Top State Stories 9/6
CA: Officials plead with Californians to reduce energy use or face blackouts
With California moving into the worst phase of a historic heat wave, authorities amplified their urgent call for residents to reduce energy use voluntarily or face the prospect of rolling blackouts.
TX: Poorest Texans lack access to emergency contraception
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said last week that rape victims in Texas can use emergency contraception instead of having abortions. But many low-income Texans of childbearing age are uninsured, and the state lacks programs that provide access to treatment such as Plan B.
PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers spent M on outside lawyers and experts lobbying on redistricting
Pennsylvania state lawmakers spent at least million in taxpayer money on outside law firms and experts as they lobbied for their preferred political maps during the recent redistricting cycle, according to invoices obtained by Spotlight PA. The new districts have the potential to change the balance of power in both Harrisburg and Washington.
MS: Mississippi governor: Jackson boil water edict could end ‘soon’
In the coming days, Jackson residents could see an end to the boil-water notice they have been under for more than a month, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday. Labor Day marked one week since more than 150,000 residents of Mississippi’s capital city lost reliable access to running water.
NV: Moose on the move, migrating to Nevada from Idaho, Utah
More and more moose from Idaho and Utah are making their way into Nevada, where they’re finding wilderness to their liking without the kind of help from humans most species get when they relocate.
CA: California governor signs bill that could lead to higher fast-food wages
A government-appointed council could increase wages for California’s estimated half-million fast food workers to as much as an hour starting next year, under a new law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law will establish a first-in-the-nation state council tasked with setting minimum wage standards in California for the entire industry. The fast-food industry opposed the move.
AR: Arkansas’ last surgical abortion clinic closes
After almost 50 years, the last Arkansas clinic that provided surgical abortions has officially closed — “temporarily,” according to its website. Little Rock Family Planning Services opened in 1973.
NM: Poll finds strong support for gun measures in New Mexico
With New Mexico’s firearm violence rate high, many voters want lawmakers to enact additional gun control measures. Specifically, 72% of voters surveyed in a recent Albuquerque Journal poll said they support increasing the minimum age to buy an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, while 73% said they support making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms from children.
GA: Special grand jury seeks evidence of Georgia county election breach
The Fulton County special grand jury is growing increasingly interested in an alleged election data breach in rural Coffee County as part of its multi-faceted criminal investigation into Georgia’s 2020 election.
LA: BP oil spill money to pay for range of new Louisiana coastal restoration projects
State and federal trustees overseeing the restoration of natural resources in Louisiana damaged by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill have approved spending nearly million on two projects in the New Orleans area and another two in Terrebonne Parish. They have also begun a public review of a plan to spend million to rebuild an island as a bird habitat.
SD: South Dakota voters favor more gun restrictions
While the Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and the Republican-led legislature push to expand access to firearms in South Dakota, a majority of voters favors restrictions such as waiting periods and age limits for some gun purchases.
MA: Massachusetts House budget chief says taxpayers owed B
The Massachusetts House’s budget chief says Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration’s assertion the state took billions too much in taxes last year is accurate and that lawmakers will work to make sure taxpayers get their money back while moving forward on a stalled economic development bill.
MO: Push for legal marijuana in Missouri raises questions about future market, prices
With Missouri voters weighing legalization of recreational marijuana this fall, critics are raising questions about how the market will be structured — and the likely dollars-and-cents impact on consumers.
OK: Investors drive up housing costs in Oklahoma for those who can least afford it
Oklahoma ranked third in the nation last year among states where institutional investors were buying single-family homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2021, institutional buyers accounted for 18% of all single-family home sales in the state.
MN: Minnesota’s Black jobless rate climbs while overall figure hits record low
The unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans has been climbing for much of this year, contrasting with the steady decline of the state’s overall jobless rate to the lowest level for any state in U.S. history. At 7.3% in July, the state’s Black unemployment rate has more than doubled in the last year and was three times the White unemployment rate of 2.4%.
DE: Delaware expands apprenticeship opportunities on public works projects
Over the next year, the Delaware’s Department of Labor will roll out a more robust program to provide building trade apprenticeships. A 2019 state law requires contractors bidding on large public works projects to provide apprenticeships – offering on-the-job experience while the Department of Labor manages the apprentice’s education.
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