By: - March 1, 2023 12:00 am

IN: Indiana Senate advances bill to criminalize school books

The Indiana Senate approved a bill that would open teachers and school librarians to criminal prosecution over the content of books and other educational materials. It now goes to the state House for consideration. Should it pass, school employees could be charged with a Level 6 felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 2.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

PA: First woman elected speaker of Pennsylvania House

Pennsylvania lawmakers elected Democratic state Rep. Joanna McClinton as the first woman to become House speaker, ending months of turmoil in the chamber after state Rep. Mark Rozzi resigned from the top job. McClinton is the second Black lawmaker to lead the chamber.

WA: Food insecurity persists in Washington state, just as emergency benefits expire

Temporary Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, known as SNAP, are set to expire in Washington state. A research team found that food insecurity persists at high levels throughout the state, particularly among rural residents, residents of color, those with children and renters.

MS: Surgeries, hormone treatments now banned for young transgender people in Mississippi

With Republican legislators, activists and one of the most notable anti-transgender media personalities looking on, Mississippi GOP Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law that bans gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18.

AR: Arkansas committee advances bill to permit Capitol monument to ‘unborn children aborted’

The Arkansas Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a bill that would require the secretary of state to permit and arrange the placement on the state Capitol grounds of a suitable monument commemorating “unborn children aborted” in the period between the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 and the court’s reversal of that decision last year.

KY: Kentucky falls short on mental health care for kids in lockup. This bill might change that.

The Kentucky House approved a rewritten bill so that youths held in the state’s juvenile detention centers could have access to mental health care and addiction treatment.

WV: West Virginia House passes bill saying state must find a way to dispose of firefighting foam

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would require the state to find a method to dispose of used firefighting foams that have been among the largest sources of pollution of PFAS — a class of chemicals linked to increased cancer risk.

NC: Bipartisan North Carolina lawmakers propose granting nurses autonomy

A bipartisan group of North Carolina lawmakers introduced a proposal that would allow advanced practice nurses who meet educational and clinical practice requirements to diagnose illnesses, administer anesthetic and prescribe medicine without physician supervision. This would expand access to affordable health care in the state, bill sponsors said.

NJ: New Jersey budget proposal has tax relief plus money for pensions and schools

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a $53.1 billion state budget that would lift government spending even as tax revenue growth begins to show signs of slowing.

AK: Alaska to provide .7M to help with food stamp backlog need

Funding is being directed to help stock Alaska food pantries as part of a broader effort to address a state backlog in processing food stamp benefits. Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy redirected about $1.7 million previously earmarked for food security efforts to help address the current need

MI: Michigan communities will share M of recreational marijuana tax revenue
Michigan communities that allow recreational marijuana sales within their borders will share $59.5 million in tax revenue for the 2022 fiscal year, the state Department of Treasury said. The 224 municipalities and counties that have recreational marijuana dispensaries or microbusinesses will each receive about $52,000 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness.

MO: Missouri bill to extend postpartum Medicaid benefits advances to House floor

The expansion of Medicaid benefits for postpartum women was unanimously approved by a Missouri House committee, moving it to the House floor. Current law limits Medicaid benefits for postpartum women to 60 days after pregnancy ends. The bill by GOP state Rep. Bishop Davidson would extend the timeline of full Medicaid benefits to one year following the end of pregnancy.

CT: Connecticut considers penalizing nursing homes with high vacancies

A new bill proposed by the Connecticut Department of Social Services would financially penalize nursing homes that don’t have more than 90% of their beds filled over a 12-month period. About 60% of the state’s nursing homes have occupancy levels below 90% as of Feb. 12, according to data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

VT: Vermont legislators look to ban child marriage, joining other states this session

A new bill would move the legal age for all marriages in Vermont to 18 years old, the age of consent, mirroring moves in other state legislatures this year to ban child marriage. Under existing law, minors 16 years of age and older can legally marry in Vermont with the written consent of one parent.

SC South Carolina House GOP approves asking voters to remove ban on taxes directly aiding private schools

Republicans in the South Carolina House of Representatives narrowly approved asking voters in 2024 whether to repeal the state constitution’s ban on taxpayer money flowing 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.