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Veterinarian groups support pet insurance, partially because it tends to keep pet owners connected to a vet and eases concerns about treatment costs.

With the rise in the number of pets adopted during the pandemic came a rise in pet insurance - yet only two states have specific statutes governing the pet insurance industry, making it difficult for pet owners to discern what the costs will be as a pet ages. Read more»

At the peak of the pandemic, 35 states and the District of Columbia allowed cocktails to-go. Eighteen states plus D.C. have made the rules permanent, and 14 have extended them.

Most states that allowed curbside pickup or home delivery of alcohol to help restaurants, bars and liquor stores survive pandemic closures have extended the looser liquor laws - but states might be fueling binge drinking and higher overall alcohol consumption. Read more»

To help inflation-plagued and struggling families ease the burden of buying necessities, several states are scrapping the sales tax on infant and adult diapers. Read more»

LGBTQ advocates are pushing to codify state protections for same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, but in most states, laws or constitutional amendments would revive the prohibition if the high court decides, as it did with abortion, that such unions are not a constitutionally protected right. Read more»

Like adoption laws, the few existing laws on embryo donation mostly ensure that children are legally considered the offspring of the receiving parents.

As embryo donation has become more common with advancements in infertility treatments, many state laws have not kept up - there is no federal statute governing the practice - and a rush of new abortion restrictions could further complicate the matter. Read more»

Some states and cities have instituted laws that require ads for jobs to include salary ranges, in the name of giving job applicants—particularly women and people of color—a better shot at fair pay.

Studies show that salary transparency can narrow the gender pay gap, and a West Virginia bill aims to close that gap by requiring employers to publish salaries and prohibit companies from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay Read more»

State attorneys general often issue warnings about romance scams to coincide with Valentine’s Day, but Americans lost about $1 billion to fake lovers online in 2021.

Romance scammers ripped off about $1 billion from would-be U.S. lovers in 2021 - up from $600 million the year before - and attorneys general say they have little success at recovering money or criminally charging romance scammers. Read more»

More states are considering requiring financial literacy courses in high schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies and how most are uninformed about personal finances, giving financial literacy requirements as a high school graduation requirement new momentum. Read more»

As streaming services proliferate, and people cut the cable cord, states and cities are moving to charge taxes and fees on the services.

More than half the states - including Arizona - and dozens of cities now levy taxes or fees on digital streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, aiming to recoup the revenue they lose when people cut the cable cord. Read more»

An Apple iPhone with a cracked screen. Apple has decided to provide parts and instructions so individual repairers can fix some phones, after years of resisting the 'right to repair' movement.

Apple Inc. will offer some tools and parts so owners can repair their own phones, conceding to pressure from consumer groups, lawmakers who introduced bills in more than half the states and President Joe Biden. Read more»

A few states that this year approved the use of racial impact statements, evaluating how new laws might affect disparate populations.

More states are trying to assess the racial impact of new laws, as the consciousness of many legislators has been raised by the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on minorities. Read more»

The South Carolina National Guard supported the Louisiana National Guard in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Sept. 2021, in multiple areas of Louisiana. State and city officials are using the hurricane’s damage to urge Congress to pass an infrastructure bill that would beef up flood mitigation, fortify the electrical grid and expand broadband access to help with future storms.

Pointing to stark pictures of inundated buildings and washed-out cars from Hurricane Ida, state and city officials are pressing Congress to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Read more»

Since January, there have been a record 97 new laws limiting abortion enacted in 19 states.

There are currently 23 statehouses where the GOP hold the governorship and both houses in the legislature, a “trifecta,” and these are where most of the conservative social issue legislation, including abortion, transgender and critical race theory laws, have been written this year. Read more»

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey arrives for a news conference Dec. 2, 2020 in Phoenix to discuss the latest Arizona COVID-19 information. Arizona is one of about 30 states that have enacted laws to shield businesses from being sued if a patron or worker contracts COVID-19.

In a legislative flurry, 30 states - including Arizona - instituted liability protections designed to protect businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits, out of fear that companies would be sued for exposing workers, clients or vendors to the swiftly spreading, deadly disease. Read more»

Waste being processed at the Los Reales landfill. 'Preventing food waste is much more environmentally useful than dealing with it later,' said Jennifer Molidor, senior food campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.

At least eight states, all in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic except California, have laws requiring some reprocessing of food waste, to keep it out of landfills and cut down on greenhouse gases, and this year, state lawmakers have introduced at least 52 bills in 18 states involving food waste management. Read more»

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