Top State Stories 3/6
AZ: Banning books to restricting bathrooms: Lawmakers push new rules for Arizona classrooms
Arizona lawmakers are seeking to reach deep into classroom operations with proposals to require the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, designate which students can use which bathrooms and, once again, limit how race and ethnicity are taught.
GA: Georgia Republicans seek to rein in local prosecutors
The Georgia measures would create a new state oversight board that could punish or remove prosecutors for loosely defined reasons, including “willful misconduct,” and sharply reduce the number of signatures required to seek a recall of a district attorney. The proposals are part of a broader push by conservative lawmakers around the country to rein in prosecutors whom they consider too liberal.
IL: Judge strikes down Illinois ban on high-powered guns
A downstate Illinois judge struck down the ban on high-power firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines that Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law earlier this year. An appeal is headed for the state Supreme Court.
MN: Voting rights restored to more than 55K Minnesotans
The voting rights of more than 55,000 formerly incarcerated Minnesotans were restored as Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed a voter expansion law. Minnesota joins 21 other states that restore voting rights for felons after release.
KY: Mile-long line for free food in Kentucky is a warning
Kentucky lawmakers voted to end the state’s health emergency last spring, by default cutting food stamp benefits created to help people weather the worst of COVID-19. Instead of a month, some get just . It foreshadowed what may be in store for millions of Americans as the federal government ended the remaining pandemic increase in monthly food stamp benefits this week.
OH: Ohio GOP tax bill that benefits wealthy could jeopardize parks, libraries and schools
Ohio Republicans are considering a bill that would cut income and property taxes at the expense of funding for schools, libraries and parks, potentially undermining institutions that local voters have overwhelmingly supported through levy approvals.
CA: After a pandemic pause, California will restart checking Medi-Cal eligibility
In April, California will resume its annual eligibility reviews for Medi-Cal. With some enrollees no longer qualifying or unaware they need to renew their coverage, 2 million to 3 million people could lose their insurance.
TX: Closing a critical loophole for gun background checks has gained bipartisan support in Texas
After a ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigation found courts in the state failed to report juvenile mental health hospitalizations to the federal firearm background check system, lawmakers from both parties are backing bills to ensure compliance with the law.
MD: Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won’t run for president
Former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, in a decision he described as the toughest of his political career, said he will not run for president in 2024 because his candidacy could help former President Donald Trump.
DE: US Supreme Court rules against Delaware in unclaimed property case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Delaware in a case centered on the state’s collection of unclaimed property as revenue. Delaware relies on revenue from unclaimed property — anything from unclaimed gift cards to abandoned bank accounts — more than any other state in the country.
KS: Kansas plan to keep low wages for disabled workers angers advocates
Kansas legislators are considering a proposal that many disability rights advocates say would encourage employers to keep paying disabled workers less than the minimum wage, bucking a national trend.
ME: Free community college program pulls students from University of Maine system
Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ free community college program is bringing more students into the two-year programs, but it’s also pulling some students away from Maine’s four-year universities. A new bill would give tuition assistance to students at the four-year universities to try to help balance the costs.
NJ: New Jersey governor asks for another year of fee waivers
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s latest “fee holiday” proposal for New Jersey would include a second year of free state parks, as well as new additions like fee waivers for teacher certification and public defenders.
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