Top State Stories 2/10

By: - February 10, 2023 12:00 am

TX: Texas sues federal government over new rule reclassifying some pistols as short-barreled rifles

Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden, claiming that an amended rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives violates Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

TN:Tennessee GOP seeks to use Medicaid to influence insurance companies on trans health care

Tennessee Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton is backing legislation that would block TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, and its contracted insurance companies from covering or reimbursing any gender transition health care treatments.

AR: Arkansas House panel advances bill requiring employers who cover abortion to provide paid maternity leave

An Arkansas House panel approved a bill that would require employers with 50 or more workers who cover abortion expenses for their employees to also provide 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

VT: Vermont House advances abortion and gender-affirming care ‘shield law’ in preliminary vote

The Vermont House has advanced a bill that aims to legally protect out-of-state patients who come to the state to receive reproductive health care and safeguard doctors who provide such care.

MO: Missouri Republicans block proposed ban on kids carrying guns in public

The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives rejected a proposal that would have banned children from being able to openly carry firearms on public land without adult supervision.

OH: Ohio voters could see abortion issue on ballot in 2023

Two separate groups are working to enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution, and they have been collaborating.

FL: College Board disputes Florida’s statements on AP African American studies

In a letter to the Florida Department of Education, the company that publishes Advanced Placement courses took issue with the department’s statements that the course violates Florida law and that portions of it are “historically fictional.”

GA: Georgia advances wage hikes for caregivers amid ‘workforce crisis’

Georgia officials are moving ahead with a an hour wage increase for workers who care for people with disabilities, in a push to slow its hemorrhaging workforce for this vulnerable population. The workers are now paid about .63 an hour through government funds, and the state is proposing a boost to about .18 an hour, based on recommendations from an outside firm.

UT: Utah Senate fires Democratic staffer who stood with legislative interns who supported transgender rights

The Republican-controlled Utah Senate fired a legislative staffer assigned to the chamber’s six Democrats. No reason was given, the now-former staffer said, but it appears the dismissal was related to an incident during floor debate on a GOP-backed bill that banned gender-affirming health care for transgender minors.

MT: Montana reports show how Medicaid has affected state health

It’s hard to find a state that has made Medicaid expansion more successful than Montana, two new reports suggest. Nearly 300,000 Montanans have health insurance, including more than a third who would likely be uninsured today if expansion hadn’t happened.

MN: Community leaders press Minnesota lawmakers to address racial disparities

Minnesota has the most diverse legislature in state history, more surplus money than ever and no shortage of plans to tackle racial inequities.

OK: Oklahoma bill would allow students to wear tribal regalia at school

A bill that would prevent Oklahoma schools from banning tribal regalia gained initial approval from the Senate Education committee, the first step before it can advance to a full vote on the Senate floor.

SD: South Dakota ban on gender-affirming care for transgender children heads to governor’s desk

The South Dakota Senate voted to limit several forms of gender-affirming health care for transgender children, including banning puberty blockers and hormone treatment. The highly controversial bill now heads to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk for final approval.

IN: Indiana to lift barriers for blind voters

Indiana is ushering in changes to its absentee voting system so people with visual challenges face fewer barriers to the ballot. The changes come as part of a historic settlement marking the end of a 2020 lawsuit.

SC: South Carolina House advances bill seeking voters’ approval to send tax dollars to private schools

South Carolina voters could be asked in 2024 whether taxpayer dollars should flow directly to private schools.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.