Latest State legislature News

The Latest: Lawmakers aim to limit state emergency powers

Apr. 10, 2021 16:00 PM EDT

NEW YORK — State lawmakers across the U.S. are taking actions to limit the emergency powers of governors — not just in the current coronavirus pandemic, but for any future emergencies. The pushback is coming primarily from Republican lawmakers but is not entirely...

West Virginia lawmakers weigh needle exchange regulations

Apr. 10, 2021 15:31 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia bill that would regulate needle exchange programs is poised to gain final approval in the Republican-controlled legislature. Critics have said more stringent requirements for the programs will constrain the number of providers who give clean syringes...

Lawmakers seek long-term limit on governors' emergency power

Apr. 10, 2021 13:35 PM EDT

As governors loosen long-lasting coronavirus restrictions, state lawmakers across the U.S. are taking actions to significantly limit the power they could wield in future emergencies. The legislative measures are aimed not simply at undoing mask mandates and capacity...

Maryland lawmakers plan to override vetoes on police reform

Apr. 10, 2021 13:28 PM EDT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers gathered Saturday with plans to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes of three police reform measures. The Republican governor vetoed legislation Friday that includes the core components of a far-reaching police reform package....

Senate passes bill to prevent and fight wildfires

Apr. 10, 2021 12:16 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill to create a dedicated fund to prevent and fight wildfires in Washington. The bill, promoted by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, passed Friday in Olympia. House Bill 1168 now heads back to the...

Hawaii state House leaders shelve bill to raise minimum wage

Apr. 10, 2021 12:12 PM EDT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii state House leaders have resisted union pressure to revive bills that would raise the minimum wage and exempt unemployment benefits from state income taxes. House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti said the chamber would not take up the measures...

Alaska lawmakers advance bill to protect cemetery

Apr. 10, 2021 11:36 AM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House of Representatives has advanced a bill that would protect an Alaska Native cemetery at Funter Bay and add about 251 acres (about 102 hectares) of state land. The Unangax cemetery holds more than 30 graves of people from the state...

Speaker: Representatives divided over trans treatment bill

Apr. 10, 2021 11:12 AM EDT

MONTGOMERY. Ala. (AP) — Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon says representatives are divided over a bill that would ban the use of hormones and puberty-blockers to treat transgender minors. The Republican legislative leader said Thursday he was uncertain when the bill...

In GOP strongholds, a big push on 'culture war' legislation

Apr. 10, 2021 11:07 AM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An ardent abortion foe who once opposed allowing gay couples to be foster parents, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is the unlikeliest figure to complain about bills on the “culture wars" reaching his desk. But by vetoing a ban on gender...

Mississippi law will ban sale of real or fake human urine

Apr. 10, 2021 10:54 AM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A new Mississippi law will set penalties for selling, marketing or giving away real human urine or fake urine to try to produce clean results on drug tests. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2569 on Friday, and it will become law July...