Top State Stories 4/3

By: - April 3, 2023 12:00 am

MN: Federal judge rules Minnesota’s age limit for carrying handguns unconstitutional

A federal judge has moved to strike down the Minnesota law barring 18- to 20-year-olds from obtaining permits to carry handguns in public. The decision comes nearly two years after three young adults teamed up with three gun rights advocacy groups to file a lawsuit.

CO: Colorado House approves abortion access, gender-affirming care bills
Colorado House lawmakers passed Democrats’ three priority abortion and gender-affirming care bills. The bills would place tighter regulations on the advertising and unproven scientific claims of crisis-pregnancy centers, codify protections for providers of abortion and gender-affirming care and extend insurance coverage to abortion and other reproductive health-related treatment.

CA: Feds approve California’s plan to start phasing out diesel heavy truck sales

The Biden administration approved a waiver to allow California to set its own emissions standards for semi-trucks, a move that could help accelerate the nationwide movement toward heavy-duty vehicles that don’t run on fossil fuels. Between 40% and 75% of California heavy-duty vehicles must be zero emissions by 2035, depending on the size and class of vehicle.

US: ‘War of the states’: EV, chip makers lavished with subsidies

States are doling out more cash than ever to lure multibillion-dollar microchip, electric vehicle and battery factories, inspiring ever more competition as they dig deeper into their pockets to attract big employers and capitalize on a wave of huge new projects. Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas already have made billion-dollar pledges for a microchip or EV plant.

MO: Missouri lawmakers unanimously support banning pelvic exams on unconscious patients

Under current Missouri law, there is no prohibition on doctors or medical school students performing pelvic, prostate or anal exams on unconscious patients without consent. The House and Senate separately approved bills that would prohibit health care providers from performing these exams on patients under anesthesia without first receiving explicit, informed consent.

TN: Tennessee governor moves to boost school safety funding, open to some gun changes after shooting

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee wants to expand an ongoing proposal to place an armed guard at every Tennessee public school and provide grant funding for private schools to do the same. Lee also indicated he is open to certain gun safety measures — though he did not provide specifics.

TX: Texas lawmakers’ attempts to ban school library books spur confusion

Legal experts, librarians and some parents have raised concerns that the language in the Texas legislation is vague and broad enough to ensnare books that are not inappropriate for children. They worry those titles’ absences from shelves could restrict the learning and growth of students whose experiences may not be reflected in the books that would remain.

SC: South Carolina officials seek B to fix interstate bridges

With more than a thousand bridges on South Carolina’s interstates and major highways “rapidly approaching” a need for an overhaul, the state Department of Transportation is asking legislators for a billion commitment to keep the state’s economic lifelines flowing.

NY: Electrically heated buildings mandate coming to New York state

As early as 2025, new homes in New York state may start going up without any kind of gas or oil heat, relying instead on new forms of electric-driven heating systems. A pending mandate for electrically heated homes may be the first palpable change that New Yorkers will see as the state’s 2019 landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act starts to take effect.

MS: Mississippi legislative session ends; largest budget passes

The Mississippi legislature passed a budget of .615 billion, which included a roughly million increase for K-12 schools, million for struggling hospitals and .5 million for tornado relief. If federal funds are removed from the budgets of this year and last, which saw significant COVID-19 relief money, this year’s is the largest in state history.

NV: To conserve, Nevada may try to buy back groundwater rights

Even after a wet winter, Nevada and much of the West are still dealing with the effects of a prolonged drought that depleted groundwater supplies. Lawmakers in Nevada are considering a bill to allow the state to buy groundwater rights in diminished basins so nobody could use them again.

MD: Maryland legislature approves child sexual abuse bills

The bills would lift previous statutory time limits and allow survivors to sue their abusers or organizations that harbored them “at any time.” Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore plans to sign the legislation once it reaches his desk.

NC: North Carolina House eases requirements to be a school nurse to deal with staffing shortage

The North Carolina House unanimously passed a bill that would eliminate the requirement that school nurses have to be nationally certified.

WA: Washington lawmakers cite Nashville school shooting as they advance assault weapon ban, other gun restrictions
Washington state lawmakers are citing last week’s massacre of six people at a Nashville, Tennessee, parochial school as further justification for passing a sweeping package of new gun restrictions, including a ban on sales of assault weapons. Majority Democrats also have backed a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases and a measure making gunmakers and sellers potentially liable for negligent sales.

CT: Connecticut home care programs are growing and operate with little oversight

Connecticut policymakers face challenges as they attempt to “right size” the state’s older adult care services by pivoting from long-term care facilities to expanding options for people to receive care at home. By 2040, state leaders expect a nearly 30% increase in the number of long-term care residents on Medicaid who remain in their homes, and they’ve committed more than billion annually to that cause.

NM: New Mexico uses first opioid settlement payments

New Mexico lawmakers appropriated million to six state agencies and the University of New Mexico for services intended to help the state dig out of an opioid addiction crisis. The appropriations are among the first expenditures from an estimated million or more the state expects to receive over the next 20 years from settlements.

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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.