Top State Stories 10/28
NY: Teachers and police restrained thousands of students in New York districts
Across New York state, thousands of students, most often children with disabilities, have been physically restrained by staff members in K-12 schools in recent years. The practices can cause trauma, injuries and, in rare cases, death. A year-long Times Union investigation found that in some New York school districts, students were physically restrained hundreds of times per year.
NV: Hand vote count on hold after Nevada high court says illegal
An unprecedented hand-count of mail-in ballots in a rural Nevada county is on hold and may not resume after the Nevada Supreme Court said in an after-hours ruling the current process is illegal, and the Republican secretary of state directed the county clerk to “cease immediately.”
TX: Texas diverting .6M from prisons to keep governor’s border mission operating
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said that he and other state leaders are pulling .6 million out of the state prison system’s budget to fund his Operation Lone Star border security operation through the next 10 months. So far, more than billion has been spent to keep thousands of state troopers and Texas National Guard members stationed along the Texas-Mexico border and other areas of the state.
AZ: Arizona AG agrees not to enforce total abortion ban until 2023
Arizona’s attorney general has agreed not to enforce a near total ban on abortions at least until next year, a move that Planned Parenthood Arizona credited with allowing the group to restart abortion care across the state.
CA: Oil giants sell thousands of California wells, raising worries about future liability
Some of the world’s largest oil companies, several of which have done business in the state for more than a century, are selling assets and beginning to pull out of California. Even with strong cash flow in the short term, producers have more to gain from offloading wells and the associated liability — chiefly expensive environmental cleanup — than from pumping more oil and gas, experts say.
AK: Alaska governor requests disaster funds for Bering Sea crab fisheries
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, has requested federal disaster declarations for two Alaska crab fisheries after their populations crashed. Dunleavy requested expedited disaster designations to jumpstart the process of sending money to fishermen in both the 2022 Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries, citing the complete closure of both this season.
GA: Record numbers of people are dying in Georgia’s largest jails
The deaths have been attributed to drug overdoses, suicides and other causes in Georgia’s five biggest lockups amid a trio of crises.
FL: In Florida, Hurricane Ian’s lucrative cleanup deals generate new storm
It has been a month since Hurricane Ian wiped out parts of southwest Florida. Now multimillion-dollar cleanup contracts are generating new tempests in the Category 4 storm’s wake.
OR: The use of psilocybin is on the ballot again for many Oregon voters
In 2020, Oregon legalized the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the first state in the country to do so, by ballot initiative. Still, psilocybin has become hotly contested across the state. It’s on the ballot again in 27 of the state’s 36 counties. With so many cities and counties voting on the issue in November, it could lead to bans across large portions of the state.
MN: ‘No plans’ for COVID-19 vaccine school mandate in Minnesota
Minnesota’s health commissioner won’t seek to require COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance, even if federal authorities add it to the recommended pediatric immunization schedule.
TN: Tennesseans in Appalachia likely to have higher debt and lower income
Tennesseans living in Appalachia are more likely to have medical debt in collections and carry high-interest, subprime loans while earning significantly less than the state and national average, a report by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found. More than half of Tennessee’s 95 counties lie within Appalachia.
MS: After two years, Mississippi patients will have access to marijuana ‘soon,’ officials say
Nearly two years after it was first approved by Mississippi voters, patients still do not have access to medical marijuana, but they will soon, according to leaders of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program. Kris Jones Adcock, director of the Medical Cannabis Program, said everything remains on track for patients to have access to cannabis products by the beginning of 2023.
DC: District of Columbia says it has ‘fallen short’ of goal to end traffic deaths
The District of Columbia issued a report laying out measures to improve road safety, while also acknowledging it has “fallen short” in its work to end traffic deaths by 2024, a goal Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser set seven years ago.
UT, WY: Five more nuclear plants on the horizon for Wyoming, Utah
A second wave of advanced nuclear reactors could be coming to Wyoming and Utah. TerraPower and PacifiCorp, the nuclear developer and electric utility aiming to build a first-of-its-kind facility at a retiring Wyoming coal plant before the end of the decade, announced plans Thursday to consider adding up to five more of the same design in PacifiCorp’s service territory by 2035.
PA: Pennsylvania AG charges four Jehovah’s Witnesses with sexual abuse of minors
Four men, all Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been charged with the sexual abuse of 19 people who were minors at the time, some of them their own relatives, Pennsylvania’s attorney general announced.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.