ME: Maine governor signs nation’s strictest internet privacy protection bill
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, signed the nation’s toughest internet privacy protection bill into law. The new law requires customers to proactively allow internet service providers to use their personal data. It prevents the use, sale or distribution of a customer’s personal information by providers without the express consent of the customer.
NC: Deceased strategist’s files detail North Carolina gerrymandering
The late strategist Thomas Hofeller’s files reveal that North Carolina Republicans misled a federal court to prolong the life of their map of legislative districts, according to a court filing. The result was a veto-proof Republican majority in the state for an additional year.
OR: Contentious Oregon climate plan takes lessons from California’s mistakes
Oregon is on track to become the second U.S. state, after California, to pass a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, it aims to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
TX: Texas governor signs several school safety bills in wake of shooting at Santa Fe High
The Texas bills would, among other things, strengthen mental health initiatives available to children, abolish the cap on how many school marshals can carry guns on public school campuses and allot money to school districts that can go toward “hardening” their campuses.
NY: Medicaid bought New York sex offenders’ erectile dysfunction drugs
Registered sex offenders in New York received ,000 worth of erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments courtesy of the state’s publicly funded Medicaid program, according to an audit. Federal rules bar Medicaid coverage of sexual treatments for all recipients, not just sex offenders.
LA: Louisiana to ban marriage for children 16 and under
A conference committee of Louisiana House and Senate members set the minimum age for marriage at 16 years, but 16- and 17-year-old teens would only be able to marry with the consent of parents and a judge who followed a detailed list of criteria, such as age, maturity and other circumstances.
OH: Ohio House votes to restrict death penalty
The Ohio House voted overwhelmingly to take the death penalty off the table when offenders demonstrate they suffered from a “serious mental illness” at the time of the crime. Such murderers, including potentially some already on death row, would instead spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole.
IA: How an Iowa prison is helping solve the rural housing crisis
With a new Iowa Prison Industries program, inmates will build affordable homes from the ground up. The homes, which will have everything but the kitchen appliances and flooring, will be sold and moved to rural Iowa communities facing housing shortages — a problem so widespread and urgent that some have labeled it a crisis.
MO: Missouri secretary of state bats down referendum on new abortion law
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican, said he rejected two proposed referendums on the state’s new abortion law, a setback for abortion rights activists who had hoped to challenge the law at the ballot box.
GA: Georgia is cutting off Medicaid for 17,000 elderly disabled patients
The Georgia Department of Community Health said the 17,000 had simply not responded to renewal notices informing them how to continue their coverage. But patients interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution say they never received the notices.
CT: Debt-free community college in Connecticut planned for 2020
With the passage of the state budget, a program making community college debt-free for state residents could soon be coming to Connecticut. The budget proposes funding the new program by launching an online lottery.
RI: Rhode Island Senate passes bill to close gender pay gap
A plan to close the gender wage gap in Rhode Island by adding new, sharper teeth to the state’s fair pay law and banning employers from asking job candidates their salary history sailed through the state Senate again.
FL: Florida repeals ‘blind trust’ law that shielded former governor’s investments
The law that allowed millionaire former Republican Gov. Rick Scott to create a blind trust to shield his investments from public disclosure was quietly wiped from the books by his successor, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
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