Top State Stories 4/23
DC: US House Democrats approve DC statehood bill
For the second time in history, the U.S. House passed legislation to make the District of Columbia the nation’s 51st state, bolstering momentum for a once-illusory goal that has become a pivotal tenet of the Democratic Party’s voting rights platform. But the political odds remain formidable, with the Senate filibuster requiring the support of 60 senators to advance the legislation.
CA: California’s massive UC and Cal State systems plan to require COVID vaccinations this fall
The University of California and California State University announced they will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff on campus properties this fall once the Food and Drug Administration gives formal approval to the vaccines and supplies are sufficiently available.
ND: North Dakota governor vetoes state mask mandate ban
North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed a bill that would ban a statewide mask mandate. The governor announced his veto in a letter to Republican Speaker Kim Koppelman, saying the ban “would be both irresponsible and an unnecessary risk to the future public health and well-being of North Dakota citizens.”
IN: Indiana lawmakers approve partial ban on vaccine passports
A bill that passed the Indiana House and Senate would stop state and local governments from requiring employees to prove vaccination against COVID-19. The bill would not apply to private businesses.
KS: Kansas governor vetoes GOP attempt to ban transgender athletes from girls youth sports
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill that would ban transgender students from girls and women’s school sports in Kansas, slamming the GOP-backed measure as a job killer that harms children.
ID: Idaho lawmakers rush to pass bill tackling critical race theory
A bill targeting critical race theory was fast-tracked to the Idaho House floor and passed along party lines. The bill would censor certain discussions about race in classrooms.
NV: Nevada secretary of state finds no ‘evidentiary support’ for GOP election fraud claims
Nevada Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office told the state Republican Party that an investigation had found no “evidentiary support” for its allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Cegavske is the only statewide Republican office holder.
LA:Smokable medical marijuana proposal breezes through Louisiana House panel
The Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill that allows patient access to raw, smokable marijuana from dispensaries if a doctor approves.
FL: Florida Supreme Court kills proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana
The Florida Supreme Court declared a proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana “misleading,” effectively ending the issue’s chances of getting on the ballot in 2022 and perhaps for good.
CT: Connecticut lawmakers back legislation that would expand state health insurance coverage
The Connecticut General Assembly’s finance committee advanced legislation that would draw the state government deeper than ever into providing health insurance for more people.
WA: Washington lawmakers consider monthly stipend for diapers
Washington lawmakers are considering several budget actions and bills that would help low-income families with babies, including an action that would send certain households with kids under three years old a monthly “diaper stipend.” That multimillion-dollar budget line has advanced with support from a “Moms Caucus.”
PA: Pennsylvania Republicans block governor’s appointments in climate protest
Pennsylvania Senate Republicans are blocking Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s appointments to the state Public Utility Commission until the governor drops his effort to use executive authority to join a regional partnership for cutting climate pollution from power plants.
NC: North Carolina and US DOJ say data on in-custody deaths is secret; key lawmaker disagrees
As communities across the nation continue to grapple with high-profile police killings, North Carolina officials have again refused to release information on the deaths of people who died in custody, citing guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice.
NH: New Hampshire governor ends pause on work-search requirement for unemployment beneficiaries
After a pause of more than one year, New Hampshire’s work-search requirement for people receiving unemployment benefits will reinstate next month. New Hampshire Employment Security had suspended, since the start of the pandemic, the policy that requires recipients of benefits to be actively searching for work while receiving benefits.
WI: Wisconsin governor vetoes Republican plans to spend federal COVID-19 aid
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed 11 Republican-authored bills that would have directed how Wisconsin would spend billions in federal COVID-19 relief money. While the governor and Republican lawmakers agree on some of the issues, Evers has argued he is responsible for administering the relief money.
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