Florida lawmakers approved legislation that would limit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled that he will sign the bill, saying he thinks it will shield elementary-age children from inappropriate lessons about sex. The measure has been dubbed by opponents as the “don’t say gay” bill.
Democratic Gov. David Ige announced that Hawaii’s statewide indoor mask requirement will end on March 25. The governor cited declining COVID-19 case numbers as motivation for the decision. Hawaii is the last state to end its indoor mask mandate.
Dozens of the governor’s appointees would no longer go through a Senate confirmation process under a bill advanced by the Iowa Senate. Democrats opposed the change, arguing the confirmation process is an essential check on the governor’s power.
During an election year that has seen a surge in petition drives to usher in major changes to Michigan law—from voter ID rules to the minimum wage—state House lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that would require regular updates to the public on the status of those campaigns. The state Senate previously approved the bill with unanimous support.
The Washington state legislature approved an alert system to help identify and locate missing Indigenous people. The system, which the state attorney general said is the first of its kind in the nation, will be similar to so-called silver alerts that are currently in place for missing vulnerable adults.
The Wyoming bill would build on existing stalking laws to also make stalking by electronic devices, such as global positioning systems and Apple AirTag, illegal. Stalking crimes involving such devices are increasing, speakers told a House committee.
Republican proposals to allow more worker exemptions from employer vaccine requirements were derailed when South Dakota GOP legislators couldn’t reach an agreement.
Republican lawmakers who control the state legislature ignored Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' call to convene a special legislative session to take up legislation that would have given each Wisconsin resident $150. The lawmakers quickly gaveled in and gaveled out of the session the governor ordered.
Delaware is another step closer to becoming the 10th state to enact a paid family and medical leave program after a bill to do that passed. All GOP senators voted against it. The bill would create a type of state paid leave insurance program funded by a small payroll tax split between workers and employees.
The fate of Pennsylvania’s popular vote-by-mail law now lies in the hands of the state’s highest court, which heard competing arguments on whether it violates the state constitution and should be struck down.
Hospitals and nursing homes in Missouri would lose some of their ability to restrict visitors during a pandemic under legislation that won preliminary approval in the House.
Colorado officials won’t pass rules cutting greenhouse gas emissions from large manufacturers until 2023, disappointing environmental advocates who say mandatory targets for 2025 and 2030 are slipping out of sight. Air quality officials say that schedule was superseded by a new law passed last summer that gives them more sweeping powers to cut emissions by 20%.
A bill that would bar public entities from requiring employees or students to disclose whether they’re vaccinated against COVID-19 passed out of a Kentucky House committee with strong Republican support.
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill requiring the state police to make all certified law enforcement officer classifications eligible for pay increases if additional general revenue money becomes available. Hutchinson also signed a bill providing one-time stipends to city and county law enforcement officers and probation and parole officers.
A Tennessee Republican lawmaker seeks to ban most abortions in the state and allow private residents to sue abortion providers under a new bill that copies a restrictive law passed in Texas last year. The proposal would ban abortions except to prevent the death or "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" of the pregnant woman.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a proposed $48.9 billion state budget that lifts spending in New Jersey to a new high while vowing to make the state more affordable. The budget includes property tax rebates, waivers on state park fees and big spending on pensions and schools.
Ohio lawmakers are taking steps they believe will prevent the state from being sued by the federal government for failing to meet an upcoming deadline to mail absentee ballots to military members.
The Utah bill would have required the Board of Education to develop curriculum teaching students “sexual assault resource strategies” and “sexual violence behavior prevention.”
As many as 70,000 emails sent to Indiana lawmakers about a contentious critical race theory bill went undelivered. At least one lawmaker is calling for a change to the state’s cybersecurity policy.
AL: Alabama lawmakers advance another ‘divisive concepts’ bill that could effect colleges, grant funding
Another bill seeking to restrict teaching on race, gender and religion earned swift approval from Alabama Republican legislators in a Senate committee.