Top State Stories 9/26
GA: Election equipment to be replaced in Georgia county after outsiders gain access
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said that he will replace voting equipment in Coffee County after supporters of then-President Donald Trump and their computer analysts copied confidential data following the 2020 election.
DE: Judge bars enforcement of Delaware ‘ghost gun’ restrictions
A federal judge has issued an injunction barring Delaware from enforcing provisions of a new law outlawing the manufacturing and possession of homemade “ghost guns,” which can’t be traced by law enforcement officials because they don’t have serial numbers.
CA: California governor vetoes bill to make kindergarten mandatory, citing costs
Despite a tenure that has focused on early education, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory, saying the cost is not accounted for in the state’s record-breaking budget and spending plan.
OR: Lack of staff in Oregon hospitals leads to patient deaths
People in Oregon are dying as a result of the state’s hospital staffing shortage. At any one time, about 700 people are either languishing in hospitals awaiting discharge because facilities offering a lower level of care lack staff or they’re stuck in emergency rooms, awaiting a hospital bed.
SD: South Dakota investigates governor’s use of state airplane
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential 2024 White House contender, blurred the lines between official travel and attending either family or political events several times in 2019. A county prosecutor overseeing the investigation will decide whether the governor broke an untested law.
MD: Judge allows faster Maryland mail-in ballot count
A judge sided with the Maryland Board of Elections, ruling that state elections officials may process and count mail-in ballots as they come in. Delays would have hindered results for weeks, the state argued.
OK: As drought worsens, Oklahoma ranchers look to the state for relief
As the frequency of extreme weather — like droughts — increases across Oklahoma, farmers and ranchers are increasingly looking to the state for both emergency assistance and long-range plans for dealing with dry conditions that are becoming more common.
ID: As wildfires become common, Idaho’s smoke season becomes a public health hazard
Doctors in Idaho, one of the states with the most wildfires, are concerned about what it means for public health when the air turns hazy and smells of campfire.
MT: Montana abortion referendum relies on misleading language, health providers say
Opponents argue that Montana referendum’s “born alive” language is intentionally misleading. A living infant, no matter how they were born, already has rights under Montana state law.
ME: Maine sheriffs adopt changes to prevent individual jails from recording confidential calls
As the recording of attorney calls became public in recent years, county sheriffs, a state agency and the company that runs most of the phone systems in Maine jails have taken steps to curb the practice. But they’ve stopped short of a statewide solution.
WI: Bureaucracy is a barrier as Wisconsin cities try to curb deadly driving on urban highways
As traffic deaths mount in Wisconsin, cities are lowering speed limits, tightening enforcement and reengineering roads. But their options are limited on state highways that run through towns and cities that can be particularly dangerous.
MN: Minnesota’s transition to electric vehicles is long and bumpy
Minnesota calls for at least 1 out of 5 cars, SUVs and pickups on the road to be electric by 2030, with more general goals for electric buses for schools and transit systems. That’s a long road for a state where less than 1% of registered vehicles are electric.
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