Top State Stories 11/3
MT: Montana youth mental health needs on the rise
Young people in Montana were twice as likely to die by suicide than in the rest of the country during the past decade, according to state statistics. And despite increased attention by schools, mental health resources remain inadequate to the scale of the need, and Montana’s youth suicide numbers remain stubbornly persistent.
MN: Nearly 1 in 4 Minnesota GOP legislative candidates questioned 2020 election
Nearly a quarter of Republicans running for the Minnesota legislature this year have rejected or questioned the outcome of the 2020 election, according to an MPR News analysis. The GOP candidates could determine which party controls the Minnesota House and Senate next year, and they could have a strong role in crafting election law in Minnesota.
AR: Arkansas gets federal OK to proceed with rural health care initiative
Federal officials cleared the way for Arkansas to implement a rural health care initiative, part of the state’s Medicaid program, targeting certain at-risk populations, such as maternal, mental health and addiction services.
OK: Oklahoma crisis pregnancy task force issues recommendations
A new task force recommends Oklahoma state leaders expand Medicaid coverage and other benefits for low-income pregnant and postpartum people in addition to creating a state brand and website centered on parenting resources.
DE: Delaware gun groups challenge law prohibiting gun ownership for most under 21
A collection of Delaware gun rights activists are asking Delaware Chancery Court to toss out legislation passed this spring that prohibits most people under the age of 21 from purchasing or owning a firearm.
ID: Most in Idaho support LGBTQ rights, survey finds
Most Idahoans believe state law should protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a new poll commissioned by theIdaho Statesman. The survey data indicates broad support for updating the Idaho Human Rights Act to include protections in housing, employment and other areas for gay, bisexual and transgender Idahoans.
MI: COVID booster uptake in Michigan is slower than doctors hoped
The latest version of COVID-19 vaccines has been available in Michigan for about nine weeks, yet only 10% of eligible residents have gotten boosted. That could mean more cases, hospitalizations and deaths — especially if a new variant emerges.
AK: Candidate positions on abortion access could be deciding factor in Alaska’s statewide campaigns
In statewide races in Alaska this year, abortion has been prominent in the array of topics discussed by candidates. A question on a constitutional convention that also appears on the November ballot could threaten the future of the state’s protections for the procedure.
OR: Blazes that begin in homeless camps now account for nearly half the fires in Portland, Oregon
Nearly half of all fires in Portland, Oregon, now start in or near houseless camps — at least 2,048 last year, according to Portland Fire & Rescue data. It’s a remarkable number, given how five years ago, fires among unhoused Portlanders were hardly a blip.
WA: Write-in candidates are having a serious moment in Washington
Write-in candidates in Washington are now expected to register their candidacy for local and statewide races and are allowed a statement in the voter guides produced by the state and local elections officials if they are one of the top two winners in the primary. A number of write-in candidates have reached the general election ballot this year with a top-two primary finish.
LA: Hackers steal K from Port of Louisiana
The Louisiana state agency overseeing one of America’s largest ports by volume suffered a cyberattack last year that cost it more than $420,000, a newly public audit has found. Officials say they are beefing up security.
ME: Mainers may get a say on whether foreign governments can spend money to influence their votes
A group hoping to bar foreign governments from electioneering in Maine referendum campaigns submitted petitions to put its proposal on next year’s ballot. The citizens’ initiative appears relatively straightforward, but it could have far-reaching implications for Maine companies partially owned by foreign governments — including at least one of the state’s two main electric utilities.
NJ: New Jersey gets M more in federal aid for people on rent relief waitlist
Low-income tenants on the waitlist for New Jersey rental assistance have another chance at aid. The state received an extra $51 million from the federal government, the Department of Community Affairs announced. The agency estimates that it will help another 4,100 to 4,600 families with housing assistance, using funds pulled back from other states that didn’t pass out the money by federal deadlines.
SC: South Carolina legislators remain at impasse over abortion ban days before proposal expires
The possibility that legislators will further restrict abortions in South Carolina this year narrowed to near-impossible one week before Election Day as a committee trying to work out a compromise considered bans with practically no chance of becoming law.
PA: More than 1.4M apply to vote by mail in Pennsylvania for 2022 general election
With less than a week to go before the election, 1,435,505 Pennsylvanians have registered to vote by mail. Of those ballot requests, 984,128 were made by registered Democrats, 302,256 were made by registered Republicans and 149,121 were from those supporting other political parties. There were 236,650 requests for absentee ballots and 1,198,855 requests for mail-in ballots.\
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