Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/23

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/23

NY: New York governor wants quicker process for closing state prisons

recordonline.com

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking to close more state prisons this year and help affected communities with economic development incentives. The state has shuttered 17 correctional facilities since 2010.

RI: Rhode Island to divest from gun-makers, private prisons

providencejournal.com

Rhode Island plans to divest from makers of assault-style weapons for civilian use. Democratic General Treasurer Seth Magaziner would also end investments in private prisons.

VA: Virginia Senate approves ‘red flag’ gun law

richmond.com

Virginia’s state Senate approved a “red flag” law that would allow removal of guns from anyone at risk of hurting somebody, through a protective order. No Republican voted in favor.

OH: Ohio’s voter registration purge targeted thousands in error

usatoday.com

It’s a system that Ohio’s elections chief called “antiquated and inefficient.” The state’s 2019 voter purges removed more than 460,000 registrations, many of them for inactivity, but some active voters were wrongly removed.

CA: California governor wants statewide no-kill shelters

sacbee.com

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, wants the Golden State to become a “no-kill state,” ending the euthanasia of many shelter animals. He’s dedicating $50 million in his budget proposal toward his goal.

CT: Connecticut Democrats propose hate crime police force

courant.com

Connecticut Senate Democrats want a new state police department focused on hate crimes and violent right-wing extremism. In 2017, state police reported 111 bias crimes.

NC: North Carolina teachers may go on strike

newsobserver.com

North Carolina teachers are considering going on strike to force pay raises and increased Medicaid spending. A union is surveying school employees across the state about how many days of work they’re willing to miss to pressure the General Assembly to meet their demands.

MN: Minnesota governor proposes $2.6B in construction

minnpost.com

Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s plan includes everything from affordable housing grants to aid for bridges and rail crossings. GOP leaders have objected to the price tag.

WI: Wisconsin governor has plan for dairy farmers

jsonline.com

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called on lawmakers to expand exports for Wisconsin dairy farmers struggling with low milk prices and suffocating tariffs. The state's signature industry has been decimated in recent years.

UT: Utah bans ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

sltrib.com

Utah has enacted its ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors, becoming the 19th and most conservative state so far to prohibit the discredited practice. The professional licensing rule bars therapists and counselors from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a client under age 18.

WA: Washington state advances sex ed bill

seattletimes.com

Comprehensive sexual-health education could be a mandate for Washington public schools as the state Senate resurrected legislation that failed last year. Dividing along party lines, senators voted for a bill that would require districts to teach some form of sex education from kindergarten to 12th grade.

SD: South Dakota may criminalize transgender treatment

argusleader.com

South Dakota legislation making it a crime to treat transgender children younger than 16 with hormones and gender confirmation surgery is moving forward. The bill is up for a state House vote.

NJ: New Jersey becomes first state to mandate severance for workers in a mass layoff

nj.com

New Jersey will require that employers provide more notice before a layoff that will put at least 50 people out of work. It also will force businesses to pay their workers one week’s severance for every year of service.

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