Top State Stories 11/3
VA: GOP newcomer wins Virginia governor’s race
Virginia voters chose Republican Glenn Youngkin as their next governor, a dramatic reversal for a state that had appeared solidly Democratic in recent years and a significant loss for President Joe Biden and the party’s establishment. Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe came up short in his bid to become only the second Virginia governor since the Civil War to win a second term.
NJ: New Jersey governor’s race in dead heat
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli were virtually deadlocked after a campaign centered on the incumbent’s progressive policies and handling of the pandemic. Murphy had been leading in the polls, has a 1 million-voter registration advantage and had more cash in his campaign coffers.
CO: Colorado voters reject marijuana tax hike, two other ballot measures
Colorado voters defeated a proposed increase to the state’s retail marijuana sales tax that would have helped fund out-of-school learning efforts, as well as a reduction in property tax assessment rates and a requirement for all state spending to go through the Colorado legislature.
NY: New York City elects second Black mayor
Eric Adams, a former New York City police captain whose attention-grabbing persona and keen focus on racial justice fueled a decades-long career in public life, was elected as the 110th mayor of New York, and the second Black mayor in the city’s history.
MN: Minneapolis voters reject plan to replace police department
Minneapolis voters soundly rejected a proposal to replace the Minneapolis Police Department, crushing the hopes of supporters that outrage over the murder of George Floyd would translate into one of the nation’s most far-reaching experiments in transforming public safety.
MA: In Massachusetts, daughter of immigrants will become Boston mayor
Michelle Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and a Boston Public Schools mother who pitched a once parochial city on an unabashedly progressive agenda, captured the Boston mayoralty by a wide margin, shattering barriers to mark a new era in one of the nation’s most durable bastions of White male political power.
US: COVID is surging on the Navajo Nation, despite high vaccination rates
The Navajo Nation managed to tame COVID-19 earlier this year, mounting a campaign that drove its vaccination rate far above the United States average, after the coronavirus ravaged the Navajo people. But now the nation—the largest reservation in the United States—is enduring yet another virus surge, and experts and tribal leaders aren’t sure why.
AZ: Arizona high court upholds ruling blocking school mask bans
The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court judgment that found the Republican-controlled legislature violated the state constitution by including new laws banning school mask mandates and a series of other measures in unrelated budget bills.
DC: Unacceptable conditions at DC jail will lead to transfer of inmates
The U.S. Marshals Service plans to transfer about 400 inmates out of the D.C. jail to a federal prison nearly 200 miles from Washington after a recent surprise inspection found evidence of “systemic” mistreatment of detainees, including unsanitary living conditions and the punitive denial of food and water, officials said.
MO: Missouri Supreme Court weighs publicly funded advocacy ban
Missouri Supreme Court judges heard arguments over whether a ban on publicly funded advocacy is constitutional. State law prohibits any public funds from being spent to advocate for or against ballot measures, such as spending money to print flyers in favor of a bonding proposal.
SD: South Dakota names panel to consider state attorney general’s impeachment
South Dakota’s House speaker named six Republicans and two Democrats to help investigate the Republican attorney general over his role in a car crash that killed a pedestrian last year.
IL: Mask mandate stays until hospitalizations fall, Illinois governor says
Illinois’ COVID-19 numbers have improved, but not enough to make Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker consider rescinding his statewide indoor mask mandate. He said only when hospitalizations drop will he start getting more optimistic about relaxing masking restrictions.
UT: For Utah renters, a 3-day eviction notice often arrives before federally mandated 30-day notice
Eviction notices can in some cases be a tactic of harassment or intimidation, and they may be a violation of federal law, the Utah Investigative Journalism Project has found.
ID: Idaho’s four-year colleges will follow vaccine mandate for now
Some Idaho college and university employees and students could need to get COVID-19 vaccines in the next few weeks, while the state goes to federal court to challenge a Biden administration vaccine mandate.
HI: A top Hawaii prison official faces an internal affairs investigation
The Hawaii Department of Public Safety has opened an internal affairs investigation into actions taken by a longtime correctional system administrator who allegedly pressured a subordinate to change an investigation report.
CA: California utility giant under federal investigation
The federal government wants to know whether PG&E was responsible for causing the Dixie Fire, the second-largest blaze in California history.
MI: Michigan to add non-binary option for state IDs
Michigan will soon expand the choices for the sex listed on residents’ driver’s licenses and state identification cards to include an “X” option for non-binary people. The option will be available starting Nov. 10.
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