What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/11
NH: Why New Hampshire says it won’t be the next Iowa
New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is seemingly poised to avoid any Iowa-style technical breakdowns, as well as the threat of cyberattacks.
MD: Maryland comptroller bans disposable e-cigarettes
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has banned the sale of disposable flavored e-cigarettes. Franchot, a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2022, has instructed his field enforcement division to halt the sale of disposable electronic smoking devices, as well as seize any unsold products as “contraband.”
NJ,WA: DOJ renews push to pressure 'sanctuary cities'
The U.S. Department of Justice ramped up its fight against states and municipalities that adopt “sanctuary” policies to protect immigrants from deportation, with new lawsuits against the state of New Jersey and King County, Washington.
UT: Utah Senate votes to adopt year-round daylight saving time
The Utah Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would permanently place the state on Mountain Daylight Time. The bill would make year-round daylight time contingent on federal law being changed to allow the state that option and on similar legislation passing in at least four other Western states.
GA: Georgia eases driver’s license rules for Puerto Ricans, others
The Georgia Department of Driver Services has agreed to make it easier for Puerto Ricans and applicants from other U.S. territories to get driver’s licenses under the terms of a federal lawsuit settlement. The department agreed to allow the U.S. citizens to transfer their driver’s licenses to Georgia without taking driving or written tests.
WV: West Virginia Senate passes ‘born alive’ abortion bill
The West Virginia Senate passed a bill to penalize physicians who don’t provide medical care to a baby born after an abortion attempt. Senators unanimously approved the measure following lone testimony from a Democrat who said lawmakers have wasted time angling for political points on a bill that has no impact instead of working on the state’s more serious problems.
CT: Connecticut lawmaker proposes 35% tax on ammo
A Connecticut state representative has reintroduced a proposal to impose a significant tax on ammunition sales and use the money to fund gun violence prevention and reduction efforts. The bill calls for a 35% excise tax.
VA: Same-day voter registration advances in Virginia
Eligible voters in Virginia could soon be able to register to vote on Election Day, according to a measure that cleared the Virginia House. Voter registration deadlines often come weeks before voting takes place.
MS: Crumbling schools, dismal outcomes in Mississippi Delta
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education was supposed to force Southern schools to desegregate after more than a decade of stalling. But 50 years after the decision, black students in the Mississippi Delta remain shut out from an equal education.
WI: GOP plan would give Wisconsin farmers up to $7,500 in tax relief
Wisconsin Assembly Republicans said they planned to give farmers up to $7,500 apiece in property tax breaks and reduce income taxes for some of them. But they acknowledged they did not know how much their fast-moving plans would cost or whether Senate Republicans could be persuaded to get on board with them.
CO: Younger patients could get colon cancer screenings covered by insurance under Colorado bill
A bill pending in Colorado’s legislature would lower the age at which insurers are required to cover colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 for average-risk people, to try to catch more cancers. Insurance plans already are required to cover screening at a younger age for high-risk people.
CA, TX: Texas asks Supreme Court to end California's travel ban
After Texas passed a law in 2017 allowing foster care agencies to cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny placements to gay couples, California banned state-funded travel to the Lone Star State. Texas asked the Supreme Court to overturn the state law establishing the ban, arguing that California was trying to punish Texas for "respecting the right of conscience" for foster care.
OR: Oregon environmentalists, timber companies end ballot fight
Timber companies and conservation groups have agreed to stand down from their divisive and potentially expensive ballot measure fight over Oregon’s logging rules. The agreement calls for state lawmakers to immediately pass tighter restrictions on aerial herbicide spraying.