Top State Stories 1/31
US: California is the lone holdout as 6 other states agree to Colorado River cuts
Six Western states that rely on water from the Colorado River have agreed on a model to dramatically cut their use, months after the federal government called for action and an initial deadline passed. California — with the largest allocation of water from the river — is the lone holdout.
TX: Texas lobbying laws keep the public in the dark
Texas lobbyists have spent more than million on freebies for elected officials, their staffers, families and friends since 2005. But they rarely disclose the recipient of that largesse. In 2021, lobbyists doled out nearly million on meals alone but reported who was across the table less than 2% of the time, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of lobbying data.
UT: Utah lawmakers urged to pass domestic violence bill
Sitting next to Utah lawmakers, the parents of the late Gabby Petito spoke in support of a bill gaining traction in the legislature that they say could have helped their daughter escape her abusive and ultimately fatal relationship. The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would change the way law enforcement interacts with victims of intimate partner violence.
NJ: Judge blocks some New Jersey gun restrictions
A federal judge ruled that New Jersey cannot enforce its new concealed carry gun restrictions at parks, beaches, recreation facilities and casinos, dealing a setback with efforts by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to limit guns in public places.
DE: Long-awaited Delaware pallet shelter village welcomes first residents
Residents began moving into a new pallet shelter village, setting in motion an experiment in transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness in Sussex County, Delaware. A majority of the village’s more than 40 residents come from an encampment a half-mile down the railroad tracks from the village; many have been neighbors for months or years.
AK: Alaska health officials, providers work on strategies for responding to tuberculosis surge
Alaska’s increase in tuberculosis is attributed to screening and treatment lapses by a health care system that has been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In other ways, though, the increase in tuberculosis has some uniquely Alaska characteristics, including the deep reservoir of latent infections within the Native population that was devastated generations ago.
AL: Hundreds of prison releases delayed after Alabama DOC fails to notify victims
The expected early release this week of hundreds from Alabama prisons will be delayed until the Alabama Department of Corrections notifies the victims associated with the prisoners’ offenses, attorneys for the state agreed in a Montgomery County court hearing.
FL: Florida bill would remove permit, training requirements for concealed gun carry
Florida Republican House Speaker Paul Renner is pushing a measure that would allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit and without training, saying he wants to remove the “government permission slip.”
WA: Washington governor wants to borrow B to build housing and shelter
It’s the centerpiece of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2023-25 budget proposal: a plan to borrow billion to fund an aggressive push to build affordable housing and shelters in Washington state. A few weeks into the 2023 legislative session, it’s not clear whether Inslee’s proposal will get the necessary support from lawmakers to pass.
CT: Connecticut governor unveils M tax cut for working families with low incomes
Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled plans to cut state income taxes for more than 211,000 working families with low incomes by an average of over the next year. The proposal to bolster the state Earned Income Tax Credit is aimed at families that generally will earn between ,000 and ,500 in 2023.
CA: California bill could force big corporations to disclose carbon footprints
Companies that generate a billion dollars or more a year doing business in California would be required to publicly release their carbon emissions data under a bill backed by environmental and sustainable business groups.
MT: Montana bill would let doctors opt out of abortion, medically assisted suicide, gender-affirmation surgery
Opponents of the proposed Montana legislation said that medical staff already have the ability to refuse participation in procedures and that the bill would be both a violation of federal law and a violation of patients’ interests.
SD: South Dakota Senate details case against suspended senator
South Dakota Republican Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller was suspended after accusations that she ordered a staff member to stop vaccinating her child, saying the child “will die” from vaccines. The lawmaker also criticized the staffer for using baby formula. A Senate committee is investigating the complaint.
MN: Minnesota appeals court upholds ‘clean cars’ plan after dealership pushback
The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the state’s “clean cars” plan, after a challenge by the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association. The rules — modeled after regulations in California — are intended to both increase the number of electric vehicles for sale in Minnesota and reduce the emissions from non-EVs.
KY: Kentucky’s secretary of state still works for outside clients, including 2020 election denier
Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams is still practicing election law for out-of-state clients, including the U.S. Senate campaign of an attorney involved in former President Donald Trump’s attempt to undermine the 2020 presidential election.
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