Top State Stories 12/10
WI: Half of Wisconsin’s working women are considering quitting: report
Fifty percent of Wisconsin working women consider quitting work “constantly,” “often,” or “sometimes,” according to new research released by Milwaukee-based Kane Communications Group. The number of dissatisfied working women in Wisconsin is at 60% for those working in retail, food service and hospitality industries, the research indicates.
TN: Tennessee lawmaker files bill allowing schools to refuse enrollment to undocumented immigrants
The Tennessee House bill, which has yet to receive a Senate sponsor, would eliminate state funding for students who are “unlawfully present in the United States” and require school districts to pay for their education. A 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling established that “all children, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to a free public education.”
WA: Seasonal layoffs, not COVID, likely behind uptick in Washington state jobless claims
More Washingtonians filed for unemployment last week than the week before, but the increase could reflect seasonal layoffs in sectors such as construction and farming rather than a surge of pandemic-related job losses. Washingtonians filed 6,806 new, or “initial,” claims for jobless benefits last week, up nearly 37% from the prior week.
TX: In Texas, a battle over what books can be taught and what can be read
A new Texas law constricts teachers when it comes to race and history. And a politician is questioning why 850 titles are on library shelves. The result: “A lot of our teachers are petrified.”
CA: California goes to war with food waste. Composting is its next climate crusade.
A new state law will require Californians to separate organic material from their other garbage. It’s a landmark change that aims to transform the state’s throwaway culture—not just to ease pressure on landfills but to reduce the climate-warming fallout of the trashy norm.
IN: More Indiana hospitals ask for National Guard help
Indiana National Guard teams are providing staff support in 13 hospitals around the state. Now the state’s largest hospital system is asking for statewide help.
AL: Alabama near last in nation in childhood COVID vaccination rate
More than 4,100 Alabama children between 5 and 11 years old, which is only 1% of children in that age range, have been fully vaccinated. This places Alabama second from the bottom in the nation, outpacing only West Virginia, which has fully vaccinated fewer than 500 total children that age.
DC: DC mayor bolsters efforts to stem gun violence
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said the city will drastically expand its fleet of violence interrupters, who are tasked with ingratiating themselves into “priority” D.C. neighborhoods to defuse potentially violent conflicts. Officials said the number of interrupters will swell from 30 to 80.
DE: Delaware hospitals postpone non-urgent surgeries as COVID cases continue to rise
The average number of new cases of COVID-19 in Delaware has almost doubled since the Thanksgiving holiday. And coupled with higher demand for non-COVID related medical care, some of Delaware’s hospitals have been forced to cut back on nonessential services.
WY: Wyoming officials say mental health care system is in crisis
Wyoming mental health care officials are asking residents to contact their legislators to urge them to take action in addressing the state’s mental health care system, which they said is currently in “crisis.”
KS: Kansas to pay for COVID testing through end of year and maybe for longer
Kansas will continue to fund community- and employer-based COVID-19 testing through the end of the year. The State Finance Council, a committee composed of legislative leadership and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, has approved the allocation of .9 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for testing.
FL: Florida governor proposes budget with bonuses for teachers and police
Flush with booming tax revenues and billions in federal cash, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a proposed .7 billion budget for the state’s next fiscal year that includes ,000 bonuses for teachers and police and millions to combat illegal immigration and election fraud.
IL: Violent threats prompt Illinois lawmaker to shelve plan to make unvaccinated pay health care costs
After receiving “violent threats,” an Illinois Democratic state representative said he won’t pursue a proposal requiring unvaccinated Illinoisans to pay their health care expenses—including hospital bills—out of pocket if they contract COVID-19.
HI: Water crisis has changed the politics around the military in Hawaii
The military has enjoyed unwavering support from state and federal political leaders in Hawaii. But the threat to Oahu’s water supply may be bringing that to an end.
MS: Initial funding approved for Mississippi mental health monitor
A federal judge has approved funding for an independent monitor to collect and analyze data on how Mississippi’s mental health system is working to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. The order comes as the state is appealing a September ruling that requires it to design a plan for the future of the state’s mental health care system.
OR: Oregon good government groups file initiatives to cap campaign contributions, shed light on ‘dark money’
Oregon voters could get a chance to decide whether to cap political donations and mandate transparency on who truly pays for political ads, under three proposed ballot initiatives filed this week. Despite voters’ clear desire for donation limits and greater transparency, state lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to achieve those goals after months of closed-door negotiations with political players including big donors from across the political spectrum.
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