Top State Stories 5/28
MS: ‘Here we go again.’ Federal judge blocks Mississippi’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion law
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a strongly worded preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi’s “heartbeat” abortion law, which would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat is detected and before many women realize they’re pregnant.
TN: How a large-scale effort to register black voters led to a crackdown in Tennessee
After the Tennessee Black Voter Project took credit for turning in more than 90,000 voter registration applications, state officials said many contained errors. Now, a new state law will impose civil penalties on groups that employ paid canvassers if they submit incomplete or inaccurate voter registration forms.
CT: Rich Connecticut towns fight affordable housing
An investigation by the Connecticut Mirror and ProPublica found that more than three dozen Connecticut towns have blocked construction of any privately developed duplexes and apartments within their borders for the last two decades, often through exclusionary zoning requirements. In 18 of those towns, it’s been at least 28 years.
MI, OH: Supreme Court blocks gerrymandering rulings in Michigan and Ohio
The Supreme Court set aside two lower court rulings tossing out congressional maps in Michigan and Ohio, putting the process of redrawing district lines on hold while it prepares to rule on whether partisan gerrymandering is constitutional.
KY: Kentucky backpedals on proposed banning of tattoos over scars after public outcry
More than a month after proposing that Kentucky tattoo artists be barred from tattooing over scarred skin, the state Department for Public Health has signaled that it intends to change course. The rule sparked a public outcry from groups who said the new rule was unwarranted and unfair, particularly to those with scarring such as from mastectomies.
LA: Louisiana senators refuse tax review of Medicaid eligibility
State senators shelved the latest effort to give Louisiana’s legislative auditor access to income tax data to check Medicaid eligibility, in an ongoing fight that has developed since Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards expanded the state’s Medicaid program to cover thousands more people.
ND: As North Dakota oil soars, so does waste of natural gas
North Dakota oil drillers are falling far short of the state’s goals to limit the burning of excess natural gas at well heads, five years after the state adopted the rules to reduce the wasteful and environmentally harmful practice. About 20% of the state’s natural gas production is burned off, compared with a 1% national average.
CO: Colorado expands protections for mobile home residents
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed into law a bill poised to expand regulatory protections for residents across the state’s roughly 900 mobile home parks, housing stock that communities have increasingly leaned on as affordability woes mount. The bill — House Bill 1309 — serves more or less as an enforcement for a series of original regulations outlined in the 1985 Mobile Home Parks Act.
SC: South Carolina crime victims, evangelicals resist beer and wine delivery
A bipartisan effort is underway in the South Carolina State House to legalize the delivery of beer and wine for grocery stores and courier services like Postmates and Grubhub. But opponents worry it would make it easier for minors to binge drink.
NY: Why a New York highway is a battle over Native American rights
For the legion of rich and famous in New York, the unofficial start of summer means migrating east by luxury vehicle to the Hamptons. This Memorial Day weekend they were greeted with two six-story illuminated billboards being hastily constructed by a local Native American tribe just in time for the high season.
IL: Illinois House committee advances long-stalled abortion rights measure
An Illinois House committee voted 12-7 in support of an amendment to an abortion rights bill, advancing a measure that had been stalled for months. There has been a renewed sense of urgency behind the measure after several states passed restrictive abortion laws.
TX: Texas lawmakers approve .1 billion from state savings to fix teacher pension fund
The measure would shore up Texas’ Teacher Retirement System pension fund by gradually increasing state, school district and teacher contributions over the next six years and giving retired teachers a one-time “13th check” of ,000.
VT: Lawmakers approve new move-to-Vermont incentive program
New next year, the Vermont program will reimburse workers up to ,000 for moving expenses in some areas of the state and ,500 in places where workers are needed most.
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