What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/3
MA: Appeals court clears way for Massachusetts challenge to birth control rollback
A federal appeals court greenlighted a Massachusetts challenge to the Trump administration’s rollback of a federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.
MN: Minnesota governor signs law repealing marital rape exemption
Minnesota has long allowed people who rape their partner to escape penalties if they meet certain conditions, a law that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz called “antiquated and shameful” before repealing it.
WI: Wisconsin governor vows to ‘fight like hell’ for Medicaid expansion
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers pledged to “fight like hell” to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin, a day after Republican legislative leaders said they would kill his proposal next week.
HI: Hawaii lawmakers pass all-mail elections, automatic recounts
Hawaii lawmakers passed bills instituting all-mail voting and automatic recounts for races with narrow victory margins, measures lawmakers hope will boost voter turnout and confidence in elections. The bills now go to the governor, who hasn’t indicated whether he’ll sign them.
MO: Missouri governor wants fast subsidies for GM
General Motors officials outlined a plan to state and local leaders to spend $1 billion on its truck and van plant, adding hundreds of thousands of square feet and an unspecified number of new jobs. In a closed-door meeting in Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s office, the leaders learned Missouri is competing against other states for the expansion project.
GA: Georgia governor signs dyslexia screening
In five years, all Georgia elementary schools will have to screen every kindergartner for a reading condition called dyslexia, under the measure signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. It also calls on the state’s teacher credentialing agency to set new standards for what future teachers must learn about dyslexia.
MT: New Montana law allows emergency care providers to offer other aid
Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has signed a bill allowing emergency care providers to offer non-emergency medical assistance in their communities to reduce 911 calls in rural areas. The providers could fill gaps in the current medical system by helping people manage their medicine or chronic illnesses.
CA: California’s latest weapon against climate change is low-tech farm soil
Electric cars and solar panels are the most visible signs of California's ambitious climate change policies. Now the state is setting its sights on a lower-tech way to cut carbon emissions: soil.
NJ, VA: Flying umbrellas alarm beach-state senators
Democratic senators from Virginia and New Jersey are asking the federal government to investigate beach umbrella safety. Flying umbrellas propelled by wind gusts have caused injuries and at least one death, the senators said.
NC: North Carolina governor may veto budget without Medicaid expansion
Some expect North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, to veto a state budget that doesn't include Medicaid expansion. Republicans control the legislature but don't have the votes to override a veto.
TX: Texas Senate advances bill requiring pre-abortion counseling
Supporters of the Texas measure say it would prevent women from regretting an abortion, but abortion rights advocates fear the bill lacks key protections, like a requirement for the counselor to be a licensed medical professional.
LA: Louisiana death penalty costs $15M a year, study says
There are 65 men and one woman currently sentenced to death in Louisiana. Since 2004, Louisiana has spent well over $200 million on death penalty prosecutions, appeals and housing condemned inmates on death row.