GOP health overhaul puts pressure on state governments

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- The Republican health care plan means less money for states and gives them a tough choice: Find a pot of cash to make up the difference or let coverage lapse for millions of lower-income Americans. Governors and state lawmakers analyzing the Republican plan to replace former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act fear a return to the past, when those without health coverage used emergency rooms for their medical needs.

South Dakota governor mum on religious adoption protections

South Dakota's Republican governor isn't saying whether he'll sign a measure aimed at protecting faith-based organizations that refuse to place children with gay couples or other arrangements contrary to their religious beliefs. Gov. Dennis Daugaard frustrated the more conservative elements of his party last year by vetoing a bill that would have required students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their birth gender.

Arizona leader kills protest bill after widespread criticism

PHOENIX (AP) -- The speaker of the Arizona House said Monday he won't hear a bill that makes participating in or helping organize a protest that turns into a riot an offense that could lead to criminal racketeering charges, a move prompted by widespread criticism that the legislation sought to limit First Amendment rights.

Koch leads fight to deregulate African-style braiding

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- The billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and hair braider Jocelyn DoCouto have at least one thing in common. They are both part of a national movement to deregulate the business of African-style braiding. DoCouto is pushing for legislation in Rhode Island that would exempt her from the cumbersome and expensive occupational licensing requirements for hairdressers and barbers.

Koch leads fight to deregulate African-style braiding

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- The billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and hair braider Jocelyn DoCouto have at least one thing in common. They are both part of a national movement to deregulate the business of African-style braiding. DoCouto is pushing for legislation in Rhode Island that would exempt her from the cumbersome and expensive occupational licensing requirements for hairdressers and barbers.

Koch leads fight to deregulate African-style braiding

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- The billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and hair braider Jocelyn DoCouto have at least one thing in common. They are both part of a national movement to deregulate the business of African-style braiding. DoCouto is pushing for legislation in Rhode Island that would exempt her from the cumbersome and expensive occupational licensing requirements for hairdressers and barbers.

Bills targeting transgender bathroom access are floundering

Bills to curtail transgender people's access to public restrooms are pending in about a dozen states, but even in conservative bastions such as Texas and Arkansas they may be doomed by high-powered opposition. The bills have taken on a new significance this week following the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to revoke an Obama-era federal directive instructing public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender.

South Dakota bill leaves evolution skepticism up to teachers

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss "in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses" of the subjects.