Top State Stories 5/9
MT: Montana governor vetoes bill creating program to train armed school guards
Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock shot down a bill that would have created a “school marshal” program for training armed guards for public schools. The bill was opposed by several law enforcement groups and education advocates, but was supported by the Montana School Boards Association.
WA: Washington state governor signs bills tightening gun rules
Included in the bills Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed were provisions allowing temporary gun bans on people being released from short-term psychiatric holds and people found incompetent to stand trial, and a prohibition on so-called ghost guns that lack serial numbers or are made from plastic and might be invisible to airport scanners.
SC: South Carolina advances ride-hailing safety rules after student’s death
South Carolina soon could require Uber and Lyft drivers to display their license plate numbers on the front of their cars, as well as the back. The Senate unanimously passed the measure, which is expected to sail through the House, after the April death of a student who got into a car thinking it was her Uber ride.
IA: Governor takes more power over Iowa Supreme Court selection
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, now can make nine appointments to the state nominating commission that helps choose Iowa Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges, giving her immediate control over the 17-member panel.
OK: Oklahoma governor signs autonomous vehicle bill
Oklahoma cities and counties are banned from regulating autonomous vehicles, under legislation signed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. The new law also creates definitions for autonomous vehicles, which gives only state lawmakers a basis for regulation in the future.
KS: Medicaid expansion supporters hold memorial service at Kansas statehouse
Just before finishing the legislative session, Republican leaders in Kansas blocked legislation that would extend health insurance coverage to an estimated 90,000 low-income adults and 40,000 children in the state, despite majority support in both the House and Senate.
MI: Appeals court takes away break for Michigan motorists who can’t pay fines
A federal appeals court overturned a landmark ruling by a Detroit federal judge that blocked the state of Michigan from suspending motorists’ driver’s licenses for having unpaid fines from traffic tickets.
AL: Some states are limiting abortions. Alabama wants to go further.
Alabama’s measure would effectively ban most abortions at every stage of pregnancy, from conception on, and would criminalize the procedure for doctors. The move contrasts with some other states, where conservatives have argued that a slower, piecemeal anti-abortion approach is more likely to find success.
OR: Momentum builds in Oregon to require unanimous jury verdicts
Oregon is the only state that allows non-unanimous jury convictions. Several lawmakers sponsored a ballot measure to eliminate an amendment to the state constitution that allows the practice.
HI: Federal investigations of Hawaii institutions ‘unprecedented’
The number and breadth of current federal investigations into alleged corruption at Hawaii’s public institutions is unmatched in the state’s history, with officials from the police department, prosecutor’s office, labor organizations and the corporation counsel office all under investigation.
CO: Colorado capital is 1st US city to decriminalize ‘magic mushrooms’
Voters narrowly made Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in “magic mushrooms.” Colorado organizers turned to the same strategy that marijuana activists used to decriminalize pot possession in the city in 2005, which was followed by statewide legalization in 2012.
CA: Governor wants to end California taxes on diapers, tampons
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom argued tampons and diapers should not be taxed because they are medically necessary. Newsom also said he will add million for child care and will double a proposed tax credit for families with children under 6 from to ,000 when he unveils his updated budget proposal.
ME: Ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ minors passes Maine House
Maine House lawmakers voted to ban state-licensed counselors from engaging in “conversion therapy” to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. Last year a similar bill was vetoed, but new Democratic Gov. Janet Mills supports it.
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