Top State Stories 8/3
NJ: New Jersey will require COVID vaccines for workers in health care, prisons
New Jersey will require that all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to repeated testing, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
CT: Manufacturers in Connecticut look to fill thousands of job vacancies with older workers
As many as 6,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled in Connecticut, according to the state Department of Labor. To boost hiring, workforce development officials, educators and others are tapping experienced workers 50 and older who are interested in a career change.
WA: Unions rack up new wins in Washington
If the American labor movement is dead, nobody told Washington’s unions. State legislators in recent years have passed more than 20 new labor-backed laws, including measures to strengthen workplace protections, expand collective bargaining to new employees, strengthen unions’ ability to collect dues and hamper efforts by a conservative group to chip away at union membership.
OR: 3,500 Oregon state workers earned more than the governor
Oregon state workers’ pay continues to rise and the upshot is more employees than ever earn more than the state’s top elected leader, currently Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. In fiscal 2020, more than 3,500 state government employees outearned the governor.
MI: 31 Michigan counties should be masking, per CDC data
More than one-third of Michigan’s 83 counties have COVID-19 transmission rates ranked “high” or “substantial” by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With cases and positive test rates on the rise, federal health officials are recommending that individuals in those 31 Michigan counties—regardless of vaccination status—wear masks indoors to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
NY: New York governor urges private businesses to mandate COVID vaccines
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged private businesses to mandate vaccinations for customers and employees and warned that if coronavirus cases continue to rise, a vaccine mandate should be put in place for private health care workers, teachers and nursing home staff. The Democrat stopped short of calling for a statewide mask mandate.
NV: Nevada county bid to honor Trump goes from road to buildings
Lawmakers in a rural Nevada county who decided 3-2 last month not to name a road for former President Donald Trump now are considering putting his name on their court, jail and sheriff’s office.
GA: Georgia colleges are not requiring masks on campus as cities issue mandates
Several Georgia universities will continue to encourage—but not require—masks be worn to curb the spread of the coronavirus on their campuses, despite mask mandates and proposed requirements in the cities where the schools are located.
MN: Minnesota universities will require masks for students, employees
The University of Minnesota and Minnesota State public college systems are bringing back mask mandates weeks before the start of the fall semester. Neither public college system requires students to be vaccinated.
DE: Delaware grapples with changing bail system while keeping communities safe
A new Delaware law aimed at keeping people charged with certain serious offenses behind bars went into effect last week. Opponents of the legislation, which Democratic Gov. John Carney signed into law on June 30, argue there are a very small number of cases in which people who have been released pending trial have committed violent felonies.
RI: Rhode Island faces a shortage of opioid overdose antidote
Rhode Island is facing a shortage of naloxone, a treatment that quickly reverses opioid overdoses. Outreach organizations in Rhode Island had previously been able to get it in injectable form through a national consortium, which in turn has a deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
TN: Tennessee House speaker threatens legislative action if schools mandate masks or close
Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, a Republican, said he will ask GOP Gov. Bill Lee for a special legislative session if school districts mandate masks or close amid the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Sexton also threatened to introduce legislation that could open the door for another voucher push if schools do close again this year.
TX: Texas legislature is still at impasse on GOP elections bill
Enough Texas House Democrats to prevent a quorum—100 of the 150 House members must be together to conduct official business—are still camped out in the nation’s capital, and Republicans are still waiting for them back in Austin, toiling through the daily monotony. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to call special session after special session until the elections bill passes.
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