Top State Stories 11/12
CO: All Colorado adults now eligible for booster shots
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order declaring all of Colorado to be at high risk from COVID-19, thereby making all adults eligible to receive vaccine booster shots. This comes ahead of approval by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all fully vaccinated adults, following a six-month wait time.
CT: Religious exemptions to vaccine in Connecticut more common among state agency workers
Health care workers in state agencies in Connecticut are claiming medical or religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates at a higher rate than health care workers outside government, data show —an imbalance that some say raises questions about whether the state is handing out exemptions too easily.
UT: Utah school districts are offering extra pay to attract substitute teachers
In recent weeks, several Utah districts have announced incentives as they try to respond to what many in education are calling a crisis. The hope is that pay increases and bonuses will attract more substitute teachers.
AR: Arkansas COVID cases again rising, concerning health officials
Arkansas’ count of coronavirus cases grew by 673—the second daily increase in a row that was significantly larger than the one a week earlier. The number of people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 rose for the second straight day, bringing it just shy of 300 less than a week after it dropped below that mark for the first time in more than four months.
PA: Pennsylvania towns sue to stop tolls on bridges, citing federal funds influx
Three municipalities filed suit in Commonwealth Court to try to block the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation from implementing tolls on nine bridges across the state. PennDOT expects to get about billion extra in federal funds over the next five years under the infrastructure bill approved last week.
OH: Ohio extends COVID telemedicine rules for medical pot, drug prescriptions
The State Medical Board of Ohio delayed the scheduled expiration of COVID-19 emergency rules that allow for more liberal use of telemedicine. The rules had been scheduled to end Dec. 31 but have been extended through March.
KS: Kansas projected revenues increase .3B raising prospects for food tax cut
Kansas budget officials increased the state’s projected revenues for this fiscal year by .3 billion, bolstering arguments by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and her likely 2022 election opponent, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt, for elimination of the state’s food sales tax next year.
OR: Oregon’s judges, court staff among most vaccinated of all state workers
More than 92% of some 1,800 state court employees and judges across Oregon are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That represents an increase of about six percentage points since mid-September and elevates the state court system to one of the most vaccinated big departments in the state.
MO: With no solution for boosting teacher pay on horizon, Missouri turns to recruiting website
Missouri school officials are spending ,000 on a new recruitment effort aimed at reversing a decline in the number of people training to become teachers.
NY: New York state starts college scholarship drawing for kids who get COVID vaccine
Children ages 5 through 11 in New York who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Dec. 19 can be entered in a drawing to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year state college or university, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.
MS: Mississippi governor announces COVID state of emergency will expire soon
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced he will allow the state of emergency he declared in early 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to expire on Nov. 20.
ND: North Dakota income tax break bill passes state House
The North Dakota House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would provide a income tax credit for each resident filing a return for 2021 and 2022.
HI: Hawaii sues state’s largest oil refiner for alleged unpaid taxes
Hawaii has sued the state’s largest oil refiner, alleging the company relied on a flawed interpretation of state tax law to skirt paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes annually for an unknown number of years. The whistleblower suit against Par Hawaii could have repercussions for other companies operating in Hawaii’s foreign trade zones.
NV: Nevada governor calls for redistricting special session
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced a long-anticipated redistricting special session, during which state lawmakers will draw Nevada’s congressional and legislative maps for the next 10 years.
CA: No California adult should be denied a COVID booster shot, state officials say
No fully vaccinated adult should be denied a COVID-19 booster shot, the California Department of Public Health says. The move comes as health authorities are trying to increase the number of Californians getting the booster shots, fearing that slow early demand could increase the chances of another winter coronavirus wave.
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