By: - May 24, 2021 12:00 am

TN: Tennessee moves to the forefront of states with new transgender restrictions

Tennessee this year banned transgender athletes from playing girls public school sports and is poised to become the first state to require government buildings and businesses to post signs if they let trans people use multiperson bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity. Under another new law, schools can be sued if they let transgender students or employees use multiperson bathrooms or locker rooms that do not reflect their sex at birth.

DE: Delaware police departments are mostly White

Delaware State Police, the largest agency in the state, has just 62 Black troopers and 28 Hispanic troopers in a force of more than 720 sworn personnel, comprising 8.5% and 3.9% of the force, respectively. Six women (less than 1%) are Black and three (less than 0.5%) are Hispanic. About 69% of state residents are White, 23.2% are Black and 9.6% are Hispanic. 

WI: Election officials find 27 possible voter fraud cases out of 3M Wisconsin ballots

Wisconsin election officials identified just 27 potential cases of voter fraud out of 3.3 million ballots cast in the November presidential election and forwarded them to local district attorneys for possible prosecution, based on documents obtained by The Associated Press under the state’s open records law.

US: College vaccine requirements are mostly confined to schools in Democratic-leaning states

Hoping for a return to normal, more than 400 colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Almost all are in states that voted for President Joe Biden. As of this weekend, only 34—roughly 8%—are in states that voted for former President Donald J. Trump, according to a tracker created by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

AL: Move to promote Black history using Confederate tax fails in Alabama legislature

The Alabama legislature failed to pass a bill that would use a portion of tax money that supported Confederate veteran pensions to preserve and promote Black history.

MO: As unemployment surged in pandemic, Missouri governor turned to consultant for help

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s administration has paid a consultant nearly million to assist the state in processing a massive surge in unemployment claims, the Post-Dispatch has learned. But despite the millions of dollars paid for the outside assistance, the agency that oversees jobless benefits has faced harsh criticism from lawmakers and the public for attempting to recoup millions in overpayments sent out in response to the pandemic.

AK: Alaska Senate approves funding for 500 mile hiking trail

Money for a 500 mile trail will likely be included in the Alaska legislature’s budget this year. The nonprofit Alaska Trails came up with the idea for a multiuse trail between Seward and Fairbanks last year and has been trying to find money for it since.

IA: Iowa passes law banning mask mandates in schools, communities

Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a law that says Iowa school districts cannot require students or staff to wear masks, and Iowa cities and counties cannot impose mask mandates.

CT: Connecticut legislators drop a plan to expand state-sponsored health insurance

Legislation known as the “public option” that would have created a state-sponsored insurance plan for small businesses and nonprofits will not be taken up by the General Assembly, following opposition from Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont. Democrats have been pushing for it for years, but Republicans and some business executives have been strongly opposed.

OH: Loss of federal unemployment aid may hurt Ohio more than help it

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to cut off -a-week federal unemployment supplements to jobless Ohioans will prevent an estimated billion infusion into the economy this summer.

MI: Michigan governor apologizes for violating social distancing rules

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, apologized after apparently violating state-mandated social distancing guidelines at an East Lansing bar. A photo was widely circulated on social media of Whitmer with a large group of unmasked people at an East Lansing bar-restaurant.

NJ: Weed ‘gifting’ companies are starting up in New Jersey. Are they legal?

Licenses to sell legal weed are still months away in New Jersey, but there’s a handful of entrepreneurs coming into the scene through a possible legal loophole—“gifting” cannabis.

MN: Rollout of Minnesota’s rental assistance program is beset by glitches, slow payments

While the state department in charge of those payments, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, says the money is starting to flow, the pace remains slow. The head of the state’s largest apartment owners association said his own survey of members found not a single check had arrived as of late last week.

KS: Kansas governor vetoes plan reserving COVID funds for businesses

Citing federal rules, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed Kansas lawmakers’ last-minute effort to require the state, counties and cities to set aside part of their federal COVID-19 aid to pay businesses harmed by public health orders. 

WY: Wyoming eliminates college mask requirements, venue capacity limits

Wyoming officials have lifted a public health order that limited attendance at indoor events that might draw more than 500 people to 50% of the venue’s capacity. Additionally, the mask mandate on college campuses statewide has been lifted. 

MS: Mississippi high court decision halts millions in medical marijuana investment

Several marijuana-related companies said millions of dollars earmarked to create jobs and invest in their businesses in-state are being held up because of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the state’s medical marijuana program and ballot initiative process.

TX: Texas Senate passes ‘Tim Tebow’ bill that would allow home-schoolers to compete in public school sports and activities

Texas is poised to let home-schooled students compete in public school sports and other extracurricular activities, after the Senate advanced the proposal in one of its closest votes this session. 

LA: Louisiana takes applications for public lands gator harvest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is accepting online applications for 431 opportunities to harvest alligators on public lands. 

VT: Vermont legislature adjourns, ending a historic and remote session

After sending a .35 billion state budget to Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s desk, the Vermont legislature adjourned, ending a historic legislative session marked by remote lawmaking and the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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.