Hot Issues

Business - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

MI House Approves HB 4926, HB 4927, and HB 4928 The MICHIGAN House approves a trio of bills (HBs 4926 , 4927 and 4928 ) that collectively would legalize online gambling, including sports wagering, in the Wolverine State. The measures move to the Senate...

Energy - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

PA Governor Signs SB 234 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs SB 234 , which allows municipal governments to set up energy improvement districts where private lenders can loan money to commercial or agricultural property owners who want to finance...

Environment - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

HI Governor Signs SB 3095 HAWAII Gov. David Ige (D) signs SB 3095 , a bill that makes the Aloha State the first to ban pesticides containing the chemical chlorpyrifos. Overexposure to chlorpyrifos can cause paralysis and death (MAUI NEWS).

Health & Science - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

NH Governor Signs SB 488 NEW HAMPSHIRE Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signs SB 488 , which allows doctors at the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center to treat veterans at private hospitals. Although VA doctors will be able to treat veterans at private...

Social Policy - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

CA Governor Signs AB 1985 Following a state audit that found significant underreporting of hate crimes, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs AB 1985 , which sets minimum standards for how local law enforcement agencies investigate and report those...

The Local Front - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

CA Cities Adopt Flavor Tobacco Ban Days after SAN FRANCISCO voters upheld a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids , the SAN MATEO County Board of Supervisors endorses a similar ban. Several...

Business - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CA Department of Insurance Approves The CALIFORNIA Department of Insurance approves the state’s first-ever insurance coverage for legal cannabis businesses. The new policies will cover both property and liability coverage (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT...

Education - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MI Senate Approves Seven-Bill Package The MICHIGAN Senate approves a seven-bill package that would, among several things, require all school districts to develop an emergency operations plan and consult with law enforcement before the construction...

Environment - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

PA House Approves HB 2154 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2154 , which, among several things, removes an existing requirement for oil and gas drillers who damage a water supply to restore it. The measure, which also allows up to 210 gallons of crude...

Health & Science - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MA Senate Approves HB 4539 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves HB 4539 , so-called “red flag” legislation that would allow the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. The measure returns to the...

Social Policy - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

IA Judge Grants Temporary Injunction An IOWA judge grants a temporary injunction on a new Hawkeye State law barring abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert halted implementation of the law...

The Local Front - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

TN City Council Approves Ordinance The Knoxville, TENNESSEE City Council approves an ordinance to allow goat grazing on private property. The new law allows private property holders to obtain a permit to use goats to rid land of invasive plants, which...

Business - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 969 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 969 , which would ban the production and sale of marijuana-infused beer and wine. It moves to the House (DETROIT NEWS). CT Governor Signs HB 5386 CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D)...

Education - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

IL Senate Approves HB 4870 The ILLINOIS Senate approves HB 4870 , legislation that would allow sick students who qualify for medical marijuana to consume it on school premises, as long as they don’t smoke it and school officials agree that it...

Energy - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

CA Senate Approves SB 1088 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 1088 , a bill that would require the state to establish standards for strengthening the electrical grid and mandate that utilities file plans with the state to show how they will comply....

Environment - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

CA Governor Signs SB 606 & AB 1668 CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 606 and AB 1668 , which together establish statewide water efficiency regulations. Those rules will take effect in 2022 (CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’SOFFICE).

Health & Science - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

VA Senate Approves Measure The VIRGINIA Senate approves a measure that would make the Old Dominion the 33 rd state to expand Medicaid eligibility under the tenets of the Affordable Care Act. The proposal must return to the House before it can go to...

Immigration - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

MA Senate Approves Budget Amendment The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves a budget amendment that would bar police from asking about people’s immigration status unless required by law; end contracts that deputize state and local law enforcement as...

Social Policy - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

US Supreme Court Declines The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to a 2015 ARKANSAS law that requires a doctor who prescribes or dispenses an abortion-inducing drug to contract with a physician who agrees to handle complications. The SCOTUS...

The Local Front - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

LA Governor Vetoes SB 462 LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoes SB 462 , legislation that would have barred local governments from adopting so-called “inclusionary” zoning policies that require developers to include affordable housing...

Business - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

Supreme Court Overturns Sports Betting Law The Supreme Court of the United States overturns a federal law that barred states from authorizing sports betting. The ruling came in the case of Murphy v. NCAA. (For more, see Budget & Taxes in this issue...

Education - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MD Governor Signs HB 251 MARYLAND Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signs HB 251 , which requires local school systems to offer age-appropriate instruction on the meaning of consent in sex education curriculum for middle-school and high-school students (LEXISNEXIS...

Environment - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MD Governor Signs HB 1456 MARYLAND Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signs HB 1456 , which establishes offshore drilling as an abnormally dangerous activity and holds the party responsible for a spill liable for damages for any injury, death, or loss to person...

