Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/29

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/29

MD: Maryland lawmakers to reintroduce family leave legislation

marylandmatters.org

The expected measure would ensure Maryland workers up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement, between $50 and $1,000 a week. It would be financed through a payroll tax shared equally by the worker and employer, which would be capped at 0.5%.

OH: Ohio colleges could no longer ban speakers, set up free speech zones under bill

dispatch.com

An Ohio state senator says a bill he’s sponsoring, which was approved 33-0 by the Senate, would create a more robust environment for free speech on state college and university campuses.

NJ: Gun permit applications jump in New Jersey as Jews seek protection

northjersey.com

Some New Jersey Jews are reconsidering their aversion to firearms after a spate of violent anti-Semitic attacks around the tri-state region — including a deadly shooting at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, and an attack by a machete-wielding assailant in Monsey, New York.

WA: Washington lawmakers look to address police bias in traffic stops

crosscut.com

In the wake of revelations that Washington State troopers are searching people of color at a much higher rate than whites, lawmakers say they’ll be looking at the issue during this year’s legislative session.

TN: Could Tennessee’s abortion ban survive a legal challenge? Experts on both sides doubtful.

tennessean.com

Republican Gov. Bill Lee said Tennessee's proposed abortion law — one of the strictest in the nation — should survive a challenge in court. 

KY: Kentucky governor promises funded pensions and pay raises for teachers, state work

kentucky.com

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear promised to fund pension systems and give pay raises to public employees and teachers during his state budget address.

AK: Alaska governor proposes state lottery

alaskapublic.org 

Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed introducing a state lottery during his second State of the State address, calling it an “innovative new approach to revenue” for the state. There are no bills to create a lottery currently in the legislature.

MI: Michigan prepares for uptick in absentee ballots

detroitnews.com

Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is advocating for legislative changes that will allow local clerks to process an anticipated uptick in absentee voter ballots ahead of the first statewide election since new laws went into effect, expanding options to vote. Benson expects higher turnout because of that and new same-day registration rules.

CO: Colorado lawmakers consider eliminating the civil statute of limitations for child sex assault

coloradosun.com

Colorado lawmakers plan to bring legislation this year that would give child sexual assault victims unlimited time to sue their abusers and the institutions that protect the predators. But for people abused in the past — including the more than 150 victims of Catholic priests identified in a recently released report — the change may be coming too late.

UT: Utah lawmakers seek to loosen voter privacy law

deseret.com

Two Utah lawmakers want to loosen election privacy laws to allow candidates and political parties access to voter information, even if people opted to keep their information private. A 2018 law allowing Utahns to keep their voter registration records private has made it more difficult for candidates to contact voters and for party officials to verify voter registration status at caucuses.

DC: District of Columbia police can no longer handcuff most suspects under age 12

wamu.org

District of Columbia police officers will no longer be allowed to handcuff any suspects under the age of 12, unless they present a danger to themselves or others, according to new guidance issued by the city's police chief.

AZ: Arizonans spent more than $500 million on medical marijuana in 2019

azcentral.com

Arizonans spent more than half a billion dollars on medical marijuana in 2019, a dollar amount that grew over the previous year and a sign of the substance's prevalence in a state where voters likely will decide whether to legalize recreational use of it this fall.

OR: Oregon governor wants vote on affordable housing tax

opb.org

With sky high property values helping to create a housing and homelessness crisis in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, wants voters to amend the state constitution to allow for real estate transfer taxes. The taxes would “fund or finance affordable housing.”

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