Top State Stories 4/6
OK: Oklahoma legislature passes bill to make performing an abortion a felony
Oklahoma Republican House lawmakers passed legislation that would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison or fines of up to $100,000. The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has vowed to sign all anti-abortion bills that come to his desk.
TX: Texas Guard’s border mission needs an additional M to continue, top general says
Texas Military Department leaders told the state Senate Border Security Committee they need more than half a billion dollars in state funds to continue Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial border mission through the end of the fiscal year.
MA: Massachusetts COVID cases jump by 27%
Massachusetts health officials reported a continuing rise in new coronavirus cases as COVID-19 hospitalizations also ticked up.
SC: Despite protests, South Carolina House Republicans vote to pass transgender athlete ban
Hundreds of filed amendments, hours of debate, protests on statehouse grounds and even a tornado warning that evacuated the House floor did not stop South Carolina Republicans from passing a bill that would bar transgender women from competing in women’s sports.
CA: California adults who live with a gun owner face twice the risk of death by homicide
New research conducted over a 12-year period in California shows adults in the state who didn’t own a gun but took up residence with someone who did were much more likely to die a violent death than people in households without a handgun.
OH: Ohio Republicans introduce their version of Florida law dubbed ‘don’t say gay’
A version of the controversial Florida law restricting how teachers talk about sexual orientation and gender identity has been introduced in Ohio.
IA: Iowa Senate approves bill to give M to anti-abortion groups
The Iowa Senate passed a bill to spend $1 million on nonprofit pregnancy support groups that oppose abortion. Under the bill the state also would spend more than $14 million over two years to fund 12 months of postpartum health insurance coverage for women enrolled in Iowa’s Medicaid program.
MN: Study calls for racial equity improvement in Minnesota Medicaid program
Minnesota leaders are calling for changes in the state Medicaid program to improve racial equity and health outcomes, particularly for Black residents born in the U.S.
DE: Delaware Senate passes bill to stop auto insurance companies from pricing by gender
The Delaware Senate passed legislation seeking to prohibit insurance companies from considering a driver’s sex, gender or gender identity in the price of automobile insurance.
NY: New York consumer groups warn state leaders about unpaid utility bills
Consumer groups are warning New York state political leaders about a growing crisis facing utility customers as one in five has gone more than two months with unpaid bills.
NV: With federal funding dried up, major Nevada unemployment claim backlog returns
Officials say the unemployment claims backlog is now as bad as at points earlier in the pandemic, as Nevada grapples with a drastically reduced unemployment workforce amid a dry up of federal funding.
GA: Georgia lawmakers OK letting taxpayers direct more money toward private schools
The Georgia General Assembly approved legislation that would increase the cap on tax credits for contributions to a K-12 student scholarship program, raising it by $20 million from the current $100 million starting next year.
AR: Arkansas governor announces parolee supervision expansion
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed a $1 million expansion of a program that supervises high-risk parolees who have a history of violence or gang affiliation.
FL: Florida’s pension fund is stuck holding M in Russian investments
A $300 million slice of Florida’s nearly $200 billion public pension portfolio is invested in Russian companies, even as the pariah nation faces mounting accusations of genocide and other war crimes in Ukraine.
MS: Mississippi joins states limiting outside election funding
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill into law that says state or local officials who conduct elections cannot solicit or accept donations from any private group for “voter education, voter outreach or voter registration programs.”
IL: COVID-related paid leave for fully vaccinated teachers, staff now guaranteed in Illinois
Fully vaccinated teachers and school staff are guaranteed pandemic-related paid leave under a bill Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law. The legislation retroactively returns to teachers sick days they used this school year because of the pandemic.
WA: Washington farmers face seed shortages, tough cattle conditions amid impending 2nd year of drought
Jeff Marti, the drought coordinator for Washington state’s Department of Ecology, says conditions are not looking good this spring east of the Cascades in Washington. And the region is still recovering from last summer’s unprecedented triple-digit heat dome event.
OR: Oregon governor signs M workforce plan
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, held a bill signing ceremony for a package described as giving people the education, training and resources they need to get into good-paying careers in technology, health care and manufacturing.
AK: With Alaska struggling to hire, state legislators consider revived pension plans for public employees
With the state of Alaska struggling to hire and retain employees amid the “Great Resignation,” state legislators are more earnestly considering new pension programs for state employees.
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