Top State Stories 6/11
MO: Missouri abortion clinic can stay open for now, judge rules
Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer granted Planned Parenthood of St. Louis a preliminary injunction, allowing Missouri’s only abortion clinic to remain open for now.
OH: Ohio group seeks to force lawmakers to consider gun buyer background checks
A gun-control group has started the process of forcing the Ohio General Assembly to consider legislation that would, in most cases, allow firearm sales only if the buyer passes a background check and either the buyer or seller is federally licensed.
ME: Maine governor signs bill to expand access to abortion services
Physician assistants and nurse practitioners soon will be permitted to perform abortions under legislation Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed into law. Supporters argued that existing law restricted access to abortion — particularly in rural areas of Maine. Opponents predicted the measure would increase risks for women and lead to more abortions.
TX: Bills to shore up public information laws on Texas governor’s desk
In recent decades, the Texas attorney general’s office and the state Supreme Court have broadly accommodated corporations and government agencies that would rather keep their records secret. But bipartisan bills would revive the ailing Texas Public Information Act.
OK: Oklahoma judge wants more answers on M opioid settlement
An Oklahoma judge is declining to approve the state’s proposed million settlement with opioid maker Teva until he’s assured it complies with a new law targeting such deals.
KY, WV: Coal firms tied to W.Va. governor to pay delinquent Kentucky taxes
Companies tied to West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice have struck a deal to resolve some of the biggest property-tax delinquencies in Eastern Kentucky’s coal counties, providing an infusion of cash for services and schools struggling with tight finances.
NM: New Mexico first border state to sue Trump over asylum policies
New Mexico and its largest city sued the Trump administration in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit from a state seeking to stem the quick release of asylum-seeking migrants into local communities and claim reimbursement for humanitarian efforts to shelter migrants temporarily.
CO: Drug overdose deaths across Colorado drop for the first time in years
Drug overdose deaths across Colorado eased slightly in 2018 for the first time in years, led by a drop in prescription painkiller deaths that have been a root cause of the opioid epidemic. Across the state, 974 people died from drug overdoses last year, a 38-person drop from the state’s record death toll in 2017.
MO: Missouri governor signs B budget
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed the state’s billion budget for the fiscal year, finalizing the plan that outlines state support for everything from schools to infrastructure to conservation efforts.
FL: Florida push to ban assault weapons hits milestone ahead of Pulse shooting anniversary
Ban Assault Weapons Now!, a bipartisan organization led in part by survivors of mass shootings in Orlando and Parkland, Florida, announced that it has obtained 103,000 signed petitions. The total should be enough to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of its proposed ballot question, a mandatory step in the process.
MS: New law: Charities using paid telemarketers must register in Mississippi
Beginning July 1, charities that use paid telephone solicitors to prospect for new donors could be fined ,000 per violation if they don’t register in Mississippi and allow people to opt out of telemarketing calls.
SD: Residents suffer abuse at publicly funded South Dakota youth home
Youth and young adults housed at a publicly funded treatment facility in South Dakota have endured physical, mental and sexual abuse by employees amid an internal culture of secrecy and limited state government oversight, according to public documents and testimony from former residents and employees of the facility.
KS: Advocate sues over Kansas legislature’s lack of access for the deaf
A Kansas activist is asking the state’s highest court to require the legislature to provide sign-language interpreters for its sessions and better captioning for its audio and video feeds. He also wants lawmakers to post transcripts of their meetings on the Legislature’s website.
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