What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/5

IL: Illinois suburb fought for gun restrictions long before mass shooting. In the affluent Illinois suburb where six died and two dozen were shot at an Independence Day parade, Highland Park leaders enacted a ban on assault rifles in 2013 that was swiftly challenged by a local doctor and the Illinois Rifle Association. That legal fight was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/1

CA: California governor signs nation’s most sweeping law to phase out single-use plastics and packaging waste. Striking a blow against a pernicious form of pollution, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law the nation’s most far-reaching restrictions on single-use plastics and packaging. FL: Judge to temporarily...

As Drugmakers Cut Off Discounts, Providers Fret for Low-Income Patients

This story has been updated to correct both the extent of actions by drug manufacturers in the 340B program and the dollar amount of sales the program has produced. Hospitals and community and rural health clinics that serve low-income patients say drug manufacturers have threatened their financial stability by dramatically cutting back their participation in a federal drug discount program that saves those health providers millions of dollars a year.

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/30

GA: Georgia legislators challenge subpoenas from Trump special grand jury. Members of the General Assembly are tussling with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office over subpoenas served as part of the ongoing criminal investigation into the actions of former President Donald Trump and his allies following Georgia’s 2020 elections.

After Mass Shootings, Lawmakers Weigh Body Armor Bans

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Calls for new gun restrictions inevitably follow most American mass shootings, including the one that killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket six weeks ago. But in the wake of the Tops supermarket massacre, legislators here and in several other states also have turned their attention to a new target: civilian body armor.

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/29

US: State by state, legislatures, governors and attorneys general act on Dobbs decision. The U.S. Supreme Court decision to overrule Roe v. Wade also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted. NV:...

Early Warning System Pinpoints Flooded Roads in Some States

When Hurricane Florence struck North Carolina in 2018, 11 people there died from freshwater flooding—all of them in cars. The storm also caused 2,500 road closures in the state, including parts of Interstates 95 and 40, which were shut down for more than a week because of flooding. The state estimated bridge, culvert and road washouts as well as other transportation infrastructure damage at more than $227 million.

Judge Strikes Down New York City Law Allowing Noncitizen Voters

A New York state judge this week struck down a New York City ordinance that would have allowed around 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections. The law, which the City Council passed in December, would have allowed legal residents who are not U.S. citizens—including green card holders and those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status—to vote in municipal elections beginning in 2023, if they had lived in the city at least 30 days. The law would have applied to mayoral and other municipal elections, but would not have afforded the right to vote in statewide or national races.

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/28

CA: California constitutional amendment securing abortion, contraceptive rights goes to voters. California voters will decide in November whether the state constitution should explicitly protect a person’s right to an abortion, and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new efforts to solidify “California’s status as a reproductive safe haven for women.”

Pandemic Petition Woes Derail Candidates, Ballot Initiatives

James Craig, a former Detroit police chief who was running for Michigan governor, said he remembers pleasant conversations with petition circulators at his campaign events this spring and never suspected anything untoward was happening. “I’m the candidate out giving speeches, and you think you have professionals working for you on...

What Were Reading: Top State Stories 6/27

WI: Wisconsin governor vows to offer clemency to doctors providing abortions. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers declared that if doctors are prosecuted under Wisconsin’s abortion law, he’ll offer them clemency. Under the state’s 1849 law that may go into effect, Wisconsin doctors are banned from performing abortions except when saving the life of the woman.

States Want to Make it Easier to Use Red Flag Laws

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with news that President Biden has signed a gun safety package into law. With President Joe Biden signing legislation that will incentivize states to enact red flag laws, some states already are trying to find ways to make their current red flag laws more effective in preventing gun violence.

Abortion Bans Are Expected in Half the States After Roe Decision

Abortion is expected to soon become illegal in 26 states as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade on Friday. Twenty-two of those states already have abortion bans on the books, bans that were dormant as long as Roe, decided in 1973, was the prevailing precedent. Those states include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Texas.

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/24

TX: Texas unlikely to adopt red flag provision of bipartisan gun bill. Red flag laws likely remain a nonstarter among Republican leaders in Texas, where GOP Gov. Greg Abbott faced a conservative backlash after he asked the legislature to consider them four years ago. MA: US Supreme Court decision could...

Federal Regulators Ban Juul, Leapfrogging States’ Efforts

The federal Food and Drug Administration on Thursday banned the popular Juul electronic cigarette, leapfrogging regulators from several states who previously had tried to crack down on the vaping products, arguing they entice young people to ingest addictive nicotine. The FDA said in a news release that it had issued...

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/23

LA: Abortion medication by mail banned in Louisiana. Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill prohibiting the sale of abortion-inducing medication by prescribers outside the state. It creates the crime of “abortion by means of an abortion-inducing drug.”. TN: Tennessee Republicans press governor to block distribution of...