Texas Senate Democrats sent a letter to the governor demanding a special session to pass gun control legislation in response to the Uvalde school shooting. The question moving forward is whether Democrats will be able to put enough pressure on Republican lawmakers to move on a previously intractable issue in gun-friendly Texas.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has such a backlog that some clients have been waiting seven years for a resolution of their cases. The pandemic exacerbated existing delays, and the backlog has climbed more than fivefold since 2019.
Government employees in more than half of Colorado counties won the right unionize and to collectively bargain over pay, benefits and working conditions. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed the law, which is set to go into effect on July 1, 2023.
All over Kansas, elected leaders convened task forces on racial justice and diversity issues after protests in more than a dozen communities. But almost two years later, the passion and energy evident in those protests hasn’t translated into widespread change.
Many out-of-state residents appear to have gotten discounted in-state State University of New York tuition due to lax policies, an audit found. Out-of-state resident tuition costs about $10,000 more for undergraduate studies, on average, and typically $12,000 more for graduate school. Students could get the discounted price simply by checking a box to attest that they were in-state residents, without having to prove it.
Protections from Roe v. Wade are enshrined in Nevada law, and most residents consistently poll in favor of reproductive rights. But it’s the only state in the country that can imprison people for terminating a pregnancy under certain circumstances.
Hundreds of volunteers with the Washington Voter Research Project have been knocking on doors, questioning residents and searching for evidence of voter fraud—or at least outdated voter rolls. The effort has generated complaints from people put off by the inquiries, leading several county auditors and the secretary of state to issue public statements warning that the group is not authorized by any election office.
The Illinois Department of Public Health provides some statistics online about patients who get abortions, such as their age and county where they live. But their race and ethnicity, metrics that help illuminate potential disparities, has never been revealed. After a WBEZ inquiry, the state is evaluating whether that should change.
At least 17 of the Alaska legislature’s 60 members will be in a new position or out of office entirely by next January—and that doesn’t count anyone who loses their seat this fall. Because a steep learning curve awaits new legislators, several departing incumbents said the turnover will slow the progress of complicated legislation, such as a long-awaited state fiscal plan.
Top officials from California and New Zealand signed a pledge agreeing to help fight climate change by sharing ideas and best practices, including how to put millions more electric vehicles on the road. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the agreement at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Missouri officials withdrew their attempt to sell nearly 400,000 face masks, saying the decision to auction them off to the highest bidder was “premature” hours after thePost-Dispatch reported on its website about the now-scuttled sale. The masks were being sold alongside a potpourri of items deemed as junk-worthy by state bureaucrats.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is still attempting to fill lifeguard and other seasonal positions, despite increasing the compensation. The agency has boosted the starting salary up to $17 an hour for most positions, and higher for some other jobs, but still is facing challenges finding summer help.
Rising sea levels, warmer ocean temperatures, hotter weather and invasive species all threaten Hawaii’s 22 species of seabirds. But local organizations are finding ways to help.
Minnesota's nonprofits failed to win special COVID-19 aid from the legislature this session, despite their appeal for $200 million in one-time pandemic relief. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, which led the lobbying effort, said that the state's nonprofits—which make up about 14% of Minnesota's workforce—continue to battle rising costs while getting less government support than the public and private sectors.
Delaware’s Division of Parks and Recreation had over 47,000 active annual passes in 2019. That increased 31% to over 61,000 passes in 2021. And the division reports sales are ahead of this time last year, despite being delayed for two months.
Virginia legislative leaders revealed budget language that would create a new criminal misdemeanor in state law for possession of more than four ounces of marijuana in public.