Hot Issues

Business - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

WA House Approves HB 1706 The WASHINGTON House approves HB 1706 , which would require Evergreen State employers to pay disabled workers the same $12 per hour minimum wage they pay other workers. The measure moves to the Senate (ASSOCIATED PRESS). ...

Education - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

OR Senate Approves SB 664 The OREGON Senate approves SB 664 , a measure requiring schools to teach students about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. It moves to the House (ASSOCIATED PRESS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET).

Energy - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

NM Legislature Gives Final Approval to SB 489 The NEW MEXICO Legislature gives final approval to SB 489 , which would require all electricity from publicly regulated utilities to be obtained from renewable and carbon-free resources by 2045. It goes...

Environment - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

NM House Endorses SB 76 The NEW MEXICO House endorses SB 76 , which would bar coyote-killing contests in the Land of Enchantment. It goes to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishman (D) for consideration (NEW MEXICO POLITICAL REPORT).

Health & Science - March 15 2019 | 03-15-2019

FL House and Senate Approves SB 182 The FLORIDA House and Senate approve SB 182 , which would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana. It moves to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who pushed the measure and is expected to sign it right away (MIAMI HERALD)...

Immigration - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

HI House Declines SB 557 The HAWAII House declines to take up SB 557 , a Senate-passed bill that would have made the Aloha State the third to become a so-called “sanctuary state,” which gives local law enforcement agencies the option to...

Social Policy - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

IA Supreme Court Upholds The IOWA Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s ruling that the Hawkeye State cannot deny Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery. The court ruled that doing so would violate the state’s 2007 Civil Rights...

The Local Front - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

ID House Approves HB 217 The IDAHO House approves HB 217 , a bill that would require a public vote on any public projects using urban renewal money. It moves to the Senate (IDAHO STATESMAN [BOISE]). 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge...

Business - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

ND Senate Approves HB 1400 The NORTH DAKOTA Senate approves HB 1400 , which defines what constitutes meat and bars non-meat products from being labeled as meat in any way. It moves to Gov. Doug Burgum (R) for consideration (BISMARCK TRIBUNE). OR...

Education - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

SC House Approves HA 3759 The SOUTH CAROLINA House approves HB 3759 , a bill that would raise the minimum starting teacher pay to $35,000, give the state education superintendent more ability to take over low-performing school districts and create...

Energy - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

WA Senate Approves SB 5116 The WASHINGTON Senate approves SB 5116 , which would mandate that all electrical utilities in the Evergreen State transition to 100 percent, carbon neutral electric supply by 2030, and 100 percent carbon-free electricity...

Environment - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

UT House Approves HB 353 The UTAH House approves HB 353 , which would authorize funding to pay for free mass transit on 17 of the Beehive State’s worst air quality days over a three-year period. It moves to the Senate (DESERET NEWS [SALT LAKE...

Health & Science - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

GA House Approves HB 213 The GEORGIA House approves HB 213 , which would allow Peach State farmers to cultivate hemp for use in Cannabidiol, or CBD, oils and other products. It moves to the Senate (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION). WA House Approves...

Social Policy - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

NY Senate and Assembly Unanimously Approves SB 1719 The NEW YORK Senate and Assembly unanimously approve SB 1719 , which would make so-called “revenge porn,” the act of posting nude or sexual images of someone online without that person’s...

The Local Front - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

San Diego City Council Gives Initial Approval The SAN DIEGO City Council gives initial approval to a proposal to eliminate parking requirements for new housing developments that are within a half-mile of a public transit stop. Downtown housing developments...

Business - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

IL Governor Signs SB 1 ILLINOIS Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signs SB 1 , legislation that will raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 by 2025. The Prairie State joins CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY and MASSACHUSETTS in adopting proposals to gradually...

Education - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

WV House Tables Bill The WEST VIRGINIA House tables a bill that would have, among other things, created the state’s first charter schools and legalized education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. The proposal prompted teachers...

Environment - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

ID House Endorses Legislation The IDAHO House endorses legislation that would make the state Wolf Depredation Control Board a permanent government agency. It is now with Gov. Brad Little (R) for consideration (POST-REGISTER [IDAHO FALLS]).

Health & Science - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

US Supreme Court Rejects Appeal The U.S. Supreme Court rejects an appeal by MARYLAND to review a ruling by a lower court that invalidated an Old Line State law which barred drug makers from imposing large price increases without first justifying those...

Social Policy - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

AR Governor Signs SB 149 ARKANSAS Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signs SB 149 , so-called “trigger legislation” that would ban abortion in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing the procedure nationwide...

The Local Front - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

NY City Commission on Human Rights Bars Discrimination The NEW YORK CITY Commission on Human Rights bars discrimination against individuals on the basis of the way they wear their hair, specifically defending “natural hair, treated or untreated...

Business - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

OR Senate SB 608 The OREGON Senate approves SB 608 , which would impose the nation’s first statewide rent control regulation. Under the proposal, landlords could raise rent no more than 7 percent per year, plus the annual change in the consumer...

Education - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

AZ House Endorses SB 1014 The ARIZONA House endorses SB 1014 , which would decrease the required English instruction time for English language learners from the current standard of four hours per day to about two hours per day. The measure is now with...

Energy - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

GA House Approves HB 23 The GEORGIA House unanimously approves HB 23 , which would allow Peach State electricity cooperatives to also sell high speed internet service. The measure moves to the Senate (ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION).

Health & Science - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

UT Governor Signs SB 96 UTAH Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signs SB 96 , which implements only a partial expansion of Medicaid, a lesser expansion than what voters endorsed via ballot measure in Nov. 2018. See Governors in this issue for more details (SALT...

