VA: Virginia governor to convene lawmakers for special session on gun control
Four days after a gunman opened fire at a Virginia Beach Municipal Center and killed 12 people, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said he wants to bring lawmakers together in an official capacity to address gun violence.
IL: Understaffed nursing homes face hefty fines under newly passed Illinois legislation
Illinois nursing homes would face significant penalties for short-staffing — and loved ones could more easily learn about it — under legislation passed by state lawmakers. The measure mandates fines for nursing homes that don’t meet minimum staffing requirements.
LA: Louisiana House approves largest transportation spending plan in 30 years
The Louisiana House approved a $690 million spending plan for 10 projects statewide, including work in New Orleans, Lafayette and far south Louisiana. To pay for the plan, the state will overhaul the way it spends settlement dollars from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill.
ME: Senate vote moves Maine closer to trashing single-use plastic bags
In addition to a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retail establishments, the Maine bill would mandate a 5-cent fee on either reusable plastic or paper bags to provide shoppers an incentive to use reusable canvas or cloth bags. Maine would become just the third state to impose such a ban, behind California and New York.
NY: Proposed cat declawing ban passes New York legislature
New York’s legislature has passed a bill that would make it the first state to ban cat declawing operations. The bill would subject veterinarians to $1,000 fines for performing the procedure, which involves amputating a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.
CA: Coffee won’t need cancer warning in California after all
That conclusion by a California regulator comes eight years after dozens of coffee roasters and retailers including Starbucks, Target, Nestle and Whole Foods were accused in a lawsuit of violating a state law that requires warning labels on toxic substances.
CT: Connecticut House gives final approval to bill banning ‘gay panic’ defense
A unified Connecticut House gave final legislative approval to a bill that would ban the gay and transgender panic defense. The bill prohibits defendants from claiming that a violent act was triggered by the revelation of a victim’s actual or perceived gender.
NJ: People arrested for child porn would have to submit DNA under New Jersey bill
Anyone facing child pornography charges in New Jersey would have to provide a DNA sample fed into law enforcement databases upon arrest under a bill sitting on Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk. The measure fills a gap in a previous law that made collection of such samples mandatory following arrests for other serious crimes.
DE: Delaware governor proposes extra $15 million for education
Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, proposed an additional $15 million in spending on mental health and reading support for high-needs schools. The supplement brings the governor’s proposed Opportunity Funding initiative to a total of $75 million over three years.
NV: Despite possible pay raises, Nevada teachers still plan to strike
The head of the Clark County Education Association said the Nevada legislature failed to allocate sufficient funds to the Clark County School District that could cover promised teacher raises without cutting resources in the classroom.
PA: Pennsylvania moves to take over health insurance exchange
Pennsylvania is moving to take over the online health insurance exchange that’s been operated by the federal government since 2014, saying it can cut health insurance costs for the hundreds of thousands who buy the individual Affordable Care Act policies.
MA: Top Massachusetts court to review technology police use to track cars
Police departments in Massachusetts in recent years have installed an undisclosed number of cameras across the state that automatically photograph the license plate of each passing vehicle and compile data, including the location, date and time, in a massive database — all without obtaining warrants or court orders.
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