Latest State legislature News

SC lawmakers reopen regulator race after 11 aren't qualified

Jan. 23, 2020 6:08 PM EST

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers are reopening the search for candidates for four regulator seats on the state's utility board after the initial search only turned up six qualified candidates. The Legislature's Public Utilities Review Committee held hearings earlier this month to review the...

Maine to freeze expanding lobster bait fishery for 2 years

Jan. 23, 2020 5:59 PM EST

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine officials want to close a lobster bait fishery to newcomers while they develop new management, licensing and an enforcement plan. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher will present a plan to freeze the fishery at its current size for two years to state...

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks to an Associated Press reporter about her proposal to impose the state's sales tax on streaming services and digital products, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, outside the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature strongly oppose the idea. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

GOP opposition likely to block new 'Netflix tax' in Kansas

Jan. 23, 2020 5:55 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Opposition from top Republican lawmakers in Kansas appears to have doomed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's plan to tax streaming services, e-books, and movie and music downloads like most other states do. Kelly and fellow Democrats pitch it as basic fairness. Consumers who buy or rent a...

Wisconsin lawmaker accuses Kaul of bullying to pass kit bill

Jan. 23, 2020 5:52 PM EST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican chairman of the Assembly's health committee accused Wisconsin's Democratic attorney general Thursday of trying to bully him into passing a bipartisan bill designed to prevent backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits. The charge from Rep. Joe Sanfelippo came...

In this Jan. 21, 2020, photo, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. Wiener has authored a bill that would require investor-owned utilities to reimburse customers and local governments for some costs associated with the blackouts. The bill will go before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California bill would make utilities pay some blackout costs

Jan. 23, 2020 5:38 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians left in the dark by electric companies that shut off their power to prevent wildfires could get paid for things such as lost wages or spoiled food under a bill that advanced Thursday in the Legislature. In the state plagued by catastrophic blazes started by strong...

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her State of the State address during the opening of the New Mexico legislative session in the House chambers at the state Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz)

Lawmakers may lift secrecy from state financial settlements

Jan. 23, 2020 5:26 PM EST

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would immediately disclose any new financial settlements that resolve accusations of wrongdoing by state officials under a bipartisan proposal introduced in the state Senate on Wednesday. The proposal, authored by Republican Sen. Sander Rue of Albuquerque and supported by...

A poll worker speaks with a voter as Minneapolis Early Voting Center opened, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

Minnesota Democratic chairman endorses tighter voter privacy

Jan. 23, 2020 5:21 PM EST

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The leader of the Democratic Party in Minnesota on Thursday endorsed an effort to protect the privacy of voters who are required to declare a party preference to participate in the state's March 3 Super Tuesday presidential primary. State Chairman Ken Martin said at a news conference...

Maryland lawmakers look to repeal state’s ‘archaic’ sex laws

Jan. 23, 2020 5:17 PM EST

Maryland lawmakers hope to repeal “archaic” provisions in the state’s spousal defense for sex crimes and sodomy laws with the reintroduction of legislation this session. Lawmakers on Jan. 30 expect to hear Senate bill 230, which would repeal the use of marriage as a defense to prosecution of...

Kentucky voter ID bill clears Senate, heads to House

Jan. 23, 2020 5:15 PM EST

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate on Thursday passed a less-stringent version of a bill that would set photo identification requirements for voting. The bill, amended in committee Wednesday, would allow other acceptable forms of identification in order to vote. People lacking photo IDs could...

Mark Edwards, of Boone, Iowa, attends a rally wearing a pig head mask at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday Jan. 23, 2020. Environmental groups and community activists called on lawmakers to consider a bill that would halt the growth of hog farms in Iowa. (AP Photo/David Pitt)

Environmental groups seek hog farm permit freeze at rally

Jan. 23, 2020 5:02 PM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Environmental groups and community activists rallied Thursday at the Iowa Capitol to push lawmakers to consider halting the growth of hog farms in the state. Activists at the rally called on lawmakers to consider a House bill introduced last year that would impose a moratorium on...