Top State Stories 2/7
KS: Kansas AG says abortion pill effort violates state law, despite court stay
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said in a letter to Walgreens executives that state law forbids the company’s plans to offer the abortion pill mifepristone through the mail. The law Kobach cited, however, was blocked by the Kansas Court of Appeals in November.
MA: Massachusetts governor opposes giving teachers right to strike
Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey said in an interview she is against legalizing teacher strikes in the state. Massachusetts is one of 37 states in the nation where teacher strikes are illegal — something the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which is the state’s largest teachers union and which endorsed Healey in last year’s election, is trying to change.
AZ: GOP lawmakers are pushing controversial proposals despite veto promises from governor
For the third year in a row, Republican lawmakers in Arizona are considering a controversial bill to limit how race and ethnicity are taught in the public schools.
NJ: New Jersey temp workers to get more rights
Temporary workers in New Jersey will soon receive sweeping new protections and rights. The new law caps a years-long journey for labor and immigration advocates.
CA: California drops plan for school vaccine requirement
The latest sign that California is easing out of the pandemic and into the endemic phase: The state has dropped its plan to require the COVID-19 vaccination for K-12 students as the state of emergency comes to an end Feb. 28, after nearly three years.
HI: Hawaii’s affordable housing law sparks battles at the Capitol
As Democratic Gov. Josh Green embarks on a stated mission to foster development of new homes for Hawaii residents, a battle is brewing at the state Capitol that could have a dramatic impact on where new housing is built across the islands.
GA: Bill aims to stop Georgia scammers from getting older adults’ money
Older Georgians would gain protections from scams under a bill that aims to safeguard investments before they’re gone, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.
ME: Lobbying effort toward making Maine a paid family leave state
Maine would become the 12th state to approve a paid family and medical leave benefit for workers statewide if a proposal clears the state House and Senate and is signed into law by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.
UT: LGBTQ advocates, lawmaker reach compromise on bill to update Utah’s ban on conversion therapy
Lawmakers and LGBTQ advocates reached a compromise on a bill addressing conversion therapy in Utah, defusing what could be a contentious debate on the issue.
TX: Texas sports betting advocates push narrower bill
Texas lawmakers will consider a bill that would allow voters to decide in a November election whether they want to legalize “mobile sports betting,” or wagering on games online.
FL: GOP lawmakers push for Florida to take control of Disney’s special tax district
Florida Republicans are backing a measure that would rename the Reedy Creek Improvement District that has been controlled by Disney World in Central Florida for more than 55 years and replace it with a new board selected exclusively by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has clashed with Disney over LGBTQ issues.
IN: Indiana lawmakers try to lower hospital prices
Indiana lawmakers are pursuing measures to lower health care costs. Their ideas include imposing penalties if hospitals don’t bring prices in line with national averages.
NC: ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ clears final hurdle for floor vote in North Carolina Senate
The Parents’ Bill of Rights cleared a final hurdle, setting up a floor vote for the controversial legislation that would ban topics like gender identity and sexuality from being taught in most elementary school classrooms in North Carolina, and potentially force teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents.
MT: Montana bill that would ban diversity training gets first hearing
A bill that would prohibit state departments from requiring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training — similar to Florida’s “Stop WOKE” legislation — would be bad for Montana students and could lead to litigation, as it did in Florida, opponents said in a hearing.
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