Top State Stories: Texas House passes first school safety bill in response to Uvalde shooting

By: - April 25, 2023 12:00 am

TX: Texas House passes first school safety bill in response to Uvalde shooting

The Texas House gave initial approval to a school safety bill that would require school districts to have an armed person at every campus and to conduct safety inspections at school buildings. It is still unclear whether lawmakers will listen to Uvalde families who want to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic guns from 18 to 21.

AR: Arkansas lawmakers enhance criminal penalties for wide array of crimes

Arkansas state lawmakers passed at least 28 bills during the regular legislative session creating new criminal charges or enhancing existing punishments for offenses ranging from dealing fentanyl to causing serious injuries while driving distracted. At least nine new laws add or enhance penalties for crimes against minors, victims of human trafficking or other vulnerable groups.

FL: Florida House will issue subpoenas to medical groups advocating gender-affirming care

A Florida House committee voted to authorize sending subpoenas to the Florida chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association, which have both issued guidance in support of gender-affirming care for transgender children. Republican House Speaker Paul Renner questioned whether the guidelines were the result of scientific analysis or “a radical gender ideology that stands to cause permanent physical and mental harm to children and adolescents.”

WA: Amazon, other Washington state companies soon must say how fast employees are working

Washington state workers at risk of getting injured on the job may soon receive more protection from state regulators, due to two worker safety bills that recently passed the legislature. One bill will expand the state’s authority to make new rules for industries with high rates of musculoskeletal disorders. The other requires employers to shed more light on quotas set for warehouse workers, part of an effort to ensure those expectations aren’t increasing a worker’s risk of injury.

CA: Fears grow as floodwaters threaten to drown this California city and prison complex

Just west of a normally dusty prison town in California, a civic nightmare is unfolding: Tulare Lake, a body of water that did not exist just two months ago, now stretches to the horizon — a vast, murky sea in which the tops of telephone poles can be seen stretching eerily into the distance.

NY: New York opens new rape kit storage facility to extend time to bring charges

New York officials have launched a new secure facility that will be used to collect and store untested sexual assault kits, giving alleged victims up to two decades to decide whether to bring charges against their assailants. The facility caps a yearslong effort from legislators and victims’ rights advocates to extend the period of retention for “sexual assault evidence collection kits” from one month to 20 years.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers advance bill to require insurance coverage of genetic tests for those at high-risk breast for cancer

The Pennsylvania legislation would require insurance companies to cover genetic testing and counseling for women at high risk of breast cancer. A House committee has advanced a bill sponsored by a lawmaker who survived the disease. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, now goes to the full House for consideration.

MI: Michigan Senate passes bill to ensure safe drinking water at schools and child care centers

The Michigan Senate last week voted in favor of legislation to protect children from lead in drinking water at schools and child care centers. The bills would require all Michigan schools and child care centers to implement a drinking water management plan in addition to installing filtered faucets and bottle-filling stations and testing the filtered water to ensure proper installation.

GA: Georgia DA says indictment announcement coming this summer in Trump probe

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she would announce this summer whether former President Donald Trump and his allies would be charged with crimes related to alleged interference in Georgia’s 2020 election.

IN: Indiana bill on trans student name changes goes to governor

Indiana schools would be required to notify parents if their child requests a name or pronoun change at school under a bill approved by the state House despite worries that the step could out young transgender people to their families.

ME: Maine legislature considers stronger penalties for assaulting medical providers

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that could increase punishments for assaulting health care workers providing emergency medical care. From 2017-21, Maine health care workers filed 1,130 intentional injury lost time claims, but during the same time span, there were only 88 assault charges filed statewide and 12 assault convictions, according to state statistics.

OR: Oregon Democrats weigh competing proposals to cap political donations

New proposals introduced in the Oregon Senate last week would set strict limits to quell the exorbitant spending in state elections — without the same loopholes included in other bills introduced by top Democrats this session. Democratic leaders have pledged to pass campaign finance limits this session after scrapping attempts to address the issue in previous years.

MO: Missouri residents sue to block new rule banning gender-affirming health care

The hurdles to gender-affirming medical care under Missouri’s new rule, which is set to take effect Thursday, include 15 psychiatric visits spanning not fewer than 18 months and three consecutive years of gender dysphoria. Any mental health conditions should be “treated and resolved,” the order also states. The ACLU of Missouri and Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of five plaintiffs: two transgender youth, one adult, a clinical social worker and a health provider.

CO: Colorado becomes one of first states to offer business loans to cannabis industry

Colorado became one of the first states in the country to offer business loans to the cannabis industry. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis‘ administration launched the program in an effort to target Colorado’s social-equity licensed cannabis businesses. It will offer loans between $50,000 and $150,000 to go toward renovations, equipment, expansions and more.

OK: Oklahoma lawmakers say CVS is ‘intentionally lying’ about 90-day prescriptions

One of Oklahoma’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, CVS Caremark, has been lying to its customers about whether they can get 90-day prescriptions, top lawmakers said. This latest shot across the bow comes after CVS Caremark again sent letters to its Oklahoma customers announcing they can only fill 30-day prescriptions and that the company’s mail-order prescription drug service is not available in the state.


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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.