Top State Stories 4/11
MD: Maryland lawmakers override veto on abortion access
Nurse practitioners, midwives and other nonphysician medical professionals will be able to perform abortions in Maryland after the Democratic-controlled General Assembly overrode Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Abortion Care Access Act. The law also will require most health insurance plans to cover abortions at no cost to patients and fund training for abortion providers.
AL: Bills about children, gender identity bring Alabama legislative session to divisive finish
A showdown over gender identity issues affecting children that simmered for two years caused a contentious final day of the Alabama legislative session.
WA: Washington’s rural hospitals grapple with ongoing staff shortage
Rural hospital administrators in Washington state say they still aren’t back to pre-pandemic staffing levels, which is why they voiced concerns over a proposal at the legislature that would have required them to hire even more staff.
AK: Alaska bill would require schools to post curriculum related to race, LGBTQ topics online
An Alaska Senate bill that would require schools to post online curriculum related to diversity, equity, race, gender and sexuality had its second hearing. The bill also would prohibit teaching that someone is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive because of their race, gender, religion or nationality.
ND: North Dakota lawmaker scrutinizes salon rule for pets
North Dakota lawmakers have held back a state cosmetology rule that would allow service animals in salons after one representative raised concerns about cleanliness and potential abuse of a law banning impostor service animals.
IL: Illinois lawmakers approve .5B budget
In a marathon final day of session, Illinois lawmakers approved a $46.5 billion budget that includes $1.8 billion in largely temporary election-year tax relief and a $1 billion deposit into the state’s rainy day fund. The Democratic-controlled General Assembly also finalized its legislative response to rising crime.
GA: Georgia voting rights trial to begin after years of heated elections
One of the most prominent voting rights cases in years is going to trial this week, testing allegations that Georgia’s election policies illegally obstructed voters from casting their ballots.
VA: Virginia House Democrats offer alternative to governor’s plan to cut gas tax
Democrats in Virginia’s House of Delegates floated an alternative to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to suspend the state gasoline tax for three months, instead proposing to send $50 cash to each car owner, up to $100 per household.
TX: Texas county district attorney drops murder charge over self-induced abortion
After charging a woman with murder over a self-induced abortion and forcing her to spend three days in jail, Starr County, Texas, officials announced they would dismiss the case. It’s unclear under which statute the woman was charged; state law exempts a pregnant person from being charged with murder or any lesser homicide charge for an abortion.
CA: California’s renter tax credit, unchanged for 43 years, could increase soon
An estimated 2.4 million Californians could see a boost in their tax refunds next year under a legislative proposal that would dramatically increase the state’s renters’ tax credit for the first time in more than four decades.
OH: Ohio redistricting mess sets up legal, political showdown
The Ohio Supreme Court is considering whether to issue a contempt of court finding against the Ohio Redistricting Commission—a panel of state elected officials that includes GOP Gov. Mike DeWine and Republican and Democratic state legislative leaders—over failures in the ongoing process of redistricting.
MI: Michigan’s restaurant workers found greener pastures
As Michigan restaurant workers seek out opportunities for higher wages, flexible scheduling and job security, unexpected industries are luring them away from hospitality. In search of greener pastures, servers are turning to entrepreneurship, bartenders to engineering and food service veterans are answering the ever-present call to the auto industry.
OR: Oregon state workers making K or more jumped 23% in 2021
Oregon’s roughly 38,000 state government workers enjoyed another year of wage growth in 2021, with median pay well above the state’s overall workforce and more employees earning six-figure salaries. The gains came during a tumultuous time for Oregon workers, as some in the private sector lost jobs and businesses while others enjoyed notable pay raises in the first full fiscal year of the pandemic.
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