Top State Stories: North Carolina Republicans are coalescing around a 12-week abortion ban

By: - April 21, 2023 12:00 am

NC: North Carolina Republicans are coalescing around a 12-week abortion ban, House speaker says

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said he believes Republicans in the House and Senate are “really close” to reaching a consensus on what new abortion restrictions should look like. The state currently bans abortion after 20 weeks.

FL: Florida governor signs bill creating lowest death penalty threshold in US

Under the legislation signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida juries now can sentence a person to death with an 8-4 vote, instead of a unanimous vote. DeSantis pushed for the law, citing the outcome of the Parkland school shooting case — in which the gunman who killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High was given a life sentence after only nine of the 12 jurors voted for death.

TX: Texas House moves to expand Medicaid coverage to new moms for a year after childbirth

The Texas House advanced a bill that would allow moms with low incomes to stay on Medicaid for a full year after childbirth. Currently, postpartum Medicaid expires after two months in Texas.

KS: Kansas governor vetoes anti-transgender bills that could involve genital inspections

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a slew of anti-transgender bills, several of which could involve intrusive physical examinations of adults and children to determine their reproductive anatomy.

VT: Vermont governor signs bill raising the legal age for all marriages in Vermont

Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law raising the legal age for marriage in Vermont from 16 to 18 years old, making Vermont the eighth state to ban child marriage.

NV: Potential deal for the Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas could rely on M in Nevada public financing

The Oakland Athletics spent nearly two years identifying a location for a .5 billion stadium and entertainment complex in Las Vegas. But now the team and Nevada state lawmakers have a month-and-a-half window before the legislative session ends to hammer out details of a million public financing contribution toward a 35,000-seat retractable roof ballpark.

GA: Georgia governor unveils first set of EV chargers at state parks

A short hike from the scenic trails and waterfalls of Tallulah Gorge, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp revealed the Georgia State Parks system’s first EV chargers and announced plans to install stations at other parks with the help of partners Rivian, Georgia Power and the Department of Natural Resources.

CA: A wet California boosts water allocations to 100% for first time in nearly 20 years

For the first time since 2006, California officials have increased allocations from the vital State Water Project to 100% of requested supplies, as reservoirs across the state are nearing capacity with an epic snowmelt forecast for the coming weeks.

DE: Delaware claims, without data, that childhood lead exposure is not caused by drinking water

Drinking water is low on the list when it comes to Delaware’s evaluation of homes where children are found to have elevated blood lead levels. Yet the state claims in a recently published report that drinking water wasn’t the cause for the elevated levels — despite not having the data to back this up.

AZ: Arizona Senate settles suit over election audit for K

A left-leaning watchdog group announced a settlement of over ,000 in a public records lawsuit against the Arizona Senate, which fought to withhold emails, texts and other records involving a partisan audit of the 2020 election.

OH: Ohio lawmakers want stronger doors, locks, alarms on school buildings

Ohio Republican state Sen. Michael Rulli plans to introduce legislation that would mandate new standards for all interior and exterior doors in the state’s 3,300 school buildings. “The best way to defeat an attack and protect our children in the classroom is to make sure the attacker never gets inside the building in the first place,” Rulli said.

MT: Montana House speaker bars transgender lawmaker from speaking on floor

Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Montana’s first openly transgender state lawmaker and a Democrat, will not be able to speak on the House floor until she apologizes publicly for telling Republicans they should be ashamed of their votes in favor of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for children in Montana, said Republican House Speaker Matt Regier.

KY: Kentucky is expanding access to medical marijuana

Kentucky’s political leaders are rapidly moving to expand access to medical marijuana to those who have debilitating health conditions, like chronic pain, epilepsy and more.

PA: Pennsylvania state universities delay setting tuition, hoping for more state funds

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s board of governors agreed to delay setting next year’s tuition rate until July when the board will know how much state funding it will get. Chancellor Daniel Greenstein and board members indicated their desire to freeze tuition for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year but noted that would take a substantial increase in state funding, more than Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has proposed in his budget.

CT: Connecticut pauses sentence commutations under GOP criticism

Connecticut Republicans said the spike in commutations was a drastic change that should have gone before the legislature. But the statute governing the state commutations board grants it broad authority over the process. Pushback on the rise in the number of commutations also came from people whose loved ones were harmed by people seeking commutations.

OK: Oklahoma legislature sends name, image, likeness bill for college athletics to governor

The Oklahoma House and Senate passed and sent legislation to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt billed as essential to keeping the state’s colleges and universities competitive in athletics. The bill essentially deregulates the burgeoning opportunities for student-athletes to be compensated for the commercial use of name, image and likeness, known as NIL.

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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.