Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/5

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/5

US: Democratic attorneys general sue over federal abortion rule

apnews.com

California and other Democrat-led states announced they were challenging the Trump administration’s effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.

KY: Experts say Kentucky bill to block open records access 'really scary'

courier-journal.com

Legislation that proposes new restrictions to Kentucky’s open records law would make prevent nonresidents from obtaining public documents there. The measure started as a proposal to limit citizens' access to records related to businesses seeking certain financial incentives from the government.

OK: Oklahoma governor’s pick for veterans secretary accused of underpaying veterans

oklahomawatch.org

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s pick to becomes Oklahoma’s next secretary of veterans affairs and the military is facing accusations that his consulting company violated federal labor laws by underpaying veterans.

WA: Washington legislators vote to end surprise medical billing

apnews.com

The Washington state House passed a measure to end so-called surprise medical billing, when patients receive a bill for the difference between what a provider expects to be reimbursed from an insurer and what the insurer thinks they should pay. The measure now heads to the Senate.

GA: Georgia Senate panel OKs ban on domestic abusers owning guns

ajc.com

A measure that cleared the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee would make it illegal for anyone who has been convicted of misdemeanor family violence or is under a “family violence protective order” from owning a gun. Felons already are banned from owning the weapons.

NM: New Mexico House halts expansion into sports betting

apnews.com

The New Mexico House has endorsed a bill that would halt plans to create a state lottery game tied to the outcome of sports. The board of the New Mexico Lottery has been seeking to cash in on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal sports gambling ban.

AZ: Some rape survivors forced to work with their attackers under Arizona law

azcentral.com

An Arizona bill would allow a victim of sexual violence to petition the court for an "injunction against harassment" that could act as a restraining order. The bill could close a loophole in Arizona law that requires people requesting protective orders to be related to or involved in romantic relationships with their harasser.

CO: Colorado Democrats consider abolishing the death penalty

coloradosun.com

For the fifth time in a dozen years, Democrats are pushing to abolish the death penalty in Colorado. The work appears to have more momentum toward passage than ever before as Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, supports abolition and his party controls the state’s House and Senate.  

MI: Governor to propose 45-cent hike in fuel tax to fund Michigan roads

freep.com

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will propose in her budget a 45-cent-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax — phased in over a year — to raise more than $2 billion to fix the state's crumbling roads, a spokeswoman said.

NH: New Hampshire bill to regulate inaugural funding up for Senate vote

unionleader.com

The New Hampshire Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that imposes new regulations and reporting requirements on inaugural committee financing in the wake of a New Hampshire Union Leader investigation into expenditures from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s inaugural fund.

MN: Governor aims for 100 percent clean energy in Minnesota by 2050

startribune.com

Minnesota’s electricity providers would have to generate all their energy from clean sources, like solar and wind, by 2050 or sooner, under a proposal Democratic Gov. Tim Walz unveiled. His plan differs from a similar requirement state lawmakers recently proposed. 

NE: Proposal to collect online sales taxes advances in Nebraska

apnews.com

Nebraska lawmakers gave first-round approval to a bill that would require online retailers such as Amazon to collect sales taxes from their own sales as well as from third-party sellers. The measure would go into effect April 1 if it advances through two more votes and is signed by the governor.

ND: Bill defining meat in North Dakota goes to the governor

bismarcktribune.com

The North Dakota legislature wants to make sure that when consumers buy meat, they know they’re buying “the edible flesh of an animal born and harvested for the purpose of human consumption,” and not something developed in a lab.

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