Top State Stories 3/5
MD: Maryland governor wants to tap emergency funds to prepare for coronavirus
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan plans to seek immediate access to millions of dollars in Maryland’s rainy-day fund to fight the coronavirus, in addition to million in extra funding from the state budget. Twenty-one people in Maryland have been tested for the virus, but there are no confirmed cases.
OR: Coronavirus could hit Oregon’s homeless population particularly hard
Experts say that the coronavirus could be deadly for homeless people in Oregon and along the West Coast who already face higher health risks and have fewer ways to protect themselves from infection.
SC: South Carolina governor, lawmakers push paid family leave for state employees
South Carolina currently doesn’t offer paid leave to expecting parents who are state employees. But Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and two Democratic lawmakers want to change that. Two bills would give all state government employees 12 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
LA: Louisiana spent more than .3M responding to cyberattacks over past year
While Louisiana didn’t pay a ransom demanded by hackers who launched a cyberattack against state government servers last fall, the state has paid .3 million responding to that and other cyberattacks across the state over the past year.
WA: Washington considers requiring construction projects to improve the environment
The budget proposed by the Washington House calls for planners to begin preparing to replace the state’s requirement that construction cause “no net loss” to habitat with a higher standard — “net ecological gain.” It appears Washington would be the first state in the nation to do so.
MO: Repeal of cop residency rule advances in Missouri House
Police officers throughout Missouri would no longer have to live within the cities they serve under a plan given preliminary approval by the state House. Supporters said scrapping the mandate could help fill scores of vacancies in St. Louis, boosting the ability of the police department to fight crime.
CT: Connecticut lawmakers rally support for wide-ranging drug bill
Bolstered by national efforts and the financial concerns of their constituents, Connecticut state legislators are pushing a measure that includes several provisions aimed at capping or lowering the price of prescription medication.
GA: Coronavirus to test Georgia’s chronic health gaps
The best defense against coronavirus is the good underlying health of the patient, and the best way to contain an outbreak is a quick response, but Georgians face unusual challenges in these regards. They are less likely to have health insurance than most other Americans, and some areas of the state have sparse medical care.
MI: Michigan House votes to ban local gun buybacks
Local governments in Michigan wouldn’t be able to buy firearms back from residents under legislation passed in the Michigan House. Democrats opposed the bill, saying it would interfere with local efforts to prevent gun violence.
AZ: Arizona House approves ban on transgender female athletes
The Arizona House of Representatives passed a ban on transgender students participating in girls’ sports, a measure its sponsor argued is common sense but which opponents contended would allow for discrimination against young athletes.
UT: Utah fetal remains burial bill now squarely targets abortion
A fetus aborted early in a pregnancy would have to be buried or cremated, while a miscarriage occurring weeks later could be discarded as medical waste under the latest version of a bill that earned the approval of the Utah House.
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