Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/30

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/30

NJ: New Jersey governor signs laws aimed at reducing foreclosures

nj.com

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a package of measures to lower the state’s foreclosure rate. The bills, which the legislature passed with bipartisan support, either help to keep people in their homes or attack the problem of vacant properties in neighborhoods.

MA: Massachusetts DAs join lawsuit to bar ICE from courthouses

bostonglobe.com

Two high-profile Massachusetts prosecutors joined public defenders and immigration advocates in a lawsuit against the federal government to halt immigration agents from making immigration arrests at state courthouses, an aggressive move that underscores the escalating tensions between federal and state officials over immigration enforcement.

TX: Texas Senate passes school safety bill

texastribune.org

The Texas Senate passed a measure to strengthen mental health initiatives in schools, require classroom access to a telephone, and establish threat assessment teams to identify potentially dangerous students and the best ways to intervene before they become violent.

PA: Pennsylvania joins climate coalition and releases carbon-cutting plan

post-gazette.com

Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s largest fossil fuel producers, became the 24th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to work toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement despite the Trump administration’s intent to quit the international climate pact.

MN: Minnesota agency lacked power to rename lake, court rules

mprnews.com

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a challenge to the renaming of Minneapolis’ Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska. The lake had been returned its original name, rather than honoring slavery defender and former Vice President John Calhoun.

VT: Why Vermont’s single-payer effort failed

washingtonpost.com

Then-Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, a Democrat, three and a half years ago signed into law a vision for the nation’s first single-payer health system. His small team was still struggling to find a way to pay for it.

MS: Mississippi prison lockdown entering 4th month

clarionledger.com

Roughly 1,800 of the 3,000 inmates at a South Mississippi prison are locked in their cells 23 hours a day and haven't been allowed visitors in at least three months because of a lack of correctional officers.

WA: Washington state passes affirmative action bill

apnews.com

An initiative that will allow recruitment goals for minority candidates in state jobs, education and contracting, significantly loosening existing restrictions on targeted outreach and other forms of affirmative action has cleared final votes in the Washington state House and Senate and is set to become law.

ID, UT: Idaho, Utah seek to defend Trump drilling plan lawsuit

apnews.com

Idaho and Utah are seeking to intervene on the side of the federal government after four conservation groups asked a judge to immediately halt drilling, mining and other activities to protect habitat for a ground-dwelling bird in seven Western states.

VA: Virginia governor vetoes redistricting bills

richmond.com

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vetoed Republican-sponsored redistricting rules, saying they did not go far enough to protect the voting rights of people of color. Redistricting should be done without favoring one party or another, he said.

CO: Colorado lawmakers struggle to lower health insurance costs

denverpost.com

A bill that might not make it through in the final days of the legislative session is one that has lowered people’s health insurance premiums in other states by essentially providing an insurance plan for health insurance companies to help offset the costs of their most expensive patients. One proposal is to take up to $40 million from a fee meant to pay for affordable housing.

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