US: Over 100 state lawmakers accused of misconduct in 3 years
State lawmakers across the United States have reached a troubling milestone for allegations of sexual misconduct. At least 101 state legislators now have been publicly accused of sexual harassment or misconduct since the start of 2017, according to an Associated Press review.
FL: Florida court reverses itself on death penalty
The Florida Supreme Court said unanimous jury recommendations are not necessary before death sentences can be imposed, backing away from a 2016 decision. The 4-1 ruling offered a clear picture of how much the court has changed since last January, when a conservative majority took control.
CA, TX: More Californians heading for Texas
In all, 86,164 California residents moved to Texas in 2018, according to a real estate report. That’s by far the largest crowd from one state — with Florida coming in second place, with 37,262 arrivals.
AZ: Arizona considers prison terms for heroin, fentanyl
Some Republican lawmakers in Arizona want to imprison people caught with even small amounts of heroin or fentanyl for at least five years. But the bill has met resistance from both Republicans and Democrats who say it would punish people who need treatment.
WY: Lawmaker tries again to end child marriage in Wyoming
Last year’s bill would have made Wyoming just the third state to explicitly outlaw marriage for anyone under the age of 18, but it was voted down. This year’s bill has an exemption for emancipated minors, who can legally apply at the age of 17.
UT: Utah lawmakers will repeal tax package
Under pressure from a ballot referendum drive, Utah leaders said they would repeal laws raising some sales taxes and reducing income taxes. Raising sales taxes on food drew the most opposition.
OH: Ohio lawmakers want to withhold money from sanctuary cities
Work with federal immigration enforcement officials or lose state funding, a pair of Republican House members said to Ohio local government officials.
HI: Hawaii considers tougher state gun laws after tragedy
Honolulu police support plans to tighten loopholes in Hawaii state gun laws after a deadly rampage in Diamond Head, where four people died including two police officers. Weapons in the home may have been registered to someone who died in 2005.
SD: South Dakota plans efforts to battle suicide
South Dakota’s new five-year strategic plan outlines goals for suicide prevention, intervention and post-intervention that state leaders hope will at least level off the number of suicides occurring in the state, if not decrease it.
MD: Leading Maryland lawmaker raises concerns about census preparation
One of Maryland’s top lawmakers is raising alarms that the state may not be prepared to get an accurate count of its residents. Maryland’s census director left in December, and the state has been slow to develop an outreach plan.
MN: Minnesota’s exception to ‘ban the box’
What might appear at first glance to be a violation of Minnesota law is an exception that was quietly implemented in 2004 and may have been overlooked by legislators. The state still asks applicants for boards and commissions about felony violations.
WI: Wisconsin governor rolls out redistricting plan
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, presented a proposal that would create a nonpartisan committee of residents to redraw the Badger State’s electoral map.
MI: Michigan considers toll roads
Michigan’s state Senate will consider a Republican-sponsored bill to study tolls for some roads and bridges. It’s one proposal to pay for repairs to the state’s crumbling infrastructure.
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