FL: Florida may tweak resign-to-run law to aid governor’s potential 2024 presidential run
Just four years after Florida’s legislature made sure politicians would have to resign before running for federal office, they seem poised to change the rules again. The impetus is Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely speculated to be eyeing a presidential run, especially following this year’s landslide reelection victory.
CA: Nearly 20% of California water agencies could see shortages if drought persists
Most of California’s urban water agencies think they have enough supplies to last through another seven months of drought, but nearly 20% of them — including many in Southern California — say they could be facing significant shortages, according to a new state report.
IN: Indiana AG seeks punishment for doctor who spoke about rape victim’s abortion
Indiana’s Republican attorney general asked the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who has spoken publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio after its more-restrictive abortion law took effect.
CT: Half of affordable housing vouchers in Connecticut go unused, investigation finds
Half of the thousands of government-subsidized housing vouchers for low-income families from local housing authorities in Connecticut in recent years went unused, according to a Hearst Connecticut Media Group investigation. Government red tape and a hot housing market are among the top reasons why residents struggle to use the vouchers.
ID: Idaho execution thwarted when state can’t get lethal injection drugs
Idaho’s first execution in more than a decade, scheduled next month for death row inmate Gerald Pizzuto, was postponed after the state prison system acknowledged that it has been unable to obtain the necessary lethal injection drugs. Pizzuto’s death warrant will be allowed to lapse.
OH: Ohio House votes to decriminalize fentanyl test strips
The Ohio House passed legislation that would legalize the possession of test strips used to identify the presence of fentanyl in illicit drugs. The policy is aimed at expanding access to the strips, a harm-reduction approach designed to reduce the near-record level of Ohioans who fatally overdose on opioids year over year.
CO: After Club Q shooting, Colorado governor, lawmakers consider next steps on gun control
Addressing gun violence was a top priority before the attack at Club Q, Colorado lawmakers say. But the massacre there — “unfortunately, another chapter in a long story of tragedies,” as Senate President Steve Fenberg, a Democrat, put it — underscores the need for action.
TX: Texas’ rural hospitals are — once again — at grave risk of closing
A rural hospital hasn’t closed in Texas since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, but that could change as federal relief ends. A new report shows nearly 1 in 10 Texas hospitals at risk of closure, twice as many as before the pandemic.
WI: Debt owed by Wisconsin’s local governments reaches highest level on record
Local governments across Wisconsin are dealing with increasing debt burdens, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. It found that the total debt owed by the state’s cities, counties, villages and towns rose by 5.4% to .04 billion in 2020 — the highest amount on record.
ME: Consumer-owned utility question qualifies for Maine’s 2023 ballot
A long-debated effort to buy out the infrastructure of Maine’s large electric utilities and replace them with an elected board qualified for the 2023 ballot. It sets up another high-stakes showdown over energy policy after voters in 2021 rejected the billion hydropower corridor led by the unpopular Central Maine Power Co.
MN: Minnesotans worry as heating costs climb, winter nears
The combination of rising heating fuel oil and the end of pandemic assistance programs is leaving many Minnesotans worried about how they will heat their homes this winter. State agencies are encouraging people to apply for energy assistance.
OR: Oregon’s cities can now apply to control speed limits on their own streets
A new state law allows Oregon cities — and some counties — to apply for the authority to designate speed limits on their roads. In the past, a city dealing with speeding or accidents on their roads had to get permission from the state to change the speed limit, even if the street was owned and maintained by the city.
MI: Michigan Senate passes bipartisan bills aimed at preventing sexual assault
A bipartisan package aimed at preventing sexual assault and protecting survivors cleared the Michigan Senate, nearly two years after the measures were first introduced. The bills would require schools to provide age-appropriate educational material and resources regarding sexual assault and harassment, prohibit sexual contact and penetration under pretext of medical treatment, provide sentencing guidelines and create guidelines for when consent is required during medical treatment.
NY: New York state prison workers routinely exposed to fentanyl
A recent New York Department of Labor investigation revealed staff at two New York prisons have routinely been exposed to fentanyl — which led to some employees being treated at hospitals — while searching visitors, mail and packages for contraband.
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