Top State Stories 10/11
DE: Delaware governor signs wage theft and other labor protection bills into law
Delaware Democratic Gov. John Carney signed a bill into law defining wage theft as a crime and setting financial penalties for violators. The new law is one of the most detailed in the country, targeting an array of strategies used by employers to avoid paying taxes or to underpay workers.
CO: A new tax on Denver landlords would pay to defend renters against eviction
In November, voters in Denver, Colorado will decide whether they want to enact a new tax on landlords to provide lawyers for people facing evictions. The proposal would tax most landlords $75 per year per unit they own and use it to establish a legal defense program.
ME: Many Maine schools ‘do little’ to follow 20-year-old law requiring Wabanaki studies
More than two decades after a landmark state law passed requiring Maine schools to teach Wabanaki studies, a new report released for Indigenous Peoples Day finds the law has not been fully implemented, and the state Department of Education has not enforced it.
CA: California lawmakers call for resignations after Los Angeles City Council racist comments
Leaked audio of Los Angeles City Council members making racist comments roiled California politics, with multiple officials calling for the members’ resignations.
VA: Doula services now covered under Virginia Medicaid expansion
Virginia is the fourth state in the nation to offer community doula services to people enrolled in Medicaid. Twenty-six state-certified doulas have been approved to work with Medicaid since the Virginia program began this spring.
OR: Oregon high school athletes can profit off their name, image and likeness
High school student-athletes in Oregon can now profit off their name, image and likeness, known as NIL, after the delegate assembly of the Oregon School Activities Association voted to approve the change. This was the final hurdle for the rule to be changed.
TN: Tennessee doctors pen open letter opposing state’s abortion ban
More than 700 physicians across Tennessee are calling the state’s Human Life Protection Act “dangerous legislation” and urging elected officials to revise the anti-abortion law. An open letter published in Sunday’s edition of The Tennessean said the law endangers patients and leaves health care professionals open to criminal prosecution.
MS: Mississippi GOP leaders boast of ending critical race theory; experts say they didn’t
Mississippi lawmakers passed a bill they said would ban the teaching of critical race theory, and several Republican officials have since boasted about it. But the recently updated Mississippi Code does not include the term “critical race theory” nor any language banning its teaching, experts say.
FL: Florida’s gas tax holiday gains wiped out by global oil production cuts
Ten days after Florida’s October gas tax holiday began, prices shot up 16 cents a gallon to $3.33 in four days after hitting an all-time low last week, due to an expected cut in production by OPEC, travel club AAA reported.
GA: Georgia governor allocates nearly all of .8B in fed COVID funds ahead of election
Facing a tough reelection fight in Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has in the past year committed almost all of the $4.8 billion in COVID-19 relief money approved over his opposition by Congress in 2021.
IA: Iowa state agency ignores law requiring routine hotel inspections
For the past eight years, a state regulatory agency has violated a law requiring the routine inspection of Iowa’s hotels and motels. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is required to inspect all hotels within its jurisdiction at least once every two years.
SD: Marijuana opponents organize in South Dakota
A grassroots organization is rallying against an initiated measure that seeks to legalize recreational marijuana for South Dakotans who are 21 and older. The measure is on the Nov. 8 ballot.
ID: Lawsuit claims Idaho discriminates against people seeking gender-affirming care
Two Idaho residents have filed a federal lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare alleging discriminatory policies for denying transgender individuals Medicaid coverage for gender reassignment surgery, according to the complaint.
KS: Kansas casinos rake in .3M in first month of sports betting
Kansas casinos and betting platforms have brought in nearly $1.3 million in September, the state’s first month of sports betting. The state took in just under $130,000 in tax revenue from the four sportsbooks.
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