Top State Stories 9/28
CA: California governor signs 13 abortion protection and reproductive health bills
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 13 abortion protection and reproductive health bills, codifying key parts of California’s campaign to counter the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
OH: Ohio judge extends order blocking 6-week abortion ban through Oct. 12
Ohio’s six-week abortion ban will remain on hold for at least another two weeks, a Hamilton County judge ordered. The judge extended his temporary restraining order through Oct. 12, which put on hold a law banning doctors from performing abortions after cardiac activity is detected.
VA: Virginia students walk out of classes in protest of governor’s transgender policy
Students at several Virginia schools are participating in walkouts in opposition to new guidelines from the administration of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin that would restrict the rights of transgender students.
OK: Oklahoma lawmakers target gender reassignment treatment within state university health system
Medical facilities affiliated with the University of Oklahoma will discontinue “certain gender medicine services,” officials said, after state lawmakers threatened to block as much as .5 million in federal funds to the University Hospitals Authority and Hospitals Trust.
TX: Texas will build more than 50 new electric car charging locations along major highways
The Federal Highway Administration approved Texas’ plan to use million from the infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed last year to install fast-charging electric vehicle charging locations across the state. In the first year, Texas plans to build more than 50 new locations along major Texas interstates between Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio.
DC: Proposal advances to give DC residents a month for transit
A proposal that would give District of Columbia residents a month for transit advanced out of a committee and will go to the D.C. Council for a vote. The “Metro for D.C.” bill aims to help lower-income residents with transportation costs while helping to stabilize Metro, which is facing a nearly million operating shortfall next year because of fares lost to telework.
IA: Iowa reports .9B surplus; top corporate tax rates to drop
Iowa’s largest corporations will enjoy the first effects next year of a sweeping tax cut package GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds signed. The state reported an overall budget surplus of .91 billion for the previous year — up from .24 billion the year before.
MA: Massachusetts politicians call for review of domestic violence secrecy law
Massachusetts elected officials vowed to review a privacy law designed to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence after an investigation found the law has often been used to protect police and perpetrators. GOP Gov. Charlie Baker said he wants the legislature to take action to help survivors and rethink the statute.
NJ: New Jersey does away with teacher certification test — sort of
After months of calls to eliminate a state-mandated expensive teacher licensing test blamed for worsening the teacher shortage in New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy did away with it, in a way.
CO: Diversity, equity concerns surface during investigation into Colorado’s emergency management agency
Several employees at the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management cited “concerning statements” about equity, diversity and inclusion within the state’s division that responds to all types of disasters in Colorado as the department investigated separate claims accusing its leadership of creating a toxic workplace environment, state documents show.
WI: Wisconsin’s rural homeless population is underserved
Evictions, deteriorating housing and a lack of rentals have left people throughout rural Wisconsin without a home and many miles from the nearest shelter.
NE: Nebraska farmers, ranchers struggle with drought
Nebraska recorded its driest August in 128 years of recordkeeping. Farmers and ranchers are being put to the test as drought conditions persist across the state’s billion-dollar agricultural sector.
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