What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/1
OH: Ohio poised to slash training hours for adults carrying guns in K-12 schools
Ohio legislation that would slash the number of training hours needed for K-12 school personnel to carry firearms on school grounds from about 600 hours to 24 is set to head to the Senate floor after a legislative panel neared a vote on the measure.
TX: US Supreme Court blocks Texas ban on social media censorship
The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a new Texas law barring large social media companies from blocking users based on their viewpoints, putting the measure back on hold as legal challenges move through the federal courts.
FL: Abortion medication is legal in Florida. But for how much longer?
Florida law prohibits physicians from prescribing abortion medication online or via the phone—a practice that was approved by federal regulators in 2020—but anti-abortion activists want legislators to go further.
WA: Washington preschools could expand, but they're struggling to find teachers
Washington’s state-funded preschool program is one of only a handful in the country that increased available slots during the pandemic. But thousands of the state’s most in-need families are struggling to get their children into an early learning program, and a big part of the problem is a lack of available workers.
MA: Strict gun laws work, says head of Massachusetts’ police chief group
If you let Massachusetts serve as an example, the answer to gun violence may be stricter controls on who can keep and carry firearms, according to the head of a statewide law enforcement group. “Since Columbine we’ve had two kids killed in school shootings in Massachusetts,” he said. “Do strict gun laws work? Yeah, I would say they do.”
WI: Wisconsin students with disabilities disproportionately secluded and restrained
For the second year in a row, the majority of uses of "last resort" measures to control student behavior were used on students with disabilities and elementary school students, according to data released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
KY:Judge denies request to enforce Kentucky’s new anti-abortion law, keeps block in effect
Kentucky’s newest anti-abortion law, which bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, has yet to take full effect. A judge recently denied the state attorney general’s request to allow his office to enforce provisions of the law in the meantime.
WY: Greenlit powerlines portend Wyoming wind energy boom
Having recently cleared key legal and permitting hurdles, developers are slated to begin construction of two major high-voltage transmission lines connecting Wyoming to several states in the West. When completed, the lines will open the door to a major expansion of wind energy development in the Cowboy State, industry officials say.
IL: Illinois task force urges government, businesses to unite behind ‘quality jobs’
The job market in Illinois will continue to polarize, with most growth in high- and low-wage occupations, increasing the need for government and the private sector to support work with family-sustaining benefits, a bipartisan task force established by the state legislature reported.
VA: Virginia lawmakers to vote on tax cuts in compromise state budget plan
Virginia lawmakers return to the Capitol this week to vote on a proposed state budget that includes billions in tax relief as well as more money for teachers and other public employees and record spending on education.
TN: Tennessee eyes potential budget surplus
Budget projections show Tennessee will have a $3.4 billion surplus this year compared with initial budget estimates. But state officials said that amount might be whittled to $1 billion because of various spending changes made during the legislative session.
WV: West Virginia governor declines bishop’s call for assault rifle ban, says porn, video games bigger problems
West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice at a news briefing declined to support a bishop’s plea for the governor to call a special legislative session to ban assault rifles. Justice spent most of his time on the issue of guns speaking about the grip that porn and violent video games have on young men, and how they are driving mental illness in the United States.
IA: Invasive jumping worms now found in 11 Iowa counties
An invasive earthworm native to east Asia that was discovered in Iowa in 2018 has now spread to at least 11 counties. The snakelike worms can grow up to 8 inches long and are found amid leaf litter and closer to the soil surface than other earthworms commonly seen in Iowa.
AK :Alaska governor's office contracts ex-aide for 'statehood defense'
Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office has entered a contract with a former Dunleavy aide for up to $50,000 in part to advise the administration on what legal fights to pursue against the federal government.
KS: Pilot shortage could hit rural Kansas hardest
For rural airports in Kansas—not bustling, but critical in their own way—pandemic shutdowns threaten some with the loss of their only commercial carrier because of a pilot shortage.