Top State Stories 6/3
NY: New York tightens its strict gun laws in Democratic show of force
The New York legislature passed a package of gun bills that would raise the minimum age to buy a semiautomatic rifle to 21, ban most civilians from purchasing bullet-resistant body vests and revise the state’s so-called red flag laws, making New York the first state to approve legislation following shootings in Buffalo and Texas.
GA: Georgia secretary of state testifies before grand jury probing 2020 elections
Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testified before a Georgia county special purpose grand jury, the first of a flurry of interviews with top state elections officials that are slated for the week ahead as the district attorney’s probe into the 2020 election speeds up.
TX: Texas program to find troubled students and prevent school shootings hadn’t reached Uvalde
Created in 2019, the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium identifies distressed students and refers them to mental health services. Experts operating from a dozen universities across the state have treated more than 6,000 students identified by school staff, doctors and others—including those at high risk for hurting themselves or others.
OH: Ohio House passes transgender sports ban
The Ohio House passed a bill on the first day of Pride Month that would ban transgender girls and women from playing high school and college women’s sports.
CO: New laws establish 2 Colorado campuses to help people transition out of homelessness
Colorado will spend $95 million to create two new campuses to help people transition out of homelessness—with programs including supportive housing, behavioral health services and job training—under a pair of laws signed by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.
MO: Missouri set to pay out M in prison worker overtime case
Current and former prison workers in Missouri are set to receive a share of up to $128 million under a preliminary settlement agreement pending in a circuit court. A jury in 2018 determined former correctional officers were not properly paid for overtime hours worked.
LA: Louisiana governor pushes university faculty pay higher with veto pen
Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has used his veto power to give higher education faculty a larger pay raise than the one legislators approved last month. He restored funding by a total of $8.7 million. With the vetoes, faculty pay could increase by an average of 5%.
WA: Washington group’s ‘stop the steal’ effort suffers another defeat
A Washington state nonprofit group and its attorney have been fined more than $28,000 by the state Supreme Court for making legally meritless claims alleging widespread vote fraud.
OR: Oregon dropping AI tool used in child abuse cases
Child welfare officials in Oregon will stop using an algorithm to help decide which families are investigated by social workers, opting instead for a new process that officials say will make better, more racially equitable decisions. A separate tool in Pennsylvania that inspired Oregon officials was found to have flagged a disproportionate number of Black children for mandatory neglect investigations.
KY: Kentucky governor targets high gasoline prices by temporarily halting tax hike
Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is taking action to prevent a 2-cent-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax residents pay at the pump, which otherwise would be triggered by the recent rise in gas prices.
WY: Survey shows 65% of Wyoming teachers would quit if they could
Results of a survey available on the Wyoming Education Association website shows 65% of Wyoming teachers would quit if they could. The survey included responses from roughly 670 teachers from across the state, and many responses were from teachers who were discouraged and thinking seriously about quitting.
NV: Nevada to divest from assault weapon manufacturers, sellers in wake of mass shootings
Nevada plans to divest tens of millions of dollars away from businesses involved in the manufacture or sale of assault weapons.
HI: Environmental advocates sue Hawaii Department of Transportation
Fourteen Hawaii youths, ages 9 to 18 from five islands, sued the state Department of Transportation in federal court, alleging its operation of a transportation system that results in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions is harming their communities and violating their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.
DE: Delaware lawmakers vow to ban sale of assault weapons, increase buying age
Delaware lawmakers announced plans to pass major gun policy changes in the final weeks of the legislative session, including banning the sale of assault weapons, limiting high-capacity magazines and increasing the purchasing age for most firearms.
OK: Hundreds of bills passed the Oklahoma legislature. Just a dozen were by Democrats.
An Oklahoma Watch review found that of the more than 430 bills that made it to the Republican governor’s desk during the four-month session, just a dozen bills had a Democrat as the original lead sponsor.
NC: North Carolina Democrats want summer gas tax break; Republicans look longer-range
North Carolina Democrats are making their pitch to the Republican-controlled state legislature to offer a summer tax break. Republicans in both the Senate and House have told reporters that they would prefer longer-range tax cuts to spending one-time money.
SC: New law permits online, retail sales for South Carolina home-based food producers
A new law signed by South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster changes how the home-based food industry is regulated, potentially paving the way for an influx of new businesses.
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