By: - December 20, 2022 12:00 am

LA: Louisiana governor to ask legislators for rape, incest exceptions to abortion ban 

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he will ask legislators to add exceptions for rape and incest to Louisiana’s abortion ban. He also said some people were denied abortion access in Louisiana when they probably shouldn’t have been but claimed the post-Roe transition has been relatively smooth.

WA: Washington governor, AG renew push for assault weapons ban
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats, are calling on lawmakers to ban assault-style semiautomatic rifles this session. They announced legislation that would address assault weapons, permits to purchase guns and liability for businesses that sell guns.

WV: West Virginia governor says current cybersecurity methods already address TikTok threats

West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice put the brakes on fellow Republicans’ efforts to ban TikTok on state-issued devices, saying the state’s current cybersecurity measures already block the social media app on state networks.

MI: Michigan educators, experts say 3rd grade reading law provisions are ‘inequitable’
Michigan’s Read by Grade 3 law aims to improve low literacy rates by requiring schools to identify struggling students and allowing them to be retained. While most eligible third grade students were not held back, Black students were more likely to be retained than their White classmates.

CA: ‘Magic mushrooms’ would be decriminalized in California under new bill

The possession and personal use of certain psychedelic drugs such as “magic mushrooms” and ayahuasca would be decriminalized in California under a bill backed by mental health professionals and veterans groups.

FL: Florida medical marijuana rules for new businesses released after years of delay 

The rules, outlining the application process for companies seeking a medical marijuana treatment center license, could open up the Florida industry to new applicants for the first time since 2015.

SD: South Dakota drag show leads to suggested suspension of children attending university events

South Dakota’s Board of Regents asked university presidents to place a moratorium on minors’ attendance at any drag events sponsored by student organizations on campus while the board meets this week to discuss the issue. The request came after a drag show at South Dakota State University.

TN: Black farmers in Tennessee take on Tyson Foods

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of Black Tennessee farmers, alleging the U.S. Department of Agriculture is illegally subsidizing Tyson chicken farms. Last year, Tyson opened a third large-scale Tennessee plant, which also received  million in taxpayer incentives from the administration of Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

NV: Judge blocks Nevada Pardons Board discussion of commuting death sentences

A Carson City judge blocked Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s plan for a state board to consider reducing all Nevada death sentences to life without parole, saying the last-minute proposal did not offer enough advance notice to crime victims.

MD: Catholic Church makes some concessions on Maryland abuse legislation

The Catholic church announced it will support Maryland legislation to erase the statute of limitations for future victims of priest sexual abuse to sue the church. The church, however, isn’t budging in its longstanding opposition to allowing lawsuits from victims now older than 38 who are currently unable to sue.

WY: Wyoming lawmakers will again look at election regulation this year
In the upcoming legislative session, Wyoming lawmakers will again take up a slate of bills that aim to revamp elections and campaigns. Bills would hone regulations around federal political action committees, create a ranked choice voting pilot project and codify security measures around election equipment.

TX: Oyster harvesters hit hard as Texas closes reefs for conservation and public health

Oyster harvesters on the Texas coast are facing twin threats to their way of life: The state shut down reefs to prevent overfishing and following recent reports of illness after people ate Texas oysters.

OR: Oregon audit calls for accountability, attention for struggling community colleges
Oregon’s leaders must “focus more urgently” on student outcomes and accountability at the state’s 17 community colleges as the schools struggle with financial stability amid enrollment declines exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an audit released by the secretary of state’s office.

MO: Local governments eye sales tax windfall from legal marijuana sales in Missouri 

Cities and counties across Missouri are looking to cash in on the state’s recent vote to legalize recreational marijuana before adult-use sales begin. The voter-approved amendment allows local governments to impose a 3% cannabis tax on sales, in addition to a 6% state marijuana tax and regular sales taxes.

MT: Montana workplace-related fatalities rise after drop during pandemic

Montana counted 40 fatal work-related injuries in 2021, the highest number since at least 2012 and a return to the pre-pandemic level, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.