Top State Stories 6/22
AZ: Delegates from 13 states have visited Arizona in hopes of replicating election audit
Arizona audit spokesperson Randy Pullen confirmed that envoys from 13 states—Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming—have visited Arizona to see the first-of-its-kind exercise, but he also told a pool reporter it was as many as 17 states.
MO: St. Louis sues Missouri over new law declaring federal gun statutes ‘invalid’
A new Missouri law that bars local and state police from enforcing federal gun laws is facing a legal challenge from St. Louis City and County, which are jointly seeking to stop enforcement of the measure.
RI: Bill that would allow driver’s licenses for residents living in the US without legal permission heads to Rhode Island Senate
People living in Rhode Island who are “unable to establish legal presence in the United States” could get driving permits under legislation approved by a key Senate committee.
CO: Colorado resort communities declare housing emergency
The town council of Crested Butte, Colorado, passed a first-of-its-kind resolution last month declaring a “Local Disaster Emergency Regarding Affordable Housing.” Local leaders say the declarations are the quickest path to creating more attainable housing amid a real estate boom that is driving local workers out of communities.
TX: Texas governor vetoes bipartisan anti-dog-chain bill. Twitter responds with #AbbottHatesDogs.
Texans love their dogs, no doubt. But now, some Texans are calling out GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, alleging that he does not.
NC: North Carolina Senate plan would limit governor’s emergency orders
Hundreds of pages into the North Carolina state budget, there’s a section that addresses power rather than money—specifically, the governor’s power during an emergency.
SC: South Carolina is forming a mobile COVID vaccination fleet to rove the state
South Carolina’s health department is establishing a fleet of mobile vaccination units to travel the state’s rural, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach areas this summer in search of residents willing to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 shots.
NH: Study ranks New Hampshire second in the nation for well-being of children
New Hampshire trails only Massachusetts in the nation for the well-being of its children, but more Granite State children were uninsured, and the state’s high cost of living added stress for families, according to the 2021 Kids Count Data Book.
MI: Incarcerated people in Michigan received millions in stimulus checks
Inmates in Michigan prisons have received .6 million in federal stimulus payments since Oct. 1. But the state has clawed back about .1 million of that amount to pay court-ordered restitution and other obligations.
NJ: New Jersey lawmakers earmark .9B to boost pensions and tackle state debt
New Jersey Senate Democrats said they’ve reached a deal with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to contribute .9 billion to the state’s public pension fund next year and set aside .7 billion to pay down existing debts and avoid future borrowing.
OH: Ohio’s unemployment rate rose in May, indicating state’s stagnant economy
New jobs data released by Ohio indicates the state’s economy is still struggling, even while the coronavirus crisis diminishes and the economy reopens.
CT: Thousands of Connecticuters will be added to Obamacare
Democrats who control the Connecticut General Assembly have advanced a top priority of broadening access to health care even as their plan for a greater state role in providing insurance ran aground in the face of stiff business opposition.
IL: Illinois students would learn about Asian American history under measure awaiting governor’s signature
A measure approved by Illinois lawmakers would require elementary and high schools to teach a unit on Asian American and Pacific Islander history beginning in the 2022-23 school year.
WA: Washington police criticize use of force law change
Police in Washington say the language in a new law creates substantial new liability for officers who resort to physical force, especially if a suspect is vulnerable or hasn’t committed a crime.
OR: Expelled Oregon lawmaker wants his seat back
Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican, was ousted for his actions during a protest outside the state Capitol on Dec. 21, 2020, when he opened a door to allow violent demonstrators inside the building.
AK: Pandemic rule change could make it easier to get opioid treatment in Alaska
Alaska doctors have temporary permission from the state to use telehealth to prescribe a controlled but life-saving drug used to treat opioid addiction. State officials say they’d like to make the change permanent.
ND: Unclaimed property becomes easier to access in North Dakota
North Dakota holds more than million in unclaimed property and many people who are entitled to some of it are not aware. But the state legislature has now made it easier for residents to claim their property.
WI: Wisconsin health systems filed 18K lawsuits against patients in recent years
Wisconsin health systems and hospitals filed more than 18,000 lawsuits to collect unpaid medical bills from Jan. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2020, according to a recent report from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
DE: Delaware hospitals do not require workers to get vaccinated
Delaware’s major hospitals do not have immediate plans to require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite other prominent health systems in the region doing so.
IA: Iowa’s ethics board will review governor’s COVID media campaign
The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board will review GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds’ coronavirus media campaign in light of allegations from Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, that it violated state law.
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