Weekly State of the States

This week’s state legislative actions showcase a diverse array of initiatives across the country, each addressing unique challenges and priorities within their respective regions. In Alabama, legislators have championed a bill affirming individuals’ rights to access contraceptives, while in Alaska, efforts are underway to enhance protections for the Kuskokwim River. Arkansas, under Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ leadership, is taking steps to combat maternal mortality rates through an executive order. Meanwhile, California aims to ban synthetic food additives from public school meals, highlighting a focus on children’s health.

These are just a few highlights from this week’s roundup of state legislative developments, demonstrating the breadth of issues being addressed across the nation. Read on to explore more about the legislative actions shaping our communities.


State legislators have filed a bill that would guarantee individuals the right to use contraceptives and the right of healthcare providers to distribute them. 

Learn more here


A state legislator has introduced a bill to increase protections for the Kuskokwim River, one of the largest rivers in the United States. If passed, the bill would bring protections for the river in line with the standards of the federal Clean Water Act.

Learn more here


Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) has signed an executive order to address the state’s maternal mortality rate. The order will create a committee tasked with improving education and access to women’s healthcare. 

Learn more here


A state legislator has introduced a bill to ban the use of synthetic food dyes and titanium dioxide from food served by California public schools.

Learn more here


Governor Jared Polis (D) signed a bill into law to exempt Colorado legislators from some parts of the state’s open-meetings law. Among other changes, the new law clarifies that digital communications between lawmakers do not constitute a meeting subject to the open-meetings law.

Learn more here


In Maine, the two top Democrats in the Legislature and a group of minority Republicans are seeking to take control of electric vehicle regulations. A proposed bill would empower lawmakers, rather than a citizen board, to have the final say on clean car standards aimed at reducing vehicle tailpipe emissions,

Learn more here


A state senate committee has unanimously approved a bill to support the families of police officers and firefighters that die in the line of duty. If passed, the bill will provide a new tax break for the spouse or beneficiary of a fallen responder.

Learn more here


Governor Maura Healey (D) has announced her plan to pardon individuals convicted of misdemeanor cannabis charges.

Learn more here


A state lawmaker has introduced a bill to allow early voting in Mississippi. Currently, state law only permits absentee and day-of-voting.

Learn more here


State lawmakers are considering legislation to raise Missouri’s minimum marriage age from 16 to 18.

Learn more here

New Hampshire

State lawmakers are considering legislation to allow uncertified instructors to teach part-time in public schools as an effort to combat the state’s teacher shortage. 

Learn more here

New Jersey

State lawmakers have advanced a bill to make changes to New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act that would make it easier for government agencies to prevent public access to certain documents.

Learn more here

New York

State lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict New York’s practice of requiring parents to pay child support when their children are removed by the state and placed into foster care. Proponents say the bill would help alleviate financial burden for low-income families and allow them to focus on reunification.

Learn more here


State lawmakers are considering legislation to regulate the use of traffic cameras by local municipalities. If passed, the bill would require the companies operating the equipment to license the cameras and calibrate them once per month.

Learn more here


The state senate has unanimously passed a bill to streamline the registration process of used cars sales.

Learn more here


Governor Josh Shapiro (D) said this week he would remove Pennsylvania from the multi-state carbon cap-and-trade program, RGGI, if his energy plan is approved by the state legislature. The plan aims to reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs, and create clean energy jobs. Instead of participating in RGGI, Pennsylvania would set its own limits on carbon emissions and require power plants to purchase credits for fossil fuel burning. 

Learn more here


The state legislature passed a bill to regulate the sale of invasive plant species. The bill requires all businesses that sell plants that are invasive to Virginia place a sign near the plant warning consumers of the plant’s environmental risk and urging them to ask about alternatives.

Learn more here


The state legislature has passed a bill to require Washington’s public education system to incorporate LGBTQ+ curricula.

Learn more here

West Virginia

The state legislature has passed a bill to require all sober living, or substance abuse recovery homes, to register with the state before doing business, which will establish a statewide repository of information that includes how many homes are operating and who is responsible for them.

Learn more here


The state legislature has unanimously passed legislation to include Asian American and Pacific Islander history in K-12 education. Currently, only Black, Latino, and Native American history is required to be taught by schools in Wisconsin. 

Learn more here


The Wyoming Legislature passed a balanced budget, fulfilling its constitutional obligation. The vote was particularly close in the Senate, passing 17-14, while it passed more easily in the House with a 41-21 vote. The budget’s passage came after Governor Mark Gordon (R) urged lawmakers to get the job done.

Learn more here

From The Experts

Expert insights from the authors at Duane Morris Government Strategies.


Ryan Stevens

This week’s state legislative actions showcase a diverse array of initiatives across the country, each addressing unique challenges and priorities within their respective regions.

Latest News