A housing shortage is testing Oregon’s pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban growth boundary, a sacred cow of Oregon’s liberal politics, helped … Read more

Illinois judge who reversed rape conviction removed from bench after panel finds he circumvented law

CHICAGO — An Illinois judge who sparked outrage by reversing a man’s rape conviction involving a 16-year-old girl has been removed from the bench after a judicial oversight body found he circumvented the law and engaged in misconduct. The Illinois Courts Commission removed Adams County Judge Robert Adrian from the bench Friday after it held … Read more

Alabama IVF ruling puts spotlight on state plans for tax breaks and child support for fetuses

TOPEKA, Kan. — The recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are legally protected children is highlighting how support for the idea that a fetus should have the same rights as a person underpins far less dramatic laws and proposals from abortion foes across the U.S. Lawmakers in at least six states have proposed … Read more

NCAA infractions committee could discipline administrators tied to violations and ID them publicly

The NCAA Committee on Infractions has outlined potential penalties for rules violators in leadership positions beyond the coaching staff, up to and including school presidents in a move prompted by new legislation emphasizing individual accountability. Individuals who were active or passive actors in the violations also could be identified by name in public infractions reports. … Read more

Man who uses drones to help hunters recover deer carcasses to appeal conviction

LANCASTER, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man who uses drones to try to locate wounded deer shot by hunters so they can retrieve their carcasses has been convicted of violating state hunting laws. Joshua Wingenroth, 35, of Downingtown, plans to appeal the verdicts handed down Thursday by Lancaster County District Judge Raymond Sheller. The case apparently … Read more

Louisiana advances a bill expanding death penalty methods in an effort to resume executions

BATON ROUGE, La. — In an effort to resume Louisiana’s death row executions that have been paused for 14 years, lawmakers on Friday advanced a bill that would add the use of nitrogen gas and electrocution as possible methods to carry out capital punishment. As red states add execution methods — from firing squads in … Read more

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law. Facing a wave of shock and anger from the decision, legislators prepared separate proposals in … Read more

Wisconsin lawmakers OK bill to tackle forever chemicals pollution, but governor isn’t on board

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would unlock $125 million to help municipalities and landowners cope with pollution from so-called forever chemicals. But Gov. Tony Evers isn’t on board. The Senate passed the Republican-authored legislation in November. The Assembly followed suit with a 61-35 vote on Thursday, the chamber’s … Read more

A Kansas county shredded old ballots as the law required, but the sheriff wanted to save them

TOPEKA, Kan. — The most populous county in Kansas has rejected demands from the local sheriff and the state’s attorney general to preserve old ballots and records longer than legally allowed, shredding materials sought for an election fraud investigation that has yet to result in any criminal charges. Johnson County in the Kansas City area … Read more

Mississippi might allow incarcerated people to sue prisons over transgender inmates

JACKSON, Miss — A bill before Mississippi lawmakers might allow incarcerated people to sue jails and prisons if they encounter inmates from the opposite sex, such as those who are transgender, in restrooms or changing areas. State lawmakers advanced the proposal out of a House committee Thursday. It would require inmate restrooms, changing rooms and … Read more