Social Policy - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

OK House Approves HB 2591 The OKLAHOMA House approves HB 2591 , which would strip Medicaid eligibility from providers of “services relating to pregnancy or termination of pregnancy” who do not report evidence of the rape of a minor. It...

The Local Front - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

Los Angeles City Council Unanimously Approves Statute The LOS ANGELES City Council unanimously approves a statute that makes the City of Angeles the first to require companies that have contracts with the city to disclose under affidavit any contracts...

Business - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

NJ Senate and Assembly Endorse AB 3975 The NEW JERSEY Senate and Assembly endorse AB 3975 , which would increase from six to 12 weeks the time Garden State workers may take off from work with pay after the birth or adoption of a child or to care for...

Environment - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

NY Assembly and Senate Approve AB 2572 The NEW YORK Assembly and Senate approve AB 2572 , which would bar the state from granting permits for drilling or oil or gas exploration in offshore areas controlled by the state. It moves to Gov. Andrew Cuomo...

Health & Science - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

AR House Approves HB 1176 The ARKANSAS House approves HB 1176 , which would set minimum standards for breast milk sharing programs and encourage nonprofits to launch depositories and banks for human breast milk. It moves to the Senate (ARKANSAS GAZETTE...

Potpourri - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

VA House and Senate Pass HB 1811 and SB 1341 The VIRGINIA House and Senate each pass measures that would make it illegal for drivers to talk on a cellphone without using a hands-free device. Those measures, HB 1811 and SB 1341 , pass now to the opposite...

Social Policy - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

WY House Approves HB 145 The WYOMING House approves HB 145 , which would abolish capital punishment in the Equality State. It moves to the Senate (ASSOCIATED PRESS).

The Local Front - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

AK Supreme Court Rules Local Gender Ordinance The ARKANSAS Supreme Court rules that the city of FAYETTEVILLE can’t enforce an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The court said it has already ruled...

Business - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

VA Senate Rejects SB 1200 The VIRGINIA Senate rejects SB 1200 , a proposal to raise the Old Dominion minimum wage to $15 per hour over a five-year period (WASHINGTON POST). MS House Approves HB 702 The MISSISSIPPI House approves HB 702 , which...

Education - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

WV Senate Approves SB 1 The WEST VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 1 , which would allow Mountain State residents to attend community college or technical school for free provided they meet certain conditions, including passing regular drug tests and performing...

Health & Science - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

WI Assembly Approves AB 1 The WISCONSIN Assembly approves AB 1 , which would require Badger State health insurers to cover pre-existing health conditions and ban them from dropping coverage for those who exceed caps on lifetime or annual coverage amounts...

Immigration - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

Supreme Court of United Stares Declines Case The Supreme Court of the United States declines to take up a case challenging a lower court’s ruling that temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals...

Social Policy - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

IA Law Barring Abortion A state judge declares an IOWA law barring abortion procures as soon a fetal heartbeat is detected – as early as six weeks into a pregnancy - to be unconstitutional. Judge Michael Huppert said prohibiting abortions violates...

The Local Front - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

San Diego County Announces New Program The SAN DIEGO County District Attorney’s Office announces a new program to add education about human trafficking to the school curriculum in seven schools around “America’s Finest City”...

Business - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

WA Insurance Commissioner Bans Sale of NRA WASHINGTON Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler bans the sale of NRA-backed insurance policies that offer liability coverage to people who fire a gun. The policy provides money up front to cover costs and...

Immigration - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

Federal Judge Blocks U.S Department of Commerce A federal judge blocks the U.S. Department of Commerce from adding a question on American citizenship to the 2020 census. Judge Jesse M. Furman of the United States District Court in Manhattan said that...

Social Policy - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

CA and PA Bar Trump Administration Federal judges in CALIFORNIA and PENNSYLVANIA bar the Trump administration from implementing new rules that would let almost any employer deny female employees coverage for birth control by citing religious or moral...

The Local Front - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

Key West City Approves Ordinance The KEY WEST City Commission unanimously approves an ordinance that would ban the sale of sunscreens containing ingredients that could be harmful to coral reefs. The ordinance must pass another vote on Feb 5 to become...

Business - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

MI Governor Issues Executive Order 2019-10 MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issues Executive Order 2019-10 , which bars state agencies and departments from asking job applicants about previous salary history until a conditional offer of employment...

Education - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

NJ Governor Signs AB 1414 NEW JERSEY Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) signs AB 1414 , a bill that mandates the state Board of Education include financial literacy instruction in the curriculum for sixth- through eighth-grade students in public schools across...

Environment - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

PA Governor Issues Executive Order 2019-01 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issues Executive Order 2019-01 , which establishes a Keystone State goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. The order also creates a state...

Health & Science - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

OH Governor signs HB 101 OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) signs HB 101 , which authorizes Buckeye State pharmacists to substitute cheaper but equivalent alternatives to the brand-name product EpiPen, which is used to counter severe allergic reactions to bee...

Social Policy - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

OH Governor Signs HB 425 OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) signs HB 425 , which codifies that police body camera video is public record unless it is a confidential investigatory record. The law does not, however, require police agencies to use body cameras...

The Local Front - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

Denver City Council Votes to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy The DENVER City Council unanimously votes to ban so-called gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Denver becomes the first city in COLORADO to enact...

Education - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

DC Superior Court Blocks A WASHINGTON D.C . Superior Court blocks an effort to force a new referendum on a law that would overhaul how servers, bartenders and other tipped workers are paid. District voters approved the original measure, Initiative...