Top State Stories 7/18
TX: ‘Systemic failures’ in Uvalde shooting went far beyond local police, Texas House report says
In total, 376 law enforcement officers descended upon the Texas school, according to the most extensive account of the shooting to date. It says that better-equipped departments should have stepped up to fill a leadership void after the Uvalde schools’ police chief failed to take charge.
MA: Cities in Massachusetts begin lifting gun license restrictions
The Boston Police Department says it has moved to lift restrictions on hundreds of existing gun licenses, with potentially thousands more to come in the city and elsewhere, as police departments pivot in the face of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that is quickly reshaping Massachusetts gun law.
MO: Missouri governor signed new homeless law despite mental health official’s concerns
Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson ignored the concerns of one of his cabinet members about a new law targeting the homeless population. In a May letter obtained by the Post-Dispatch, the state Department of Mental Health’s director said it could exacerbate problems rather than fix them.
NY: In 5 days, monkeypox cases double in New York
Monkeypox, the previously rare virus in humans that has been slowly spreading around the globe this year, doubled in confirmed case counts in New York over a five-day span. The state now far leads the nation in cases.
FL: Kids’ coronavirus vaccines are hard to find in Florida. Many blame the governor.
Many Florida parents are struggling to find places to vaccinate their children, and they blame GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis—noting he was the only governor to refuse to preorder the vaccines and to prohibit county health departments from distributing or administering the shots.
SD: South Dakota governor decides not to call special session on abortion
Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced she will not call a special session to address abortion legislation in South Dakota, backtracking on earlier calls to do so. Abortion is already illegal in South Dakota, but some lawmakers had called for more laws to “close the loopholes.”
MS: Mississippi attorney general has no plans to prosecute in Emmett Till lynching
Mississippi’s top legal official has no plan to prosecute the White woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, an aide said following revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir by the woman.
CT: Connecticut teacher shortage: Too few substitutes, too many kids in crisis
For teachers in some of Connecticut’s largest and most underfunded districts, low salaries and high-need students accelerated staff turnover and resignations last school year. Now, seven of Connecticut’s 10 largest districts reported 100 to 300 open positions in their schools.
US: Navajo president signs B pandemic aid spending priorities
Navajo Nation leaders have finalized an agreement on spending priorities for more than billion in federal pandemic relief to improve water, sanitation, housing and communications infrastructure.
PA: 1 in 7 Philadelphia city jobs are vacant as services reach crisis point
Not enough people want to work for the city of Philadelphia. Long one of the largest employers in the region, the city is short-staffed. A steady trickle of employees fleeing government service over the past three years means about 4,000 budgeted positions are currently unfilled.
CA: Endangered salmon will swim in California river for 1st time in 80 years
California’s Chinook salmon haven’t been able to reach the McCloud River since 1942, when the construction of Shasta Dam blocked the fish from swimming upstream. After 80 years, endangered winter-run Chinook are about to swim in the river once again.
NV: Nevada GOP candidate sues over primary election loss
Joey Gilbert, a Reno attorney and former Republican candidate for Nevada governor, continued his battle to challenge the June primary election, filing a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the results. The lawsuit alleges an “illegal geometric formula” was used to alter the way votes were counted.
ME: Maine to merge its individual and small group health insurance markets in 2023
The federal government has approved a state waiver to combine Maine’s individual and small group insurance markets to keep costs down. The governor’s administration says it could knock premium increases down an average of 6%-8%.
WY: Wyoming economy crawling back to pre-pandemic levels
Wyoming’s unemployment rate is below the national average at 3.2%, which is good for job seekers but bad for businesses. A lower unemployment rate can mean stiffer competition for the labor pool, which is aging out due to Wyoming’s above-average percentage of baby boomers.
KS: Incarcerated person, staff members injured during Kansas prison riot
At least one incarcerated person has been hospitalized after what the union representing state correctional officers called a riot night at Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas. The rest of the prison was placed on lockdown.
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