Top State Stories 9/30
OK: Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill restricting transgender transition services
Lawmakers delved into bigotry, genital mutilation and parental choice in passing a bill that would prevent University of Oklahoma medical facilities from providing transition services to transgender children.
CA: California governor signs bill protecting transgender youths and families fleeing red-state policies
Again heralding California as a refuge from discriminatory policies in conservative states, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that aims to protect transgender youths and their families from bans against gender-affirming care.
WI: Many GOP appointees with expired terms still on Wisconsin state boards
Three members of the state board that oversees Wisconsin’s technical colleges and who were appointed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker have refused to step down, even though their terms ended more than a year ago. Dozens of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ appointees are waiting to serve on various state boards but lack the GOP-led state Senate’s confirmation.
DE: Delaware DOJ goes after cryptocurrency scammers
The Delaware Department of Justice announced it has frozen funds in accounts containing fraudulently obtained cryptocurrency as part of a scam dubbed “pig butchering.” The name comes from the way scammers groom people over time into investing in or “fattening up” crypto holdings, only to be scammed out of their investments.
MD: Appeals court upholds early ballot counting in Maryland
The Maryland State Board of Elections asked for the early start to ballot counting to accommodate a deluge of mail-in ballots that are expected to be cast this fall.
TN: Tennessee will speed hiring in labs, aims to push through backlog of rape kits
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee announced plans to hire 25 new forensic scientists, lab technicians and administrative support personnel, aiming to address a significant sexual assault kit backlog issue in the state’s crime labs.
TX: Texas awards M in contracts for 14 miles of new border wall
The Texas Facilities Commission voted to approve a million contract for New Mexico-based Southwest Valley Constructors Co. to build nearly 6.7 miles of border wall near Del Rio and a second contract worth million to Montana-based BFBC of Texas, which plans to build 6.95 miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley.
IA: Two-thirds of Iowa beaches had swim advisories this year
There were 25 state beaches this summer where swimming was not advised for at least one week because of elevated levels of bacteria or toxins or both, according to the Iowa Environmental Council.
CO: EPA tells Colorado’s governor there’s no getting out of selling reformulated gas to fight ozone
The Environmental Protection Agency can’t let Colorado off the hook for imposing more expensive reformulated gas to fight ozone pollution beginning in 2024, the agency said in a reply to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ objections and threats to sue.
MA: Massachusetts school test scores show performances significantly worse than pre-pandemic
Massachusetts students continue to struggle academically, posting below pre-pandemic levels on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams taken in the spring. Students statewide performed worse on the English language arts exams than they did last year when scores plummeted after a year of remote learning.
NY: New York to expedite rules for mandating all electric cars after 2035
New York’s push for an emissions-free transportation system took a step forward when Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state Department of Environmental Conservation would expedite the regulations behind a mandate that all new cars sold starting in 2035 be emissions-free.
IN: Indiana faces critical housing shortage
Without changes, it could take Indiana 20 years to meet the housing needs of lower-income Hoosiers. A state task force is meant to recommend policy changes the state can pursue.
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