Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/22

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/22

CA: California high-speed rail authority sues Trump administration

latimes.com

California’s high-speed rail agency announced it is suing the federal government over the Trump administration’s decision to terminate a $929-million grant for the state’s beleaguered bullet train. Along with challenging the grant decision, California plans to seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the federal government from using the California high-speed rail money for other projects.

CT: Backers of Connecticut marijuana legalization consider ballot

courant.com

Proponents of the ambitious effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut are exploring a fallback now that it appears they don’t have the votes for passage in the legislature — placing the issue on the ballot next year in the form of a constitutional amendment.

NV: Nevada legislature liberalizes abortion rules

reviewjournal.com

The Nevada Assembly passed a bill that would remove many of the criminal penalties for abortions still on the books, some of which date back more than a century. It offers a symbolic stand for the pro-choice movement in the state.

NM: New Mexico to seek federal reimbursement for migrant aid

apnews.com

New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will travel to Washington, D.C., to advocate for federal reimbursements to communities as they provide humanitarian relief to migrant families. The state will offer grants to reimburse local government agencies that provide humanitarian aid to migrants. State lawmakers recently set aside $2.5 million for border security.

WA: Washington is 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

apnews.com

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. It allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

NJ: Battle over New Jersey tax incentives goes to court

nj.com

Democratic power broker George Norcross III is suing Gov. Phil Murphy, also a Democrat, claiming Murphy overstepped his authority in the creation of a special task force to investigate the New Jersey Economic Development Authority — which is examining the payment of millions in incentives to projects and companies in Camden tied to Norcross.

TX: Texas school safety measures expanded with House amendments

texastribune.org

The Texas House expanded a sweeping school safety bill that now calls for students to learn about domestic violence prevention, requires certain training for school resource officers, and would provide an undetermined amount of state money for campus security measures and mental health initiatives.

MO: Without helmet requirement, Missouri likely to see more motorcycle deaths

stltoday.com

The number of motorcycle riders who die in Missouri is likely to increase if Republican Gov. Mike Parson signs off on a new law that requires motorcycle riders under the age of 18 to wear protective headgear but allows adults to go without. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, states that have approved laws similar to the Missouri bill have seen fatalities increase by more than a third.

FL: Questions raised over Florida Cabinet meeting in Israel

apnews.com

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to hold a meeting with his elected Cabinet while in Israel on a trade mission has raised concerns about whether officials are violating the state’s open-meeting laws. Cabinet meetings are supposed to be accessible for all Floridians. 

KS: Kansas law offers some protections to users of CBD oil

apnews.com

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has signed into law a bill that would allow profoundly ill people who have been unable to find relief with pharmaceutical medications to avoid prosecution for possessing certain blends of oil extracted from cannabis plants. The protected cannabidiol oils, also known as CBD, can contain no more than 5% of the psychoactive THC.

WI: Wisconsin governor to veto GOP bills aimed at limiting abortion access

jsonline.com

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' tweet vowing to veto the slate of bills included the hashtag #StopTheBans — a movement among abortion rights advocates in response to new measures putting more restrictions on abortion access, including a law in Alabama that effectively outlaws abortion.

VT: Vermont sues Sackler family members over OxyContin marketing

vtdigger.org

Vermont’s attorney general announced that the state was suing eight members of the Sackler family, founders of the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma. The suit alleges that the Sacklers contributed to the opioid crisis in Vermont by deceptively marketing the opioid painkiller OxyContin for years.

Immigration and Public Housing 'Right-to-Farm' Laws
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