TN: Tennessee governor calls in special legislative session on guns
Less than two hours after the state legislature adjourned until 2024, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee announced plans to call lawmakers back, probably within weeks, for a special legislative session focused on gun laws. In the final days of the legislative session, Lee made an 11th-hour pitch for lawmakers to pass legislation designed to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose an immediate risk to themselves or others.
MN: Minnesota Senate passes abortion, transgender protection bills
The Minnesota Senate passed three Democratic priorities: a bill banning “conversion therapy” for minors, which is the medically discredited attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation; a bill that ensures Minnesota will not comply with other states’ laws or subpoenas regarding abortion-related health care; and a bill protecting transgender people from legal repercussions for traveling to Minnesota for gender-affirming care.
SC: South Carolina on cusp of giving parents money for private, non-zoned public schools
South Carolina lawmakers are on the cusp of passing an education scholarship account bill, that, by 2026, would entitle nearly two-thirds of families to a ,000 voucher they could use at private schools, public schools outside of their zoned districts and any number of other educational expenses.
AK: Alaska Supreme Court, in landmark ruling, says partisan gerrymandering violates state constitution
In a landmark decision, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional under the Alaska Constitution’s equal protection doctrine. The court ruled that the redistricting board would have 90 days to appear before a Superior Court judge and show cause why an interim political map should not be used until the 2032 general election.
WI: Wisconsin kids could see a curfew for social media use under proposed legislation
Wisconsin Republican state Rep. David Steffen says he’ll sponsor a bill that would give parents full control over their kids’ social media accounts and impose a curfew for social media users under 18. The legislation will be modeled on a first-of-its-kind law signed last month in Utah, according to Steffen.
MD: Staffing crisis in Maryland prisons shows need for thousands more officers
Maryland needs 3,417 more correctional officers in order to safely operate its prisons, according to a joint state and union report required by state law.
OH: Oil and gas drilling in Ohio state parks set to expand, while some say taxes on it are too low
Energy companies, lawmakers and environmental groups are arguing over the companies’ ability to drill for oil and gas in Ohio state parks and whether companies pay their fair share in taxes. Last year, without hearings, the Ohio Senate amended an agricultural bill focused on poultry to add a provision that requires state officials to grant drilling leases so long as the applicants met certain requirements.
WA: Washington Legislature unveils .2B two-year state budget
Democratic lawmakers in the Washington Legislature unveiled a new, two-year state budget that boosts funding for worker pay, climate projects and special education. The release of the .2 billion state operating budget comes less than 36 hours before the end of this year’s 105-day legislative session, giving the public – and lawmakers themselves – little time to actually read the spending blueprint before it is voted into law.
CA: California Supreme Court rejects lawsuit challenging governor’s plan to treat mental illness
The California Supreme Court declined to block the rollout of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s sweeping new plan to compel people with severe mental illness into treatment, meaning the controversial program remains on track to begin this fall in several counties.
ME: Maine legislature introduces ambitious plan to end chronic homelessness
A bill that would infuse million a year into a plan to expand the housing-first strategy statewide is a major priority of the Maine legislature’s Democratic leaders and Gov. Janet Mills. They say it could get hundreds of people who are trapped in long-term homelessness out of crowded shelters and makeshift camps and into stable homes.
ID: Health officials fear ‘fewer lives saved’ in Idaho with new rules on Narcan distribution
As Idaho combats a surge in opioid deaths, a recent law limiting free Narcan overdose reversal kits to emergency responders could lead to more fatalities, according to state health officials and the governor.
WY: Wyoming school leaders agree to ‘monumental’ remake of K-12 education
Wyoming’s top education leaders have agreed to collaborate on pilot projects that could kickstart the remaking of the state’s K-12 education system. In a first, a formal partnership will unite the Wyoming State Board of Education, Wyoming Department of Education, University of Wyoming and Republican Gov. Mark Gordon’s office and their educational initiatives to put all of the state’s power behind transitioning education in Wyoming toward a system that’s center on individual student progress rather than seat time.
OK: Oklahoma hopes to tap into shifting geography of firearm manufacturing
For more than a decade, state lawmakers have said gunmakers are welcome in Oklahoma, but a renewed recruitment effort under Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt comes as many manufacturers are looking to leave Democratic states that have imposed tighter regulations in response to the nation’s gun violence epidemic.
DE: Delaware governor to let marijuana bills become law without his signature
Delaware Democratic Gov. John Carney is opting to allow legislation legalizing the possession of recreational marijuana and establishing a regulatory structure for its cultivation and sale to become law without his signature. Delaware becomes the twenty-second state to legalize recreational marijuana after a prolonged stalemate between its backers and Carney, who remains one of the few Democratic governors opposed to marijuana legalization.
NY: New York physician assistants want more autonomy
Physician assistants, who often do similar work to medical doctors but have less training, are pushing for increased flexibility to practice without doctor oversight — something they argue is more necessary than ever as the health care industry faces staffing shortages. Doctors are pushing back against legislation that would do that.
MA: Massachusetts retailers fight on-line lottery ticket sales move
Last year, scratch-off tickets and number games brought in more than million in revenue to the stores that sell them across Massachusetts. Not to mention the ancillary pickups of milk, ice cream etc. Now, the Massachusetts legislature seems ready to move the lottery online. Merchants are opposed.
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