Top State Stories 1/11
AL: Women can be prosecuted for taking abortion pills, says Alabama AG
One week after the federal government made it easier to get abortion pills, Alabama Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall said that women in the state who use those pills to end pregnancies could be prosecuted.
IL: Illinois governor signs measure banning military style firearms
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a comprehensive measure that supporters called one of the nation’s toughest bans on military style firearms, immediately prohibiting their sale and giving current owners until Jan. 1 to register gun serial numbers with Illinois State Police.
NY: New York education officials push individualized education plans for all
The New York State Education Department is piloting a program in 29 school districts to vastly improve results for students at a time when data shows them far behind because of the pandemic. Grades, attendance and discipline all show that the situation has worsened.
CA: California governor proposes cuts to climate change programs amid cloudy economic outlook
Facing a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to reduce investments in the state’s move to zero-emission vehicles, make cuts to other climate change programs and delay funding for 20,000 new child care slots as California transitions from a time of economic surplus to shortage.
HI: Hawaii governor pledges M to fight climate change
Democratic Gov. Josh Green kicked off Hawaii’s Climate Action Week pledging to dedicate $100 million of the state’s $1.9 billion budget surplus to address climate change.
AR: Arkansas governor issues flurry of executive orders to trim government, halt ‘indoctrination’
Newly sworn-in Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a series of executive orders, including efforts aimed at freezing new government hiring, halting new government regulation and “preventing the political indoctrination of Arkansas school children.”
NJ: Governor vows help on New Jersey property taxes, car thefts, Shore businesses in State of the State speech
Proclaiming to be “building the next New Jersey,” Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy used his fifth State of the State address to urge more people to apply for property tax relief and vowed to assist Jersey Shore businesses, fight opioid addiction, reduce car thefts and reform liquor license laws.
TX: Texas universities propose 2-year tuition freeze in exchange for nearly B in additional state funding
The leaders of the six biggest university systems in Texas are seeking the money to fund instruction, university operations and employee health insurance and to cover a free tuition program for veterans and their children.
SD: South Dakota law makes it easier to sell homemade food
A new law that makes it easier for people to sell homemade foods directly to consumers in South Dakota could expand business opportunities for small producers and increase product offerings at homes, farmers markets, fairs and roadside stands.
IN: Indiana Senate Republicans want to eliminate state income tax
Indiana’s Senate Republicans want to undertake a two-year process to eventually eliminate the state’s personal income tax.
IA: Iowa governor proposes school choice scholarships for every family
Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds called on the legislature to make available to every Iowa student a taxpayer-funded scholarship that their families can use to pay for private school. Reynolds called out the criticism and “hysteria” she endured for her decision to reopen public schools during the height of the coronavirus pandemic — a move that ultimately endeared her to large swaths of Iowa Republicans — and likened it to the debate over her school choice agenda.
MA: Massachusetts leaders eye free community college for some
Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Maura Healy has proposed a program called MassReconnect — modeled by Michigan and Tennessee — that would allow residents 25 and over who haven’t yet gotten a college degree to pursue a community college certificate or degree for free (tuition, fees and even textbooks would be fully covered).
AK: Alaska Army suicides drop as leaders push programs to improve soldiers’ lives
Suicides among Alaska Army soldiers dropped sharply last year, as leaders push mental health programs and move to improve both pay and facilities for military serving on the Last Frontier.
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