NJ: Trump administration challenges New Jersey immigration rules
The U.S. Department of Justice is joining a lawsuit against New Jersey’s Democratic Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, challenging rules he put in place two years ago to limit how much information local cops can share with federal immigration officers.
US: Northeast governors slow to embrace regional climate pact
Supporters of a regional pact that would tackle transportation emissions are struggling to win over several New England governors concerned that the climate change initiative will increase gas prices.
OK: Oklahoma legislation seeks to prevent missing, murdered Native Americans
A bipartisan group of Oklahoma state lawmakers has introduced several bills to improve the state’s response when Native Americans go missing. Legislators are hoping to build on the actions of the federal government, which is taking greater steps to address the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
VT: Vermont House advances .55 minimum wage
The Vermont House passed a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage from .96 to .55 by 2022. However, eight Democrats opposed the measure, and could prevent the legislation from becoming law if it’s vetoed in the coming weeks.
MN: Minnesota lawmakers seek to limit city sales taxes
More Minnesota cities are imposing local sales taxes than at any time in state history, and some state legislators are worried a proliferation of the new taxes could create unfair advantages for communities with more retailers.
AZ: Arizona bill would ban transgender female student-athletes
Arizona would ban transgender female students from competing in sports under a bill that has significant support from Republican lawmakers. But LGBT rights groups contend similar measures in states around the country are designed to discriminate against transgender young people and whip up a culture war-style political debate.
SD: South Dakota governor has ‘concerns’ about transgender bill
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said she has “a few concerns” about a House bill that criminalizes medical treatment for transgender adolescents moving through the legislative process.
HI: Hawaii Medicaid patients may have fewer insurance choices
In an unprecedented move, the Hawaii Department of Human Services is downsizing the number of Medicaid insurance company contracts it will offer. The consolidation move is intended to relieve the burden of billing processes for many insurance plans, but it will also limit the number of insurance plan choices Medicaid patients will have.
NY: New York taxpayers could donate to abortion access
Under a measure proposed by two Democratic lawmakers, New York taxpayers could contribute to abortion access when they file their income tax returns. The money would go to nonprofits that help people seeking abortions.
MD: Maryland bill would allow divorce without separation
Maryland law now requires residents seeking a divorce to live separately and undergo “separation of affection” or lack of sexual intimacy, for a year before filing. The bill would still require a year’s “separation of affection,” but it would allow people to live in the same home, recognizing that some divorcing couples cannot afford to immediately live separately.
VA: Virginia bill would let college athletes profit from their likeness
A proposal before the Virginia General Assembly would give student-athletes the chance to earn compensation that results from the use of their name, image or likeness. California passed a similar bill last year, despite NCAA rules against it.
WY: Wyoming governor supports new lodging tax
Wyoming Republican Gov. Mark Gordon stated his support for a statewide lodging tax, the only new tax he would support. A four-week legislative session devoted to the state budget begins Feb. 10.
AK: Alaska legislature fails to override vetoes of ferry, school construction dollars
The Alaska legislature failed to override GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes of funding for school bond debt reimbursement, rural school construction and the ferry system. The vote was 37 in favor of the override, and 20 against it — short of the 45 votes needed. Alaska requires the highest share of lawmakers to vote for budget veto overrides of any state.
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