From The State Capitols: Raising Age For Tobacco Purchases; Increasing Mental Health Spending; Expanding Telemedicine Coverage; And More
News on the state legislatures comes from Iowa, Washington, Ohio, Connecticut and California.
Iowa Public Radio:
Iowa Senate Bill Would Raise Age For Buying Tobacco Products From 18 To 21
Three senators advanced a bill Wednesday that would raise Iowa’s minimum age for buying tobacco products and nicotine pods from 18 to 21. Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, said his proposal is part of a national trend of states taking that step. (Sostaric, 4/10)
Will Washington State Soon Spend $1B On Mental Health? Gov. Inslee And Many Lawmakers Hope So.
Under the proposals by Inslee and lawmakers, many state hospital patients would be moved to community placements. Short-term crisis and detox centers and outpatient programs would treat people before they got too sick. Residential housing, with staff or case managers, would care for people with chronic mental illness and dementia. Perhaps 1,000 beds could be added. The price would easily top $1 billion in the coming years. (O'Sullivan, 4/10)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
DeWine Administration Seeks Expansion Of Insurance Coverage For Virtual Doctor’s Visits
More Ohio insurers would be required to cover virtual doctor’s visits just like they would any other medical appointment, under a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that’s backed by some of Ohio’s largest health-care providers. In an interview, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said expanding telemedicine coverage would increase convenience for patients, broaden access for people in rural areas and decrease the likelihood that people visit the emergency room for routine health care. (Tobias, 4/10)
The CT Mirror:
Bill Overhauling Connecticut's Sexual Harassment, Assault Laws Advances
Proponents of legislation that would toughen Connecticut’s sexual assault and harassment laws won a victory Wednesday with the Judiciary Committee’s passage of the so-called Time’s Up bill. The measure would broaden the mandate for sexual harassment training, requiring all workplaces with three or more employees to provide the instruction to every worker. (Carlesso, 4/10)
How Do Marijuana Companies Pay California Taxes?
On tax days, it’s not hard to spot marijuana growers waiting to exhale in downtown Eureka.They haul cash in grocery bags and boxes, making their way to a state office where they can pay their taxes. ...California still doesn’t have a better way to collect taxes from its burgeoning, licensed marijuana industry three years after voters passed an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis and 23 years after they sanctioned medical marijuana. (Ashton and Sheeler, 4/11)