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Governors Spotlight: Abortion Providers Protection, Teacher Gun Bill, Migrant Relocation & More

June 17, 2022

NY Gov Okays Legal Protections for Abortion Providers

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a suite of bills last week intended to insulate Empire State abortion providers and out-of-state patients from legal actions taken against them in other states.

The measures come in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that indicates the SCOTUS is primed to overturn its 1973 ruling that gives women the right to obtain an abortion, tossing the issue back to states. At least 26 states are considered likely to ban the procedure.

Bills Hochul signed include measures that bar state officials in most cases from assisting other states in prosecuting women who come to New York to obtain an abortion, block professional misconduct charges against health care practitioners for providing abortion services to patients from states where it is restricted, and allow New Yorkers a private right of action against anyone who tries to bring charges against them. 

In a speech after the signings, Hochul framed the effort to ban abortion in racial terms, saying: “Make no mistake, this debate is not just about access. Because the truth is rich women, rich white women will always find a way to secure an abortion. They always did. So, this is also an attack on poor women. An attack on Black and Brown women, an attack on New Yorkers.”

Earlier in the week, Hochul also said she will work with lawmakers to amend a new law she just signed that is intended to prevent people from buying the kind of body armor used by a man who wore it during a shooting spree in Buffalo on May 14th that cost 10 people their lives. Critics say the law currently bars people from buying soft body armor, but not the kind of hard ceramic armor the Buffalo shooter used.

Hochul’s office said they would work with lawmakers to expand the state’s ban to include the hard armor “at the first available opportunity.” (NEW YORK GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, CNN, REUTERS, BUFFALO NEWS)

OH Gov Signs Teacher Gun Bill

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed HB 99, a bill that allows Buckeye State teachers and school personnel to carry guns after undergoing just 24 hours of training, a vast reduction from the 700 hours the state Supreme Court mandated in June of 2021. The bill was opposed by several big-city mayors – all Democrats – as well as the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police. (ASSOCIATED PRESS, CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER)

NJ Gov Urges Companies in Anti-Abortion States to Relocate

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) sent a letter to at least 60 companies in states with strict anti-abortion laws urging them to relocate to the Garden State. The governor’s office declined to name the companies but said the bulk were in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas. (NJ.COM, NPR)

NM Gov Asks for Migrant Relocation Delay

With her state reeling from a wave of devastating forest fires, New Mexico Gov. Michele Lujan Grisham (D) asked the Biden administration to delay implementing a plan to relocate migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border region to Albuquerque and other interior cities. In a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Grisham expressed fear that New Mexico and other Southwestern states will “bear the brunt” of the social and economic impacts of moving forward with the relocation plan. She noted the ongoing wildfires have taxed the state’s coffers and strained the ability of state agencies to handle the influx of refugees. (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL)

 --Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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