Top State Stories 1/6
KS: Kansas hospital officials warn they’re rationing care due to COVID surge
In a rare statewide address, more than a dozen hospital leaders from across Kansas appealed to the public amid a historic spike of COVID-19 cases, warning they were already rationing care at their facilities and that “dire” triaging would become necessary if trends don’t change.
MN: Minnesota cities reinstate indoor mask mandates
Minneapolis and St. Paul are reinstating indoor mask mandates, with mayors from both Minnesota cities citing a rise in COVID-19 cases from the fast-spreading omicron variant. Both mandates take effect at 5 p.m. Thursday.
NJ: Third of New Jersey schools switch to remote learning after winter break as COVID cases rise
A third of New Jersey’s public schools closed and switched to remote learning following their winter break as COVID cases continue to increase to the highest numbers since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
OH: Ohio post-election audits show high degree of accuracy
Post-election audits from across Ohio’s county boards of elections showed a 99.9% accuracy rate in the Nov. 2020 election, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican.
MA: Massachusetts lawmakers try to outlaw ‘stealthing’ condom removal
Some Massachusetts lawmakers want to make Massachusetts the first state to create civil and criminal penalties for “stealthing,” a term for nonconsensual condom removal. So far, only California has outlawed the act, though the state did not make it a criminal offense, only civil, allowing people who experience it to sue for damages.
GA: Georgia governor sets the stage for a new fight over gun rights
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp formally endorsed legislation to expand Georgians’ rights to carry firearms, putting a divisive effort to loosen gun restrictions at the top of his agenda amid a bruising reelection campaign.
CA: California schools risk ‘colossal’ loss of dollars as enrollment drops
As they await the release of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2022-23 state budget, school district officials across California are worried about losing millions of dollars all at once, resulting in staffing cuts in a time when students need more attention than ever.
MI: Michigan senators demand answers from prison chief after allegations of risky conditions
Michigan correctional officers are overworked and exposed to increasing threats at facilities across the state, a bipartisan pair of state senators recently said in letters calling for action from the Michigan Department of Corrections.
AL: Alabama emergency rooms overwhelmed by record visits
Alabama hospital officials are asking people not to seek COVID-19 testing in emergency rooms that are struggling to provide care for critically ill patients amid a flood of visits and a staffing shortage.
WI: Wisconsin mayor seeks penalties for head of GOP-backed election investigation
The mayor of Green Bay has asked a court to impose penalties against the leader of a GOP-backed investigation into the 2020 election in Wisconsin. Mayor Eric Genrich wants the court to punish former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman for legal filings and public comments they claim were “underdeveloped, haphazard, unsupported by the facts, and contrary to Wisconsin law.”
LA: Louisiana governor pardons Homer Plessy, namesake of landmark segregation case
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, granted a posthumous pardon to Homer Plessy, whose refusal in 1892 to leave a Whites-only railcar led the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold state racial segregation laws. In November, the Louisiana Board of Pardons unanimously voted to clear Plessy’s record.
TX: Texas natural gas production dropped during recent cold front, reviving concerns about electric grid
This past weekend, during Texas’ first significant cold front since a winter storm in 2021 killed more than 200 people and left millions without power, natural gas production in the state’s top energy-producing region dropped by about 25%, according to a report from S&P Global.
AZ: Maricopa County officials in Arizona issue point-by-point rebuttal to 2020 election review
Nearly every claim made by Cyber Ninjas and other Arizona Senate contractors who reviewed Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential election was either misleading, inaccurate or false, according to a point-by-point response issued by county officials.
KY: Bill would stop Kentucky landlords from treating evicted renters’ property ‘like garbage’
Three bill requests filed ahead of Kentucky’s 2022 legislative session would strengthen rights for renters, including requiring landlords to temporarily store belongings left behind during an eviction.
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