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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/30

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/30

GA: Protests, lawsuits target Georgia voting law after lawmaker’s arrest

ajc.com

Voting rights advocates ratcheted up the legal battle targeting Georgia’s new voting restrictions with a second court challenge, as critics rallied around a state legislator who made a dramatic return to the Capitol days after her arrest outside Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office while protesting the changes.

TN: Tennessee legislature passes permitless handgun carry bill

tennessean.com

The Tennessee General Assembly has approved Republican Gov. Bill Lee's legislation that would allow most adults to carry handguns without obtaining a permit, a measure some Republicans sought for years to pass.

KY: Kentucky lawmakers override most of governor’s 27 vetoes in marathon voting session

kentucky.com

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed 27 bills over the 10-day break before the final two days of the legislative session, either in their entirety or in part. Republicans, who have supermajorities in both the House and the Senate, quickly got to work overriding the governor’s vetoes.

NJ: New Jersey outdoor gathering limits will expand

northjersey.com

The number of people who can gather outdoors or attend a sporting event, concert or other entertainment in New Jersey will increase this week, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced. It comes at a time when New Jersey leads all states in the spread of the virus.

OR: Oregon House will use computers to read bills to ease Republican delays

oregonlive.com

A computer will take the place of Oregon House clerks, who faced the task of reading bills—some of them hundreds of pages long—aloud because minority Republicans have insisted upon it.

CA: California’s election rules could make gubernatorial recall a wild ride

latimes.com

There is very little set in stone for a recall election in which voters could remove California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office beyond the ballot’s basic question of whether the governor should keep his job.

AK: Survey of Alaska lawmakers’ vaccine plans reveals partisan divide

alaskapublic.org

Alaska Public Media emailed a two-question survey to all 60 state legislators, asking if they would get COVID-19 vaccines, and why or why not. All but one of the legislature’s 22 Democrats said they’re getting a shot or intend to. But 20 of the 34 Republican lawmakers either refused to answer or did not respond—and just 12 confirmed that they’re getting vaccinated.

MA: Massachusetts coronavirus spike prompts call to ‘surge vaccine’ into state

bostonherald.com

A new strategy of surging more vaccine doses into coronavirus hotspots, including “red zones” such as Massachusetts, was floated by a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner as virus cases yet again spike in the Bay State.

ME: Maine legislature tackles bills that would limit governor’s power in states of emergency

pressherald.com

Republican lawmakers riled by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ use of executive authority to manage Maine’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing more than a dozen bills that would limit a governor’s civil emergency powers or require greater legislative oversight.

AR: Arkansas governor gets health emergency extension; will let mask mandate expire

arkansasonline.com

Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson received a 60-day extension to his public health emergency declaration, after lawmakers defeated an attempt by several Republicans to end the emergency and lift all remaining executive orders issued in response to the pandemic.

WI: Wisconsin governor announces he’ll direct $2.5B in federal relief money to economic recovery

jsonline.com

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced he will spend $2.5 billion in federal relief funding to help Wisconsin's economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. He delivered the news before vetoing a bill that would have given decision-making power over billions of federal aid coming to Wisconsin to Republicans who control the state legislature.

NV: Big tech and independent shops clash over Nevada ‘right to repair’ bill

apnews.com

Big tech companies and independent repair shops are expected to clash over a proposal in the Nevada legislature that would require hardware manufacturers to give repair shops the means to fix devices such as computers, phones, tablets and printers. “Right to Repair” bills, as they’re called, have been introduced in at least 25 states. 

IA: Positive coronavirus test reported in the Iowa Senate

desmoinesregister.com

Someone associated with the Iowa Senate has tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first publicly reported case in the chamber this session.

NC: North Carolina GOP legislators want schools to return to phonics lessons for reading

newsobserver.com

North Carolina Senate Republican leaders want schools to emphasize the use of phonics to help deal with how many young children are struggling with reading. 

WA: Investigation finds more deadly delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment at Washington prisons

seattletimes.com

A critical new investigative report by Washington’s Office of the Corrections Ombuds examined 11 cases of delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment for state prison inmates over the past few years.

MO: Missouri Senate sends police chokehold ban to House

stltoday.com

Police would be barred from using chokeholds on crime suspects in Missouri under legislation heading to the state House. The state Senate signed off on compromise legislation in a 30-4 vote.

FL: Florida law will protect businesses from COVID-related lawsuits

tampabay.com

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a measure that will make it harder to sue health care providers, governments and businesses in COVID-19 related lawsuits.

NM: New Mexico sues over nuclear waste plan

currentargus.com

New Mexico sued the federal government, hoping to block a nuclear waste storage facility that would temporarily hold spent nuclear fuel rods from plants across the country.

WY: Online sports wagering bill gains final approval in Wyoming legislature

wyomingnews.com

A bill that would legalize online sports betting in Wyoming gained final approval from the state legislature. If signed into law, the bill would authorize online sports wagering in the state to be regulated by the Wyoming Gaming Commission.

DE: Delaware families affected by school closures will receive additional benefits

baytobaynews.com

Delaware households with children affected by school closures during the COVID-19 public health emergency will receive additional temporary food assistance benefits.

 

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