Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/17

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/17

WI: Landlords rewrite Wisconsin rental laws

jsonline.com

A series of sweeping Wisconsin laws promoting the interests of landlords at the expense of renters, local governments and even public safety have been pushed through the state Capitol since 2011 by a group of lawmakers who moonlight as landlords. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is a landlord with 23 properties worth about $3.8 million. 

NJ: New Jersey Democrats scrap governor’s ‘millionaire’s tax’

nj.com

Democratic lawmakers will introduce their own state budget that ditches Gov. Phil Murphy’s long-sought proposal to raise taxes on millionaires in New Jersey, setting up a showdown with the progressive Democratic governor in the coming days, NJ Advance Media has learned.

CO: Colorado governor announces measures to boost vaccination rates

denverpost.com

Gov. Jared Polis said the solution to falling immunization rates in Colorado is to increase education and access rather than eliminate nonmedical exemptions, as other Democratic governors have done. “I’m pro-choice,” Polis said at a news conference. “I think it’s your body, and it’s your decision.”

TX: Texas governor vetoes bill requiring rear-facing car seats for children under 2

texastribune.org

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would have required children under age 2 to be secured in rear-facing car seats while in a moving vehicle. Fourteen other states have similar laws, but Abbott described it as “an unnecessary invasion of parental rights and an unfortunate example of over-criminalization.”

AZ: Arizona governor wants more taxpayer dollars used at out-of-state private schools

azcentral.com

Gov. Doug Ducey signaled he will push next year to allow Arizona taxpayer dollars to be used at out-of-state private schools, beginning with students on Indian reservations — indicating the state’s Republican establishment will continue to pursue its yearslong effort to expand the school-voucher program.

NE: Nebraska AG is lone holdout among states in pursuing opioid cases

apnews.com

Every other state but Nebraska has sued, filed administrative charges or promised to sue the companies blamed for the national crisis, which played a role in the deaths of more than 390,000 Americans from 2000 through 2017. Not Republican Attorney General Doug Peterson.

AL: Alabama orders ‘chemical castration’ of some child molesters

apnews.com

Some Alabama sex offenders who abuse young children will have to undergo “chemical castration” while on parole, under a new law, but the requirement has prompted legal concerns and appears to be rarely used in some states that allow it.

FL: Florida governor signs ban on nonexistent ‘sanctuary cities’

miamiherald.com

Fulfilling a campaign promise popular with his party’s base, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will ban “sanctuary cities” in Florida, though the policy is expected to draw a legal skirmish over its constitutionality as it goes into effect next month. There are no “sanctuary cities” in Florida.

MI: Michigan flies Pride flags on state building for first time

freep.com

Pride flags are flying on the state office building in Lansing for the first time in Michigan’s history. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered that two of the iconic rainbow flags be flown on the George W. Romney Building.

OK: Protest to Medicaid expansion goes before makeshift Supreme Court in Oklahoma

oklahoman.com

A makeshift Oklahoma Supreme Court is set to hear arguments about a proposed state question to expand Medicaid to cover more of Oklahoma’s uninsured.

HI: Contributions grow as Hawaii vacation rental bills advance

staradvertiser.com

In recent weeks, opponents and supporters in the highly charged vacation rental debate have accused each other of trying to buy influence on the Honolulu City Council. A Honolulu Star-Advertiser review of campaign finance records shows that council members have received contributions from both sides.

AR: Arkansas governor vexed by water release as flood tactic

arkansasonline.com

As his office begins assessing and repairing the damage left by historic flooding along the Arkansas River, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he wants federal officials to review the management of water flows that caused devastation across Arkansas.

NY: Driver’s licenses for the undocumented: New York’s immigration landmine

nytimes.com

In the 12 years since fierce backlash forced then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, to abandon a proposal to offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, New York has fashioned much of its political identity around a commitment to immigrant issues.

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