States kick off new legislative classes. These are the primary matters: NPR

Within the coming weeks, state legislatures throughout the nation will swear in newly elected legislators. What are the primary points that state governments will deal with in 2023?


Many state parliaments will meet within the new 12 months. And they’re going to have the facility to handle some polarizing points.


Probably the most polarizing could also be abortion, which the Supreme Court docket threw on the states when it overturned Roe v. However they could attempt to move new legal guidelines. The brand new Congress is split between the events. However many state legislatures should not, which provides them extra energy to behave.

INSKEEP: Reid Wilson follows all of this. He’s the founder and editor of Pluribus Information. Welcome to this system.

REID WILSON: Nicely, good morning.

INSKEEP: Okay, so some states have already acted on abortion in 2022, a few of them increasing abortion rights, a few of them proscribing abortion rights. How a lot additional may they go?

WILSON: Nicely, I believe we’ll see a number of motion on abortion rights this 12 months. Blue states are transferring so as to add abortion rights and reproductive care to their state constitutions. California did this final 12 months. We are going to see related proposals in locations like Washington, Colorado and Illinois. Democrats are additionally curious about including privateness protections for individuals who would possibly journey from out of state to hunt an abortion. Washington is engaged on information privateness particularly geared toward reproductive rights. Think about if somebody from Idaho travels to Washington to hunt an abortion. The invoice would defend that individual’s information from any regulation enforcement company in Idaho that may attempt to prosecute them. Dobbs’ resolution additionally forces a extremely attention-grabbing debate in purple states. How far do they go in banning abortion? Fifteen weeks? Six weeks?


WILSON: Or a complete ban? And there’s additionally a debate about whether or not so as to add exceptions within the instances of rape or incest and even in some instances, to guard the life or well being of the mom.

INSKEEP: I am very curious about listening to from you as a result of I additionally hear battles between the states in a number of the laws that you simply talked about – states making an attempt to affect how a lot they are going to have an effect on individuals who go to a unique state, for instance.

WILSON: Proper. That is a giant a part of this dialogue, particularly since there are a number of blue states which are kind of islands the place abortion entry might be supplied amidst a bunch of purple states which are making an attempt to restrict that entry.

INSKEEP: Rob talked about different issues. How are states coping with the financial system in 2023?

WILSON: , Steve, after I began overlaying state-level politics a few decade in the past, the dominant narrative was about states competing with one another to draw companies. Now what we see are states competing with one another to draw employees. States have hundreds of vacant educating positions, hundreds of vacant authorities jobs. And much more will open up as child boomers retire. And, you understand, as a result of Congress has accredited billions of {dollars} in spending for brand new high-tech manufacturing sectors, even these jobs should be stuffed. So states are utilizing each software they must construct future workforces. They’re constructing new apprenticeship packages, opening group schools and technical faculties. They usually reduce licensing necessities.

An excellent instance of that is in Tennessee, the place corporations like Ford construct massive electrical autos. The state is constructing a department of the Tennessee Faculty of Utilized Expertise close to the positioning of a Ford plant so college students can practice for the high-paying, blue-collar manufacturing jobs Ford will present. And Ford wins, too, as a result of they get the workforce they should really run the plant. This is without doubt one of the few points in America at present that I believe is totally bipartisan. I imply, each Democrats and Republicans know {that a} state with no workforce is a state with out an financial future.

INSKEEP: Though, once more, there shall be competitors between the states. Is there one other difficulty that we’d consider as a nationwide difficulty that shall be addressed on the state degree this 12 months?

WILSON: Sure, I might level to know-how. I imply, this is instance of gridlock in DC forcing state motion. Congress does nothing to manage tech corporations. So the states are actually moving into the void. And that turns into one thing of a partisan minefield. Democratic states have tried to pressure social media corporations to cut back hate speech. Republican states have tried to ban these corporations from making use of what they name censorship, particularly from conservative states. However there’s a minimum of some low-hanging fruit that I believe we’ll see in each purple states and blue states. And that’s particularly how social media corporations deal with youngsters and information privateness round youngsters.

INSKEEP: Reid Wilson of Pluribus Information, thanks very a lot. Actually recognize it.

WILSON: Thanks.

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