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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/5

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/5

IL: Illinois suburb fought for gun restrictions long before mass shooting

chicagotribune.com

In the affluent Illinois suburb where six died and two dozen were shot at an Independence Day parade, Highland Park leaders enacted a ban on assault rifles in 2013 that was swiftly challenged by a local doctor and the Illinois Rifle Association. That legal fight was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

US: Rural West braces for abortion law changes

apnews.com

Across the U.S. West, many abortion providers serving rural areas already were struggling to meet demand in a vast region where staffing shortages and long travel distances are barriers to reproductive services for women.

TX: Texans face 50%+ energy bill increases

texastribune.com

Texans are seeing skyrocketing home electric bills this spring and summer, with many customers paying at least 50% more than they did for electric bills at this time last year. Increases are driven by the cost of natural gas.

US: States plan for climate change rules

apnews.com

The U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. But its ruling didn’t touch the power of the states.

ID: Over 60 Idaho communities receive funding for water systems

idahocapitalsun.com

A total of 63 communities across Idaho will receive funding for clean water projects ranging from the evaluation and repair of current water distribution to removing lead water pipes. The Idaho legislature allocated millions of dollars to GOP Gov. Brad Little’s “Leading Idaho” initiative, which uses record surplus funding in the state’s budget to address issues like tax relief, education and water improvement projects. 

NE: Nebraska medical marijuana initiative may fall short on signatures

apnews.com

A campaign to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in Nebraska is in danger of missing its signature goal to qualify for the November general election ballot. The campaign suffered a major blow when one of its top donors died, forcing organizers to rely primarily on volunteers.

MA, VA: US Supreme Court marshal asks for anti-picketing enforcement

apnews.com

The marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court has asked Maryland and Virginia officials to enforce laws that prohibit picketing outside the homes of the justices who live in the two states. Justices’ homes have been the target of abortion rights protests since May.

NJ: New Jersey governor signs bills protecting abortions for out-of-staters

northjersey.com

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed two bills aiming to protect the right of those from outside the state to get abortion services within its borders and barring extradition of people involved in reproductive health care services should they face charges in another state.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court keeps abortion illegal at 6 weeks, denying emergency request to block law

cleveland.com

The Ohio Supreme Court denied an emergency request by abortion providers to block the state’s so-called heartbeat law, which means that, for now, abortions remain illegal at around six weeks.

MA: Massachusetts will no longer deny gun permit if applicant lacks a ‘good reason’

apnews.com

Massachusetts police chiefs should no longer deny or impose restrictions on licenses to carry a gun just because the applicant doesn’t have a “good reason” to carry, the state’s attorney general said in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

MS: Hearing set on Mississippi’s abortion trigger law

apnews.com

Mississippi judge has set a hearing in a lawsuit by the state's only abortion clinic, which seeks to block a law that would ban most abortions. A temporary restraining order would allow the clinic to remain open, at least while the lawsuit is pending.

NY: New York gun law changes react to US Supreme Court ruling

timesunion.com

The changes to New York's gun laws that were passed by the legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul will require background checks for every ammunition purchase and also mandate that handgun-permit applicants provide three years of details about their social media accounts.

NV: Vaccine no longer mandated for Nevada university employees

apnews.com

The Nevada Board of Regents will no longer require staff at the state’s public universities and colleges be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate was first approved last year. Hundreds of employees statewide ended up quitting or losing their job because they would not get vaccinated.

GA: Georgia governor extends state fuel tax break, again, through August

ajc.com

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp extended the Georgia state gas tax break another month as a busy travel season picks up, a move aimed at providing drivers with relief at the pump.

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