Top State Stories 11/14
GA: Saturday voting barred in Georgia for US Senate runoff
Early voting won’t be allowed on a Saturday before the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia because it’s the day after the state holiday formerly known as Robert E. Lee’s Birthday and two days after Thanksgiving. Georgia election officials said that state law prohibits in-person early voting on Saturdays if a holiday is within two days beforehand.
LA: More than a fourth of Louisiana’s public defenders can’t cover their costs
Eleven of Louisiana’s 41 public defender offices did not bring in enough money to cover their costs during the 2020-2021 state budget cycle, according to a report from the state legislative auditor, providing more evidence the state’s public defender system is in a financial crisis.
MA: Massachusetts governor vetoes funds to educate public on anti-abortion pregnancy centers
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed million the legislature had allocated for a public education campaign on the true purpose behind crisis pregnancy centers — the antiabortion facilities that have faced criticism for misleading advertising. Baker signed a spending plan that did include .5 million to support access to reproductive care.
MN: More than ever, Minnesota’s political parties failed to fill their candidate slates
In two dozen legislative races this year, Minnesota voters had their choice made for them. In rural corners of the state as well as in the Twin Cities metro, voters in 24 races were presented with one candidate for a House or Senate seat, as either Democrats or Republicans didn’t find anyone to run. That means just under 1 in 8 seats were unopposed.
CT: Connecticut legislators ready to extend gas tax holiday through the winter
Connecticut Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate say the time is now to extend the state’s gas tax holiday. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont is considering it.
IA: Iowa sees its first hospital closure in two decades
The closure of Blessing Health Keokuk marks the first time in 22 years that Iowa has had a hospital shutter. The hospital’s closure should be a warning to other small communities in Iowa, said the chief of rural hospitals for Blessing Health, which owned the Keokuk facility.
AK: Alaska troopers seize fentanyl in Moose Pass, as overdoses rise around the state
A couple driving from Seward to Nikiski were arrested after an Alaska state trooper discovered over 150 fentanyl pills and other narcotics in their car. Troopers say the trafficking and use of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl, are on the rise around the state.
NY: Every county in New York moved to the right in the latest elections
While Democrat Kathy Hochul secured a full term last week as New York governor, all counties in the state reported an increase in Republican Party margins compared with the 2020 presidential election.
ID: 1 in 3 Idaho lawmakers will be rookies in the upcoming term
There will be 11 first-time members in the Idaho Senate and 28 rookies in the Idaho House of Representatives. That means, out of 105 total seats in the Idaho legislature, more than one-third of Idaho’s entire legislative body will have never served there before.
CA: Nearly 48K University of California graduate students poised to strike
Nearly 48,000 University of California academic workers — the backbone of the vaunted higher education system who research, mentor and teach — are poised to strike in a labor action that could shut down some classes and lab work just weeks before final exams.
OH: Advocates look at potential amendment enshrining abortion rights in Ohio Constitution
With the 2022 midterm elections over, reproductive rights groups across Ohio are looking ahead to placing a proposed amendment before voters to enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution.
PA: Pennsylvania Democrats are inches from controlling the state House thanks to new maps
Pennsylvania Democrats are inches from taking control of the state House for the first time in 12 years and even if they fall short, strategists and officials say, the party defied political gravity. The results in Pennsylvania are undoubtedly tied to new legislative maps adopted ahead of this year’s election.
WY: More Wyomingites wrote in secretary of state candidates this time around
A record number of voters in Wyoming wrote in candidates for the secretary of state general election this year, records from the Secretary of State’s Office show. Former President Donald Trump-backed Republican nominee for secretary of state Chuck Gray, who has falsely denied the results of the 2020 presidential election, still easily sailed to victory in the uncontested race.
TX: Texas Republicans rebounded in some suburban counties that had been drifting blue
After seeing Democrats gain momentum in suburbs of Houston and Dallas, Texas Republicans succeeded in reclaiming ground in the midterm election. But the GOP is still a long way from returning to pre-Trump support, even in ruby red counties.
MO: Legal pot sales in Missouri could begin before February, state says
Legal marijuana dispensaries in Missouri could begin selling to customers before early February, faster than originally expected, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Senior Services said.
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