Top State Stories 9/15
CA: California launches suit against Amazon alleging anti-competitive contracts with retailers
California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, announced a lawsuit against Amazon, accusing the Seattle-based e-commerce giant of anti-competitive behavior in its dealings with third-party merchants.
SD: New poll says South Dakotans favor Medicaid expansion
An amendment in South Dakota would provide Medicaid benefits to people ages 18-65 with an income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level. An August poll found 62% of state residents support the expansion.
KS: Kansas may pay for college credits for high school students
A Kansas proposal could pave the way for the state to pay thousands of dollars’ worth of college credits for many of the state’s high school students.
DE: Judge says Delaware vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional
A Delaware judge ruled that a new vote-by-mail law enacted earlier this year is unconstitutional and that voting by mail cannot be used in upcoming November election.
TX: Hispanic Texans may now be the state’s largest demographic group, new census data shows
For years, the Hispanic population in Texas has grown significantly faster than the White population. The new census data is the first to reflect Texas passing a milestone in its cultural and political evolution.
MD: Maryland ends budget year with B surplus
The surplus is thanks to an increase in revenue from Maryland’s state income taxes and the ongoing impact of federal stimulus aid. It will be used for an emergency fund, school construction and pay raises for some state employees.
OH: Ohio school board resolution would oppose Title IX protections for LGBTQ students, urge local schools to defy rules
A proposed resolution likely to be discussed at next week’s Ohio State Board of Education meeting opposes a proposal by the U.S. Department of Education to enhance Title IX protections for gay and transgender kids and encourages local schools to defy the proposal.
MN: Control of Minnesota legislature is a toss-up, data shows
Redistricting following the decennial census has given Democrats hope they can hold the Minnesota House and maybe even pick up the state Senate.
WA: Shelved report details 14 COVID deaths inside Washington prisons
A draft Washington Office of Corrections Ombuds report, dated September 2021, outlines delays in medical care and flaws in documenting COVID-19 cases in Washington’s prisons during the pandemic, which hit such congregate facilities especially hard.
OR: Oregon has recovered all the jobs lost to COVID-19
Oregon has now regained all 282,000 jobs the state lost to the pandemic recession, an astonishingly rapid recovery from the steepest, deepest downturn in state history. The state added 9,600 jobs in August. That put statewide employment at 2.2 million, an all-time high.
AK: Alaska’s cruise tourism industry has recovered, but not fully, from COVID
Southeast Alaska, home to the core of Alaska’s tourism industry, has largely recovered from the economic disaster caused by COVID-19, but the region still has fewer jobs than it did before the start of the pandemic.
WY: Wyoming committee votes down specific penalty for violence against health care workers
A draft bill in Wyoming to create specific offenses for assault, threat of violence and battery against health care providers was rejected. Testimony said incidences of such violence have increased in recent years.
CO: Coloradans take housing into their own hands with initiative
Fed up with sky-high housing prices, Coloradans are taking the issue into their own hands with a November ballot initiative that would direct a portion of the state’s income taxes to affordable housing projects.
TN: Tennessee crime labs slow to test sexual assault evidence, data shows
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime labs take more than 34 weeks, on average, to process sex offense evidence, according to data obtained by the Tennessean. At one lab, staffed by just three scientists, average turnaround times increased to nearly 49 weeks in July and August.
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