Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/16

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/16

TX: Ruling halts Texas order to block refugee resettlement

dallasnews.com

A federal judge has temporarily halted President Donald Trump's executive order allowing state and local governments to opt out of refugee resettlement. The injunction puts on hold Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to bar further admissions of refugees.

NJ: New Jersey to track police property seizures

nj.com

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation requiring “comprehensive disclosure and transparency” for civil asset forfeiture, a practice through which prosecutors can use the civil courts to go after property they think is connected to criminal activity.

MO: Missouri governor pitches plan to address violent crime

apnews.com

Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson used his State of the State speech to reaffirm his support for gun rights while denouncing an uptick in violence in the state’s biggest cities. Instead of gun control, Parson called on lawmakers to ramp up laws against violent crime, among other proposals.

SD: South Dakota bill would punish doctors who treat transgender children

argusleader.com

South Dakota state Rep. Fred Deutsch and more than 40 other Republican lawmakers propose to make it a felony for medical professionals to treat transgender children with hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Deutsch said such measures “are not treatments for psychological conditions.”

UT: Governor ends health officials’ distribution of risqué Utah-themed condoms

sltrib.com

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has ordered state health officials to stop distributing condoms with suggestive Utah-themed packaging, created with federal funds as part of a new HIV awareness campaign. The wrappers riff on various Utah memes, with labels such as “Greatest Sex on Earth.”

OR: Oregon Senate GOP leader still opposes climate policy

oregonlive.com

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger said that another walkout to deny Democrats a quorum on their climate change vote remains a possibility, and that he would prefer to see the policy referred to voters. Despite Democrats’ concessions to make the climate policy more palatable to rural Oregonians, Beartschiger said he felt the bill hadn’t changed much.

FL: Florida buys Everglades land to prevent oil drilling

sun-sentinel.com

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the massive buyout of 20,000 acres worth as much as $18 million. Environmentalists said it would prevent the blot of industrial activity in one of the world's most famous wetlands.

IN: Indiana bill extends driver’s cards to residents in U.S. illegally

indystar.com

The measure introduced in the Indiana House would allow state residents without proof of identity and lawful U.S. status to obtain a driving card or driving card learner's permit. Unlike a driver's license, the driving card could not be used for federal identification or federal purposes such as voting. 

CA: California to spend $2M telling smokers not to puff on the beach

sacbee.com

California wants to spend $2 million to remind you that it is against the law to smoke in state parks and beaches. If you’re caught, it’s a $25 fine. The request calls for spending $1.1 million on 5,600 signs, and $900,000 on permits.

WA: Top Washington state elections official wants more safeguards

seattletimes.com

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, is proposing new safeguards against ballot tampering and foreign manipulation of elections. Wyman is seeking $1.8 million in state money for security in county election offices that would make the state eligible for another $8.6 million in matching federal funds.

AK: Alaska bureau proposes new rule for granting tribal status

alaskapublic.org

The proposed rule would require groups of Alaska Natives seeking tribal status to prove a common bond at least as far back as 1936. The agency says it would “settle expectations” among tribes petitioning the federal government, the state, tribes already federally recognized and local governments.

TN: Fresh questions emerge about unspent Tennessee welfare dollars

tennessean.com

While Tennessee stockpiled nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars for working families, other states used funds to combat the opioid crisis and subsidize child care, a Tennessean analysis found.

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