AZ: Arizona Republican concedes in U.S. Senate race
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema will win Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, defeating Republican Rep. Martha McSally and flipping a seat that had been in GOP hands for 24 years. McSally conceded the hard-fought race.
TX: Texas Education Board set to OK contested Civil War history
This week, the Texas Board of Education is set to vote on final changes to the history curriculum. But it is still historically inaccurate, critics say. The updated standards still include states’ rights and sectionalism, now relegated to “contributing factors” in Texas’ participation in the Civil War, while slavery has been elevated to a “central role.”
OR: New painkiller rules set in Oregon
The Oregon Health Authority announced new guidelines for prescribing opioids to patients for short-term acute pain. The guidelines are part of a much larger strategy the state has been using since 2016 to curb the abuse of opioids. The guidelines are aimed at urgent care and outpatient facilities, primary care doctors, emergency departments and post-surgery doctors.
TN: Tennessee learning to address race and its impact on students
Tennessee’s reluctance to talk about race has been challenged by the small graduation rates of low-income students throughout the state. But a recent shift, led by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, is seen as a positive sign for many.
NY: 50 New York state prisoners died from inadequate medical care
A state medical review board charged with probing prisoner deaths concluded that the deaths of approximately 50 prisoners statewide over the past five years could have been prevented with simple medical treatment.
CO: Colorado looks to stem teacher shortage through mentoring, college admission guarantee
Colorado’s Teacher Cadet program pairs high school juniors and seniors with veteran teachers to prepare them for a career in the classroom. And a new University of Colorado at Boulder initiative guarantees admission to qualified high schoolers interested in becoming teachers. As many as 3,000 teaching slots are open in the state.
UT: Utah lawmakers want to put a price tag on revenue from federal lands
Utah lawmakers want to find out just how much Utah’s federally controlled lands are worth and deliver a bill to the U.S. government for the revenue they would generate if privately held. Some state lawmakers don’t feel the federal government is coming anywhere close to holding the state harmless for its amount of nontaxable federal land.
MI: Minimum wage showdown looms in Michigan’s lame-duck session
Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature is expected to scale back minimum wage and paid sick leave laws before they take effect as the majority party braces for a Democratic governor next year. The plans are anticipated to prompt a potentially combative lame-duck session, which will start in two weeks.
VA: Virginia wants to help mentally ill defendants
A yearlong initiative examines how to handle mentally ill defendants in Virginia’s jails and prisons. Next year, public safety and health officials, community service board representatives, health providers and members of law enforcement will recommend legislation to improve recovery and reduce recidivism for the mentally ill.
CA: Investors flee as California utility faces scrutiny over deadly fire
Pacific Gas & Electric’s stock price has fallen by a third since the California utility disclosed to state regulators last week that one of its transmission lines suffered an outage at about the time the Camp Fire ignited.
FL: Hurricane-ravaged Florida county allowed 150 displaced people to vote by email
After Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle in October, the top elections official in Bay County allowed about 150 displaced voters to cast ballots by email, even though no provision allows for it in state law. Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen defended his decision, noting the mass devastation that rocked the coastal county a month ago.
NE: Election results portray two Nebraskas; redistricting will be next power play
Big-city voters handed such overwhelming support to the initiative proposal expanding Medicaid coverage to about 90,000 low-wage Nebraskans that their votes washed away the wishes of voters in 85 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
DC: D.C. reports drop in graduation rates, students of color most affected
The graduation numbers for the last school year in Washington, D.C., are finally in, and they don’t look great — for black and Latino students in particular.
MD: Maryland voters favor legalizing sports betting, poll shows
While Maryland voters likely will have to wait at least two years to decide whether to legalize sports gambling, a narrow majority of the state’s voters approve of adding lawful sports betting today, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.
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