Top State Stories 3/29
FL: Florida governor signs bill critics call ‘don’t say gay’
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill. Critics have dubbed the measure Florida’s “don’t say gay” law because it prohibits instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade—and potentially restricts such instruction for older kids.
OH: Ohio Republicans approve their own redistricting maps
Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission have approved their latest state legislative map plan, abandoning plans by bipartisan consultants and instead opting for a plan nearly identical to one the Ohio Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional.
OR: Oregon ends residency requirement for medically assisted suicide
Oregon will no longer require people to be residents of the state to use its law allowing terminally ill people to receive lethal medication, after a lawsuit challenged the requirement as unconstitutional.
MD: Maryland lawmakers reach deal on tax cuts
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and top Democratic lawmakers agreed on a package of tax cuts that will slash state income taxes for most retirees, exempt many child care and medical products from state sales tax, and reward businesses that hire Marylanders from groups who often struggle to find jobs.
ID: Idaho governor vetoes ban on COVID vaccine mandates
Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, vetoed a bill backed by Senate Republicans that would block most private businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for a year. Little in a veto letter wrote that the legislation “significantly expands government overreach into the private sector.”
MN: Minnesota offers free at-home COVID tests
Minnesota is phasing out a mail-in COVID-19 testing program and offering a new option to order four free rapid at-home tests per household. One million tests will be available online to Minnesotans.
LA: Special session set to override Louisiana redistricting vetoes
The Louisiana legislature decided to hold a special session to attempt overriding the vetoes of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards concerning bills that would determine the districts from which the state elects its six congressional members.
MS:9 bills to restore voting rights pending in Mississippi Senate
A Mississippi Senate committee will decide early this week whether to take up nine House bills restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies.
WA: Why 6 small Washington cities left thousands in federal relief unclaimed
As hundreds of cities in Washington soaked up the federal recovery money, six left their portion unclaimed, walking away from roughly $279 per resident. For two towns, the money—very much needed and wanted—was simply overlooked.
SD: South Dakota panel rules against impeachment of AG
After a months-long probe, a South Dakota House committee ruled against impeaching state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, over the death of a pedestrian he hit with his car more than two years ago.
CA: California lawmakers strike a deal on eviction protections
State lawmakers are rushing this week to extend California eviction protections for hundreds of thousands of tenants waiting for rent relief. But some advocacy groups for landlords and tenants alike are unhappy with the bill.
GA: No noncitizen voters found in Georgia election review
Citizenship checks prevented any noncitizens from voting in recent elections in Georgia, though 1,634 people with unverified U.S. citizenship tried to register to vote, according to a review released by state elections officials.
IA: Iowa birds account for 43% of avian flu infections
Iowa accounts for about 43% of the total birds affected by a deadly form of avian influenza. That’s because Iowa’s infected flocks have been much larger than those of other states.
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