SD: South Dakota House passes transgender treatment bill
The South Dakota House has given a thumbs up to criminalizing some medical treatment for transgender children, passing a bill that would prohibit hormone treatment, puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery for children younger than 16 years old. The bill now advances to the Senate. The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota has threatened a legal challenge.
GA: Bipartisan bill would require Georgia employers to let workers pump breast milk
A bipartisan Georgia bill aims to require employers to give nursing mothers breaks to pump breast milk. The Senate bill was inspired by a public schoolteacher who was denied the ability to pump breast milk at work.
MO: Missouri begins testing backlog of more than 7,000 rape kits
Roughly 100 of Missouri’s 7,019 untested rape kits have been sent out of state to a private forensic lab for testing. The state completed a full inventory of those untested kits last fall. Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office is now moving forward with testing the kits to help prosecute rape cases and provide justice for victims.
IN: Indiana governor signs spending plan for unexpected revenue
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed off on a plan for spending $291 million in unexpected state tax revenue on college campus construction projects after legislative Republicans rebuffed Democratic attempts to direct at least some of that money toward school funding.
WA: Washington bill would protect job applicants who use marijuana
A proposal in the legislature would update Washington law to ensure employers can’t reject job applicants simply because they test positive for marijuana in a pre-employment drug screening. Exceptions would be made for certain professions, including firefighters, commercial drivers and jobs that involve federal contracts or grants.
NY: Judge strikes down New York legislature’s prosecutorial watchdog commission
A law that would have convened a special panel to evaluate complaints of misconduct levied against New York state’s prosecutors was struck down by a state judge in Albany who said the measure was unconstitutional as written by the legislature.
NM: New Mexico prepares for emergency census spending
New Mexico lawmakers raced to approve new funding aimed at boosting participation in the 2020 census — a challenge in a rural state that relies heavily on federal spending. A bipartisan plan calls for an extra $8 million.
OR: Oregon bill would ensure out-of-state foster care facilities meet state’s rules
Democratic state Sen. Sara Gelser wants to ensure that Oregon foster children sent across state lines end up in facilities that meet the same requirements as those in the state.
ID: Idaho lawmakers work to finalize primary voting rules
Voters can wait until the last minute to choose a political party to participate in the Idaho Democratic or Republican presidential primaries in March under proposed legislation. That would have given Idaho voters a roughly two-week opportunity to change party affiliation to participate in either primary.
KY: Kentucky governor proposes spending millions to hire hundreds of new social workers
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is proposing a 10-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes and e-cigarettes to help fund the state’s Medicaid expansion and hire hundreds of additional social workers to help prop up the state’s beleaguered child welfare system.
VA: Virginia House kills ‘Tebow bill’ for home-schooled student-athletes
Home-schooled students still won’t be able to compete in Virginia public school sports. A House subcommittee killed a bill that would have barred public schools from joining an organization that governs athletics that doesn’t allow home-schooled students to be eligible to play.
WI: Wisconsin seeks to delay Medicaid work requirement again
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration is seeking to delay Wisconsin’s work requirement for childless adults on Medicaid until April.
WY: Wyoming’s disregard of ICE jail unlawful, ACLU says
By refusing to regulate a private immigration jail planned outside Evanston, Wyoming’s five statewide elected officials leave the state vulnerable to litigation and immigrants to poor treatment, the American Civil Liberty Union of Wyoming says.
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