NJ: With 130-mile coast, New Jersey marks a first in climate change fight
New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders consider the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, to win government approval for projects. New Jersey’s initiative is believed to be the broadest, and most specific, attempt to leverage land-use rules and limit emissions.
VA: Virginia legislature ratifies Equal Rights Amendment, but will it matter?
Virginia has officially approved the Equal Rights Amendment. The passage makes Virginia the 38th state to do so, potentially making the measure part of the U.S. Constitution, although its future is unclear.
AZ: Federal appeals court throws out Arizona ballot harvesting law
A federal appeals court ruled that a 2016 Arizona law that bars anyone but a family member or caregiver from returning early ballots for another person violates the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also found that Arizona’s policy of discarding ballots if a voter went to the wrong precinct violates the law.
CA: Black market vape pens were cut with additives, California regulator says
California black market marijuana retailers have sold vape cartridges that were cut with undisclosed additives — including one chemical linked to a deadly outbreak — according to state law enforcement.
HI: Hawaii may strike stun gun ban amid Second Amendment challenge
Hawaii’s law tightly restricting possession of electric “stun guns” is being challenged in court as an alleged infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights, and Democratic Attorney General Clare Connors is now proposing lawmakers strike it from the law books and adopt a new system to regulate privately owned electric guns such as Tasers.
FL: How a Florida Republican incurred the wrath of the right on guns
Florida Republican Senate President Bill Galvano broke ranks with the National Rifle Association and threw his political muscle behind expanding gun background checks. Suddenly, the respected Senate president had been transformed into a “gun-grabbing” villain, under attack from his own party.
GA: Georgia bill to create partisan primary for U.S. Senate race advances
A panel of Georgia representatives voted in favor of creating a partisan primary in the state’s upcoming election for U.S. Senate, introducing a new challenge to Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s candidacy despite Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s veto threat.
MS: Mississippi children with disabilities losing Medicaid coverage
People ineligible for Medicaid in Mississippi have been receiving the health care benefit anyway. But they aren’t adults scamming the system. They’re children with disabilities, whose middle-class parents relied on the public health insurance loophole to afford expensive medical treatments.
MN: Minnesota Senate Republicans want to renew voter ID push in 2020; Democrats say no way
Republicans in the Minnesota Senate said they will renew their push for a voter ID law during the election-year legislative session that begins next month, saying the requirement would help prevent voter fraud. But Democrats say they have no interest in taking up the issue that state voters rejected in 2012.
WI: Wisconsin lobbyists, lawmakers barred from sitting on governor’s redistricting commission
Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order to establish a redistricting commission that excludes political party officials, lobbyists and lawmakers. He took that step as GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos left open the possibility he would require lawmakers to sign secrecy pledges as part of the redistricting process he will use, just as Republican leaders did the last time they drew maps.
WV: West Virginia Senate passes bill to give students college, wage data
The West Virginia Senate approved a measure that would require the state education board to annually report on the state’s most sought-after jobs, entry-level wages and common degree requirements for those careers. The report also would include figures on the average cost of college, student loan payments and median wages for degree areas.
IN: Indiana lawmakers consider protections for pregnant workers
More Indiana businesses would have to allow pregnant women to take longer breaks, transfer to less physical work and take unpaid time off after childbirth under a proposal state lawmakers are considering. A Senate committee voted to endorse the bill, even though some business groups argued it wasn’t necessary and could burden small businesses.
SD: South Dakota Senate OKs new missing person database to better track missing Native Americans
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, wants to create a new public missing person database to better track missing and murdered indigenous women and children. His bill passed the Senate and will now go to the House for consideration.
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