State Capitols: Social Issues A Hot Topic; Iowa Short On Time For State Budget
Stateline: Social Debates Rage In State Legislatures
Even though most legislatures are still in session, 2012 already has seen debate on a wide range of social issues that range from gun control to sex education. But it has been abortion and gay marriage that have attracted the most attention. Virginia was one of several all-Republican states, including Alabama, Idaho and Pennsylvania, where lawmakers debated legislation requiring women to undergo ultrasound tests before having an abortion. Virginia's measure sparked national protests due to a provision — later removed — that could have forced some women to undergo invasive vaginal ultrasounds (Gramlich, 4/2).
Des Moines Register: Iowa Legislature: Time Short For deals On State Budget, 3 Big Reforms
Much work remains in what could be a scrambled final few weeks in which lawmakers must finalize next year's budget and try to overhaul the state's K-12 education, mental health care delivery and property tax systems. ... And amid all the negotiations over dollars and cents, policy skirmishes may erupt as well. A potentially divisive battle may be looming on the House floor over new abortion restrictions, which conservative Republicans want to write into the budget bill for health and human services (Noble and Clayworth, 4/2).
Kansas Health Institute News: Conference Committee Advances Two Health Bills
Two bills dealing with drug prescriptions were combined into a single measure and advanced Thursday by House and Senate negotiators. The conference committee agreed to fold these bills into Senate Bill 134: SB 325 -- would allow for the distribution to practitioners of free samples of Schedule V non-narcotic depressants. It also would add Carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant, to the Schedule IV controlled substances list and Ezogabine, an anticonvulsant, to the Schedule V list. SB 327 -- among other things would lay out who could access data from the Prescription Monitoring Program and modify regulations to allow electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (3/30).