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The state’s Clean Slate Act, approved in 2022, established an automatic record-sealing process for some lower-level crimes to better allow people access to housing, jobs or other opportunities. It will go into effect this summer.
The Senate ended the legislative session with a 23-12 vote to pass a bill that will provide funding for striking workers. However, filibusters ran the clock out on other controversial bills, including those on Chinese-made drones and climate change.
Despite widespread support for the legislation, state lawmakers have failed to pass a ban on motorist handheld use of cellphones. From 2014 to 2023, 78 people in Iowa were killed by distracted drivers using a cellphone or other handheld device.
GOP Sens. Shawnna Bolick and T.J. Shope, both vocal opponents of the Civil War-era ban, joined Democrats and backed the repeal.
The bill is part of a package to punish juvenile offenders more harshly. One senator warns the measure will bring “massive repercussions” and raises complicated legal questions.
The Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed $3.5 million in private funds to 2,500 local election offices across 49 states during the 2020 presidential election cycle. But many believe the additional funds were unnecessary.
After a February special legislative session gave gun-rights groups sweeping wins, bills to expand firearm-free zones have stalled. Expansion of the zones seems unlikely this year.
The state estimates it will have between $300 and $400 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding still available for use. The problem will be figuring out how to prioritize which programs get money.
The three-term lieutenant governor has already become one of the most powerful and successful policymakers in Texas history. Now he is actively campaigning against House Speaker Dade Phelan, one of Patrick’s political rivals.
Though Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she wants to keep the July special session narrowly focused on public safety, a group of Republican state senators has proposed packages that aim to secure a porous border.
As several states propose child marriage bans, Missouri state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder hopes that she can use her experiences to encourage a shift in her state’s legislation.
A lot of communities are experimenting with this costly, ineffective approach to fighting poverty that disincentivizes work. Iowa lawmakers are right to ban localities from creating guaranteed income programs.
Currently, the state controls the local speed limits but a proposal folded into the state budget would change that. The current speed limit in New York City was set in 2014, the first citywide reduction in a half-century.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says she and lawmakers have a “conceptual agreement” that includes both tax breaks for developers and some new tenant protections. She failed to win approval of an ambitious housing package last year.
The tech giant’s announcement is pushback against pending legislation that would require companies such as Google to pay a “journalism usage fee” when they sell ads next to new content.
Supporters say a constitutional amendment would provide flexibility for lawmakers, but critics worry it would lead to year-round sessions.