What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/12

MO: Missouri governor’s charity under a microscope

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, recently announced he was launching an inquiry into St. Louis-based the Mission Continues, Republican Gov. Eric Greitens’ charity. Among the issues investigators may scrutinize is whether Greitens or the charity violated federal tax laws that forbid charities from taking sides in elections.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmaker under restraining order after peer accused him of harassment

The protection-from-abuse order against one Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker states that he shall be “evicted and excluded” from any location at which his accuser, another GOP legislator, works or lives. Whether that means the accused lawmaker will be prevented from returning to the Capitol for the House’s first session day in more than a month is unclear. 

NJ: New Jersey opioid prescriptions could come with stern warning labels

A bill making its way through the New Jersey Legislature would require strict warning labels on all prescriptions for opioids in the Garden State. New Jersey would become the first state in the country to mandate such labeling, according to one of the bill's sponsors.

UT: Utah lawmakers punt on school safety and gun restrictions

A Utah bill to allow the seizure of guns in certain court-ordered situations landed with a thud during its initial committee hearing, ending debate on gun-related legislation this year.

CO: Colorado lawmakers consider drug price transparency legislation

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would require pharmaceutical companies to tell the state, starting in 2020, when they plan to raise the price of a drug more than 10 percent over the drug's cost two years prior. 

VT: Vermont governor's pivot on guns leaves some supporters behind

Until last month, Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott's position was straightforward: no new gun laws. He courted the no-compromise Gun Owners of Vermont in 2016 while his Democratic opponent called for gun control. The governor is now calling for a law to require people under 21 to take a firearms safety course before purchasing a gun.

CT: Republicans push work-for-Medicaid bill in deep blue Connecticut

The bill would require Connecticut’s Department of Social Services to apply for a federal waiver allowing the state to impose work or community service requirements on some adult, able-bodied Medicaid recipients, a request that the Trump administration has approved for three states.

OH: Bill would require security upgrades for new Ohio schools

New bipartisan legislation in the Ohio House would mandate stricter security standards in newly constructed schools in hopes of preventing school shootings, its sponsors say.

IA: Iowa House votes to end 'lunch shaming' in schools

Iowa schoolchildren could not be publicly shamed or stigmatized if they don't have money to pay for lunches under a bill approved unanimously by the Iowa House. The bill sets standards for how schools should communicate with families about meal debt, and it prohibits schools from publicly identifying students who cannot pay for their meals.

MO: Missouri is destination state for child brides

No place in the United States is easier for young women to get married than Missouri, the Kansas City Star found in an analysis of child marriage statutes across the country. In Missouri, brides and grooms as young as 15 can marry with no more than the single approving swipe of their parent’s pen, even if the other parent objects. The result is more than a thousand 15-year-old child brides in the state since 1999.

MS: Mississippi ready to impose nation's earliest abortion ban

Mississippi is set to impose the toughest abortion restrictions in the country, and the state's lone remaining clinic is vowing to sue. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is set to sign the bill outlawing the procedure after 15 weeks.

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