- Terminator Genisys: Everyone knows that handguns are paltry defense against Skynet, but anyone who wants to load up on them anyway may soon have a new place to go. Handgun buyers in Wisconsin will no longer have to wait 48 hours to take their precious new lethal purchases home with them, if state Senator Van Wanggaard gets his way. His bill to repeal the state's two-day waiting period on the purchase of handguns passed the Senate on Tuesday.
- While Sen. Wanggaard sees the handgun waiting period as a "time tax," he had zero problem forcing women to unnecessarily delay 24 hours before obtaining an abortion (he voted for the bill in 2012).
- Wisconsin Republicans' efforts to ditch the handgun waiting period are especially timely in light of the recent surge in gun violence in the state.
- If the name "Van Wanggaard" sounds familiar -- no, he's not some HYDRA villain. It may ring a bell because he recently achieved some notoriety in this space for helpfully letting folks know at a committee hearing that he had a gun with him. You just never know when a T-1000 is going to pop up in a statehouse.
- Jurassic World: Speaking of anachronisms that are best left in the past, remember that lawmaker in Oklahoma who decided that if teh gays can have marriage licenses, then no one should have them? (That bill passed the House and awaits a committee hearing in the Senate, btw.) Well, an Alabama state Senator thinks that guy is on to something, and he's introduced a strikingly similar bill.
- Also, a bill that totally makes it okay for probate judges and others authorized by the state to refuse to perform marriages has already passed the state House and is proceeding apace through the Senate.
- And we're not talking about just refusing to perform same sex marriages, mind you; the bill would allow anyone to be refused marriage -- mixed-race couples, for example, or Auburn fans.
- Hot Pursuit: Really, Alabama is just trying to catch up with Oklahoma, where lawmakers have already sent such a bill to the governor for his (probable) signature.
- Self/Less: You'd better be who you say you are if you want to... eat. Two GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin want folks to produce photo IDs to
votebuy food. Under a bill proposed by Rep. Jesse Kremer and Sen. Steve Nass, food stamp recipients would have to show photo ID cards to make purchases.
Fun fact! "Food stamp" EBT cards are issued to heads of households; per federal law, all household members can use it to make purchases. So folks shouldn't be forced to transplant their consciousnesses into another family member to buy food with it.
- Mission: Impossible - Rogue Women: A Republican lawmaker in Maine wants to require insurers to cover fertility treatments... unless you're single or are infertile because of a sexually transmitted disease. Seriously, that's exactly what LD 943 says. What, you thought laws judging women for premarital sex went out with the old TV show? Reruns, baby!
- San Andreas: The debate over Medicaid expansion is creating quite a... fault (sorry) between Republicans in the Florida House and Senate. While Senate GOPers support expanding healthcare coverage to over 800,000 low-income Floridians, Republican leadership in the state House is digging in its heels in the fight against it.
- But we only know that House Rs are doubling down on their opposition because an enterprising reporter overheard the Speaker say as much through an actual closed door at a secret meeting the GOP House Caucus convened to discuss the legislative stalemate.
Fun fact! State law bans three or more lawmakers from discussing legislation behind closed doors.
- Republicans insist they didn't break the law, since the Medicaid expansion proposal isn't technically before the House at this point. Right, sure, okay.
- Trainwreck: Tennessee lawmakers have sent a 48-hour abortion waiting period bill to the governor's desk. It's obviously terrible, and even moreso because it provides no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. When one lawmaker sought to amend the bill accordingly, state Rep. Sheila Butt basically called rape victims liars.
"This amendment appears political because we understand that in most instances this is not verifiable."
- And by "this" she means "rape." If you can't prove you were raped, pregnant lady, Sheila Butt's sure as heck not going to take your word for it.
- Ant(i)-(choice)Man: Tennessee's legislature isn't the only one advancing new abortion restrictions.
- The Florida House has passed a bill that would require women to make two trips to the doctor and endure an arbitrary 24-hour waiting period before having an abortion.
- The North Carolina House just passed a bill that would triple the already unnecessary and arbitrary 24-hour abortion waiting period to 72 hours.
The following 35 state legislatures are meeting actively this week: ALABAMA, ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, HAWAII, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, VERMONT, WASHINGTON and WISCONSIN.
Also meeting: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, GUAM, PUERTO RICO and UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS.
The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials will hold its Mid-Year Meeting April 23-24 in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
The National Association of State Budget Officers will hold its Spring Meetings April 23-25 in Austin, Texas.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers will hold its Midyear Conference April 26-29 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Department of Health will hold a public hearing April 20 to discuss the additions of specific controlled substances to the Schedule I and Schedule VI lists.
The Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding met April 20 to discuss H.B. 7059, which establishes registration fees and requirements for retailers and manufacturers of vapor products and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
The House Ways and Means Committee met April 21 to discuss limiting a number of corporate tax credits.
The deadline for bills to be introduced in the Legislature was April 22.
The Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will meet April 23 to discuss L.D. 1204, which imposes a fee of $0.005 on beverage containers 32 ounces or greater in order to fund the new Recycling Grants and Low-interest Loan Program and the Maine Recycling Fund.
The deadline for the transmittal of interim study resolutions is April 25.
The Senate Judiciary Committee met April 21 to discuss H.B. 613, which seeks to make names and addresses contained in license applications exempt from public right-to-know laws.
The Albany Common Council held a meeting April 20 to review a resolution supporting paid sick and spousal leave.
NORTH CAROLINAThe House Banking Committee will meet April 23 to discuss H.B. 541, which requires adequate proof of indebtedness before collection agencies can collect or bring suit against the debtor.
The deadline for bills and resolutions to be considered in the opposite chamber is April 23.
The Legislature met April 20-21 to discuss the state budget, H.B. 64.
The Senate Committee on Workforce met April 20 to discuss S.B. 845, which establishes a penalty on large employers whose employees receive health care coverage through a medical assistance program.