Top State Stories 3/30
CA: California task force votes for reparations to descendants of enslaved people only
California’s first-in-the-nation task force on reparations voted to limit state compensation to Black residents who can prove a direct lineage to enslaved ancestors, narrowly rejecting a proposal to include all Black Californians. A reparations proposal is expected by mid-2023 for the legislature to review.
FL: Florida governor vetoes congressional maps
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the GOP legislature’s congressional redistricting map, making good his threats to reject the plan because it does not eliminate a Black district in North Florida. DeSantis called for a special session to work out the issue.
MI: Black residents challenge Michigan redistricting maps in federal court
Black residents in metro Detroit have filed suit in federal court to challenge as unconstitutional the state House and Senate maps drawn by Michigan’s redistricting commission. It’s the fourth legal challenge filed since the maps were adopted last year.
GA: Election officials criticize ‘security theater’ of Georgia voting bill
The legislation from Georgia Republicans would require paperwork and seals for blank and completed ballots, empower the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate elections, allow the public to inspect paper ballots and restrict election donations from nonprofit organizations.
US: 21 states sue Biden administration to end transportation mask mandate
Twenty-one mostly Republican-led states filed suit seeking an immediate end to a federal mandate that requires people to wear masks when traveling on airplanes, buses, subways and other modes of public transportation. The mandate was extended this month through April 18.
MD: Maryland representatives face new congressional districts
Under the Maryland General Assembly Democrats’ newly unveiled redistricting map,created in response to a state judge’s decision throwing out the old one, U.S. House members’ districts are changing practically overnight.
CT: Cyberattack targets Connecticut airport website
A cyberattack attempted to crash the website of Connecticut’s largest airport but had no effect on operations.
WA: Amazon isn’t making enough changes to protect warehouse workers, Washington agency says
Regulators with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries have cited and fined Amazon four times in the past 11 months—a total of ,000—for alleged violations of workplace safety laws.
OR: Oregon’s microchip industry task force maps out strategy
Oregon’s new microchip industry task force began plotting out a strategy to revitalize one of the state’s largest economic sectors by bringing more semiconductor manufacturing and research to the state.
NY: New York halts poultry shows due to avian flu outbreak
Amid an avian flu outbreak, including cases found on Long Island, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets has banned all live fowl shows and exhibitions in the state until further notice.
IA: Iowa Senate votes to allow retailers to refuse can, bottle returns
Retailers would be allowed to opt out of accepting bottle and can returns starting in 2023 under a bill approved by the Iowa Senate. More redemption centers may be needed so consumers can return their containers and collect the 5-cent deposit.
MS: Mississippi redistricting plans pass, despite Black lawmakers’ protests
The redistricting plans developed by the Mississippi legislature’s Republican majorities were approved. The House approved its leadership’s redistricting plan 81-37 with most of the chamber’s Democrats voting against the proposal.
MN: Minnesota reaches goal of recruiting nursing assistants
Minnesota has recruited nearly 1,300 certified nursing assistants over the past few months through a new training initiative, and state leaders hope to enroll thousands more in the coming years.
KY: Fentanyl traffickers in Kentucky would serve more time in prison under bill
A bill significantly increasing the minimum sentence served for people convicted of trafficking fentanyl, carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives passed the Kentucky General Assembly.
SC: South Carolina lawmakers advance legislation pushing unproven ‘abortion reversal’ procedure
The Republican-dominated South Carolina House Judiciary Committee voted to require abortion providers to push an unproven “abortion reversal” procedure on their patients, despite concerns from Democrats the procedure is unsafe and based on faulty science.
TX: Texas schools won’t lose funding for pandemic attendance drops
The Texas Education Agency announced that public school districts may not lose funding because of low attendance rates caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Texas, schools are funded based on the number of students enrolled and the daily attendance on campus.
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