AR: Arkansas House sends public school bathroom bill to governor’s desk
Arkansas House Republicans approved a bill that would limit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice at public schools. Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ spokesperson said earlier this week that Sanders “believes that schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda” and will sign legislation that focuses on protecting and educating children, not indoctrinating them.
OH: Overhaul of Ohio colleges targets diversity mandates, China and requires U.S. history class
Changes to classroom rules aimed at bias, an end to diversity training mandates, a ban on partnerships with Chinese universities and mandatory American history courses are all inside a far-reaching bill that would change how students learn and professors teach at Ohio’s 14 public universities and 23 colleges.
AK: Conservation groups sue to block Biden-approved Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope
Six conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the federal government a day after the Biden administration approved the Willow project — the billion ConocoPhilips oil development located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The lawsuit claims federal agencies violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving Willow because of its potential effect on sensitive Arctic environments, subsistence users and climate change.
WA: Limiting PFAS could be expensive for Washington water plants
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate “forever chemicals” in drinking water could pose steep cleanup costs for public water systems across Washington state. More than 50 water systems in the state have recorded levels of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, above the proposed limit. The substances’ removal is an expensive undertaking that involves the installation of large filtration systems.
PA: Pennsylvania governor touts plan to give tax breaks to teachers
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro said he wants to give newly certified teachers tax breaks of up to ,500 annually for three years to make the profession more appealing. He also wants to add million to the state’s basic education formula, with million for mental health services and million for school building fixes.
CA: California salmon season is canceled for the first time since 2009
Federal regulators overseeing West Coast fisheries have effectively called off California’s entire 2023 ocean salmon fishing season, aiming to protect fish populations that have dwindled during the ongoing drought.
NV: Under new administration, Nevada plans for ‘aggressive’ approach to economic development
Amid the national transition to more renewable sources of energy, Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s economic development office has released an updated five-year strategic plan focused on expanding Nevada’s electric vehicle production, technological innovation and new infrastructure.
UT: Lawmakers spend ,000 to recruit out-of-state hunters for Utah’s war on wolves
A Kansas-based company will soon be spending ,000 of Utah taxpayer money to educate Midwestern hunters on the alleged evils of protecting the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
WI: Wisconsin Republicans announce abortion exceptions bill
Republican lawmakers unveiled a bill that would add rape and incest exceptions to Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban and clarify language about medical exceptions. The announcement of the bill, which is unlikely to become law, comes just three weeks before the consequential election for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. Democrats said they would not support the measure, and the Senate’s Republican leader also threw cold water on the proposal.
MN: Farmers, gas stations sue Minnesota governor over clean cars rule
Though they have yet to take effect, Minnesota’s “clean cars” standards to limit climate pollution from tailpipes are under legal assault. A coalition of soybean farmers, gas stations, convenience stores and ethanol industry players has sued Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and state pollution regulators in federal court, saying the requirements violate federal law and will damage their businesses.
TN: Tennessee child advocates raise alarm as GOP moves to dissolve child advocacy commission
Multiple Tennessee child advocacy experts say they are alarmed by a sudden move from a top-ranking legislative Republican to dissolve an independent children’s advocacy commission and distribute its responsibilities to other state agencies. The move comes just months after the commission released a report finding Tennessee foster kids experience the highest levels of instability in U.S., one of several recent scathing audits into systemic failures at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
TX: Sweeping Texas legislation could roll back city ordinances
In Texas, which has lagged other states in statewide labor protections, cities and counties have adopted local benefits and safeguards for workers. Now the ability to pass such ordinances could be removed as Republican state lawmakers push for legislation that significantly would curb a local government’s ability to regulate labor.
VT: Vermont settles aid-in-dying lawsuit, allowing Connecticut woman to use procedure
A Connecticut woman who sued Vermont in August to allow her access to the state’s aid-in-dying procedure will be able to pursue it without fear of prosecution under a settlement agreed to by all parties last week. State law currently says that only Vermont residents can pursue the procedure, which involves prescription of a lethal drug cocktail following a multi-step consent process.
ME: Maine bill would allow bow and crossbow hunting on Sundays
Maine Hunters United for Sunday Hunting, a constituent group, is endorsing a bill aimed at opening the door for hunting on Sundays with the use of a bow and arrow or crossbow. Dozens of previous efforts have failed as lawmakers have resisted interfering with property owners’ desire to enjoy one quiet day in the woods during the hunting seasons.
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