Top State Stories 1/19
NY: US Supreme Court declines to block New York gun restrictions
The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge by a group of New York firearms dealers to numerous Democratic-backed measures adopted by the state last year regulating gun purchases. The justices denied a request by the dealers to block the laws, some of which imposed gun safety requirements on retailers, while their appeal of a lower court’s decision in favor of New York proceeds.
FL: New state rules tell Florida school librarians to ‘err on side of caution’ when picking books
Florida’s school librarians face new scrutiny, and even the threat of criminal prosecution, under a new adopted state rule that urges them to “err on the side of caution” when selecting books for their campuses.
WA: Washington has 530 bridges in ‘poor’ condition — and limited repair money
Public inspection data shows about 530 of Washington’s bridges are classified in “poor” condition. But even with additional money from the .2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on top of what the state already invests each year, officials say it still won’t be enough to address all of Washington’s bridges rated in poor condition.
NJ: Children of immigrants without legal status can now get New Jersey health coverage
Children of immigrants lacking permanent legal status can now receive health care coverage from New Jersey’s Medicaid program, under an million expansion touted by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.
CT: Connecticut governor proposes tax cut for small and mid-sized businesses
Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled a proposal to cut taxes on more than 120,000 small and mid-sized businesses, saving them collectively as much as million annually starting in 2024.
MO: Moms and babies in Missouri would get extended insurance coverage under Senate plan
Missouri could extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers and their babies under bipartisan legislation debated in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, which heard from supporters and opponents. The plan would extend coverage for mothers with low incomes from the current 60 days after giving birth to 12 months.
IL: Gun lobby, stores file federal challenge to Illinois semi-automatic rifle ban
The Illinois State Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s newly enacted ban on semi-automatic rifles, saying the week-old law violates the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
SC: South Carolina bill seeks to stop scammers from preying on vulnerable who win large settlements
Legislation advancing in the South Carolina Senate seeks to rein in companies that take advantage of South Carolinians who win lawsuits that provide annuities called structured settlements.
OK: Oklahoma AG seeks more time between executions, citing ‘unsustainable’ pace
New Oklahoma Attorney General Genter Drummond wants to slow the pace of lethal injections as the state is set to execute nearly one person each month through the end of the year. The Republican asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to reschedule set executions, so they are 60 days apart rather than about 30 days apart.
UT: Utah water policy ‘playing catch up when it should be leading the pack,’ according to new report
Utah has made strides in improving its wasteful water practices in recent years, but as a new report by a collection of water providers, industries and conservation groups shows, it still has a long way to go.
TX: Texas legislature’s state budget proposals leave more than B up for grabs
Texas House and Senate leaders released their respective chambers’ preliminary state budget bills, with each proposing to shell out an unprecedented .1 billion in general revenue at a time when the state is awash in more cash than the state constitution will allow lawmakers to spend.
DE: Delaware public health officials offer grim update on overdose figures
State public health officials and addiction treatment providers said Delaware likely set a record for overdose deaths in 2022, surpassing the previous record of 515 deaths set in 2021. They also discussed the impacts of xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer used as an additive in other substances, especially in fentanyl, that is increasingly ubiquitous in Delaware’s drug supply.
OH: Automated passenger vehicles, semis to be tested on rural Ohio roadways
Drivers may see more automated vehicles on rural roads in southeast and central Ohio, where smart vehicle technologies testing will occur. The rural testing will help companies learn about the technologies when vehicles navigate curves, hills and in and out of shaded areas, according to the state Department of Transportation’s initiative.
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