Top State Stories 3/2

By: - March 2, 2023 12:00 am

US: New state bills would restrict transgender health care for adults

Republican lawmakers in at least five states have introduced legislation that would limit gender-affirming care for adults. Until this year, most proposed restrictions on transition-related care targeted people under 18. Some of the new measures would prohibit it for individuals up to age 21, while others would block Medicaid from covering for it for all ages.

WY: Wyoming bill banning medication abortions likely to become law
A Wyoming bill that outlaws medication abortions is likely to make it into law after House legislators gave it final approval. The bill would make it illegal to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use medications for the purpose of performing an abortion.

WV: West Virginia governor signs campus carry bill into law

Carrying a concealed firearm will soon become permissible at all West Virginia institutions of higher learning for those with a concealed carry permit after GOP Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law. Licensed people will be able to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on campuses, but colleges retain authority to regulate the practice in several areas.

ID: Idaho Republicans reject bill opening libraries to lawsuits

An Idaho legislative committee rejected a bill that would have made schools and libraries liable to lawsuits for distributing material deemed “harmful” to children. The committee also delayed action on another bill, supported by a librarian trade group, that would direct library oversight boards to create policies clearly labeling shelves and material suitable for children.

NJ, NY: US Supreme Court seems to favor New Jersey in dispute with New York

Based on comments during oral arguments, the U.S. Supreme Court seemed ready to allow New Jersey to withdraw from a commission the state created decades ago with New York to combat the mob’s influence at their joint port.

SD: South Dakota lawmakers advance bill against punishing women for abortions

A South Dakota bill that would ensure pregnant women not be held criminally liable for an unlawful abortion moved out of a state Senate committee unanimously. Proponents include Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and South Dakota Right to Life, who say women who seek abortions are victims themselves.

SC: South Carolina House passes bail overhaul

The South Carolina House of Representatives passed changes to the state’s bail bond system that supporters say will make it harder for defendants to commit crimes while awaiting trial — a condition Republicans repeatedly dubbed “the revolving door.”

MT: Missouri law requiring parental consent before abortion struck down

A Lewis and Clark County District Court judge has permanently struck down a law that would require parents to give permission if their minor child wants an abortion, saying that law runs contrary to the Montana Constitution and the state’s landmark abortion decision, Armstrong v. State of Montana.

CT: Connecticut still prosecuting marijuana cases despite legalization

Connecticut’s top prosecutor told lawmakers that the state is still pursuing criminal action against people previously charged for possession of marijuana, despite a law passed almost two years ago that legalized the adult use and recreational sale of cannabis. 

AZ: Arizona lawmakers want to eliminate juvenile court fees

After multiple tries, advocates hope Arizona lawmakers will finally send a bill to the governor to eliminate juvenile court fees. If passed, Arizona would join 10 other states that have significantly reduced or eliminated juvenile court fees.

ME: Maine school librarians fight bill to ban ‘obscene’ books

School librarians are joining educators and free speech advocates to fight a proposal in the Maine legislature that could ban schools from providing students with books and other educational materials considered obscene. Opponents say the definition of obscene is murky and that the bill would criminalize educators.

TN: Tennessee pushes to define ‘sex,’ could risk federal funding

Tennessee Republican lawmakers advanced legislation that would prevent transgender people from changing their driver’s licenses and birth certificates, a move that officials warn could cost the state millions in federal funding.

TX: Texas bill to stop Chinese citizens from buying state land gets major revision

Chinese natives with green cards or those fleeing the Communist nation would be allowed to buy property in Texas under major revisions to controversial legislation that originally aimed to ban all Chinese citizens from buying any land in the state.

DC: District of Columbia’s long-term finances at risk as downtown stays sluggish

While sales tax revenue is increasing and the District of Columbia’s tourism industry is recovering, the city is still reeling from the impact of remote work. Tax revenue from large office buildings and commercial properties — a major contributor to the city’s coffers — declined significantly in the past fiscal year.

FL: Florida wants child rapists sentenced to die. US Supreme Court has ruled otherwise.

Acting on a proposal from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida lawmakers filed legislation that would allow the death penalty for adults who sexually abuse children younger than 12. The bills would put Florida at odds with U.S. Supreme Court precedent saying that capital punishment can only be applied in the case of murder.

UT: Utah bill would raise major barriers to sue for asbestos injuries

A Utah Republican state representative said his bill was a common-sense approach to making sure asbestos lawsuits only truly target the guilty. The bill would require medical proof an individual had been sickened by exposure before a lawsuit could officially be filed.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

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.