What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/23

MD: Maryland Democrats running for governor embrace marijuana

Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous made a strong public call for legalizing marijuana. Several of his rivals for the Democratic nomination have also come out for legalization, an issue that may drive some progressives to the polls. 

NJ: New Jersey governor signs nuclear, renewable energy bills

New Jersey passed a suite of legislation that vaulted it into the ranks of top U.S. climate leaders, alongside California and New York. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that will require utilities to use more renewable energy, among other measures. Most of New Jersey’s current clean energy is provided by nuclear power.

TX: U.S. Supreme Court to hear Texas redistricting case

The case will determine whether Texas needs to draw new electoral maps to give minority voters an equal voice. Experts say it could dramatically change state politics and perhaps create an opening for Democrats to win more seats in the Texas House and in Congress.

PA: Marijuana growers seek to extinguish Pennsylvania's cannabis research program

Pennsylvania's research program would allow eight of the state’s teaching hospitals to contract with a cannabis producer and open retail dispensaries that can sell medical marijuana. A group of growers and retailers filed a petition saying the research program would give the hospital-affiliated producers an unfair advantage.

NC: North Carolina parents urged to keep kids home to protest sex ed

The N.C. Values Coalition is urging North Carolina parents to keep their children home from school to protest what it calls "graphic, gender-bending, promiscuity-promoting sex education" being taught in public schools. Conservative activists say the programs are meant to build acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender students.

LA: Louisiana Senate looks at cutting tax rebates to help raise state revenue

As the Louisiana Senate takes up a House-passed state budget proposal that makes deep cuts in popular government services, the lower chamber is being asked to look at Senate-passed legislation that would raise some revenue by permanently reducing three popular tax rebates.

TN: Tennessee House passes bill for monument to unborn

The Tennessee House has passed a bill that calls for a monument to unborn children to be placed on the state Capitol grounds. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, private funds would be raised for a monument to the victims of abortion.

IN: Indiana abortion law is ruled unconstitutional

An Indiana abortion measured signed into law by former Republican Gov. Mike Pence in 2016 has been ruled unconstitutional. The law prohibited abortions sought because a fetus had been potentially diagnosed with a disability.

CO: No fix in sight for squeeze on tax revenue in small Colorado towns

A property tax-limiting provision of the state constitution, known as the Gallagher Amendment, is squeezing public services in small-town Colorado, and state lawmakers are weeks away from ending a second consecutive legislative session without attempting a solution.

CA: Bay Area is falling behind Southern California on quake safety

Just five years ago, San Francisco made history by becoming the first of California’s largest cities to require property owners to retrofit wood-frame apartments at serious risk of collapse in a major quake. Since then, however, new efforts have stalled in San Francisco and other surrounding cities, while communities in Southern California have expanded mandatory seismic retrofitting efforts.

Highway Hackers Cage-Free-Egg Laws
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