It was a busy week for legislators and governors around the country as we shift into fall-mode. Arizona’s governor spoke out this week on the state’s school voucher program, while California is banning red dye No. 3, and a Wisconsin lawmaker is standing up for ‘real’ maple syrup. Other issues covered this week include collective bargaining, energy, gun reform, and more.
Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced a $600,000 grant to ensure protection and aid to victims of sexual violence. The Alabama Coalition Against Rape Inc. will be using the funds for advocacy, training, and education to prevent sexual violence and assist victims.
A nonpartisan state advocate group has proposed a ballot initiative to help protect the state’s Freedom of Information Act laws. Senator Clarke Tucker (D) believes the constitutional amendment will help maintain transparency in the state government.
Governor Katie Hobbs (D) has spoken out against the state’s school voucher program, calling it “unaccountable and unsustainable.” Hobbs was speaking in reaction to a report showing the number of students receiving school vouchers exceeded the 68,000+ expected recipients in the FY24 budget.
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation banning the sale of red dye No. 3, among other chemicals. Red dye No. 3 is found in over 3,200 food products including mixed fruit, ice cream, yogurt, and candy.
New legislation sponsored by Senator Lori Berman (D) would make the definition of ‘antisemitism’ apply to all areas of policy and life in Florida, as Florida law only defines the term currently in an education-specific section of state statutes. The bill defines ‘antisemitism’ as “a certain perception of Jewish individuals which may be expressed as hatred toward such individuals.”
Leaders in Hawaii’s House and Senate are responding to the recent wildfires on Maui in different ways, with the House acting quickly while the Senate has taken a slower approach and offered more individual actions.
The Senate Finance Committee met earlier this week to discuss the landscape of collective bargaining for state employees and what opportunities may exist to address the issue in next year’s legislative session.
A public hearing was held earlier this week by the Massachusetts House to address a redrafted bill that would change the state’s gun laws. A vote on the bill, which is designed to close certain loopholes and strengthen the state’s assault weapons ban, could happen later this month.
This week, a House committee began discussion over a package of legislation that would give a state commission authority over site permits for large solar and wind farm projects – and remove local governments from the process.
The Secretary of State this week announced that a petition effort to get a question on the 2024 ballot to allow voters to decide whether or not public money can go towards private school tuition, has exceeded the number of signatures needed.
Ohio voters are set to vote on Issue 1 in next month’s General Election. Issue 1 would “establish an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion.”
Lawmakers have approximately $6 billion to spend in the legislature’s third special session, which Governor GregAbbott (R) has called to address school choice, border security, and restrict COVID mandates.