OR: US judge in Oregon blocks Trump’s abortion rule
A U.S. District judge in Oregon said he’ll grant an injunction against new federal restrictions that bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers, calling the rule a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.”
WA: Pro-vaccine bill heads to Washington governor’s desk
Washington state lawmakers voted to remove parents’ ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption from vaccinating their children for measles, although medical and religious exemptions will remain.
MI: Michigan Senate votes to try 17-year-olds as juveniles
Michigan would no longer automatically treat 17-year-old criminal defendants as adults under bills that cleared a significant legislative hurdle and may soon reach the desk of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
MA: Massachusetts governor backs Uber, Lyft airport ban
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker endorsed the Port Authority’s plan to ban Uber and Lyft from terminal curbs at Boston’s Logan International Airport. The proposal would direct all airport pickups and drop-offs to the airport’s central parking garage, while also raising fees on pickups and imposing new fees on drop-offs.
CA: California advances plan to end surprise ER bills
California is moving forward on a new law to end surprise emergency room bills like those that left one patient with a ,000 treatment bill after a minor bike crash.
ND: North Dakota lawmakers create tax break for Social Security
North Dakota lawmakers gave their final approval to legislation creating a new income tax deduction for Social Security benefits. The bill is expected to cost the state .3 million in the 2019-21 budget cycle.
NV: Nevada governor donates paycheck to low-income schools
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, has donated his first-quarter salary to state K-12 schools, fulfilling a pledge he made on the campaign trail. The Democrat makes about ,000 a year and he has pledged to donate his entire salary for his first four years in office toward education.
SC: Toxic microbe a growing concern on South Carolina coast
In South Carolina, a microbe called vibrio has grown more prevalent in brackish coastal waters during the past 20 years, exposing swimmers and fishermen to infections and possible liver damage.
KS: Kansas governor, lawmakers in Medicaid stalemate
An impasse in Kansas sets up a high-stakes confrontation over one of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s biggest campaign promises after the Republican legislature ends an annual spring break May 1. The House approved a modified version of Kelly’s expansion plan last month, but the Senate has yet to take it up.
OK: Oklahoma bans tax on plastic bags
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that preempts municipalities from imposing fees on single-use plastic and paper bags.
WI: Judge expands Wisconsin Medicaid coverage of transgender surgery
A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s rule denying Medicaid coverage for transgender surgeries has become a class action suit. U.S. District Judge William Conley certified the class action status and extended the injunction to cover anyone in the class.
MN: Lowest-income Minnesotans hit hardest by governor’s tax plan, analysis shows
Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s plan to increase taxes would hit the lowest-income residents the hardest, according to a new analysis by the Department of Revenue. Walz and House Democrats are amid 10 days of passing major budget increases for schools, roads and health care.
HI: Hawaii may approve statewide mail-in balloting
Leading Hawaii lawmakers have finally agreed on a plan to switch to statewide mail-in balloting starting in the 2020 election, a shift that is expected to save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars each election cycle and possibly boost voter turnout slightly. The state legislature still must pass the bill.
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