Top State Stories 6/21
SC: South Carolina governor signs new ‘ethics’ law praised, panned by some for potential discrimination
A new South Carolina law aims to provide legal protections for health care providers who refuse treatment or to provide a medication that goes against their religious or ethical beliefs.
CA: California lawmakers to investigate steep gas prices, accuse oil companies of ‘ripping off’ motorists
With steep gasoline prices still stinging Californians at the pump, Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced a legislative inquiry to determine if oil companies are “ripping off” drivers.
IA: Iowa’s 24-hour waiting period for abortions in limbo between court dates
Reproductive health care clinics such as Planned Parenthood have implemented a 24-hour waiting period for abortions following an Iowa Supreme Court decision on the law, despite no confirmation of the law’s immediate enforcement.
WI: Among Wisconsin’s jobless, Black applicants half as likely as Whites to receive pandemic aid
A federal audit has uncovered what researchers into Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system have long suspected: People of color are less likely to receive jobless compensation than their White counterparts. Native American and Hispanic applicants also were less likely than White claimants to receive help.
FL: Florida governor says state isn’t going to order vaccines for kids for state health departments
Amid backlash from political rivals, medical professionals and senior federal government officials, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis reaffirmed his decision not to preorder newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines or offer them at state health departments.
AZ: Arizona fires sweep land rich with ancient sites, artifacts
As a pair of wildfires skirt a mountainous northern Arizona city, the flames are crossing land dense with reminders of human existence through centuries—multilevel stone homes, rock carvings and pieces of clay and ceramic pots that have been well-preserved in the arid climate since long before fire suppression became a tactic.
NV: Supply chain issues snarling slot machines’ path to Nevada casinos
In the past few months, Nevada casino operators and gaming equipment providers have gone from quietly discussing ways to manage product delays to openly addressing an issue that could alter multimillion-dollar casino openings.
IN: Indiana faces gas tax hike
Indiana residents will pay 62 cents per gallon in taxes on gasoline, another jump from June’s record-high 56 cents per gallon. State Democrats have called for suspension of the tax, but Republicans say the gas tax should remain in place to fund the state’s highway construction program.
MN: Minnesota Supreme Court says Minneapolis falls short on police staffing requirements
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minneapolis isn’t employing enough police officers, setting the stage for a hearing later this month in which Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey or city attorneys will have to explain why he hasn’t met the obligations.
OK: Planned Parenthood network expands to help Oklahomans find abortions
Planned Parenthood Great Plains’ patient navigation network was created to help women in states such as Oklahoma connect to abortion providers. It’s a system that recently has been expanded in anticipation of the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade.
NJ: As student depression and anxiety soar, New Jersey lawmakers demand more from schools
With suicide the second most common cause of death among college students, New Jersey lawmakers voted for bills that would require more faculty and staff to be trained to recognize signs of mental illness and would make more funding available to expand treatment services on campus.
TN: Tennessee launches first review of social studies standards since passage of anti-CRT law
Tennessee is embarking on a review of how topics such as American history, world religions and the state’s past are taught in public schools for the first time since lawmakers passed a law last year banning 14 concepts related to race and racism.
TX: Texas plans to place charging stations every 50 miles on most interstates
With million in federal funds, Texas wants to build enough charging stations to support 1 million electric vehicles.
CT: Connecticut governor considers extending free bus rides statewide
Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said he is considering calling for extending free bus rides across the state beyond Dec. 1, a measure that would need to be approved by the Democratic-controlled state legislature.
LA: Louisiana governor vetoes bills offering new ways to leave public schools
Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed two bills that would allow students to leave public schools and take the ,400 in annual state aid with them to attend private schools or to pursue other education options.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.