Health & Science - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MA House Approves HB 4486 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4486 , legislation that would raise the Bay State smoking age to 21. It is now in the Senate (BOSTON GLOBE). IA Governor Signs HF 2377 IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs HF 2377 , a...

Immigration - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Governor Signs SB 785 Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 785 , which prevents lawyers from revealing the immigration status of crime victims and witnesses in open court unless a judge rules the information relevant to the case (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)...

Social Policy - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 741 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 741 , which would bar local governments from banning the ownership of certain dog breeds. The bill, which would nullify all current bans and bar municipalities from imposing new ones, moves...

The Local Front - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Federal Judge Strikes Down A federal judge in CALIFORNIA strikes down a ban on shipping coal through the Port of OAKLAND . U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the City Council did not have enough evidence that the coal operations would pose...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Education - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

Going On In MA The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court rules that professors and staff at Bay State colleges can be sued for failing to act after learning a student was considering suicide. The decision came in a suit over the death of a Massachusetts...

Energy - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CT House and Senate Endorse SB 9 The CONNECTICUT House and Senate endorse SB 9 , a bill that would double the amount of renewable energy that Constitution State utilities will be required to purchase over the next decade, from 20 percent in 2020 to...

Environment - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CT Senate Approves SB 7 The CONNECTICUT Senate approves SB 7 , a bill that would adopt a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030. The measure would also update statutory references to sea level rise to reflect...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

Social Policy - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

IA Governor Signs SF 359 As expected, IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs SF 359 , which would bar abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, often as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. The law’s supporters say their intention is to...

Potpourri - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

GA Governor Signs SB 402 GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signs SB 402 , which begins a state process to bring high speed Internet lines to rural areas of the Peach State. The law allows for internet lines in public rights of way along state and limited...

The Local Front - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CO City Council Endorses The DENVER City Council unanimously endorses new rules that, among several things, require so-called “slot homes” – town homes that face sideways, allowing developers to fit more units on the property –...

Business - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Supreme Court The CALIFORNIA Supreme Court rules that businesses seeking to declare a worker an independent contractor must be able to prove that the worker is independent of control and direction from the employer, performs work that is outside...

Education - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

MA Supreme Judicial Court The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court upholds a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Bay State’s charter school cap. The suit argued that caps on charters were arbitrary and denied...

Environment - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

US Environmental Protection Agency Declares The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declares portions of seven UTAH counties to be in violation of national standards for ozone, an airborne pollutant that is particularly harmful to children. The EPA...

Health & Science - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

DE Governor Signs HB 302 DELAWARE Gov. John Carney (D) signs Substitute 1 for HB 302 , a bill that allows police to temporarily seize firearms from someone whom a mental health professional deems a danger to themselves or others. The measure takes...

Immigration - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

TN Senate Approves HB 2315 The TENNESSEE House and Senate approve HB 2315 , which would bar local municipalities from declaring themselves to be so-called “sanctuary cities,” which discourage or prevent authorities from cooperating with...

Social Policy - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

IN Circuit Court of Appeals The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court ruling striking down an INDIANA law that barred abortions performed because the fetus was determined to have a developmental or physical disability. Judge William...

The Local Front - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Board Announces Plan LOCAL FRONT : The LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA County Board of Supervisors announces a plan to install showers and bathrooms for the homeless to use in or near some of the city’s 93 metro train stations. A final plan is expected...

Business - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

CA Senate Rejects SB 827 The CALIFORNIA Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing rejects SB 827 , which would have forced cities to allow taller, denser development around public transit (CAL MATTERS [SACRAMENTO]). WI Governor Signs AB 771...

Education - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

IL House Approves HB 4870 The ILLINOIS House approves HB 4870 , a bill that allows infused medical marijuana to be administered to students by parents in Prairie State elementary and secondary schools. It moves to the Senate (ABC7CHICAGO). IA Governor...

Environment - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

LA House Signs HB 391 The LOUISIANA House rejects HB 391 , which would have opened up closed waters for public access and navigation (ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE]).

Health & Science - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

Going On In MD A federal appeals court strikes down MARYLAND’s first-in-the-nation prescription drug price gouging law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said in a 2-to-1 ruling that the 2017 law violates the commerce clause of...

Immigration - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

TN House Approves HB 2312 The TENNESSEE House approves HB 2312 , which would ban state and local officials from accepting consular IDs to establish identity. The measure, which would also prohibit officials from accepting locally issued forms of identification...

Social Policy - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

PA House Approves HB 2050 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2050 , which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion based on the belief the expected child is likely to have Down syndrome. It moves to the Senate (PENNLIVE). PA House...

The Local Front - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

CA City Council Approves The LOS ANGELES City Council unanimously approves and ordinance requiring companies that are seeking to do business with the city or have city contracts to reveal whether they are helping to build a wall along the Mexican border...

Business - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

TN House Rejects SB 1086 The TENNESSEE House rejects SB 1086 , a Senate-endorsed bill that would strip local municipalities of the ability to ban short term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. The measure is expected to go to a joint conference committee...