VA: Virginia schools will reopen; look different than they once did
Virginia schools will reopen in phases, with restrictions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 that will make education look far different than when schools closed in March.
VT: Vermont food sites could ‘collapse’ without more funding
A coalition of anti-hunger organizations is warning lawmakers that food distribution services could disappear without more funding to meet Vermont’s growing food insecurity needs during the pandemic.
DC: District of Columbia lawmakers pass sweeping police legislation
The District of Columbia Council passed sweeping measures that prohibit hiring officers with a history of serious misconduct on other police forces and require the city to make public the names of officers who use force on citizens. The legislation passed, despite a stern letter from Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser urging lawmakers to hold hearings.
NY: New York Senate votes to repeal law shielding police records
The New York state Senate voted 40-22 to repeal a statute shielding the release of police disciplinary records. The new legislation would subject the records to public records requests but leave out personal information, including Social Security numbers and home addresses.
WI: Republicans ask judge to stop Wisconsin election lawsuit
The Republican National Committee, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the GOP-controlled state legislature are asking a federal judge to allow them to intervene in a sweeping lawsuit filed by Democratic-friendly groups and others seeking changes that would make it easier to vote in the November presidential election.
IL: Illinois governor considers licenses for police
Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is reportedly considering a proposal to license police officers, with the option to revoke a license in the event of misconduct.
AK: Anchorage, Alaska, police force addresses racial bias
Following a weekend of large demonstrations in Alaska, the Anchorage Police Department said it had a “progressive mindset” on use-of-force policies and racial bias training, but acknowledged it could improve.
NE: Cousin of Omaha bar owner talks about killing as dozens testify at Nebraska legislative hearing
A young woman came to the Scott Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska, to tell the legislature’s Judiciary Committee she is angry, sad and tired, but will not give up hope on the effort for equity and justice for black Nebraskans.
AR: Arkansas governor unveils police task force
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, announced the formation of a task force that will review Arkansas’ standards for police training and operations, community policing and the disciplinary process for officers who violate protocol.
CO: Sweeping police bill passes Colorado Senate 32-1
The Colorado bill, which calls for more transparency and new controls on police use of force, goes to the House next and is expected on Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ desk by the end of the week.
UT: Utah city leaders consider protesters’ calls to ‘defund the police’
Several Salt Lake City, Utah, City Council members say they’re open to talking about how to “defund” the city’s police department to address underlying social issues. But they say such a change would need to happen incrementally.
AZ: Arizona secretary of state: Move Confederate monument
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, wants to move a 1960s era monument to Confederate troops from in front of Arizona’s Capitol to the Arizona Capitol Museum.
NV: New COVID-19 cases surge in Nevada
The state of Nevada reported 244 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the case total in the state past the 10,000 mark. The new cases were the highest one-day increase reported by the state since May 22.
OR: Coronavirus infections in Oregon hit all-time high
More Oregonians have been identified with the coronavirus in the past week than at any point since the pandemic began. And hospitalization spiked by 40%.
SC: South Carolina hospitalizations hit new highs
Following a record-breaking day, health officials announced that South Carolina has surpassed 15,000 coronavirus cases. Some 434 more people tested positive for the virus as the state recorded the highest daily rate of infection it has seen in at least 28 days.
FL: Some Floridians want to return unemployment checks, but it’s not easy
Florida officials say those who fear they’ve been overpaid should hold on to the money for the time being. If the state finds that the money is an overpayment, officials will eventually send for the money.
TX: In rural Texas, virus brings more mental health care
Mental health services have always been scarce in Texas’ vast rural stretches. But the pandemic has caused the state to lift restrictions on providing care online or by phone.
MI: Michigan nursing homes weigh reopening plans
Expanded coronavirus testing is crucial to reopening the facilities to visitors, but Michigan may be close to relaxing restrictions in a phased way. Initial testing of all residents and staff is underway with help from the Michigan National Guard.
NM: New Mexico won’t require lawmaker testing for special session
New Mexico lawmakers decided not to require themselves to be tested for the novel coronavirus prior to the upcoming legislative session. Legislators expressed concerns about testing delays and the chance a lawmaker who tests positive could be prevented from attending.
PA: Pennsylvania mandates universal testing in nursing homes
Three months after the coronavirus began infecting and killing nursing home residents — who account for a large majority of Pennsylvania deaths — the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, ordered facilities to test all staff and residents once by mid-summer.
WA: Seattle sued for ‘unnecessary violence’ at demonstrations
The city of Seattle has violated the constitutional rights of people at recent demonstrations by allowing the Washington city’s police officers to deploy “unnecessary violence,” says a lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of Black Lives Matter activists, protesters and a journalist.
HI: Hawaii legislature may revive police misconduct bill
Amidst calls for greater transparency in police departments, the Hawaii legislature could revive a bill that would require police departments to release details of misconduct for suspended or fired officers.
CA: Home parties leading to COVID-19 spike in some California counties
Sacramento County has seen a notable rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the past two weeks, prompting state officials to say they will step in to work with Sacramento and several other California counties to tamp down the resurgence.
NC: North Carolina governor creates task force on racial justice
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, announced that he signed an executive action to form a task force that he said “will develop and help implement strategies and policies to help eliminate systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”
NJ: New Jersey governor lifts stay-at-home order
New Jersey is lifting the stay-at-home order put in place nearly three months ago to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the reopening plan nears Stage 2 with nonessential retail set to allow customers inside again next week, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
OK: In new poll, Oklahoma voters say protester anger justified
About 60% of likely voters in Oklahoma believe racial discrimination is a big problem in the United States, according to a new poll that also shows a majority of those surveyed said protester anger was justified over the police killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.
AL: Alabama prisons way behind in court order on staffing
The Alabama Department of Corrections is not on track to meet a federal court order to more than double the number of correctional officers in the state’s overcrowded and violent prisons.
AL: University of Alabama to remove plaques that honor Confederates, study renaming buildings
University of Alabama leaders announced that three Confederate plaques will be removed. A group of trustees will begin a study of campus buildings and make recommendations about whether they should be renamed.
LA: Louisiana lawmakers push business tax cuts as virus response
Businesses would receive millions in tax breaks under bills that started moving in the Louisiana House, pitched by Republicans as a way to help retailers, restaurants and other companies struggling to recover from coronavirus closures.
MS: Bipartisan group of lawmakers pushes to change Mississippi state flag
A bipartisan group of Mississippi lawmakers, with the blessing of Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, began whipping votes and drafting a resolution to change the state flag, which was adopted in 1894 and is the last in the nation containing the Confederate battle emblem.
MS: Mississippi governor: Mask-shaming during virus is ‘wrong’
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said the state still faces danger from the coronavirus pandemic, and people should not harass or make fun of those who follow public health recommendations to wear masks in public.
CT: Connecticut issues order allowing people with disabilities companions in hospital settings
Connecticut has issued an executive order that will ensure people with disabilities are allowed a companion in hospital settings, after a group of disability rights advocates filed a civil rights complaint last month.
OH: Ohio House Democrats lay out details of coming police bills
Banning tear gas, creating independent investigations into reports of officer misconduct and making de-escalation training mandatory are some of the bill ideas put forth by Ohio House Democrats to change policing in the Buckeye State.
NE: Cabins at Nebraska parks opening up later this month
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will begin allowing some overnight lodging in park cabins June 18.
SD: Legislature attorney: South Dakota lawmakers mistreat, politicize nonpartisan staff
Wenzel Cummings quit as the South Dakota legislature’s code counsel after one year, accusing lawmakers of abusing their staff in a torching speech.
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