To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Nov. 18: States divided over complying with health care law 'fix'
Date: Mon Nov 18 15:39:19 MST 2013

NCSL TODAY brings you the latest news from the capitols.

TOP NEWS Nov. 18, 2013

States divided over complying with Obamacare 'fix'


State regulators aren’t rushing to President Barack Obama’s rescue after the White House’s attempt to fix the rising wave of canceled health insurance policies. The president’s decision to extend the renewal window for existing health plans won’t work for the millions losing their coverage unless insurers and state insurance regulators give their blessing.  Check out NCSL’s research on this topic.

Washington insurance regulator, a former state legislator, explains why he supports Obamacare but rejects president's proposal

The Washington Post

Mike Kreidler was the first insurance commissioner to reject President Obama's proposal that would give insurers an extra year to sell plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. He said, in a statement, that he was acting "in the interest of keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers." Check out NCSL’s research on this topic.

Farm bill conferees focus on food stamp fight

NCSL position cited in National Journal

The issue is real and differs from the recent expiration of the boost in benefits from the Recovery Act. A family of four receiving more than $600 per month in food stamps—formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—lost $36 in purchasing power. That reduction in benefits is a tiny issue compared with the House’s farm-bill proposals that would save $39 billion over 10 years by causing close to 4 million individuals to lose benefits entirely and 210,000 children to lose free school meals.

Grants help states combat high-cost, low-quality health care


Under an ACA program called the State Innovation Models Initiative, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont this year began testing new health care financing models. Another 19 states are in various stages of developing similar experiments.

U.S. says vouchers must be monitored to ensure school integration

New Orleans Times-Picayune

The U.S. Justice Department says Louisiana's private school voucher program must be monitored to make sure it doesn't make public school segregation worse. To that end, it wants the state to submit extensive student and school demographics each year.  Check out NCSL’s research on this topic.

State-by-state look at storms, tornadoes in Midwest

Associated Press

An unusually large and strong late-season storm system ripped through several states across the Midwest on Sunday, spawning tornadoes and tearing through homes and overturning cars along its path.

Growing the opportunities for community gardens
States and municipalities can encourage the development of community gardens in a variety of ways, including providing spaces for gardening on public lands, ensuring the existence of consistent funding sources, and simplifying bureaucratic requirements.

When it rains, it's good to know the law if you want to catch, use the water
Record droughts and water-supply worries have served as catalysts for state legislatures to consider legislation legalizing catching and using rainwater for households and lawns.

To 'shall' or not to 'shall'? That is the question of the Nov. 21 bill-drafting webinar
An hour-long webinar for legislative drafters and legislative editors will discuss various issues relating to the use of the world  “shall” in drafting legislation.

Strong States, Strong Nation

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