By: - February 27, 2019 12:00 am

MI: Judge: Michigan prisons violating Americans with Disabilities Act

A federal judge in Detroit determined that the Michigan Department of Corrections for years violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to about 200 prisoners statewide who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it could be placed under the watch of an independent monitor.

GA: Georgia House passes bill for new voting machines with paper ballots

New voting machines that print paper ballots would be installed statewide in Georgia under a measure approved by the House. The legislation would replace the state’s 27,000 electronic voting machines with a new $150 million voting system, which uses touchscreens, printers and optical scanners.

WI: Wisconsin governor seeks to end gerrymandering via state budget

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will propose in his state budget to create a process aimed at drawing legislative boundaries in a way that favors neither political party. The move would put election maps in the hands of a nonpartisan state agency instead of with Republicans who control the legislature and drew the state’s current legislative boundaries that are being challenged in federal court.

MN: Minnesota governor proposes .3B in infrastructure projects

Minnesota should borrow nearly $1.3 billion to improve housing, transportation, university buildings and other infrastructure, said Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. Republican lawmakers want the state to stick to passing large infrastructure borrowing packages in even-numbered years, but Walz argued that with relatively low interest rates and high needs, the state should strike a different path this year.

MO: Missouri House moves closer to passing tougher restrictions on abortion

Most abortions would be banned in Missouri under a sweeping new proposal given initial approval by lawmakers in the House. The latest move by the Republican-controlled legislature comes amid a nationwide effort by abortion foes to get anti-abortion laws on the books that could be upheld by the newly revamped U.S. Supreme Court.

UT: Campus safety bill spurred by student’s death passes Utah Senate

A bill that would require Utah’s public colleges to craft plans detailing how campus officers should respond to cases of sexual assault and relationship violence has passed unanimously in the state Senate. Spurred by the shooting death of University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, the measure focuses on training school police to recognize the warning signs that experts say were missed in her case.

TX: Texas lawmakers will try to end daylight saving time (again)

State lawmakers are again trying to abolish daylight saving time in Texas, arguing it’s antiquated. But supporters of the practice argue it gives Texans a crucial extra hour of light in the evenings during the summer months.

MA: Drug users should have safe place to inject, Massachusetts panel says

Massachusetts’ Harm Reduction Commission, created last year by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, agreed on language calling for pilots to try out the idea of providing a hygienic setting for people to consume illegal drugs under the watchful eyes of trained staff who can revive those who overdose.

OH: Formerly homeless doctor named health chief in Ohio

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has named Dr. Amy Acton as his pick to run the Ohio Department of Health — his last cabinet nomination — and promised to elevate the profile of the agency. Acton is a Youngstown native who once lived in a tent in the middle of winter when her family was homeless.

OR: Oregon Legislature passes nation’s first statewide rent control policy, eviction protections 

The Oregon House approved new eviction protections and a first-in-the-nation statewide rent control policy. With Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s signature, Oregon would become the first state to enact a statewide rent control program. In other states with rent control policies, cities enact and administer local programs. 

NE: Nebraska officials subpoena hundreds of Catholic churches

Nebraska officials have subpoenaed more than 400 Roman Catholic churches and institutions in the state seeking any records related to child sexual assault or abuse. The move was announced by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which had last summer asked Nebraska’s three Catholic diocese to voluntarily turn over records of child sex abuse dating back decades. 

NM: Gun control bill advances past protests in New Mexico

A proposal to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales in New Mexico advanced in committee hearings at the legislature. The slate of Democrat-sponsored legislation has drawn criticism from all but a few of the state’s sheriffs, while at least 18 counties have adopted “sanctuary” resolutions that say sheriffs should not be required to enforce any measures they consider unconstitutional. 

NJ: New Jersey tax revenue coming in more slowly than expected

With New Jersey tax collections growing at less than half the rate forecasted by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, a Wall Street ratings analyst says there’s reason to be worried the state budget may not take in enough cash for the rest of the year. The $37.4 billion state budget assumes revenue will grow 7.5 percent, but the state Treasury Department reported growth of 3 percent.

CT:  Connecticut lawmakers spar over who has right to sports betting

Testimony from several dozen sports-betting stakeholders in front of the legislative public safety committee exposed a stark divide between Connecticut lawmakers and officials who believe the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have exclusive rights to take bets in Connecticut and those who wish to spread the potential new industry among a wider group of operators.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.