In our annual State of the States series, Stateline reporters look at some of the pressing issues state lawmakers are facing as they begin their work this legislative session.
With a fast-growing electric vehicle market and billions in federal funds for charging stations, state lawmakers are heading into 2022 with big plans to boost EV deployment. Proposals address everything from consumer rebates to charging networks to school buses to building codes.
Partisan battles will continue to swirl around COVID-19 policies, particularly when it comes to government authority over vaccines and masks. But states also will consider less inflammatory, COVID-19-related measures that seem likely to gain traction: bills that would continue to make it easier to access telehealth services, address a shortage of all types of medical providers, get tests into homes and extend moratoriums on evictions.
A year after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, independent election administration is still under attack, as Republican lawmakers attempt to dismantle state and local election boards and conduct partisan audits.
Governors and lawmakers want to increase pay and fund job training for workers who have been crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly teachers, health care workers and law enforcement officers. They’re hoping new investments will improve recruitment and retention.
In the lead-up to a pivotal abortion rights decision by the U.S. Supreme Court expected this summer, legislatures in every state are likely to consider bills for and against a woman’s right to end her pregnancy. Advocates will pursue a number of legislative and executive strategies in states where abortion rights are likely to be protected, and in states where abortion would become illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.