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Governor's Spotlight: Private School Scholarships, K9 Cop Protection, Free Community College & More

February 18, 2022

IA Gov Makes New Effort for Private School Scholarships

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is making another push to allow students to use public school funds to pay for private school scholarships. Reynolds first proposed sending the entire state per-pupil allocation with a student to their new private school last year, but the GOP-controlled legislature rejected the idea. Under the new proposal (Senate Study Bill 3080), only 70 percent of the funds would be available for tuition or other educational expenses, with the remaining 30 percent going toward rural school districts. (IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH)

MA Gov Signs K9 Cop Protection Measure

In the wake of the death of a Bay State police officer and the severe injury of his K9 partner, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed SB 2573, a bill that will implement new protections for K9 law enforcement officers. Under Nero’s Law, emergency service personnel will be allowed to provide medical care and transport K9 officers, including administering the anti-overdose drug naloxone if necessary. (NEW BEDFORD GUIDE)

CA Gov Nominates First Latina Woman to State Supreme Court

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) nominated Justice Patricia Guerrero of the California 4th District Court of Appeal to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. If confirmed, Guerrero – the daughter of Mexican immigrants - would become the first Latina woman to serve on the state’s highest court. (NBC NEWS)

DE Gov Makes To-Go Cocktails Permanent

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) signed legislation that will make permanent a pandemic-induced measure that allows restaurants to sell to-go alcohol. Under HB 290, customers would need to buy at least $10 worth of food to be able to also purchase to-go drinks. The law limits sales to one 750-milliliter bottle of wine, six servings of beer and mixed cocktails. Alcohol must be in a sealed container with no openings for sipping or straws. Eateries will not be required to sell alcohol to go. (DELAWARE NEWS JOURNAL)

KY Gov Orders Vehicle Property Tax Relief

Citing a major spike in the value of used cars, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issued Executive Order 2022-096, a directive that halts an increase in the state vehicle property tax under certain circumstances. Under his order, for the next two years Bluegrass State residents will pay a tax amount similar to 2021 provided they own the same vehicle in the same condition and are living in the same county. Beshear said he is also working with lawmakers to cut the state sales tax a full percentage point, from the current 6 percent down to 5 percent. (KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)

ME Gov Pitches Free Community College

Citing a severe workforce shortage, Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ (D) budget proposal includes using $20 million to waive tuition and fees for all community college students in the state who graduated in 2020, 2021, 2022 or 2023. Lawmakers must approve the proposal. (NECN [NEEDHAM])

UT Gov Says He Will Veto School Voucher Bill

Saying the state is already underfunding public schools, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said he would veto a school voucher bill making its way through the legislature should it make it to his desk.

“At some point, I will be absolutely willing to support vouchers. But that point is not now because we are underfunding our schools,” he said at a monthly news conference. “You can’t take money that could go to our schools and allow it to go to private schools when you’re not fully funding the education system.” (U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT)

MO Panel Moves Ahead on Gov’s Min Wage Proposal

A key Missouri Senate panel restored Gov. Mike Parson’s ability to raise all state workers’ pay to $15 an hour, after the House cut $7.8 million from the proposal over opposition to a broadly-applied minimum wage hike. House Republicans wanted the increase to apply only to “direct care” roles, such as staff in prisons, veterans’ homes, state hospitals and the juvenile justice system. Parson said the hikes are necessary to mitigate large turnover rates in government service. (KANSAS CITY STAR)

 --Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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