Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/11

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/11

NY: New York lawmakers propose giving teens right to vaccinate without parental consent

timesunion.com

New York lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would allow children as young as 14 to get vaccinated without their parents' consent. The bill would enable older children to protect themselves from preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis and human papillomavirus in the event their parents opt out of vaccinating them.

IL: Illinois governor unveils graduated state income tax plan

chicagotribune.com

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker embarked on a new and potentially bruising political campaign by seeking to win public approval of a graduated-rate income tax that he contended would raise $3.4 billion by increasing taxes for the wealthy while lowering taxes for 97 percent of Illinois residents.

GA: Advocates start upping pressure as ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill advances in Georgia

ajc.com

Anti-abortion and abortion rights advocates have trained their sights on the Georgia Senate after the House voted 93-73 to approve legislation that would outlaw most abortions once a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the womb. It would be one of the country’s strictest abortion laws — a “heartbeat bill.”

OH: Ohio bill would regulate electric scooters

apnews.com

An Ohio House bill would regulate electric scooters, limiting them to speeds of 15 mph, and requiring them to use lighting at night. Operators would have to yield to pedestrians at all times, and people under age 16 would be prohibited from using the scooters allowed on public streets, highways, sidewalks, paths and bike lanes.

DC: U.S. House passes D.C. statehood bill

wtop.com

The U.S. House passed a bill that includes support for Washington, D.C., statehood. It’s the first time that either chamber of Congress has passed a measure endorsing D.C. statehood. No Republicans, who control the Senate, voted for the proposal.

AR: Arkansas lawmakers advancing more limits on public records

apnews.com

Proposals to expand state secrecy surrounding Arkansas executions and making the identity of some lottery winners confidential were endorsed by legislative panels last week. Other measures also are under consideration to shield information about law enforcement and investigations.

WI: Wisconsin governor looks to expand student mental health services

jsonline.com

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' budget would add $22 million each year to help schools pay for social workers, psychologists, counselors and nurses to assist students facing mental health challenges. If passed into law, the proposals would constitute a significant expansion in state support for youth mental health.

MN: Minnesota young voters saw turnout surge in 2018

apnews.com

Minnesota voters between 18 and 29 nearly doubled their election participation last fall. Almost 40 percent of those voters participated in the 2018 midterm election, up from 21 percent in 2014, according to data from the Minnesota Secretary of State. 

CT: Connecticut homeowners call for legislation on failing foundations

courant.com

Connecticut homeowners with failing foundations asked state legislators to mandate that insurance companies cover the peril of collapse and require testing for pyrrhotite, a mineral in some foundations that breaks down when exposed to air or water. Crumbling foundations have touched at least 41 towns in Connecticut.

DE: Delaware Senate approves compact giving electoral vote to national popular vote winner

wboc.com

The bill would enter Delaware into an agreement with other states to tie their votes in the Electoral College to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, regardless of how individual states voted. Legislatures in eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia have signed onto the agreement, representing 181 votes.

WA: Washington House approves step toward year-round daylight saving

apnews.com

As daylight saving time took effect in most of the U.S., the Washington House passed a measure that would make those later sunsets permanent in the state all year — if Congress allows it. The measure now heads to the Senate, which has its own bill on the topic. More than two dozen states are considering measures to avoid the twice-yearly clock change.

LA: Speeding tickets provide significant budget boost in Louisiana small towns

theadvocate.com

The number of Louisiana towns, villages and small cities in which fines make up at least half of revenue has risen from 15 in 2007 to 25 in 2018, according to a review by the Advocate. Louisiana legislators over the past dozen years have tried new laws, investigated police officers, and required warning signs to try to cut down on tickets written by small-town police officers.

KS: Kansas lawmakers could move to keep donor organs in the state

kcur.org

Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital say a change in the distribution of livers across the country could result in Kansans waiting longer for life-saving transplants. So they’re backing a bill in the legislature that would allow residents who donate their organs to specify whether they want them used to benefit Kansas transplant patients.

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