Top State Stories 10/14
NJ: New Jersey allows nurses, physician assistants to perform abortions
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy approved lifting regulations on abortions that barred them from happening in a doctor’s office beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy and to allow as many as 15,000 nurses, physician assistants and midwives to perform the procedure.
TX: Texas House passes new district map that aims to protect Republican majority
The Texas House approved proposed political boundaries for the lower chamber’s 150 districts that aim to fortify Republicans’ strength in the state House for the next decade. The lower chamber’s map now heads to the Senate for consideration.
CO: Colorado county clerk can’t oversee elections after embracing conspiracy theories, judge rules
Mesa County’s top election administrator, Tina Peters, a Republican, cannot be involved in the administration of her county’s November election, a Colorado judge ruled. She has claimed the election was stolen. Former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams will oversee the county’s elections this year.
AR:Arkansas governor to allow redistricting, shot-mandate exemption bills to become law
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson will allow a redistricting plan that would trisect the state’s most populous county and legislation targeting employer-mandated coronavirus vaccinations to become law without his signature. Hutchinson said he worried about the redistricting plan’s impact on minority communities and feared the vaccine bill would undermine the state’s vaccination efforts.
NY: In New York’s North Country, businesses celebrate the border reopening to fully vaccinated Canadians
Businesses all along New York state’s northern border are celebrating the news that fully vaccinated Canadians will again be allowed into the United States in November via the two nations’ heavily trafficked land crossings.
WI: Republican running Wisconsin review didn’t vote in 7 recent elections
Michael Gableman has said he’s reviewing the 2020 election for Republicans because of the sanctity of democracy, but the former state Supreme Court justice hasn’t been diligent about going to the polls in Wisconsin.
GA: Georgia ballot inspection case dismissed after no fraud found
A judge dismissed a lawsuit by Donald Trump supporters who sought to inspect absentee ballots from last year’s presidential election, a decision that came a day after Georgia investigators told the court they were unable to find any counterfeit ballots.
DE: State lawmakers won’t impeach Delaware auditor yet, but call for leave of absence
Some individual lawmakers want Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness to resign after her indictment on corruption charges, but House and Senate leadership stop short of such calls. Leadership instead suggest McGuiness take a leave of absence while her case heads through the courts.
AK: 2 Alaska lawmakers test positive for COVID-19
Alaska state Sens. Lora Reinbold and David Wilson, both Republicans, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining at home, away from the state Capitol.
NE: Nebraska won’t call special session to block vaccine mandates
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, expressed sympathy for the idea of calling a special legislative session to pass a law blocking vaccine mandates. But Ricketts said he doesn’t have enough votes to stop a filibuster.
DC, MD, VA: DC-area leaders prioritize equity in transportation, housing and funding decisions
The board for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, composed of 24 state and local jurisdictions around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, unanimously approved two resolutions: that equity should be incorporated into all regional and local decision-making and that transit stations be given special consideration in land use and transportation planning.
MS: Brett Favre owes Mississippi K and wrestlers owe .8M, auditor says in latest demand
The Mississippi State Auditor’s office sent out letters demanding repayment from NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre and 14 other individuals or organizations for a total of million in misspent welfare dollars.
HI: Hawaii is losing more teachers than ever amid pandemic fatigue
Hawaii had 25% more public school teachers retire or resign during the 2020-21 academic year compared with the previous year, a sign that pandemic-related fatigue could be driving educators away from the job. A recent survey shows many expressed frustrations with longer work hours and a lack of professional development.
MO: Missouri schools have a new testing policy for COVID
Missouri students exposed directly to someone with the coronavirus can now stay in school, sports and extra-curricular activities if they meet certain criteria, under updated guidance from the state Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
CT: Connecticut Republicans present plan to get tougher on juvenile crime
Prompted by carjackings and violent crimes by juveniles, Connecticut Senate Republicans unveiled a multipronged plan that calls for stricter detention orders and improved jobs and housing to stop crime before it starts. They want to roll back some of the changes in the Democratic-written police accountability law that passed last year.
MA: Boston will offer free swim lessons in Black communities to combat drownings
In an effort to combat the surge of drownings that claimed dozens of victims over the summer, the majority of whom were people of color, acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey’s administration announced an initiative that will fund free swim lessons and other efforts in three of Boston’s historically Black communities.
WV: West Virginia building commission won’t agree to remove Confederate statue
Members of the West Virginia Capitol Building Commission listened to, but did not heed, a call to remove the Stonewall Jackson statue from the Capitol grounds before it becomes a national embarrassment to the state.
PA: Philadelphia to get federal money to combat gun violence
Philadelphia police will receive new training and technical assistance from the federal government over the next three years in order to better respond to and prevent gun violence, resources that come as the city is facing one of the worst stretches of shootings in generations.
TN: Tennessee affected by 6 billion-dollar weather disasters in the US this year
Tennessee has racked up a hefty bill this year thanks to weather and climate disasters, including snow, tornadoes and cyclones. Since January, the state has been affected by six multistate, billion-dollar disasters, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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