OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Majority Democrats in the Legislature are indicating they may be open to putting restrictions on the governor’s broad emergency powers as Washington's COVID-19 state of emergency approaches two years.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller told a panel of state lawmakers Friday that they need to help New Mexico's largest city deal with its persistent crime problems by clearing the way for the most violent defendants to be kept behind bars pending trial.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday allowed absentee ballot boxes to remain in place for the Feb. 15 statewide spring primary election for local offices, but said it will decide later about their legality going forward.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry went on the offensive Friday against his Republican primary challenger, accusing state Sen. Mike Flood of “betraying conservative values” on immigration with his support of a 2012 health care law that divided Nebraska Republicans.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group seeking to legalize marijuana in Ohio has gathered enough signatures to put the issue in front of legislators, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said on Friday.
The Republican-dominated Legislature will now have four months to decide whether to legalize the use and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The full Maine Legislature will convene three times in February to vote on bills, but committee work will continue to be done virtually, legislative leaders said Friday.
Senate President Troy Jackson said that reducing the number of in-person meetings will be more efficient — and potentially reduce the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State colleges and universities in Virginia cannot require students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, under a legal opinion issued Friday by Virginia’s new Republican attorney general.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The president of the University of Idaho said Friday that “conflict entrepreneurs” using scare tactics and a false social justice narrative to claim students were being indoctrinated led to a $500,000 cut in the school’s budget last year.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham now backs a $15 minimum wage for school workers.
“I did get word five minutes before this hearing that the executive does support the $15 an hour minimum,” state Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus told legislators during a joint meeting of the state House and Senate on Friday.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska on Friday became the 17th state to call for a convention of states to consider making changes to the U.S. Constitution, putting supporters halfway to their goal of getting the 34 states needed to trigger a convention.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine might join a group of states that require overtime pay for workers who earn more than the current annual threshold.
Salaried professionals don't get overtime after working a 40-hour work week unless they earn less than $38,000.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation containing Idaho’s largest-ever tax cut continued its apparent unstoppable trip through the Legislature on Thursday.
The measure cleared a Senate panel with no Democratic support and headed to the full Senate where Republicans hold a super-majority of seats.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska lawmakers are discussing whether to sanction a member of the state House who is also a member of the Oath Keepers far-right paramilitary organization, a newspaper reported.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly approved new boundaries for its 188 seats on Thursday, choosing a map supported by Democrats who control the legislature instead of a separate proposal backed by Republican Gov.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Proposals to cut Nebraska's top income tax rates for individuals and corporations received strong support Thursday from the business community but were panned by a tax policy think tank that questioned the benefit to the economy.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is moving quickly to offer $1 billion or more in tax breaks and other incentives in hopes of landing what officials promise is an investment of up to $4 billion in an undisclosed project by a still-unidentified company.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers advanced a Republican-backed bill Thursday that would ban transgender women and girls from participating in K-12 school sports that match their gender identity, despite mounting opposition from activists that it’s unconstitutional, sexist and bigoted.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers unveiled an election year plan Thursday that would send $150 refund checks to every Wisconsin resident, bolster funding for K-12 schools and help defray child care costs.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two West Virginia state senators disagreed Thursday over whether penalizing adults for smoking with children in the car would be a violation of “parental rights."
Senate Bill 139 would make it a misdemeanor to smoke in the car with a child under 16 present.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature on Thursday rejected a proposal that called for higher annual salaries for lawmakers but restrictions on the daily allowance they can receive during sessions.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gyms, movie theaters and other businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic would receive state grants under a $185 million spending bill that won initial legislative approval Thursday.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Green energy companies and environmentalists are fighting a revived push in the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature for stricter limits on wind turbines and solar farms in a state where renewable resources account for nearly half the capacity for generating electricity.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A House panel has introduced legislation that would bar licensed therapists and counselors from offering so-called conversion therapy to minors.
Conversion therapy — sometimes called “reparation therapy” — is the scientifically discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have given final approval to a plan to use more than $700 million in pandemic relief funds on a mix of broadband, water and sewer projects and healthcare reimbursements.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona judge who presides over attorney discipline matters has signed a formal reprimand of a lawyer and former state legislator for unprofessional conduct during his unsuccessful 2020 campaign for Yavapai County attorney.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Kevin Nicholson, a former Marine and losing candidate for U.S. Senate who once called former Wisconsin Lt.
