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John Hanna/Associated Press

  • Lawmakers in at least six states are considering longer prison sentences or bigger fines for harming or killing police dogs despite questions about how the animals are used and a fraught history.
  • A bill in Kansas and similar legislation in at least seven other states have LGBTQ-rights advocates worrying about a sweeping Republican-led effort to erase the legal existence of transgender men and women. A Kansas Senate committee could vote next week on a measure that would define what it means to be male and female in state law, basing people's legal gender identities on their anatomy at birth. Critics say such measures could prevent transgender people from changing their driver's licenses and birth certificates so that they match their gender identities. Those behind the bills say they're responding to parents and others who are uncomfortable with "biological men" or "biological boys" sharing spaces meant for women and girls.
  • Rape, incest and the health of the fetus or mother were once accepted reasons to obtain an abortion in even the most conservative Republican-led states. But now roughly 20 states have abortion bans in the works without some of those exceptions. The shift comes as the Supreme Court is expected to overturn the nationwide right to abortion this summer.