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Governors Spotlight: Medical Cannabis, Mass Shooting Preparations & More

November 18, 2022 (2 min read)

MA Gov Signs $3.76B Development Plan

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed off on a $3.76 billion development plan that allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to affordable housing and helping hospitals and businesses harmed by the pandemic.

The proposal – a compromise from an earlier $4 billion plan that Bay State lawmakers rejected over the summer – also commits $200 million to increasing wages for human services workers and another $50 million to broadband expansion.

That earlier version also included tax cuts for low income residents, renters and some businesses, all removed from the bill Baker signed.

Baker lauded the bill, saying in a statement it would “make strategic investments in economic development, increase affordable housing production and support our health care system.”

But Baker also drew criticism from abortion rights advocates for vetoing $1 million the measure allocated toward an education campaign on the state’s crisis pregnancy centers, which critics contend mislead women into believing they offer abortion services, which they do not. Instead, such centers actually discourage women from obtaining an abortion. The measure would have required the state to publish information on “legitimate” family planning centers, but Baker countered that the information “is already publicly available from the state.” (BOSTON GLOBE, WBUR [BOSTON], MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, COMMONWEALTH]

KY Gov. Issues Medical Cannabis EO

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issued an executive order allowing Kentucky residents afflicted with one of 21 specific medical conditions to use medical marijuana as long as it is bought in a state where medicinal use is legal. Purchases cannot be more than eight ounces.

The Bluegrass State is one of just 13 states that do not allow either medical or recreational use of cannabis. In a statement, Beshear said the order will allow Kentuckians “to get the treatment they need without living in fear of a misdemeanor.” 

Beshear said the state is developing guidance for law enforcement in handling cannabis issues and vowed to work with lawmakers this coming session on legislation to finally codify medical marijuana use. (LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL, WBKO [BOWLING GREEN])

NJ Gov Signs Bill Requiring Venues to Prepare for Mass Shootings

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed SB 721, a bill that requires Garden State churches, movie theaters, sports stadiums and other large venues to submit emergency response plans for dealing with a mass shooting or active shooter event to law enforcement. 

The law applies to sports and music venues that seat 5,000 or more, movie theaters which seat more than 1,000, and churches and other places of worship which can seat 500 or more. Those plans must be coordinated in advance with local fire, law enforcement, and emergency response agencies. The emergency operations plan must be submitted to the chief law enforcement officer who serves the municipality in which the venue is located. (NJ.COM. NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)


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