill to let some convicts vote
New Jersey convicts on parole or probation would have their right to vote restored under a bill working its way through the legislature. The measure approved by the Democratic-led Assembly would restore voting rights to roughly 80,000 convicts.
MO: Missouri mayors push for limiting youth access to guns — with governor’s blessing
Missouri Democratic Gov. Mike Parson and the mayors of four cities outlined a limited agenda to make sure minors, domestic abusers and violent offenders don’t have access to guns.
WI: Wisconsin governor signs bill expanding telehealth reimbursement
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, has signed a bipartisan bill expanding Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth services.
WA: Work group recommends more funding for school nurses in Washington
In advance of next year’s short legislative session, a Washington state work group will recommend that lawmakers pump at least .6 billion — through 2024 — to help schools hire nurses, psychologists and other professionals who support students’ social and emotional needs.
CO: New Colorado drug possession law worries prosecutors
Colorado’s top federal prosecutor is sounding the alarm over a new state law that potentially makes possessing thousands of fatal doses of synthetic opioids a misdemeanor, saying it sends the wrong message.
AK: Backers defend complex Alaska elections ballot initiative
If the initiative were to pass, primary voters in Alaska would cast a vote for any candidate. That includes those who identify with a political party, independents and write-in contenders. And the top four would advance, regardless of political affiliation.
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