Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/17

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/17

WA: Washington bill vacating pot convictions advances

apnews.com

People with previous misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions in Washington state are a step closer to more easily having those convictions vacated. The bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote. Because the House amended the measure, the bill heads back to the Senate — where it passed last month — for a final vote.

NY, NJ: Congestion pricing is coming to New York. New Jersey wants revenge.

nytimes.com

New York approved new tolls to enter the heart of Manhattan. Drivers in New Jersey say the decision amounts to a “keep out” sign.

NV: Nevada Senate passes rewrite of abortion law

apnews.com

Supporters say it would bring Nevada’s informed consent laws for abortion in line with medical best practices. The bill would also do away with a criminal penalty for anyone who causes an abortion without the advice of a physician and repeals a requirement that a pregnant woman consent to an abortion without being coerced.

OR: Oregon Senate OKs juvenile sentencing bills

statesmanjournal.com

The Oregon Senate passed a measure that removes the requirement that 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds be charged as adults for certain crimes; establishes the process for “second look” hearings half-way through a sentence being served by a juvenile convicted in adult court; banning life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders, among other proposals.

TX: Trump administration eyes new Texas tent facilities for migrants

apnews.com

The Trump administration wants to open two new tent facilities in Texas to temporarily detain up to 1,000 parents and children near the southern border, as advocates sharply criticize the conditions inside the tents already used to hold migrants.

IA: Iowa Senate passes industrial hemp law

desmoinesregister.com

The Iowa Senate has sent a bill legalizing the growing of industrial hemp to the House for consideration. The bill allows licensed growers to cultivate the crop on up to 40 acres.

LA: Louisiana DAs oppose bill to stop jailing rape, abuse victims

nola.com

Louisiana district attorneys oppose a bill that would prohibit prosecutors from putting sexual assault and domestic violence victims in jail to compel them to testify in criminal cases against their perpetrators. The threat of imprisonment sometimes helps force victims into assistance programs, say DAs, who also note that a warrant is required to jail them.

AZ: Arizona governor does away with licenses for blow-dry salons

apnews.com

Hair stylists in Arizona who only provide blow-drying, curling and shampoo services won’t have to be licensed under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk. The proposal was dubbed the “dry bar” bill because of an emerging business providing quick spruce-ups for clients.

NJ: New Jersey ban on ‘conversion therapy’ upheld

nj.com

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take a case that sought to overturn a New Jersey law banning conversion therapy — a medically discredited practice of attempting to change a child’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. That means the New Jersey ban will remain.

KY: Kentucky’s workers comp agency used money for meals, booze and tickets

kentucky.com

Kentucky’s state auditor said his office has uncovered spending problems at Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance, including a lack of competitive bidding and cost controls, inaccurate reporting of its contracts and business funds used for expensive meals, liquor, gifts and entertainment for insiders’ personal benefit.

TN: After failure of heartbeat abortion bill, focus in Tennessee turns to ‘trigger’ law

tennessean.com

A majority of the Tennessee House health committee voted in favor of a trigger bill that would ban abortions should the Supreme Court alter or overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The measure now goes to the House finance committee.

MS: Mississippi governor signs $1,500 pay raise for teachers

apnews.com

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says he has signed a bill to give teachers and assistant teachers a $1,500 pay raise during the year that begins July 1.

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