This week in wins: New York's new law keeps guns out of classrooms
And don’t miss a heartwarming story of the city of Las Cruces embracing asylum-seekers with open arms.
Democrats met for two nights this week to discuss health care, gun safety, the economy, and many other topics. While they debated ideas of how to make the country better at the national level, let’s not forget that there are good things still happening!
Here is some good news for the week.
New York teachers can’t carry guns in schools
Students and parents in New York don’t have to worry about guns flooding the classrooms after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law forbidding teachers from coming to school armed. The new law, in effect immediately after Cuomo signed it on Wednesday, does make exceptions for school resource officers and law enforcement officers on school property.
“The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we’re expanding New York’s nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“Arming teachers with guns can only lead to additional tragedies,” New York Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, who supported the new law, said in a statement.
Pay equality measure signed into law in Illinois
Employers in Illinois are no longer allowed to ask those applying for a job about their wage and salary history, thanks to a new bill signed into law on Wednesday.
Supporters say the new law is necessary for gender equity. Since women are paid less on average, salary histories can perpetuate the wage gap.
“It’s no longer acceptable to wring quality work out of capable women at a discounted rate,” Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during the signing ceremony.
The law goes into effect in 60 days, and workers can seek up to $10,000 if employers break the law.
Las Cruces welcomes 1,600 asylum-seekers with joy
When Custom and Border Patrol began transporting 1,600 asylum-seekers to Las Cruces, New Mexico, in April, the town responded with an outpouring of love and a warm welcome.
Through funding from the city and private donations, the community of 100,000 “has offered unconditional acceptance to these folks who have few possessions and nowhere else to go,” reports the Reader’s Digest. The city provides housing to the families, and religious groups and community organizations banded together to collect donations of food, clothes, and medical supplies.
Residents of Las Cruces told Reader’s Digest that the city “is the nicest place in America because Las Crucens care to the core about hospitality,” adding, “we live by the mantra‚ ‘mi casa, es su casa.'”
North Carolina protects children from so-called ‘conversion therapy’
No state funds will go to so-called “conversion therapy” for children in North Carolina, thanks to an executive order issued Friday by Democratic Gov. Ray Cooper. Conversion therapy is opposed by the American Psychological Association, and it poses “serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice,” Cooper said about the order.
The order pertains not only to state funds but also federal funds through the state’s Medicaid funding.
“No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, said in a statement. “We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections.”
Oregon limits use of death penalty
A new law in Oregon narrows the number of offenses eligible for the death penalty. Gov. Kate Brown signed the law on Thursday, saying that the death penalty is “dysfunctional, costly and immoral.”
Under the new law, the death penalty is “limited to defendants who kill two or more people as an act of organized terrorism; intentionally and with premediation kill a child younger than 14; kill another person while locked up in jail or prison for a previous murder; or kill a police, correctional or probation officer,” according to the Oregonian.
Even though Oregon is a state that allows for the possibility of the death penalty, it has been more than 20 years since the state executed anyone.
Wind provided more energy than coal in Texas in 2019
In the first half of 2019, more energy used in Texas came from wind power than from coal, according to a report from Good News Network. Texas is the largest consumer of coal in the United States.
In 2003, 40% of the state’s electricity came from coal, and only 0.8% came from wind. In the first half of 2019, 21% came from coal and 22% came from wind power.”
Texas has the nation’s highest number of wind turbines, at 13,000.
Come back next week for more good news.
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation
Last year, lawmakers approved the Reproductive Health Protection Act, which shields health care providers in Maryland from liability if they help out-of-state patients obtain an abortion, as long as the services provided are legal under Maryland law.By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Critics say AZ ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ puts transgender women at risk
GOP lawmakers are continuing to advance anti-trans proposals under the guise of protecting women and minors despite the threat of a veto from Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs.By Gloria Rebecca Gomez, Arizona Mirror - February 14, 2024
Activists protest Reynolds’ bill excluding transgender people from certain facilities
Hundreds of activists rallied in the Iowa Capitol rotunda Monday evening as lawmakers held a public hearing on Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill defining of “male” and “female” in Iowa Code and excluding transgender people from sex-segregated spaces. House File 2389 has already passed through the committee process, and is available for debate by the House of […]By Robin Opsahl, Iowa Capital Dispatch - February 12, 2024