Federal wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, reigniting the legal battle over a predator that has run into conflicts with farmers and ranchers after rebounding in some regions.
A bill that passed the Washington state Senate would ban stores from giving out single-use plastic carryout bags, give them until 2020 to use up existing stocks and require an 8-cent charge for other bags handed out. It heads to the state House for consideration.
A state Senate committee voted along party lines to replace Georgia’s voting system so that it includes paper ballots, clearing the way for final votes on the legislation. The measure now is set for a vote in the full state Senate.
Kentucky officials publicly released records that show employees in the secretary of state’s office used the voter registration system to look up political rivals, state investigators and a range of political operatives.
Nebraska lawmakers unanimously advanced a bill to prevent people from getting tattoos on the whites of their eyes. The proposal received strong support from eye doctors who warn that such tattoos are risky and could cause people to lose their sight.
The measure signed by North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum removes mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes. The bill doesn't change the class of convictions, such as a Class B felony, but proponents argued judges needed more leeway in sentencing offenders.
The Hawaii state House approved measures that include requiring automatic recounts when victory margins are exceptionally narrow, voting by mail across the state and automatic voter registration. They head to the Senate, which passed a voting-by-mail bill and an automatic recount measure that head to the House.
The measure approved by the South Carolina House would hike minimum starting teacher pay to $35,000, give the state education superintendent more ability to take over low-performing school districts, and create a nearly $100 million fund to help bring businesses to places where schools are poor and struggling.
An Illinois state senator has introduced legislation that would stiffen penalties for short-staffed nursing homes as a way to limit deadly sepsis infections and boost overall care.
After a 12-hour public hearing, a Colorado legislative committee approved a bill that would dramatically overhaul how the state regulates the oil and gas industry by making health and safety the priority when considering development.
A Florida bill that would prevent juries from awarding plaintiffs more than $1 million for “pain and suffering” in lawsuits passed its first House committee. The measure could affect anyone killed or injured by a company or product.
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation that would authorize a state board to request information from colleges to determine their financial health and require schools that believe they may be on the brink of closing to notify the state.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, made official what had been expected for several days, calling the legislature into a special session to consider an increase in state fuel taxes to increase funding for roads, bridges and the state port in Mobile.