By: - March 1, 2022 12:00 am

TX: Transgender Texas kids terrified after governor orders that parents be investigated for child abuse

Texas families are feeling targeted by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s new directive to state child welfare officials to launch child abuse investigations into reports of transgender kids receiving gender-confirming care. Some experts doubt that classifying gender-confirming care as child abuse would hold up in court.

MO: Missouri measure targets pay of elected officials who order unlawful pandemic closures

Missouri state lawmakers are weighing whether to suspend pay for elected officials who impose unlawful public health orders in response to a pandemic. The measure would strip officials of their pay if they order an “unauthorized” closure of a private business “to prevent or limit the spread of a contagious disease during a pandemic.”

ME: Subpoenas will ramp up Maine investigation into national conservative group

The Maine Ethics Commission voted to allow staff to subpoena the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, to require them to turn over documents that staff could use to determine whether the group violated state contribution laws by allowing lawmakers to use software that contains voter information and is used to track constituent interactions.

OR: Oregon’s Latino communities flourish as their populations grow

Oregon’s Latino population has skyrocketed over the last three decades to nearly 14% of the state population, and experts expect that number will only grow. Driven primarily by immigration in earlier decades, the growing Latino population is now fueled by that generation’s children and grandchildren, born in Oregon or moving there from other states, experts say.

AZ: Legislature considers forcing Arizona employers to pay employees who refuse vaccinations

The Arizona state House gave preliminary approval to legislation that would force employers to continue for a year paying employees fired for refusing to get vaccinated. The only way for a firm to escape the financial hit would be to give the worker the job back—but with a “reasonable accommodation” to honor any claim of a religious exemption. 

AL: Alabama governor orders Russian liquor removed from state stores

In a letter to the administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey said the move to remove Russian liquor from state-owned liquor stores is designed to show “solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” following the Russian invasion of the country.

UT: Utah bill would require schools to track race of bullied students

After the recent death of a 10-year-old Black girl by suicide, a Utah lawmaker is proposing that all public schools be required to track demographic data on cases of bullying to determine whether students of color in the state are being targeted.

MS: GOP legislators oppose Medicaid expansion, but want federal dollars to pay for prisoner health care

Mississippi Republicans have balked at expanding Medicaid but are embracing legislation that would take advantage of the federal program to pay for health care for very sick incarcerated people—and likely create a money-making opportunity for nursing homes.

OH: Ohio elections officials ask lawmakers to postpone primary amid ‘compromised’ planning

Warning that because of redistricting delays, many counties around the state no longer have the ability to hold a smooth primary election in May, bipartisan election officials at Ohio’s 88 boards of election are joining the call for state lawmakers to postpone the election.

AR: Arkansas governor condemns attack on Ukraine, calls for review of state’s business ties

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared his “unambiguous condemnation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sent a letter to his 15 cabinet secretaries calling for a review of all state departments to see if “any contracts or agreements between Arkansas, the Russian Federation, or other Russian entities exist.”

TN: Tennessee Republican lawmakers propose ending all affirmative action

Bills introduced in the Tennessee House and Senate would prohibit the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to an individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting. The bills would apply to state government, the higher education system, local education agencies and public charter schools.

IN: Indiana lawmakers kill ‘critical race theory’ bill

Indiana’s state Senate killed the controversial bill, which would have banned several “divisive concepts” and given more power over curriculum and classroom activities to parents. Republican leaders said they could not agree on whether it went too far or not far enough.

WY: Bill making meth use by pregnant women a felony clears Wyoming House hurdle

A Wyoming bill that would make the consumption of methamphetamine or illegal opiates by pregnant women a felony has been approved in its initial review by the state House.

OK: Republican bill targets nonbinary gender on Oklahoma birth certificates

Oklahoma Republican legislators want to remove the ability of the Oklahoma State Department of Health to accept requests and amend birth certificates to reflect a person’s gender.

CA: California to lift school mask mandate after March 11

Indoor masking will no longer be mandatory at California schools and child care facilities after March 11, a long-debated and much-anticipated move that comes as the state continues its steady emergence from the omicron wave of COVID-19.

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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.