By: - February 8, 2021 12:00 am

CA: California relents on indoor worship services

Hemmed in by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has agreed to allow houses of worship to reopen in California, with limited attendance.

OH: Ohio governor approves sweeping criminal justice changes

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed half a dozen criminal justice bills into laws that will take effect later this year. The laws address substance use disorders, criminal records, medical treatment and many other dimensions of the state’s criminal justice system.

US: Virus outbreaks stoke tensions in some state capitols

After only their first few weeks of work, tensions already are high among lawmakers meeting in-person at some state capitols—not because of testy debates over taxes, guns or abortion access, but because of a disregard for coronavirus precautions.

SC: Record-setting COVID-19 deaths hit South Carolina

More than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases and 35 new deaths were confirmed in South Carolina, marking the deadliest seven-day period for the coronavirus in the Palmetto State.

LA: Mardi Gras ban prompts Louisiana ‘float houses’

Since New Orleans canceled its usual Mardi Gras parade operations there’s been a movement to decorate Louisiana homes like parade floats. Some famous float ‘krewes’ are raffling off their talents to decorate homes.

VA: Virginia lawmakers consider voting rights for felons

Democrats in Virginia are calling on lawmakers to end the revocation of voting rights in Virginia, one of just three states that permanently disenfranchise people convicted of a felony. The move would require a constitutional amendment.

TX: Texas home aides reject vaccines

Home health workers in Texas, most of whom are women of color, could start losing their jobs if they aren’t vaccinated. Many are more afraid of the vaccine than the virus.

IL: Late planning blamed in Illinois vaccine rollout

Illinois’ vaccination pace ranks it in the bottom third of the country, when adjusted for population size. The state’s vaccine distribution system has caused widespread frustration.

NM: Judge allows New Mexico church abuse cases

The ruling allows lawsuits for hundreds of victims to continue against New Mexico’s bankrupt Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The archdiocese had attempted to shield millions of dollars in assets against a settlement.

WA: Washington state vaccinations show race gaps

Scarce doses of COVID-19 vaccines go disproportionately to White Washington residents. As in other states, Black and Hispanic residents have tested positive for the coronavirus at a higher rate compared to White residents, but vaccination numbers haven’t matched vulnerability.



MD: Maryland vaccination sites offer few doses

Maryland eventually hopes to distribute thousands of COVID-19 vaccines per day across half a dozen mass vaccination sites. But the state’s first two sites offered just a few hundred doses on the first day.

CT: Connecticut lawmakers back sports betting for education

Leading Connecticut Democratic legislators are backing legalization of sports betting and online gambling in tandem with plans to fund Connecticut’s community college program through lottery revenue. 

NJ: New Jersey unemployment snag resolved

The 75,000 New Jersey residents who have gone weeks without an unemployment payment because of a snag in the Department of Labor’s system will return to their normal payment cycle a week earlier than anticipated, officials said.

AR: Pandemic worsens Arkansas child abuse

Arkansas Children’s Hospital saw an increase in the number and severity of child-abuse-related cases last year, a troubling pattern in a state that had high rates of child maltreatment before the pandemic. Nationally, the percentage of abuse-related visits resulting in hospitalization has increased dramatically.

MN: Minnesota’s pot legalization bill reflects national trends

The bill in the Minnesota legislature reflects how the issue has moved from legalization to attempts to remedy the ill effects of decades of cannabis prohibition.

WV: West Virginia’s vaccination efforts prove fruitful

Less than two months into vaccinations, West Virginia has seen a 40% to 45% reduction in deaths linked to COVID-19, and hospitalizations are down more than 50%. About 11.5% of state residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

IN: Indiana lawmakers act quickly on COVID-19 lawsuit shield

Indiana legislators are poised to finalize a fast-tracked proposal that will shield businesses and others from COVID-19-related lawsuits. 

OR: Oregon braces for rush as vaccine becomes available for older adults

Oregon is expecting chaos when 167,000 people 80 years and older become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Thirty additional National Guard members will be deployed to help field calls and texts.

PA: Older residents face vaccine obstacles in rural Pennsylvania

Scheduling a vaccine appointment in Pennsylvania is already exacerbated by a short supply and a patchwork of online scheduling systems. But in rural areas, older residents—who are supposed to be among the first in line—face more obstacles.

MA: Driving decreased in Massachusetts last year, but not traffic deaths

The coronavirus emptied Massachusetts roads last year, but did little to stem another public health issue: the number of people killed by car crashes.

ME: Maine’s largest health network flouted rules and vaccinated all employees—even teleworkers

Maine’s largest health network, and the state’s largest employer, provided vaccines to all 22,000 employees regardless of whether they deal with patients or even work on site.


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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.