Washington lawmakers are being asked to set aside $100 million for the next 16 months to fund the state’s response to the novel coronavirus. That’s the estimated cost of state and local responses to the disease if cases continue to increase.
New York officials warned that the coronavirus was likely to spread in New York City, a day after confirming that a Manhattan woman had contracted the virus. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would institute new cleaning protocols in crowded public places, including schools and buses.
With six days left in the legislative session, Republicans in the Oregon legislature continued their boycott over a climate change bill. Unlike last year, Democrats will not forge a private deal with Republicans to lure them back to Salem and end the session with a flood of votes to get key business done.
Maryland’s seafood industry is facing a massive shortage of laborers to pick and process crab meat and is pleading with the Trump administration to increase a limit on foreign guest workers. Six of nine crab-picking operations at the core of the state’s seafood industry do not expect to receive the visas they need to hire workers, usually about 500 women from Mexico.
A movement among gun rights advocates to designate Second Amendment sanctuary counties in Minnesota is gaining momentum. Five northwestern Minnesota county boards have voted to declare their county as a Second Amendment “sanctuary,” or otherwise dedicated to defending gun rights.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed a bill that requires school officials who restrain or isolate students to quickly provide parents or guardians with a report on the incident and to annually report such events to the state Department of Public Instruction.
The first pieces of Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and first lady Marty Kemp’s anti-human-trafficking agenda passed through the House and Senate. The trio of bills are among the legislation intended to “put some more teeth” into the state’s trafficking laws.
The Republican-led Missouri House passed a revamped version of a voter photo identification law that was gutted by the state Supreme Court. The measure would give voters only two options: Show a photo ID to cast a regular ballot or cast a provisional ballot.
A Utah bill to make it easier to enforce laws that ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving is headed for debate before the Senate. Republican state Rep. Carol Moss has pushed the bill for years against arguments that it will do little to change behavior or that it infringes on personal freedom.
A letter from the Mississippi Department of Health arrived when Donna Harris, a personal trainer, planned to offer her first two-month weight loss program earlier this year. The letter threatened fines and jail time if she continued to discuss weight loss for money — only registered dietitians could give such advice.
Even as Rhode Island health officials say they are within months of releasing draft regulations on the “forever chemicals” found in firefighting foam, cookware and food packaging, state legislators are considering their own measures to crack down on the substances.