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US: Republican AGs warn CVS, Walgreens not to mail abortion pills
A group of 20 Republican state attorneys general told Walgreens and CVS that they risk running afoul of federal and state law if they dispense the abortion drug mifepristone by mail. The move comes weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the first time allowed retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone, including by mail, provided they are certified under special safety rules for the drug.
TX: 4 of 5 Texans favor decriminalizing marijuana, poll finds
In a new University of Houston survey of 1,200 Texas adults, 4 in 5 respondents said they would support an expanded medical marijuana program. The same percentage said they would be in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession, making the offense closer to a traffic ticket. Two-thirds said they would back legalization of recreational adult use.
CA: California union demands 43% raises, rejects governor’s ‘pitiful’ contract offer
Hundreds of scientists employed by the state of California voted to reject a tentative labor contract by a margin of 59% to 41%, sending a message to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration and union leadership that the raises proposed in that offer were unacceptable.
MT: Chinese spy balloon spotted days after Montana hearing on foreign adversaries
A Chinese surveillance balloon was detected above Billings, Montana, within days of a state hearing on a bill to prevent foreign adversaries from buying up agricultural land. Montana has nuclear missile sites.
FL: Florida athletes may soon be required to submit their menstrual history to schools
A proposed draft of a physical education form in Florida could require all high school student athletes to disclose information regarding their menstrual history — a move that’s already drawing pushback from opponents who say the measure would harm students.
NC: Critics slammed North Carolina GOP’s anti-riot bill as ‘racist.’ This Black Democrat disagrees.
Republicans reintroduced a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly to impose stricter penalties for rioting, and while Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper successfully blocked it in 2021, the bill’s prospects of being enacted into law now are greater.
MN: Minnesota’s 2040 carbon-free energy bill advances to governor for signature
Minnesota will require its electricity to be carbon-free by the year 2040, the state’s most ambitious clean energy standard ever, under legislation that state lawmakers sent to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who has vowed to sign it. It will require utilities to meet escalating carbon cuts over the next 17 years.
UT: Utah Republicans block resolution to create target level for the Great Salt Lake
A resolution to create a target level for the Great Salt Lake was voted down by a Utah Senate committee despite widespread public support.
WI: Audit finds Wisconsin voting machines worked accurately in 2022 general election
A unanimous Wisconsin Elections Commission signed off on the results of an audit that found the state’s voting machines counted ballots accurately in November’s election. Clerks hand-counted more than 220,000 ballots as part of the audit, which happens after every general election.
OK: Oklahoma education officials forced to scramble to explain spending on diversity
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education scrambled hundreds of employees to compile a 10-year review of its spending history on and current materials used for diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, programs at the urgent request of the governor’s secretary of education and newly elected state superintendent.
WV: Bill banning gender-affirming care for minors advances in West Virginia legislature
The West Virginia House of Delegates advanced legislation to ban gender-affirming care for minors hours after dozens of people spoke against the bill at a public hearing. The bill would prohibit West Virginia doctors from providing gender-affirmation surgery or medications to anyone under the age of 18, even if they have parental consent.
MS: Mississippi governor admitted his refusal to support Medicaid expansion for political reasons, former chancellor says
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said in a private conversation that expanding Medicaid to people working low-wage jobs would be in the best interest of the state, but that he refuses to support the policy for political reasons, a former chancellor of the University of Mississippi said. The governor immediately labeled the assertion a lie.
WA: Washington’s low-income tax credit, established in 2008, available for first time
Up to $1,200 is now available for hundreds of thousands of working Washingtom families earning low incomes, thanks to a 2008 law that — 15 years later — is finally funded for the first time. The money comes from the Working Families Tax Credit, a state program intended to provide a modest cash boost to workers near the bottom of the economic ladder who, in Washington, pay a far greater portion of their income in state taxes than the wealthy do.
IL: Illinois top court endorses 5-year window for biometric privacy claims
The Illinois Supreme Court said workers and consumers have five years to sue for violations of the state’s unique biometric privacy law, rejecting a much narrower window pushed by business groups.
WY: Wyoming Senate passes bill to ban gender-affirming treatment
Wyoming is inching closer to criminalizing gender-affirming treatment for minors. A Senate bill cleared a third reading in a 22-9 vote and is now headed to the House. The bill would define the administration of gender-affirming treatment to a minor — including surgery and hormone treatments — as child abuse. The consent of the minor or parents wouldn’t be able to override that.
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