Top State Stories 9/16
IN: Indiana abortion ban takes effect, shuttering clinics
Patients seeking abortions in Indiana will now likely head to Ohio or Illinois. Planned Parenthood of Illinois announced that it had added abortion services at its clinic in Champaign, just across the Indiana border.
CA: California unveils mandate to phase out diesel trucks
In another worldwide first, California would require new trucks to be zero-emissions in 2040. Large companies would gradually convert fleets. Truckers worry about the costs and practicality of electric trucks.
TX: Texas board rejects posthumous pardon for George Floyd
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has unanimously denied a posthumous pardon of George Floyd for a minor 2004 drug conviction in Houston. In a letter Thursday, the board did not explain its reasoning for rejecting the requested pardon.
GA: Georgia voting access slips under new laws, research shows
When it comes to ballot access, Georgia has fallen to the middle of the pack nationally after the state’s elections law curbed absentee voting, according to research by organizations that study ease-of-voting policies.
MI: Demand for tubal ligations up across Michigan in Roe aftermath — but many are being denied
The number of people calling to schedule consultations for sterilization procedures at the University of Michigan has doubled since the Dobbs ruling. Though demand is up, getting a tubal ligation isn’t always as simple as making an appointment with a gynecologist.
AL: Alabama says it won’t be ready to use nitrogen hypoxia method at Sept. 22 execution
Alabama will not be ready to use nitrogen hypoxia to execute a death row inmate by Sept. 22, the date of its next scheduled execution, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said in an affidavit filed in federal court.
NV: Advocates win Nevada lawsuit to remove cannabis from the Schedule 1 drug list
After more than two decades of violating state law, the Nevada Board of Pharmacy must remove cannabis from a list of controlled substances deemed to be highly abused, a Clark County District Court judge ruled.
WI: Wisconsin agency restarts rulemaking for toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in groundwater
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hoping to restart the process of establishing rules for “forever chemicals” in groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly 1 million residents.
OK: Oklahoma teacher staffing survey shows record number of vacancies
A survey by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association found that Oklahoma schools reported 1,019 teaching vacancies as the 2022-2023 school year began even as they are on track to employ record numbers of emergency certified teachers and plan to expand the use of adjunct instructors.
NE: Share of Nebraskans working from home has tripled
The number of Nebraskans primarily working from home nearly tripled between 2019 and 2021, from 4.6% to 12.8% — a lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SD: South Dakota Highway Patrol struggles with trooper shortage
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is struggling with a shortage of officers after over two dozen left the agency this year. The shortage comes despite Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s attempts to recruit officers from across the country with promises that the state supports law enforcement officers.
WA: Test scores across Washington show decline from prior to pandemic
Results are in from statewide K-12 comprehensive tests taken across Washington last spring, and the report is mixed. The good news for students, families and teachers is that scores are up, albeit slightly, from last fall. The not-so-good news is that scores are still well below pre-pandemic levels.
OR, CO: Biden targets Oregon coast as floating offshore wind tower site
The Biden administration announced plans to develop floating platforms in the deep ocean for wind towers that could power millions of homes and vastly expand offshore wind in the United States. The plan would target sites in the Pacific Ocean off the California and Oregon coasts, as well as in the Atlantic in the Gulf of Maine.
WY: Wyoming sage grouse ‘holding steady’
Wyoming’s spring count of strutting male greater sage grouse revealed a 6% increase over 2021, bucking expectations of a continuing decline predicted last fall. Nevertheless, the prospect that its West-wide decline might lead to protection under the Endangered Species Act generates worries about land-use restrictions.
KY: Kentucky must start over again with plan to fix unemployment computer system
The state of Kentucky is back to square one on replacing the antiquated computer system at the Office of Unemployment Insurance that failed to handle a crush of jobless claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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