Top State Stories 9/3
LA: 4 Louisiana nursing home residents found dead after Hurricane Ida; 700+ rescued from facility
Four Louisiana nursing home residents have died and several hundred more have needed rescuing after seven nursing homes sent more than 800 patients to ride out the storm in a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish. The Louisiana Department of Health has opened an investigation into the incident.
WI: Wisconsin tax revenues continue to exceed expectations
Wisconsin ended the last fiscal year with even more money in the bank than was predicted earlier this summer, according to the legislature’s nonpartisan budget office. The state brought in about $19.6 billion in tax revenue in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which is roughly 12% higher than the previous year.
SC: South Carolina Supreme Court rejects Columbia’s COVID mask mandate in schools
The South Carolina court ruled state law took precedence over the city ordinance passed when schools opened in mid-August amid another surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant.
WV: West Virginia cash-for-worker program seeks more applicants
A program offering $20,000 in cash and incentives for remote workers to move to West Virginia has drawn dozens of newcomers and is now taking applications for a second host city. Some 53 new residents are being welcomed to Morgantown.
WY: Unable to afford housing, Jackson, Wyoming workers are living in tents
Jackson, Wyoming is home to some of the world’s wealthiest individuals—and to the working poor who meet their needs. Affordable housing is so scarce that Bridger-Teton National Forest officials estimate that between 300 and 500 people are living in the nearby forest during the summer season.
SD: South Dakota eyes harsher abortion law
Texas has the tightest abortion laws in the country, but that won’t be the case for long if South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has her way. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block a six-week abortion ban adopted in the Lone Star State, the South Dakota governor is pushing for tighter abortion laws at home, she said in a statement.
MN: Minnesota braces for rise in abortion demand
Minnesota physicians and organizations that help women access abortions are bracing for a spike in demand, days after Texas enacted a restrictive abortion law. The law is already pushing people in Texas and surrounding states to seek abortions elsewhere.
NC: North Carolina governor signs 3 laws focused on police accountability
The bills passed by the North Carolina Republican-led legislature and signed by the Democratic governor aim to hold officers accountable, provide law enforcement with mental health resources and track officers when they get into trouble.
CO: Colorado offers grants to primary care doctors in push to increase COVID vaccinations
Colorado will offer grants to primary care physicians to help them administer COVID-19 vaccines, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis announced. State officials said the initial grants will range between $60,000 and $120,000 per enrolled practice, with additional compensation possible.
NV: Largest Nevada county school board authorizes employee COVID vaccine mandate
The Clark County School Board of Trustees in Nevada authorized mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for employees during a marathon meeting, but the plan itself remains subject to negotiations with employee bargaining groups.
KS: Kansas governor urges Congress to pass federal Medicaid expansion workaround
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly urged Congress to approve a federal workaround that would expand Medicaid in Kansas and 11 other states that have yet to do so. The program would widen Medicaid access at no cost to the state government.
ME: Maine governor delays vaccine mandate for health care workers by a month
Health care workers in Maine will now have until Oct. 29 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced it would begin enforcing the mandate four weeks later than the original deadline to give workers more time to get their shots.
VA: Virginia Supreme Court clears way for Lee statue in Richmond to come down
The Virginia Supreme Court cleared the way for the state to remove the colossal statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue in Richmond. In unanimous rulings, the justices affirmed the power of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to order the 60-foot statue removed.
UT: Utah gets more bar licenses thanks to new census data
The release of 2020 population figures gave state analysts a chance to recalculate the number of permits that can be issued by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Under state law, Utah can have one bar for every 10,200 residents.
OK: Reproductive rights groups file lawsuit to block 5 anti-abortion laws in Oklahoma
A group of reproductive rights advocates, including The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, are suing to prevent five anti-abortion laws slated to take effect on Nov. 1 in Oklahoma.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.