Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/1

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/1

CA: Judge blocks California’s high-capacity ammunition ban

apnews.com

High-capacity gun magazines will remain legal in California under a ruling by a federal judge who cited home invasions where a woman used the extra bullets in her weapon to kill an attacker while in two other cases women without additional ammunition ran out of bullets.

NE: How the Corps of Engineers' dam decision affected Nebraska floodwaters

omaha.com

When the Niobrara River dumped its floodwater into Nebraska's Lewis and Clark Lake  on the peak day of flooding, 31 times the river’s average March flow was pouring into the lake  the Corps of Engineers had few options but to open the floodgates, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

MT: Montana House indicates it will pass Medicaid bill, with work requirements

billingsgazette.com

The Montana House indicated it will pass a Medicaid expansion bill that adds work requirements to the program, just days after a federal judge struck down similar requirements in other states.

HI: Bill aims to reform Hawaii asset forfeiture program

staradvertiser.com      

For decades, Hawaii law enforcement officials have been seizing cash and property suspected of being tied to illicit activity, even if they never obtain a conviction or file a criminal charge in the case. This year, state lawmakers are again looking at reforming the program after years of failed attempts.

TN: Tennessee governor to sign bill banning plastic bag bans

apnews.com

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee plans to sign a measure to stop local governments from regulating certain plastic bags. The Republican-led legislature passed the bill in reaction to recent consideration by Memphis and Nashville — the liberal-leaning, most populous cities in the state — of proposals to levy taxes against single-use plastic bags to reduce waste.

MA: Massachusetts lawmakers to weigh statewide plastic bag ban

apnews.com

Under legislation scheduled for a public hearing this week, retail establishments in Massachusetts would be barred from providing customers with single-use plastic bags after Aug. 1. Stores would be allowed to charge customers 10 cents for recycled paper bags or 10 cents or more for reusable grocery bags.

MS: Mississippi election year budget to see $190M jump

mississippitoday.org

Mississippi legislators concluded the budgeting process for the 2019 session by passing a state-support budget of $6.35 billion with little debate and few questions apart from some members trying unsuccessfully to garner additional funds for a teacher pay raise.

OK: Oklahoma prepares to purge thousands of inactive voters

oklahomawatch.org

Election officials are gearing up to remove tens of thousands of Oklahomans who haven’t voted in years from the state’s voter rolls — a practice that voting rights advocates say can disenfranchise voters.

TX: Texans waiting for birth, death certificates amid health agency understaffing

texastribune.org

The backlog — exacerbated by Texas’ switch in January to a new computer system for processing records — comes as the short-staffed Department of State Health Services vies for a boost in funding.

CT: Connecticut bill restricting faith-based health centers advances

courant.com

The Connecticut legislature’s public health committee gave initial approval to a bill that would place new restrictions on faith-based pregnancy centers that counsel against abortion. If the measure is approved by the full legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut would become the first state in the nation to enact such a law.

UT: Utah governor signs campus safety bill 

sltrib.com

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, approved a bill intended to improve the response of campus police to cases of sexual assault and relationship violence. The measure was spurred by the death of a University of Utah student who was killed outside her dorm by a man she briefly dated.

KS: Kansas' hopes for medical marijuana are withering

kansas.com

Most of the Kansas legislative session has now come and gone with little action on several medical marijuana bills. Proponents are already laying the groundwork for next year, pushing for a legislative committee to study medical marijuana over the summer and produce recommendations before the 2020 session starts in January.

SD: ACLU sues South Dakota over state protest laws

argusleader.com

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of South Dakota over three protest laws that it says chill free speech. The lawsuit is challenging South Dakota's new law allowing the state to sue any person or organization for "riot boosting" or encouraging a protest where acts of violence occur. 

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