Top State Stories 4/22
FL: As Democrats loudly protest, Florida congressional map passes
Florida Republicans powered through shouts and protests from their Democratic colleagues, putting an abrupt end to a sit-in on the floor of the chamber by voting to stop debate and send Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a congressional redistricting map.
KY: Judge temporarily blocks enforcement of Kentucky’s new abortion law a week after it passes
A federal judge blocked enforcement of a far-reaching abortion law in Kentucky roughly a week after it was passed by Republican lawmakers.
SC: South Carolina early voting bill gets unanimous, bipartisan support
Democrats and Republicans in the South Carolina General Assembly are trying to come together to expand early voting in this conservative state. Both chambers unanimously approved a bill that would open polling places two weeks before elections.
AZ: Feds could revoke Arizona’s authority to regulate workplace safety after ‘pattern of failures’
Citing a nearly decade-long pattern of enforcement failures, the federal Department of Labor has issued a new threat to dismantle Arizona’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration program and replace it with the federal version.
OH: Federal judges to pick maps rejected by Ohio Supreme Court if redistricting leaders don’t act
Three federal judges ruled that they would step in to resolve the back-and-forth between the Ohio Redistricting Commission, a seven-member body tasked with drawing legislative maps, and the Ohio Supreme Court, which has rejected four maps so far.
AL: Parents challenge Alabama law banning treatment of trans kids
Parents of transgender teens filed a lawsuit attempting to overturn an Alabama law that makes it a crime for doctors to treat trans people under 19 with puberty blockers or hormones to help affirm their gender identity.
LA: Louisiana House wants to allow people to carry concealed guns without permits, training
Louisiana moved closer toward allowing adults to carry a concealed gun without requiring a permit or training in a bill that cleared the state House of Representatives.
MA: Massachusetts scientists release genetically altered mice in effort to curb Lyme disease
As spring emerged on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, a group of scientists from the Boston area arrived with an extraordinary request for local officials: Let us release hordes of genetically altered mice into the wild. The mice cells carry genetic code, specially tailored in an MIT lab, for resistance to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
NM: Judge clears way for New Mexico GOP redistricting challenge
A state district judge has cleared the way for the Republican Party of New Mexico to challenge a congressional map that divvies up a conservative area of the state into three congressional districts, rejecting a motion by Democrats who sought to dismiss the case.
WV: West Virginia was home to disproportionate number of top opioid prescribers: suit
In addition to leading the nation with the number of opioid pills distributed in West Virginia, the state also was home to 12 of the top 50 doctors in the country when it came to prescribing opioids near the turn of the century, according to testimony in the state’s suit against two drug companies.
TN: Tennessee Senate panel cuts funding for new stadium for NFL Titans
A key state Senate committee removed Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s million bond proposal for a new Titans stadium from the state budget. The move comes as the Lee administration and GOP leadership in the House and Senate are drifting further apart on spending priorities.
DC: DC mayor says number of homeless residents is lowest in 17 years
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said the number of unhoused people in the District hit a 17-year low, falling 47% since the city announced a plan to combat homelessness in 2015. The results were based on an annual point-in-time count that some advocates say underrepresents the problem.
GA: Georgia election workers reach settlement terms with OAN
Two Georgia election workers agreed to settle defamation claims against right-wing cable news channel One News American Network, which they said falsely claimed they engaged in ballot fraud during the 2020 election.
CA: California lawmaker says new M idea will help farmworkers amid drought
A Democrat lawmaker from the central San Joaquin Valley wants to put cash in the hands of eligible farmworkers to help them deal with the devastation of California’s drought.
VT: Vermont governor signs tax exemption bill for tribal lands
Property owned by Vermont-recognized Native American tribes will be exempt from property taxes under a new law that takes effect in July. The legislation, signed by Republican Gov. Phil Scott, recognizes that Vermont lands “are the historic and current territories of the Western Abenaki people.”
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