WI: Lawmakers seek to strengthen Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws
A handful of bills are currently working their way through the Wisconsin legislature that would stiffen the penalties for drinking and driving. Among them is a proposal to criminalize a first OWI, which is currently treated as a traffic violation, making it punishable with a $500 fine, 30 days in jail or both.
OR: Oregon Democrats offer concession on vaccines to end Republican walkout
Republicans in the Senate returned to the Oregon Capitol after a multiday walkout to vote on an education tax proposal after Democrats agreed to drop a vaccine proposal among other possible concessions.
GA: Georgia shuts down ‘kangaroo court’ immigration panel
Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature created the Immigration Enforcement Review Board eight years ago to hold local and state officials accountable, complaining the federal government had failed to secure the nation’s borders. Now the state is disbanding the panel.
NY: New York cities desperate for people try a new strategy
New York’s upstate cities opened their doors to refugees, giving new life to neighborhoods, helping alleviate labor shortages and shoring up city budgets. But that rejuvenating bounce ended after the Trump administration drastically cut the number of refugees allowed into the country.
CO: Colorado to set aside $100 for each newborn’s college savings through 2040
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed a bill that sets aside $100 for all Colorado children born or adopted between 2020 and 2040. The amount is adjusted for inflation, so it may be more than $100 in future years.
LA: Louisiana governor, GOP lawmakers at odds over sales tax
The head of Louisiana’s House Republican Caucus is pushing to roll back part of the state sales tax that lawmakers implemented last year in a deal to shore up the state’s budget. But Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards argues the tax break would threaten the state’s newfound fiscal stability.
CA: California could bring radical change to single-family-home neighborhoods
A state measure would require California cities and counties to permit duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes on much of the residential land now zoned for only one house.
MS: Mississippi hospitals retool Medicaid expansion, hope public outcry presses governor to action
After Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant balked at a Medicaid proposal he requested last fall, the state hospital association reformulated the plan that could insure hundreds of thousands more Mississippians.
WY: Wyoming lawmakers to take on voting requirements again
A pair of failed bills from the 2019 general session intended to improve the integrity of Wyoming elections will be getting a second look from state lawmakers. One bill would require photo identification at the polls, the other would limit the practice of crossover voting in the state’s primary elections.
MI: Michigan prison agency wants to reduce stress, suicide among corrections officers
Responding to concerns about stress and suicides among corrections officers, the Michigan Department of Corrections has appointed an employee wellness program manager.
VT: Vermont Senate advances bill removing statute of limitations to file sex abuse civil suits
The Vermont measure would remove a six-year statute of limitations currently in place for civil suits. It aims to help victims who often take years to come forward against their abusers.
NV: Nevada school funding plan unveiled
Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal to revamp Nevada’s decades-old funding formula for K-12 schools, a phased-in plan aimed at changing how existing money is distributed to the state’s 17 districts without cutting funding to any of them.
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