Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/28

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/28

TX: Texas officials flag tens of thousands of voters for citizenship checks

texastribune.org

The Texas secretary of state’s office announced it would send local election officials a list of 95,000 registered voters — out of about 15.8 million Texans on the rolls — that counties should consider checking to see whether they are U.S. citizens and, therefore, legally eligible to vote. Among the individuals flagged, about 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections since 1996.

WA: Sheriffs resisting Washington’s new gun laws

theguardian.com

In Washington state, a freshly implemented ballot initiative and a raft of new bills may produce some of the tightest firearms regulations in the United States. But standing in the way is a group of rural law enforcement officers who say point blank that they won’t enforce any of it.

MO: Missouri lawmakers renew push for concealed carry on public transit

stltoday.com

Missouri state legislators revived a push to pass a state law allowing passengers to carry concealed weapons to protect themselves. The move is strongly opposed by Metro Transit officials, who say it would increase the risk to riders and police.

CA: California utility equipment sparked more than 2,000 fires

latimes.com

Equipment owned by California’s three largest utilities ignited more than 2,000 fires in three and a half years — a timespan in which state regulators cited and fined the companies nine times for electrical safety violations.

ND: North Dakota House passes bill that would exempt horse and bike riders from DUI laws

inforum.com

The North Dakota House passed a bill that would exempt riders of bicycles and horses from certain criminal offenses while riding. Hold on to your saddles.

MN: Governor considers shift away from referendums to fund Minnesota schools

startribune.com

As he finalizes his first budget, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said he’s focused on reversing what he sees as a disturbing trend: a leveling off in state support for education that’s putting more pressure on local funding, and widening gaps between wealthy and poor, metro and greater Minnesota schools. 

SD: Bill recognizes official indigenous languages in South Dakota

argusleader.com

A legislative proposal would recognize Dakota, Lakota and Nakota as the official indigenous languages of South Dakota. The bill would keep English as the common language used on public documents.

WY: Wyoming Democrats push Medicaid work requirements

trib.com

A small group of Wyoming lawmakers — led by a Jackson Democrat — have again revived an effort to expand Medicaid in Wyoming, an effort that, though likely doomed, would bring care to as many as 27,000 people in the Equality State within a few years.

OR: Lawmaker wants to remove Oregon Constitution’s references to governor as ‘he’ and ‘him’

oregonlive.com

Two lawmakers have proposed a bill this session referring to voters a measure that would remove gender specific references to the governor and other elected officials. If the bill passes, the ballot measure would go to voters in 2020.

VT: Vermont governor backs 92 percent e-cigarette tax

vtdigger.org

Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott threw his support behind a 92 percent wholesale tax on e-cigarettes, giving a boost to a proposal that has failed to get through the legislature over the past few years.

NM: New Mexico considers legalizing life-ending medication

apnews.com

A New Mexico House panel for health policies was scheduled to hear the proposal, which sets out protocols for the prescription of life-ending drugs. The New Mexico Republican Party and local Roman Catholic church oppose the initiative. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham supports it.

OK: Executions by gas stalled while Oklahoma seeks willing seller

newsok.com

Ten months after abandoning lethal injection, frustrated Oklahoma officials have yet to find a way to execute inmates with nitrogen gas.

TN: Tennessee will open prison units for veterans

tennessean.com

The Tennessee Department of Corrections will open military veterans-only housing units at three prisons in February. These will be the state’s first housing units dedicated exclusively to veterans, following a national trend of “barracks behind bars.”

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