Top State Stories: New Tennessee survey finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety
TN: New Tennessee survey finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety, laws
A survey of registered Tennessee voters taken after last month’s shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety measures, including background checks and so-called red flag laws. The poll found that 88% of respondents support background checks for gun sales; 82% support safe storage laws; and 71% support red flag laws.
OK: Oklahoma governor calls for county officials to resign after racist, violent remarks
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said county officials who were allegedly recorded making racist and violent remarks in early March should resign. They were allegedly discussing how to kill a local reporter and how frustrating it was that Black people could no longer be lynched because they “have more rights” than others.
TX: Texas Senate approves bill to strip registration from inactive voters
The Texas Senate approved a “use it or lose it” voting bill that could purge voters from registration rolls who skip two federal elections. Critics note that nothing in state or federal law requires a voter to participate in elections in order to maintain their ability to vote.
AZ: Arizona bill would aim to stop electronic gas stealing; some lawmakers say it’s not needed
Arizona state lawmakers are moving to put a kibosh on one electronic method of stealing increasingly expensive gasoline. But not everyone is convinced that the bill is needed, given that the theft of gasoline itself already is a crime.
IL: Illinois high school student spurred state legislation to ensure pay for child vlog stars
Shreya Nallamothu, now 15, became a catalyst behind Illinois legislation that would set a rate for how much someone under 16 is compensated when they appear in at least 30% of a channel’s vlogs — defined in the legislation as monetized video content. The Senate unanimously passed the bill, which is now before the House.
KS: Kansas governor signs bill dropping deadline for sexual abuse prosecutions
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill unanimously passed by the Kansas legislature to remove the statute of limitations on criminal prosecution and extend opportunity to file lawsuits related to allegations of childhood abuse.
FL: Churches fear Florida immigration bill would ‘criminalize’ charity
The bill would expose Floridians to third-degree felony charges for transporting or harboring someone without permanent legal status.
MN: Minnesota settles case against Juul over marketing e-cigarettes to teens
Minnesota settled its youth vaping lawsuit against Juul Labs just as closing arguments were set to begin. Under the arrangement, the terms of the new settlement won’t be public for 30 days. In recent years, numerous states had sued Juul, but Minnesota was the only one to take the manufacturer to trial.
SD: South Dakota school social studies plan passes over objections from educators, tribes
The South Dakota Board of Education Standards approved new social studies standards after four public hearings across the state, despite opposition from a majority of South Dakota educators and the state’s nine tribes.
CA: California’s farmers reeling as flooding wreaks havoc on dairy industry
After weeks of rain in California, the long-dry Tulare Lake is rising from the San Joaquin Valley floor, endangering farms, towns and livelihoods. Now record snow on the Sierra Nevada is melting. Will the Central Valley be ready?
NY: New York launches ‘violence prevention’ strategy
New York state officials are launching a new strategy to thwart targeted violence by focusing on prevention at the local level. They contend there has been an escalation in risks of foreign terrorism but also domestic threats. State officials cited a rising number of school shootings, an uptick in other school violence and an increased share of terrorist attacks domestically.
WA: Washington’s struggle to replace ferries may bring a gut punch for local shipbuilders
Washington’s aging fleet of 21 ferries are in need of ever more maintenance simply to keep them afloat. Lawmakers in Olympia have begun to act, budgeting .5 billion over 16 years to build new vessels and convert existing ones to be electric. But ballooning costs and workforce shortages could mean Washington does something it hasn’t done in more than 50 years: build the boats outside the state.
MI: Gun groups sue Michigan legislature over firearm bills, alleging open meetings violations
A pair of Michigan-based pro-firearm organizations, Great Lakes Gun Rights and Michigan Open Carry, Inc., have sued the state legislature over its passage of gun safety bills recently signed into law by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, arguing lawmakers violated the Open Meetings Act by not properly allowing public comment on the legislation.
AK: Advocates make an economic development case for improving Alaska’s outdoor trails
Trails are places for people to relax, exercise and have fun outdoors. Now their advocates in Alaska are increasingly promoting another aspect of trails: their contributions to the economy. The economic argument is articulated in the state’s latest outdoor recreation plan, said Ricky Gease, director of the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
CO: Colorado’s increased tobacco taxes are generating more money than expected. State lawmakers want to keep the surplus.
Colorado voters will likely be asked in November to let the state keep about million in tax revenue collected through tobacco taxes in excess of the revenue forecast for the 2020 ballot measure. The referendum would call for the extra money be transferred to Colorado’s new universal preschool program and the general fund. The state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires that money collected in excess of a tax’s projected revenue be refunded unless voters agree to let the government keep the surplus.
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