Top State Stories: Missouri self-defense laws criticized in Ralph Yarl shooting

By: - April 19, 2023 12:00 am

MO: Missouri self-defense laws criticized in Ralph Yarl shooting

Anger among Missouri lawmakers has been building in the wake of the shooting, in part because of a sense among Democrats, gun control activists and some residents that the state’s gun laws have contributed to an atmosphere where residents feel too comfortable pulling the trigger. Republicans, who hold supermajorities in the Missouri House and Senate, signaled they have no plans to narrow the state’s gun laws.

TN: Tennessee House approves bill targeting publishers for sending schools sexually explicit books

The Tennessee bill would empower local district attorneys and the state attorney general to criminally charge and prosecute book publishers who knowingly distribute materials that violate state obscenity law to public schools and school districts. Book publishers and distributors could face felony charges and fines of up to ,000 per violation.

IL: Illinois assault weapons ban withstands federal appeal

The federal appeals court in Chicago denied a request to block Illinois’ assault weapons ban while it faces legal challenges. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for an injunction by Robert Bevis, a firearms store owner in Naperville, Illinois, while he appeals a ruling by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that found the ban “constitutionally sound.”

FL: Florida governor announces new round of actions against Disney

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the legislature will revoke development agreements that undercut the authority of the new local board he appointed and that he will impose new regulations on Disney. DeSantis said he has authorized state agencies to increase regulatory oversight of Disney operations, such as the monorail system and amusement rides.

NE: Sleuthing farmer finds more need for broadband in Nebraska

A local farmer, with the help of the Nebraska Public Power District and the Nebraska Rural Electric Association, found thousands of places across the state that should have been labeled as “unserved” on federal broadband maps. The discovery could mean more federal broadband funds.

VT: New loan repayment program urges recent graduates to stay in Vermont

Vermont officials have announced a new student loan repayment program that incentivizes graduates from in-state colleges and universities to remain in Vermont and join its workforce. Approved applicants would receive up to ,000 in student loan repayment after working within the state for two years after graduating.

WA: Washington state lawmakers vote to bar utilities from cutting power in extreme heat

Washington state lawmakers voted to bar utilities from shutting off people’s power and water when high temperatures are forecast. The bill prohibits both public- and investor-owned electric and water utilities, and landlords, from shutting off power or water to residents who haven’t paid their bill if the National Weather Service has issued or intends to issue a heat-related warning.

NC: North Carolina House Republicans file bill to ban public drag shows, classify as a felony

Republicans in the North Carolina House introduced a bill that would ban drag performances in public places or in the presence of a minor. Violations would result in a misdemeanor on first offense and a felony for subsequent offenses.

ME: Fuel, oil from Maine train derailment leaking into waterway, environmental department says

Fuel and oil from a Canadian Pacific Kansas City freight train that derailed in northern Maine have leaked into Moose River, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said. The information comes as Canadian Pacific Kansas City has declined to answer questions.

PA: Pennsylvania gambling revenues top half a billion dollars for first time

For the first time since legalized gambling debuted in 2006, total monthly revenues topped half a billion dollars, according to the Pennsylvania gaming control board. In all, the month produced nearly .3 million in revenue, the amount gamblers lost. The surge likely was fueled in part by the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament.

DE: A COVID-era wastewater monitoring system will now be used to track drug use in Delaware

For the past two years, New Castle County in Delaware has partnered with Biobot to monitor wastewater for signs of COVID-19 to strategically place testing sites and vaccination locations. Wastewater will now be monitored for fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine and their metabolites. The goal is a more accurate view of drug use in the county, as other data points can be skewed for a number of reasons.

IN: Indiana lawmakers fight city plan for no right turn on red

Indiana’s state Senate passed a measure that would stop Indianapolis from implementing a no-turn-on-red law, something that the city-county council is trying to do to protect pedestrians from crashes amid record high pedestrian fatalities.

NJ: Supreme Court sides with New Jersey on the waterfront

A bi-state agreement between New York and New Jersey to jointly fight crime and corruption in one of the country’s largest ports was killed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that New Jersey could withdraw from the partnership.

OR: Oregonians with polluted wells demand state of emergency

Residents affected by the ongoing groundwater contamination in eastern Oregon traveled to Salem, demanding the governor declare a public health emergency in the region. The area has been burdened with nitrate pollution for more than 30 years and groundwater is the main source of drinking water in the region.

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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.