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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/11

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/11

DE: Delaware governor signs paid family and medical leave bill

delawarepublic.org

In front of a cheering crowd, Delaware Democratic Gov. John Carney signed a paid leave bill into law, providing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to residents in nearly every line of work. Seasonal businesses and businesses with 10 or fewer employees are not covered.

WA: Washington is the first state to require all-electric heating in new buildings

crosscut.com

Washington recently became the first state in the country to mandate that newly constructed buildings be outfitted with all-electric space heating and hot water systems. The State Building Code Council voted 11-3 to adopt a revised energy code that requires most new commercial buildings and large multifamily buildings to install electric heat pumps.

OR: Hackers hit web hosting provider linked to Oregon elections

oregonlive.com

A week before Oregon’s primary election, the secretary of state’s office is moving to protect the integrity of its online system where campaign finance records are published after a web hosting provider was hit by a ransomware attack.

MI: Michigan voters to decide on changes to term limits, new financial disclosures

freep.com

The Michigan legislature formally approved a ballot proposal that will let voters decide if it’s worthwhile to change term limits and create new financial disclosure requirements for state elected leaders. The language approved by the legislature would require elected leaders disclose far fewer financial details than suggested by the original ballot proposal.

OK: New Oklahoma voting laws target multiperson housing, election funding

oklahoman.com

A new law dictates that the Oklahoma Election Board compile an annual list of registered voter addresses; if 10 or more people are registered at any given address, the local district attorney is required to investigate. Other new laws require court systems to share a list of felons with the Election Board and stipulate that only public funds can be used to administer elections.

WY: In Wyoming's Laramie Mountains, too many elk and no easy fixes

wyofile.com

A statewide task force is exploring changes to how the Wyoming Game and Fish Department issues licenses that would increase hunting pressure on herds holed up on private land.

CT: Connecticut court rules pandemic orders not an excuse to violate lease 

apnews.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that executive orders issued by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont affecting restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic could not be used by a Norwalk eatery as an excuse not to pay the rent. 

MT: Lawsuit asks judge to overturn Montana’s elk hunting rules

mtstandard.com

In the latest chapter in a yearslong debate over elk management in Montana, a group representing property owners has filed a lawsuit asking a state judge to overturn hunting regulations and to direct wildlife officials to significantly reduce elk populations in parts of the state.

FL: Florida’s permit plan would speed up wetlands destruction, critics say 

orlandosentinel.com

Florida lawmakers have created a fast track for wetlands destruction that will speed up an already streamlined process that has drawn warnings from federal regulators and a lawsuit from environmentalists. The new pay-to-play arrangement is tucked into a water quality bill approved by the legislature earlier this year.  

MO: Missouri Senate committee advances resolution to trigger abortion ban 

stltoday.com

A Missouri Senate committee advanced legislation to trigger the state’s near-total abortion ban if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. With little discussion, the committee voted 4-2 to approve the measure, sending it to the Senate floor. 

NY: New York governor proposes $35M to expand abortion access

timesunion.com

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the state to distribute $35 million toward increasing access to safe abortions, particularly for low-income or uninsured people who may be coming from states that have restricted access to abortion or move to outlaw it if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

WI: Wisconsin DOJ releases statewide police use-of-force data dashboard

wisconsinexaminer.com

In 2021, incidents of police violence in Wisconsin occurred most often on public roads or private homes, the victim was most often a male between 18-35 years old and the officer had usually been on the force for less than five years.  

MN: All Minnesota troopers now wearing body cameras

startribune.com

Minnesota motorists stopped by a state trooper will have their interactions video recorded now that the State Patrol has finished outfitting its entire force with body cameras.

TN: Federal appeals court denies Tennessee’s request to overturn order on school mask law

tennessean.com

A federal appeals court upheld a court order allowing Tennessee schools to institute mask mandates, another loss for the state in the ongoing case against a new COVID-19 law. 

DC: DC Council to pull more police from schools

washingtonpost.com

The Washington, D.C., Council voted to keep phasing police out of public schools—despite the objections of the mayor and city principals’ union, which had said officers are needed to prevent school violence—as it approved a fiscal 2023 budget that will spend a record $19.5 billion.

Jail Voting Expands in Illinois Dredging Waterways
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