PA: Pennsylvania governor signs historic election reform bill into law
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, put his signature on what has been described as the most significant change to Pennsylvania’s election laws in more than 80 years. Pennsylvania voters will be able to cast ballots by mail beginning with next year’s primary on April 28.
MI: Michigan governor signs laws raising age for juvenile offenders
Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Raise the Age” legislative package, raising the age of who is considered an adult under the criminal justice system from 17 to 18. The new law ensures that anyone under the age of 18 will be treated as a minor.
GA: Georgia Supreme Court upholds election despite alleged missing votes
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to further dispute last year’s election for lieutenant governor, which had inexplicably low vote totals. Plaintiffs in the case alleged there were 127,000 fewer votes than expected.
OK: Oklahoma Supreme Court declines to delay constitutional carry law
The Oklahoma Supreme Court quickly declined to put on hold a law allowing people to carry weapons without a permit or training. Critics of the controversial gun law had asked the state’s highest court to keep the measure from taking effect, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.
CA: California governor calls on residents to stop ‘harassing’ power company workers
Amid reports of Pacific Gas and Electric Company workers being threatened and run off the road, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, urged Californians to save their outrage for the utility’s corporate owners and treat workers on the ground with respect. “They didn’t create this mess. They’re trying to fix it,” Newsom said.
TN: On the brink of collapse, a rural Tennessee hospital searches for hope
Small hospitals are struggling nationwide, and Tennessee has suffered more closures than nearly every other state. Eleven rural hospitals have closed since 2012, and state records show that at least 10 more are steadily losing money.
DC: New program offers District of Columbia teachers help with home down payments
A new privately funded program promises to lend teachers in District of Columbia public and charter schools money for half their down payment on a house or condo — up to ,000. Real estate in the city is expensive, and government employees can be some of the first people who are forced to live miles away from where they work.
ND: Keystone oil pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons in North Dakota
TC Energy’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (1.4 million liters) of oil in northeastern North Dakota, state regulators said. Crews shut down the pipeline, which carries tar sands oil from Canada through seven states, after the leak was discovered.
NC: North Carolina legislature approves teacher raises
The North Carolina General Assembly approved 3.9% raises for teachers and 2% raises for non-instructional staff — both over the next two years and both retroactive to July 1 if signed by the governor. Nearly all Democrats in both the House and Senate opposed because they wanted the raises to be higher.
SC: South Carolina Affordable Care Act prices to drop
South Carolinians shopping for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace will see lower rates and more insurance providers to choose from this year. Health insurance rates for are dropping for the first time since the marketplace began in 2014.
NV: Driver’s permits for undocumented residents a snag for automatic voter registration in Nevada
DMV customers in Nevada are automatically registered as voters. This poses a problem for resident without legal documentation who can get a driver’s permit but are ineligible to vote. The Nevada secretary of state and Department of Motor Vehicles propose changes to the Automatic Voter Registration Act to fix the issue.
IL: Illinois House passes bill allowing college athlete endorsement deals
The Illinois House overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill allowing college athletes to profit from their names and likenesses. The move comes a day after the NCAA said it was considering loosening longstanding and increasingly controversial rules that prevent student-athletes from making money.
IN: Indiana temporarily suspends controversial Medicaid work requirement
In the face of a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s Medicaid work requirement, the state Family and Social Services Administration will not suspend anyone’s benefits as the case makes its way through the courts. Residents on the state’s Medicaid alternative could have been kicked off as early as January if they did not meet work requirements.
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