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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/18

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/18

MI: Judge stops enforcement of Michigan's abortion ban if Roe is overturned

detroitnews.com

A Michigan Court of Claims judge granted a preliminary injunction to Planned Parenthood of Michigan that would stall the enforcement of Michigan's 1931 abortion ban should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the landmark 1973 Roe decision. The state attorney general said she won't appeal the order.

TX: Texas librarians face harassment as they navigate book bans

texastribune.org

Many Texas librarians feel left out of decisions on banning books while also facing increased scrutiny from politicians, parents, and county and school district staff. Some have already quit, and others are considering it.

CA: Judge strikes down California law requiring women on corporate boards

calmatters.org

As California pushes the envelope with progressive, first-in-the-nation policies, the courts are pushing back. The latest casualty: a controversial law requiring all publicly held companies headquartered in the Golden State to have at least one woman on their board of directors.

LA: Louisiana House panel rejects bills restricting lessons on race 

apnews.com 

A state lawmaker’s attempt to set restrictions on what public schools in Louisiana can teach about race was rejected by a House committee, with some panel members saying the legislation needlessly encroached on state and local education officials’ duties, and other critics saying the legislation was so broadly written it could squelch classroom debate. 

HI: Hawaii government complaints office is dealt more work abuse amid pandemic

staradvertiser.com

The state Office of the Ombudsman has welcomed complaints about state and county administrative agencies in Hawaii for more than 50 years, but the past two have been extraordinary. The 14-person office has gotten hit by a surge of complaints during the coronavirus pandemic, including some delivered with hostility.

OH: Ohio Republicans plan November ballot issue to keep noncitizens from voting

cleveland.com

Ohio Republican lawmakers are preparing to ask voters in November to amend the state constitution to reinforce further that it’s illegal for non-U.S. citizens to vote in local or state elections.

SC: South Carolina governor signs transgender sports ban bill

apnews.com

South Carolina’s governor has quietly signed into law a bill that will ban transgender students from playing girls or women’s sports in public schools and colleges, as the state joins about a dozen others that have passed similar laws in the past two years.

TN: Federal judge strikes down Tennessee bathroom sign law

tennessean.com

A federal judge struck down a Tennessee law requiring businesses and government buildings to post a sign if they let transgender people use facilities associated with their gender identity. Violations of the law threatened a maximum $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge that could lead to up to six months of jail time. 

IA: Iowa governor signs mobile home protections bill

iowacapitaldispatch.com

Mobile home park tenants will get an additional month’s notice before evictions or increases to their rent and utility fees under a new state law that was signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican. The law also creates protections for tenants of parks that do not provide essential services such as running water.

OK: Oklahoma legislature cuts unemployment benefits

oklahoman.com

Oklahomans in the job market would have 10 fewer weeks to search for work while receiving unemployment benefits under a House measure advanced to the governor's desk. The measure would shorten the current benefits timeframe from 26 weeks to 16 weeks starting Jan. 1 of next year.

MO: Workers vote on forming Missouri’s only active library union 

apnews.com 

Workers at a public library system based in Columbia, Missouri, are voting this week on whether to become the only active public librarians union in the state.

SD: Report: South Dakota officials helped governor's daughter

argusleader.com

A daughter of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem received preferential treatment as she progressed through a real estate appraiser licensing program administered by South Dakota, according to a legislative report.

PA: 2 Pennsylvania small towns give free housing to remote workers in hopes they will stay

inquirer.com

In Pennsylvania, the five applicants chosen for each town get free temporary housing. In the town of Bellefonte, that will be one full month, mostly in bed-and-breakfast accommodations, starting in July. Bellefonte’s application window is closed, but the town of Kane is still accepting applications.

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