AL: Alabama governor signs abortion ban
The measure signed into law by Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey makes abortion a felony in the state. The bill says it will take effect in six months, but sponsors said their intent was to trigger litigation that could lead to a challenge of Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.
MI: Michigan Republican lawmaker accused of trying to sell his vote
A Michigan state representative has been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of trying to sell his vote on a measure to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law. He is charged with attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe, and making a false statement to the FBI and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.
NV: Nevada governor signs health care protections
Two sweeping health care bills that would prevent patients from getting hit with surprise emergency room bills and protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions were signed into law by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. The legislation takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
WI: Wisconsin legislature OKs ‘Marsy’s Law’
Both the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly approved the measure on bipartisan votes. It will now be put before voters for final approval in the April 2020 election. The measure largely duplicates existing victim protections but goes further in several areas.
NY: Proposed fur ban in New York pits animal welfare advocates against black ministers
A proposed ban on the sale of fur in New York City has met an unexpected challenge from a diverse set of opponents, including black pastors and Hasidic leaders. They say a prohibition would fly in the face of centuries of religious and cultural tradition.
MO: Missouri Senate passes near-total abortion ban
The Missouri Senate voted to ban abortions eight weeks into pregnancy, even in cases of rape, incest or human trafficking, with criminal penalties for non-complying doctors. The bill needs one more vote in the House, where it passed in February, before it goes to the governor.
IL: Illinois governor vows to overhaul state’s troubled child welfare agency
Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he is committed to allocating more resources to fix systemic problems cited in a new report that criticized some of the department’s policies for keeping families together after abuse and neglect allegations come to light.
AK: Alaska House refuses to accept Senate crime bill
The Alaska House refused to accept sweeping legislation aimed at cracking down on crime and passed by the Senate, setting the stage for negotiations on the contentious topic with an adjournment deadline looming.
MD: Maryland governor to allow million school funding bill to become law without his signature
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, will allow a bill to become law without his signature that will send hundreds of millions of dollars in extra funding to Maryland public school classrooms, despite having “significant reservations” about the measure.
OH: Abortion providers sue to overturn Ohio ‘heartbeat’ law as unconstitutional
Ohio abortion providers have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a pending law to forbid abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — typically around six weeks.
MT: Bill aimed at tackling shoplifting, misdemeanor crimes becomes Montana law
A combo bill to give police in Montana more leeway in making low-level arrests and to provide retailers with a new tool against shoplifters has become law. The measure was a dual effort by police and retailers to regain ground on disorderly conduct calls and misdemeanor thefts.
ME: Maine Senate endorses bill to elect president by popular vote
The state Senate voted 19-16 to have Maine join an interstate compact in which participating states agree to award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationwide.
NE: Nebraska lawmakers advance bill on cellphones in state prisons
The bill is designed to help Nebraska corrections officials, who confiscated more than 250 contraband phones last year. The state corrections director told a legislative committee in January that it’s a major problem in the state prisons.
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