Latest News
An anti-discrimination bill that came from seven years of discussions and compromise is going to be signed by Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert.  The bill provides protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, in housing and employment.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced a four-pronged proposal to attack the state’s heroin problem.  The program will be utilizing $500,000 in federal grant money and will involve the creation of a state coordinating committee and task force to address heroin abuse. 
Governor Hutchinson approved legislation that prevents local and county governments from enacting anti-discrimination laws that are not included under state law, without the Governor’s approval.  This makes Arkansas the second state that prevents local and county governments from enacting anti-discrimination laws. 
Following a ballot referendum last November whereby legalized marijuana, narrowly passed, Alaska officially legalized recreational marijuana.  Adults 21 years old and older can have an ounce of marijuana, up to six plants, and can privately exchange with others as long as no money is used.  Public smoking and buying and selling marijuana is still illegal.
A New Jersey judge ruled Governor Chris Christie’s cut to the public pension system violated the rights of the workers and ordered him to work with the Legislature to find a solution.  The governor’s office indicated they would appeal the decision of the judge.
California State Senator Holly Mitchell is pushing a bill in the Legislature that will do away with California’s welfare law that prevents a family from receiving an increase in the grant if they have an additional child while on welfare.  Many advocates have come out in support of the measure calling California’s bill anti-family and a leading cause of child poverty.
Hawaii lawmakers are trying to make campaign contributions more transparent with a bill that will require political action committees to disclose whether their contributors or recipients are required to disclose their campaign spending contribution.  If so, the PAC would be required to provide that information.
In effort to increase alternative energy in underserved areas, Duke Energy is increasing the solar capacity in North and South Carolina by making major investments over the next 5 years.  Facilitated by the legislature, Duke was able to work with the state to create more opportunities for solar policy development.
New York Chief Judge Johnathan Lippman has introduced legislation aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in grand jury proceedings in the aftermath of high-profile police shootings that resulted in no indictments.  The legislation would compel courts to release court documents related to the proceedings, would require judges to be physically present in hearings, and require the specific charges to be disclosed.
Tennessee lawmakers will be voting on the possibility of in-state tuition for undocumented children in an effort to increase the number of Tennessee residents with a college education.  Proposed legislation will require undocumented children to have spent three years in a Tennessee school, graduated from a Tennessee high school, and be applying for citizenship in order to be eligible for in-state tuition.