PHOENIX (AP) — A Democratic proposal to create a new tax credit for working low-income Arizonans that Republican Gov. Doug Ducey adopted as part of his budget proposal was approved by an Arizona Senate committee Wednesday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Wednesday moved to deter the use of what a legislator called “junk science” in the courtroom and give those convicted with questionable expert testimony a way out of prison.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s governor volunteered as a substitute teacher in a local public school Wednesday after announcing a program last week that would allow state workers and soldiers to help cover for teachers amid a shortage worsened by a spike in coronavirus cases.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Some Vermonters feel the state constitution needs to be amended to protect a woman's right to an abortion and everyone's right to make their own decisions about reproductive issues, lawmakers were told Wednesday.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Legislature on Wednesday fast-tracked a delay of the implementation of a long-term care program — and the payroll tax that pays for it — to address solvency concerns and other issues raised about the first-in-the-nation defined benefit.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's top-ranking state House Democrat announced Wednesday that she won't seek reelection this year, saying she won't stand in the way of a “person of color" being elected in her newly redrawn district where racial minorities represent the majority of eligible voters.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are moving forward with a series of contentious Republican-backed bills that they say would increase transparency of K-12 school curricula and restrict students from accessing “harmful materials” at libraries.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two months after the omicron variant of the coronavirus slammed hospitals with unvaccinated patients, Gov. Tom Wolf signed fast-tracked legislation Wednesday to help keep burned-out health care workers on board during a staffing crisis.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The leaders of good government groups called Wednesday for New York's Legislature to hold public hearings before passing new Congressional and legislative district maps in the coming days.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republicans pushed their congressional redistricting plan through the GOP-dominated Kansas Legislature without much trouble Wednesday with an expected court battle looming over whether it would go too far in hurting the state's only Democrat in Congress.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas doctor-lawmaker who has prescribed a parasitic worm treatment for COVID-19 symptoms acknowledged Wednesday that the state medical board has been investigating him since the summer of 2020.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has scaled back plans to expand campsites at Custer State Park after her initial proposal hit resistance in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
The Republican governor's office shared new plans on Wednesday with lawmakers that would halve the number of campsites from the more than 176 that were proposed, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Senate on Wednesday unanimously rejected a proposal that would raise the annual salary for lawmakers but place new restrictions on the daily allowance that they can receive.
ATLANTA (AP) — Facing a surge in overdose deaths and rural suicides, Georgia lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday to bolster the state's dismal mental health care system.
The legislation would pressure private insurers to improve coverage for mental health disorders and substance abuse and create an incentive for people to become mental health workers.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature signaled again Wednesday that it wants to stop municipalities in the nation’s No. 2 natural gas state from adopting building codes that prohibit gas hookups, as some states, cities and counties consider all-electric building codes as a way to fight climate change.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers are thinking about creating an insurance program to cover the costs of cleaning up abandoned coal mines.
Senate Bill 1 establishes a new private company that would issue performance bonds to help West Virginia's coal companies pay for reclamation.
DETROIT (AP) — An attorney for Michigan's redistricting commission defended new maps for seats in Congress and the Legislature on Wednesday and urged the state Supreme Court to dismiss a challenge filed by Black lawmakers.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota House committee on Wednesday approved a proposal from Republican Gov. Kristi Noem to ban transgender women and girls from competing in school sports leagues that match their gender identity.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of South Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a proposal to ban all abortions in the state should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the nationwide right to the procedure.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of Republican lawmakers resurrected a bill Wednesday to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin, saying it's time to at least talk about using the drug as a natural way to help the sick treat their ailments naturally.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Senate panel on Wednesday introduced legislation to set an end date for Idaho legislative sessions, a bill that has been tried before but comes in the wake of last year’s record-long session.
JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources can continue to test wastewater for PFAS but can't take legal action against polluters until state lawmakers set water quality standards for the compounds, a Jefferson County judge ruled.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine might create a state fund to help students enrolled in early college courses afford their textbooks.
Democratic Rep. Maggie O'Neil has proposed a bill that would create the Textbook Cost Assistance Fund within the Maine Department of Education.