When it comes to distinctions between the states, precision and attention to detail matter. What’s custom or important in one state won’t be the same in another — so keep an eye out.
We say that because this week, we made two glaring errors that rankled our loyal readers in Nebraska.
First, we described one vote as a “test vote.” Wrong. Bills before the Nebraska legislature go through three rounds of debate, after which votes are held. They are not test votes.
Second, we described a bill making progress through the Nebraska Senate. Wrong again. Because they have a unicameral body out there, we should have called it the Nebraska legislature.
We apologize, Nebraska friends. And we’ll make up for it by reporting from Lincoln sometime in the near future.
Here are six important things that happened in the states this week that you might have missed:
GUN POLITICS: Washington’s legislature gave final approval to a ban on assault weapons, while the state Senate approved a bill to require 10-day waiting periods for purchasing a firearm. (Seattle Times, Olympian) Maryland lawmakers finished up work on bills requiring safe storage in places where children are present. (Baltimore Sun) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed bills requiring universal background checks on gun sales and safe storage. (MLive)
The Iowa House voted to allow residents to leave firearms locked in parked vehicles at schools, government buildings, university buildings and prisons. (Des Moines Register) Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed a bill blocking the creation of gun registries and barring efforts to track financial transactions related to firearm purchases. (Supertalk)
ABORTION: Lawmakers in Florida approved legislation banning abortions after six weeks. (Pluribus News) Nebraska is working on a similar bill. (Nebraska Examiner) Montana’s legislature finalized a bill banning dilation and evacuation abortions — the most common type of non-medication abortions — and requiring parental notification if a minor has an abortion. (Missoulian)
California and Massachusetts joined Washington in stockpiling abortion-inducing medication after a federal judge revoked the FDA’s 20-year old approval of mifepristone. (Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe)
LGBTQ RIGHTS: Lawmakers in Kansas approved bills barring gender-affirming care for minors. (KCUR) A Nebraska version has cleared two of three required votes. (Lincoln Journal Star) The Missouri House and Senate have passed separate versions of a gender-affirming care ban. Negotiations ahead. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The Florida Senate approved a bill allowing the state to revoke a liquor license of a restaurant or entertainment venue that allows children into drag shows. (Orlando Sentinel)
SOCIAL MEDIA: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to get an account on a social media platform. The bill also requires those companies to verify the age of their users. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
Wisconsin Republicans have introduced a bill to require a social media “curfew” for minors between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. (Wisconsin State Journal) The Montana House cleared a bill banning TikTok from the entire state. (Montana Free Press)
Not just state devices. The entire state.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Washington House approved a measure giving police greater discretion to pursue fleeing suspects, after passing a ban on police pursuits as part of a major police reform package two years ago. (Everett Herald)
In Arkansas, Sanders signed bills increasing sentences for violent criminals and creating a new crime of knowingly delivering fentanyl that causes death. (Talk Business & Politics) The Texas House voted to decriminalize fentanyl test strips. (Dallas Morning News)
Alabama lawmakers sent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) a bill cutting the amount of time inmates can shave off their sentences for good behavior. (AL.com) The Florida House approved a bill eliminating a requirement that a death penalty recommendation be unanimous. (Orlando Sentinel)
MINNESOTA: Here’s an interesting one: The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a package of tax and fee increases for transportation projects. One of the proposed fees would add 75 cents on deliveries of taxable merchandise to homes and businesses. (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)
We wrote about this phenomenon of taxing delivery services last week.