Top State Stories 8/27
US: US Supreme Court strikes down eviction ban
A divided U.S. Supreme Court has ended a national moratorium on evictions in parts of the country ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, removing protections for millions of Americans who have not been able to pay rent.
TX: Texas House passes GOP elections bill after weeks-long stalemate
The Texas House advanced a controversial GOP elections bill, ushering the legislation closer to becoming law after Democrats blocked it for weeks by fleeing the Capitol in a protest that drew national attention. The bill passed 79-37 in a largely party-line vote.
MO: Judge upholds Missouri restrictions on local pandemic orders
A Missouri judge denied a St. Louis suburb’s attempt to block a sweeping new state law from going into effect. Among other limits, the law restricts local governments from issuing pandemic-related public health orders.
IL: Illinois governor mandates vaccines for some congregate settings, imposes indoor mask mandate
Citing a rapid uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the delta variant among the unvaccinated, Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued sweeping vaccination and indoor mask mandates.
CA: To ease housing availability crisis, California lawmakers vote to open suburbs to development
The California Assembly passed a bill that would allow two-unit buildings on lots that for generations have been reserved for single-family homes.
ID: Lack of child care results in M loss for Idaho’s economy
Workforce availability is a constant issue for businesses of any size in Idaho, and a statewide survey found the biggest barriers were a lack of high-quality child care and its sheer cost.
CO: Politics still influences redistricting in Colorado
Colorado’s new redistricting process was intended to replace politicians with independent commissioners and party interests with public input. But recent developments show there are still plenty of ways for partisans to try to influence the process.
AR: Anti-parasite drug’s use at Arkansas jail sparks probe
The Arkansas Medical Board has opened an investigation following reports that inmates at the Washington County jail were prescribed an anti-parasitic drug to combat COVID-19 even though it hasn’t been approved to treat the coronavirus.
RI: Rhode Island allows retired health workers to rejoin workforce without losing pensions
Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Dan McKee said he will sign an executive order to allow retired nurses and other health care workers to reenter the workforce “without sacrificing” their pensions. Retirements have strained the state’s health care resources.
NJ: New Jersey state workers head back to office
In October, all New Jersey state workers will return to their offices full-time for the first time since the pandemic hit.
MT: Montana law creates COVID quarantine confusion
As classes get underway this week and next, Montana school and county health officials are grappling with how a new state law that bans “vaccine discrimination” should apply to quarantine orders for students and staffers exposed to COVID-19.
UT: University of Utah students petition for a vaccine mandate
The students say Utah’s flagship educator has “an ethical responsibility” to help minimize spread in the community and keep people attending classes in person as safe as possible.
MA: Massachusetts grants aim to improve bike, pedestrian access
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has awarded more than million in new grants to support local transportation projects aimed at improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit riders in 18 communities.
NY: New York’s ethics commission requests investigation of possible illegal leaks
In a startling reversal, New York’s Ethics Oversight Commission passed a motion asking state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, to investigate whether confidential information was illegally leaked to former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019.
PA: Pennsylvania Senate leader wants a MAGA makeover
For months, Pennsylvania Senate Republican leader Jake Corman walked a fine line as the movement to discredit the 2020 election results won support from some of his pro-Trump colleagues. That ended last week, as Corman committed to conducting a “full forensic investigation” of the election.
GA: Georgia overhauls K-12 math standards
Georgia will be changing how students are taught math after a previous overhaul of learning standards confused many parents. The initial effort was disrupted and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NV: Pent-up demand fueled record-setting Nevada gaming revenue
In Nevada, the Las Vegas Strip reported a record .7 million monthly revenue, 46% higher than in July 2019 and well past the previous single-month mark of million recorded in February 2013.
AL: Alabama launches mobile morgues to handle COVID deaths
The Alabama Department of Public Health sent two mobile morgues to southwest Alabama to address a shortage caused by COVID-19.
ND: North Dakota drought sparks fire concerns
Hot and dry conditions in North Dakota, especially in the southwestern part of the state, have increased wildfire concerns. About three-fourths of the state remain in extreme or exceptional drought.
OK: Referendum to undo law protecting Oklahoma drivers fleeing riots falls short on signatures
Opponents of a new law that grants immunity to motorists who unintentionally hurt or kill people while fleeing from a riot failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a statewide vote on the measure.
NM: New Mexico sees steep rise in overdose deaths
Numbers of fatal overdoses from fentanyl and methamphetamine and alcohol-related deaths reached an all-time high in 2020 despite New Mexico tripling spending on treatment.
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