Top State Stories: No-permit concealed carry passes Nebraska legislature
NE: No-permit concealed carry passes Nebraska legislature
If signed by GOP Gov. Jim Pillen as expected, the bill will allow Nebraskans 21 and older to carry concealed weapons without a permit statewide. It will apply statewide and invalidate any local ordinances limiting that ability.
OH: Ohio Senate OKs plan to make it harder to amend state constitution
Ohio Senate Republicans voted to place a controversial ballot question before voters in August that, if passed, would make it harder to amend the state constitution. Under the resolution, Ohio voters would decide if the state should require 60% of the vote to enact proposed amendments, instead of a simple majority of 50% plus one.
IA: Iowa GOP nears deal on education bill that would ban books with sex, limit LGBTQ+ instruction
Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate say they’re nearing a deal on a major education bill that would limit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation, remove schoolbooks with sex acts and give parents the fundamental right to make decisions for their child under 18.
TN: Tennessee governor backs gun restriction in 11th-hour push
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee is backing legislation that would allow courts and law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from people for up to 180 days if a judge finds a person poses a “current and ongoing” risk of serious harm to themselves or others. With the legislative session winding down, Lee told lawmakers “we owe Tennesseans a vote” in the wake of the Covenant School shooting that killed three children and three staff members.
MN: Minnesota House votes to ban recreational wolf hunting
The Minnesota House of Representatives voted to ban the recreational hunting and trapping of wolves in the state, should the animal be removed from federal endangered species protection.
NJ: New Jersey halts electric vehicle rebates as demand soars
New Jersey residents looking to buy or lease an electric vehicle won’t be able to get a government rebate — at least temporarily — because the state program is so popular that it’s already running out of money.
WA: Semi-automatic rifle ban passes Washington state legislature
A ban on dozens of semi-automatic rifles cleared the Washington state legislature, and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law. The high-powered firearms — once banned nationwide — are now the weapon of choice among young men responsible for most of the country’s devastating mass shootings. The Washington ban would block the sale, distribution, manufacture and importation of more than 50 gun models, including AR-15s, AK-47s and similar-style rifles.
OR: Oregon Democrats propose constitutional amendment to enshrine rights to same-sex marriage, gender-affirming care
Oregon Democrats want voters to approve a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage, abortion and gender-affirming care. Democrats hope to bring the constitutional amendment before voters in November 2024, something they should be poised to do with Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate.
CT: Connecticut aid-in-dying bill fails to get out of committee
Connecticut’s controversial aid-in-dying bill failed to pass the Judiciary Committee, stalling advocates’ hopes for a floor vote on the legislation that would allow terminally ill adults to end their lives with medication. Tears rolled down Democratic co-Chair Sen. Gary Winfield’s face as he announced that the committee would take no action on the bill.
MI: Michigan lawmakers send ‘red flag’ gun legislation to governor
Michigan Democrats in the state legislature took the final step to pass gun safety measures Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked for at the start of the year with votes on bills to establish a so-called red flag law, empowering courts to temporarily remove guns from those posing a danger to themselves or others.
AK: New report highlights low vaccination rates among children in Alaska
A new report released by the Alaska Department of Health puts a spotlight on low vaccination rates for young children in the state. The report indicates that in 2022, just over half of Alaska’s children aged 19 months to 24 months were up to date with the recommended vaccine series.
WY: Wyoming governor says hardline lawmakers holding back state on mental health
A group of hardline legislators are holding back progress on addressing mental and behavioral health in Wyoming, Republican Gov. Mark Gordon and a handful of state lawmakers said during an event in Casper. A tangible anger underlined morning speeches and panels at the second Governor’s Mental Health Summit in a state that has long ranked as one of the worst for suicide and where lawmakers have argued against financing mental health programs while socking away roughly .4 billion in savings.
MO: Missouri Senate committee rejects anti-DEI language, restores library funds in budget
Anti-diversity budget language called a “job killer” by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce didn’t survive the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee also restored .5 million for state aid to public libraries, cut in the House because the Missouri Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing over legislation passed last year intended to block children from accessing sexually explicit material.
WI: Wisconsin Assembly passes bills to block governments from curbing fossil fuel use
Legislation that would bar Wisconsin and local governments across the state from banning fossil-fuel-powered tools, appliances or vehicles sailed through the Assembly on party-line votes. Republican advocates called the measures common sense guarantors of free choice and a bulwark against government overreach. The lone opposition speaker dismissed them as unnecessary.
DE: Delaware programs offer M to developers to incentivize building affordable housing
The Delaware State Housing Authority announced two programs — funded by the state’s American Rescue Plan Act — that will provide financial assistance to developers to transform vacant properties into affordable homeownership opportunities and relieve the pressure of increased construction material costs.
ME: Maine legislature moves to create housing subsidies for homeless students
Maine legislators are uniting behind a bill that would provide housing subsidies to homeless students and their families in the face of growing youth homelessness. The legislature’s committee on housing voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would direct the Maine State Housing Authority to work with other state agencies and advocates to create a million rental subsidy program.
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