Top State Stories 1/5

By: - January 5, 2023 12:00 am

NJ: New Jersey women’s health clinics to get M in state loans for expansion as abortion demand grows

Nearly two dozen New Jersey women’s health clinics will share million in zero-interest loans to expand their facilities and accommodate the growing demand for abortions from residents of other states where the procedure is illegal, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced.

WA: Washington state starts 2023 with ambitious new climate efforts

One of Washington’s biggest climate programs yet launched Jan. 1: the Clean Fuel Standard. Also kicking in this month is a law that caps greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s largest polluters. In Seattle, the city will start funding its Green New Deal for the first time this year.

MI: 5 Michigan legislators told Trump campaign they’d support false electors

When the Trump campaign called Michigan legislators in December 2020 asking if they’d support a slate of alternate electors who’d vote for the then-president — despite Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory — five reportedly said yes. Three of the legislators were reelected in 2022.

WI: Wisconsin legislature moving ahead with bail amendment

The Wisconsin legislature is moving quickly to put a constitutional amendment on the April ballot that would make it harder for criminal defendants to get out of jail on bail by requiring court officials to consider a defendant’s risk to public safety when setting bail. The proposal gained new momentum last year after a man out on bail drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six.

GA: Hundreds of Georgia state workers got unemployment benefits in error

Georgia’s inspector general — in a letter to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office — said hundreds of full-time state government workers erroneously received unemployment insurance benefits in 2020 or 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic swelled jobless claims.

AK: 2 companies’ dispute over access to Alaska’s next big oil development is now headed to court

ConocoPhillips has sued Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to block a state-issued permit that provides a competing company access to its major proposed North Slope oil development. The suit challenges a permit issued in March by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to Australia-based Santos, whose proposed Pikka project could boost the state’s total oil production by 120,000 barrels a day, or some 25%.

WY: Wyoming Freedom Caucus looks to push legislature further to the right

The Wyoming Freedom Caucus announced its official launch, signaling the group’s intention to take a more aggressive approach to promoting hardline conservative legislation, including restricting abortion services, expanding school choice and bolstering parental rights in education.

MN: Minnesota city forms permanent reparations commission

St. Paul, Minnesota, will soon appoint members to a new commission that will recommend ways for the capital city to make reparations to Black residents whose ancestors were enslaved. The city council unanimously voted to create a permanent advisory body with powers and duties laid out in city code.

IN: Indiana governor lays out big spending priorities for education, public health

Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is calling for a record-breaking increase in funding for the state’s K-12 schools as part of a billion two-year budget proposal — a roadmap of priorities for his final two years in office.

MT: Montana House’s new rules could help Democrats

An amended set of rules to govern the Montana House of Representatives will lower the number of votes required to pull tabled bills out of committee and bring them to the floor for debate from 60 to 55. These “blast motions” are procedural tools that have in the past allowed factions of the GOP to team up with minority-party Democrats to revive — and in some cases pass — key pieces of legislation. 

NM: New Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry is soaring

New Mexico’s cannabis industry capped off 2022 with a bang as recreational cannabis sales skyrocketed to a new high and medical sales picked up after months of decline. Sales figures released this week from the Cannabis Control Division show that the state did slightly more than million in recreational cannabis sales in December – a million increase from October, the last record-breaking sales month for the recreational industry.

SC: The South Carolina legislature is flush with lawyers. Could a pay raise bring new voices?

The part-time South Carolina legislature’s skew toward white-collar, often wealthier members has long raised questions about whose interests are represented in Columbia, and whether legislators’ pay, which is on the low end nationally, might be a barrier to a more varied slate of candidates.

TN: Tennessee governor’s office has cited a controversial exemption dozens of times to keep records secret

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s office has used a controversial public records exemption to deny over 60 requests from local journalists, residents and state representatives since 2019, which experts say is a blow to transparency and public accountability.

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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.