Top State Stories 3/20
HI: Hawaii bills push 1st state ban on plastics in restaurants
Hawaii would be the first U.S. state to ban most plastics at restaurants under legislation that aims to cut down on waste that pollutes the ocean.
NH: Background check on New Hampshire gun sales means dealers must broker private transactions
The bill prohibits any transaction involving a firearm unless the seller or the buyer is a licensed firearms dealer. Guns sold between friends or family members would have to be completed through a licensed firearms dealer and a background check conducted.
DE: Delaware Senate approves raising age to buy tobacco to 21
The Delaware Senate has approved a bill raising the legal age to buy tobacco products in Delaware from 18 to 21. The legislation would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
AR: Arkansas House approves ‘abortion reversal’ bill
The Arkansas House has passed legislation to require abortion providers to notify, in writing, women undergoing drug-induced abortions that the procedure can be halted halfway. Medical groups say that claim isn’t backed by science.
ME: Maine senator revives ‘red flag’ bill to allow confiscation of guns from people who pose threat
A new bill that would allow police, with a court order, to confiscate guns from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others because of a mental health crisis is back before the Maine legislature.
NC: Ransomware attack shuts down North Carolina county’s computers
After a ransomware attack, Orange County, North Carolina, was unable to issue marriage licenses or process real estate closings and housing vouchers.
MO: Missouri Supreme Court: Courts cannot threaten more jail time for failure to pay jail debt
The Missouri Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that courts cannot threaten defendants with additional jail time if a defendant fails to pay bills charged for prior jail stays.
OR: Oregon bans offshore drilling
Oregon lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a permanent ban on offshore drilling as the federal government forges ahead with a plan that could open the Pacific for exploration.
CA: Why California is suing its own cities
Not many governors decide to sue a city in their state within a few weeks of taking office. Gavin Newsom, the new Democratic governor of California, however, did just that, signaling his seriousness about addressing the state’s chronic but worsening housing shortage.
MN: Minnesota House aims to hit drug companies for opioid crisis
The Minnesota House voted to hold drug manufacturers responsible for the state’s growing costs for dealing with the opioid crisis by sharply raising its currently low annual registration fees for pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug wholesalers that sell or distribute opioids in Minnesota.
NM: New Mexico city considers resolution against gun control
The City of Carlsbad could join 27 New Mexico counties and some municipalities in declaring itself a Second Amendment “sanctuary city.”
TX: Lieutenant governor stands in the way of Texas medical cannabis expansion
A coalition of lawmakers and lobbyists support expanding access to medical cannabis in Texas. But bills to do so face a major obstacle: Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate’s presiding officer, who can single-handedly block any legislation from coming up for a vote in the upper chamber.
AL: Bill to allow Alabama tax refund dollars to go to border wall advances
A bill to allow Alabama taxpayers to donate a portion of their state income tax refunds to a private organization supporting President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the border with Mexico won approval today in a state Senate committee.
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