Top State Stories 2/25
WA: Washington state set to spend big on homelessness
Washington state Democrats released supplemental state budget plans to address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. Between Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal and the Senate and House plans, lawmakers are set to make one of the most significant investments to come out of Olympia on homelessness and housing.
CA: California bill would fine corporations for vacant homes
Corporations that own California properties could soon be fined for keeping homes vacant for more than three months under a proposed law to give tenants, nonprofits and cities more say over what happens to empty buildings.
MO: Missouri student-athletes could soon get paid
Two nearly identical Missouri bills were discussed in a House committee that would make it illegal for the NCAA and other organizations to punish athletes for making a profit from things like signing autographs or filming commercials.
OR: Oregon Republicans walk out over climate bill
Republicans in the Oregon Senate fled the Capitol to stop a Democratic bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions after the plan cleared a legislative budget committee.
MD: Maryland bill could expand student access to medical pot
A Maryland bill could ensure easier student access to medical marijuana during the school day. The measure would require the State Department of Education and the Medical Cannabis Commission to develop written guidelines for public schools on administering medical cannabis.
IN: Indiana teacher gun training plan fails amid opposition
A legislative proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools was scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.
CO: Colorado paid family leave bill in crisis as sponsors bail
It is increasingly likely that Colorado Democrats will not pass a bill this year to start a statewide paid family and medical leave program.
DE: Delaware to give Amazon .5M for distribution center
The Delaware Council on Development Finance approved a .5 million grant for Amazon. In exchange, Amazon said it will invest million and bring 1,000 new jobs to the Newport area.
NE: Open carry in Nebraska Capitol: Speaker calls it ‘a safety issue’
The speaker of the unicameral, nonpartisan Nebraska legislature and other state senators expressed concern about people being allowed to openly carry guns in the State Capitol. Republican state Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk said he’s not “anti-gun, but there’s a place for everything.”
AL: Alabama bill would make shelters offset costs for animal cruelty offenders
In Alabama, the CEO of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society is speaking out against a bill that would make sweeping changes in how investigations of animal cruelty are handled.
OK: Oklahoma Senate approves bill requiring children in back seat to wear seat belts
The Oklahoma Senate narrowly passed a bill requiring those 17 years old and younger to wear a seat belt when in the back seat. Current state law requires only children under the age of 8 and passengers in the front seat to buckle up.
HI: Effects of coronavirus expected to slow Hawaii economy
Hawaii’s already slowing economy may be “hard hit” this year as the state grapples with coronavirus travel concerns. A report estimates that its overall impact to Hawaii tourism could “reduce total arrivals by about 230,000 visitors in the first half of the year.”
IL: Illinois pot sales generate M in tax revenue in first month
The first month of recreational marijuana sales in Illinois generated more than million in tax revenue, the Illinois Department of Revenue said, which puts the state on track to surpass revenue estimates for the first half of 2020.
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