Some GOP-led states are beginning to soften their opposition to expanding Medicaid eligibility, but only if they can add work reporting requirements as a condition of providing basic health coverage. Work requirements are ineffective at increasing employment, but effective at increasing paperwork burdens on individuals and the government, and causing eligible people to lose coverage. Still, many GOP leaders, buoyed by the prospect of a second Trump administration, are moving forward with this bad idea. Stateline’s Shalina Chatlani reports

Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, said the problem with work requirements largely is one of paperwork: Many Medicaid recipients who work struggle with the administrative burden of proving it, causing them to lose their coverage. “Work requirements don’t work,” Alker told Stateline. “If you want to support people working, you are much better off helping them address their health problems that may be preventing them from working.”

Former Gov. John Bel Edwards expanded Medicaid in Louisiana in 2016 without work reporting requirements. 

Black women are a crucial component of state and local economies, but their needs are often neglected when key economic decisions are made. Centering Black women in efforts on tax reform will benefit this historically marginalized group and create more equitable, thriving economies for all citizens. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Whitney Tucker explains ways that tax reform efforts can prioritize Black women’s well-being and raise enough revenue for much-needed investments. 

Black women are overrepresented among those with low incomes due to intersecting racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in the labor market and other aspects of their lives. States can better support them by prioritizing tax policies that help to stabilize and increase incomes for people earning low wages or who have little or no income. Employing policies such as renters’ credits, inclusive earned income tax credits, and child tax credits that are available regardless of a family’s tax liability will promote income stability that can help counter the discrimination Black women face and better reward the value of their labor.

Companies would be forced to include a “pro-gun” clause in contracts with the state of Louisiana under a proposal by Sen. Blake Miguez. The move comes as many large corporations and banks have refused to do business with manufacturers of military-style long guns often used in America’s mass-shooting epidemic. The Louisiana Illuminator’s Wesley Muller reports on the state’s latest effort to make life easier for firearm manufacturers.

Sen. Katrina Jackson Andrews, D-Monroe, pointed out that Louisiana is already one of the biggest pro-gun states in the nation and wanted to know if any gun companies have set up shop here because of that culture. Neither Miguez nor (Darren) LaSorte (of the National Shooting Sports Federation) could say offhand how many gun manufacturers currently exist in Louisiana. 

Data collection appears to be the next chapter in America’s battle over reproductive rights, as some Republican-controlled legislatures move to require more information on abortions. Many reproductive rights advocates fear the data will be used to track, investigate and prosecute women who travel to states where abortions are legal or have medication mailed from outside state boundaries. The New York Times’ Pam Belluck and Emma G. Fitzsimmons report:

“No one should have their medical records used against them, their doctor or their loved one just because they sought or received lawful reproductive health care,” Jennifer Klein, the director of the White House Gender Policy Council, said in announcing the rule.  In Kansas, the Republican-dominated legislature recently passed a bill that would require abortion providers to ask patients 11 questions about why they were ending their pregnancies, including whether “having a baby would interfere with the patient’s education, employment, or career” and whether “the patient already has enough, or too many, children.”

$156 million – Amount of funding Louisiana will receive from the Inflation Reduction Act to install solar energy panels for state households. (Source: Department of Energy and Natural Resources via The Times Picayune | Baton Rouge Advocate)