Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/13

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/13

CA: California governor to block death row executions

latimes.com

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an executive order to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in California, vowing that no prisoner in the state will be executed while he is in office because of a belief that capital punishment is discriminatory, unjust and “inconsistent with our bedrock values.” The order will prevent the state from putting prisoners to death by granting temporary reprieves to all 737 condemned inmates on California’s death row, the largest in the nation.

NM: New Mexico bill would create first state-run pot shops in U.S.

apnews.com

New Mexico would become the first state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats.

NV: Nevada joining alliance to combat climate change

lasvegassun.com

Nevada will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of states and territories committed to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced. Nevada is the 22nd state to join the group.

ME: Maine Senate Democrats propose regulating prescription drug prices

pressherald.com

Maine Senate Democrats unveiled a package of five bills that aim to rein in the cost of prescription drugs, including a proposal to create a state commission to regulate drug payments. Other bills would allow bulk importation of medications from Canada, regulate pharmacy benefit managers and create more transparency in drug prices.

OR: Oregon Senate OKs requiring Holocaust education in schools

apnews.com

The Oregon Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure requiring schools to teach students about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. Only 10 states require some level of Holocaust and genocide education in the classroom. The measure now goes to the House for approval.

ID: Idaho Senate overwhelmingly approves Medicaid budget

lmtribune.com

Medicaid expansion passed its first major legislative hurdle in Idaho when the Senate approved the fiscal 2020 Medicaid budget. Although more than 60 percent of Idaho voters supported Medicaid expansion last fall, it remains unclear whether there are enough votes in the House to pass the funding bill.

KY: Kentucky governor signs bill letting people carry concealed guns without a permit

courier-journal.com

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a measure that lets people carry a concealed gun without getting a permit or completing a background check and safety training first. The bill was backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by groups such as Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police.

WA: Washington Senate passes bill to vacate some marijuana convictions

apnews.com

Tens of thousands of people who were previously found guilty of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges could see their convictions vacated under a measure passed by the Washington Senate. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

HI: Hawaii immigrant sanctuary bill dies in state legislature

apnews.com

A bill that would have made Hawaii the third so-called sanctuary state for immigrants who are in the United States illegally has died in the state legislature. The state Senate passed the bill and sent it to the House, but Democratic Rep. Gregg Takayama, the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, declined to give it a hearing, effectively killing it.

WI: Wisconsin Medicaid expansion baked into governor's budget, health agency leaders say

madison.com

Funding increases for hospitals, dental care, women’s health, long-term care, mental health services and other health programs in Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ budget depend on expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income people, state health department leaders said.

CO: Colorado county declared ‘Second Amendment preservation county’

gazette.com

El Paso County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment preservation county,” cementing their opposition to a red-flag gun bill in the legislature. Half-a-dozen other Colorado counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to the bill. 

FL: Florida judge: Districts have to provide security officers to charter schools

miamiherald.com

In a decision that could have statewide implications, a Florida administrative law judge ruled that the Palm Beach County School Board is required to assign safety officers to charter schools under a law passed last year.

AR: Arkansas governor signs bill to raise $95M a year for highways

arkansasonline.com

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that would raise $95 million a year more for highways by imposing a wholesale sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, increasing electric and hybrid vehicle fees and reallocating other state revenue.

CT: Connecticut animal advocates oppose ‘cat tax’

courant.com

A proposed Connecticut bill requiring the licensing of cats is opposed by animal advocacy groups and is being labeled by Republican opponents as a “cat tax.” The licensing fee for cats would be $15. The animal advocates say such a bill would be difficult and expensive to enforce.

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