By: - May 28, 2021 12:00 am

TN: Tennessee bathroom law includes penalties

The sponsor of Tennessee’s new law requiring businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use the bathrooms of their choice now says owners and officials who refuse could face up to six months in jail—a penalty that went unmentioned during legislative hearings and debate. The question of who would enforce the law remains murky.

OR: Oregon cops consider marijuana laws ‘too convoluted to comprehend’

A recent study found an “overwhelming consensus” among law enforcement officers that Oregon’s marijuana laws are poorly written and confusing. As a result, this perception has led some local officers to stop enforcing marijuana laws altogether.

MI: Climate change foments tick explosion in Michigan

Michigan is facing a tick insurgence this year, experts warn. Warming temperatures are a predictor of increases in tick populations in areas where they normally would not survive as long.

ID: Idaho lt. governor issues ban on mask mandates while governor is out of state

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, acting governor while Gov. Brad Little was out of state on business, issued an executive order banning mask mandates. McGeachin, a Republican, announced it on social media while Little was in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Republican Governors Association conference.

MN: Minnesota offers fair tickets, park passes to encourage vaccinations

Minnesota will offer a range of freebies to the first 100,000 people who get vaccinated against COVID-19 between now and June 30, including passes to state parks, tickets to the state fair or fishing licenses.

DE: Delaware courts will reopen with significant backlog

The Delaware court system has held over 30,000 proceedings by video and Zoom, officials say. But more than 1,500 criminal cases are backed up in Superior Court, and the Court of Common Pleas faces a backlog of more than 15,000 misdemeanor cases.

AL: Alabama governor issues rare veto on delay of 3rd grade reading requirement

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey vetoed a bill that would delay holding back third graders if they are not reading on or above grade level.

LA: Transgender sports ban bill heads to Louisiana governor

The Louisiana House passed legislation that would ban transgender athletes from competing in girls and women’s sports. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

NH: Auditors find no fraud in disputed New Hampshire election

There is no evidence of fraud or political bias in a controversial Windham, New Hampshire, election where a recount and audit have drawn the interest of former President Donald Trump, auditors concluded. Auditors believe a folding machine used by the town to try to accommodate the numbers of absentee ballots in the November election is responsible for mistakenly adding to vote counts for candidates in four legislative seats.

WA: Washington attorney general charges 3 officers in death of Black man

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, charged three Tacoma police officers in the March 2020 killing of Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man whose death sparked widespread protests and calls for justice. Ferguson’s announcement bucked a historic trend in Washington, where police officers almost never face criminal prosecution for deaths they cause on the job.

CO: Marijuana regulation bill passes Colorado House

The Colorado House of Representatives passed the state’s most substantial marijuana regulation policy since legalization, intending to crack down on youth access to high-potency THC products and tighten rules for the medical marijuana market.

UT: Governor urges Utahns to get a COVID vaccine, but incentives are on hold

Efforts for Utah to provide incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine are on hold, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox said, as officials watch “to see what’s working in other states, what’s not working.” Cox said it would be great if the state didn’t need incentives at all. “Hopefully, not dying is a great incentive.”

WY: Wyoming officials brace for huge summer crowds

Campsites, trailhead parking spots and outdoor reservations in Wyoming will likely be harder than ever to snag this summer as public land managers expect an even larger flood of visitation than 2020’s.

AR, TN: Faulty weld suspected for fracture of I-40 bridge linking Arkansas, Tennessee

A bad weld is suspected as the cause of the significant fracture found in a 900-foot steel beam on the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River at Memphis, according to a top Arkansas Department of Transportation official. The agency will perform ultrasonic testing on other welds on all four 900-foot steel beams tied to the twin arches holding up the suspension portion of the bridge.

DC: DC mayor’s budget boosts spending on housing, mental health, violence prevention

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, a Democrat, proposed a fiscal 2022 budget that would increase spending on a vast array of projects, including housing, education and bike lanes, thanks in part to a flood of federal coronavirus relief funds. One notable exception was the police department, whose funding activists have pressured her to cut.

GA: Governor will restrict Georgia’s public schools from requiring masks

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is preparing to sign an executive order that would restrict Georgia public schools from requiring students, staffers and teachers to wear masks.

NV: Assembly approves bill expanding legal resources to immigrant Nevadans

Nevada Assembly lawmakers approved a bill that would allocate $500,000 in state funds to expand no-cost legal services for immigrants. Finding an attorney to represent them in immigration court can be a challenge for people facing deportation proceedings, who often don’t have the financial means to seek legal counsel.

HI: Some Hawaii farms want to keep feeding locals—even as tourism returns

As the threat of COVID-19 subsides, some of Hawaii’s food growers say they will continue to prioritize local families over the tourism industry.

MT: Montana Supreme Court declines to take up constitutional carry challenge

Two lawsuits, filed late last week, allege that the new law, which allows concealed carry of firearms across much of the Montana University System, is an infringement by the legislature on the regents’ authority as outlined in the Montana Constitution.

SC: Labor shortage causes South Carolina businesses to cut back, raise wages, close down

Businesses across South Carolina are seeing a spike in demand but are struggling to meet it. People in the hospitality industry are seeing reservations increase, sales pick up and more people eager to get out of the house. This would be welcome news if they weren’t facing a labor shortage at the same time.

ND: Two North Dakota jails refuse to offer COVID-19 shots to inmates

Two county sheriffs in North Dakota said they won’t offer COVID-19 vaccination shots to people who are incarcerated despite efforts by the local public health department to provide access to shots in jails.

VA: In Virginia, waning concerns about pandemic may mean less demand for early voting

Starting this weekend, early voting for Virginia’s June 8 primary elections will be easier, with Saturday hours at walk-in sites and several counties extending their weekday hours and installing ballot drop boxes for people who don’t want to wait in line.

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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.