By: - February 13, 2020 12:00 am

NM: New Mexico Dems pass pension bill

A Democratic bill aimed at shoring up New Mexico’s pension fund for about 110,000 state and local government workers and retirees passed the Senate and now heads to the House. The measure responds to concerns about .6 billion in unfunded liabilities weighing down the credit rating of the state.

WV: West Virginia Senate OKs suicide prevention bill

West Virginia educators would have to teach students about suicide prevention under a bill passed by the state Senate. Figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show suicide was the eighth-leading cause of death in West Virginia in 2017, the most recently available data. 

NV: Nevada state employee harassment claims up 50%

Sexual harassment and discrimination complaints filed by state employees in Nevada spiked by nearly 50% in 2019 compared with the year before, with 187 complaints filed. The uptick comes amid the backdrop of #MeToo and Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s pledge to address harassment in state agencies. 

KY: Kentucky medical marijuana bill gains momentum

A House panel overwhelmingly approved a bill that would legalize medicinal marijuana in Kentucky, boosting a proposal that has long struggled to gain traction in the legislature despite increasing public support.

WY: Wyoming Senate advances ‘cold showers for grandma’

The proposed legislation, which now goes to committee, would modify Wyoming regulations for nursing and assisted living facilities to prevent accidental scalding of residents.

MO: Missouri term limits could be on November ballot

Under a proposed referendum, members of the Missouri House and Senate would be allowed to serve a total of 16 years in either chamber, rather than a total of eight years in each chamber. Proponents say the current setup has increased the influence of unelected insiders like lobbyists and bureaucrats.

SD: Bill banning plastic bag bans heads to South Dakota House for final vote

Legislation banning cities from banning plastic bags and straws will go to the South Dakota House for its final vote. If the House passes the bill, it’ll go to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem for consideration. 

WI: Wisconsin election officials back off on double mailing of most absentee ballots

Wisconsin election officials abruptly canceled plans to send tens of thousands of voters two absentee ballots for the presidential primary, saying their new approach may violate state law but will avoid mass confusion.

PA: Pennsylvania governor vetoes bill to keep institutions for disabled

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would have placed a moratorium on the planned closures of two Pennsylvania centers for people with intellectual disabilities.

AL: Fake urine for drug tests would be a crime under this Alabama bill

A bill to make it a crime to make or sell synthetic urine or additives to skew the results of a drug test cleared its first hurdle in the Alabama legislature.

AK: Alaska governor’s lottery idea could lead to sports betting

In a sweeping new plan for Alaska’s first statewide lottery, Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing a state-owned corporation empowered to allow video lottery as well as keno, scratch-off tickets and sports betting.

MA: Massachusetts sues Juul

In a suit filed by Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey against Juul Labs Inc., Massachusetts accuses the popular e-cigarette maker of creating an epidemic through an extensive marketing campaign aimed at hooking minors on its products.

NY: New York governor offers Trump compromise on Global Entry ban

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would seek to give federal officials access to state driving records for applicants to Global Entry and other federal programs that allow travelers to breeze through airports.

HI: Bill would let Hawaii residents buy medicine from Canada

A Senate bill in Hawaii would allow residents to buy cheaper Canadian prescription drugs. The bill would make Hawaii the fifth state to allow importation of drugs from Canada.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.