Top State Stories 4/13

By: - April 13, 2023 12:00 am

WA: Amid post-Roe landscape, Washington state lawmakers pass abortion ‘shield law’

The Washington state Senate passed a “shield law” that blocks local cooperation with out-of-state efforts to pursue criminal and civil cases related to abortion, sending the legislation to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee. The bill, passed by the House in February, prevents abortion-related subpoenas, extradition requests, warrants and other legal mechanisms from getting traction in the state.

OR: Bill to close gap in workers’ compensation passes Oregon Senate

Oregonians who are hurt on the job may no longer need to dip into vacation and sick time when they go to medical appointments to get treated for their injuries. The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow workers to get paid for time spent on getting medical care or physical therapy to treat workplace injuries.

AR: Arkansas governor signs legislation requiring age verification for new social media users

Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill into law that will require large social media companies to institute age verification checks for new users and require those younger than 18 to seek parental permission to open an account.

SC: South Carolina bill requiring ‘fact-based’ school lessons on race has bipartisan support after changes

State senators advanced legislation that clears up existing law prohibiting racist lessons in South Carolina classrooms after removing sections seen as stifling instruction on the ugly and brutal parts of history. 

KS: Kansas has beef with prairie chickens

Kansas has joined a lawsuit challenging the federal listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. The regulation will make it harder for ranchers and the oil industry to do business in western Kansas where the birds live, Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach said.

CO: Making, possessing and selling “ghost guns” will likely soon be illegal in Colorado

Making, possessing and selling so-called ghost guns, the untraceable homemade weapons linked to several recent high-profile Colorado shootings, will likely soon be illegal in the state.

TN: 2nd expelled Tennessee lawmaker is reappointed to House

Shelby County (Memphis) Commissioners reappointed state Rep. Justin Pearson to the Tennessee House to cries of applause and cheers of excitement. The House expelled Pearson and state Rep. Justin Jones last week for leading chants in favor of new gun restrictions, a protest that briefly disrupted House proceedings three days after three 9-year-olds and three adults were shot and killed at the Covenant School in Nashville.

IA: Iowa House passes bill that would allow guns in vehicles on school grounds

Iowa Republican House lawmakers passed legislation that would allow people to have guns in locked vehicles while on school and college properties. Advocates for the bill said the measure is not a way to allow guns in schools, but a way to allow parents who carry a gun in their car to pick up and drop off their children at schools. The bill is available for consideration next in the Senate.

MO: Missouri House hearing centers on diversity education

A prohibition on diversity curriculum in public schools was the focus of debate in a Missouri House committee, as lawmakers heard testimony on the Senate version of “parents bill of rights” legislation.

TX: Federal judge presses Texas to better monitor residential foster care facilities

Residential facilities in Texas did not refill medications in a timely manner, failed to follow psychiatric orders and, in several instances, violated state guidelines, court monitors documented after site inspections. The lawyer representing the foster kids said it could be “the tip of the iceberg.”

NJ:  New Jersey agency admits it illegally cleared protected wetlands

A New Jersey state bureau violated state law by illegally clearing protected forest wetlands during a wildlife management project. It’s unclear how the project got approval.

DE: Delaware struggles to investigate nursing homes, assisted living facilities

Delaware’s Division of Health Care Quality, which oversees about 80 assisted living facilities and nursing homes, has struggled for about a decade to investigate complaints — particularly for assisted living facilities, a Delaware Online/News Journal investigation found.

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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.