Top State Stories 2/13
FL: Florida sports board removes menstrual questions for high school athletes, but adds ‘sex at birth’
The Florida High School Athletic Association walked back a controversial proposal to require female high school athletes to disclose information regarding their menstrual history, following scathing criticism from students, parents, physicians, advocacy organizations and some lawmakers. A new question regarding ‘sex assigned at birth’ was quietly approved.
TX: Texas governor supports legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in college sports
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said he would back legislation banning transgender student athletes at Texas colleges and universities from competing on teams that align with their gender identity. Texas lawmakers in 2021 approved legislation that restricted transgender student athletes from playing on K-12 school sports teams that align with their gender identity.
WY: A sweeping abortion bill could expand legislative power in Wyoming
The potential implications and assertions of Wyoming’s “Life is a Human Right” bill go beyond abortion. The measure attempts to nudge legislative power into spaces that have been historically designated to the judicial branch and brings into question how much authority the legislature can claim as one of the three co-equal branches of government.
CO: As Colorado becomes abortion haven, advocates target crisis pregnancy centers
Crisis pregnancy centers represent contested outposts in the escalating fight over abortion access in Colorado and the United States. The facilities — known as crisis pregnancy centers — are staunchly anti-abortion and offer limited medical services and family counseling, with the intent of steering women away from terminating their pregnancies. Critics say the organizations use deceptive advertising and promote the use of unproven medical treatments.
MD: Maryland lawmakers float 4-day workweek
The buzzy but modest bill would create a five-year experiment with a four-day workweek, including ,000 in annual tax credits for Maryland businesses in exchange for shortening their hours.
ID: Idaho AG: No need to keep protecting ER doctors from abortion prosecutions
In a legal brief regarding Idaho’s abortion ban, which is on hold due to an injunction, Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador’s office argues that the court held that ectopic and other non-viable pregnancies do not fall within the definition of abortion that is outlined in the Idaho Code.
IL: Illinois grapples with rise in sports gambling problems as bets hit B a month
Wagers placed with Illinois’ sports gambling industry soared in 2022, with gamblers betting nearly billion and casinos raking in million in revenue from gamblers’ aggregate losses. But the growing stakes go beyond money: Three years into legalization, sports gambling problems also are on the rise.
OH: Ohio may require kids to get parental consent to use TikTok, Facebook
Part of Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s two-year budget proposal would require social media companies to get parental consent before allowing kids under age 16 to use their platforms. If parents don’t OK the terms of service, the companies would have to bar the kids from their apps.
VT: Vermont legislators aim to strengthen data privacy
A Vermont bill would give residents the option to request that their data not be tracked by data brokers and would create a registry of Vermonters who do not allow their data to be tracked. It also would allow Vermonters to request deletion of any data that had already been collected.
MI: Michigan civil rights department would expand under governor’s budget
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, often overlooked in state budget discussions, would get more money and 35% more staffing in Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2024 recommended budget, as it works to clear a lengthy backlog of discrimination complaints.
OK: Oklahoma lawmakers file 40 anti-LGBTQ bills
Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced 40 bills that would limit LGBTQ Oklahomans’ health care access, inclusion in schools and options for self-expression this legislative session, an Oklahoma Watch analysis shows.
MT: Montana considers allowing physician assistants to practice independently
As Montana grapples with a health care provider shortage, a state lawmaker has proposed giving physician assistants more independence to practice unsupervised. Many physicians oppose the measure.
WI: A Wisconsin tribe blocked roads on its reservation. Now, elected leaders are pressing for a solution.
Some Wisconsin residents had access to and from their homes blocked by an order of the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council. The closures were the culmination of failed negotiations over right-of-way easements for the roads, which expired in 2010.
MN: Major new study highlights the deadly toll of being homeless in Minnesota
A major new study shows that Minnesotans experiencing homelessness die at three times the rate of other Minnesotans, and substance use accounts for about a third of their deaths. The study, released by the state Department of Health, found 20-year-olds experiencing homelessness in Minnesota have the same likelihood of dying as 50-year-olds in the general population.
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