Top State Stories 12/9
TX: Texas court throws out lawsuit against doctor who violated state abortion law
A judge in San Antonio has thrown out a lawsuit filed against a Texas abortion provider who intentionally violated a state law that allows anyone to bring a lawsuit against someone who “aids or abets” an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.
UT: Voting issues linger in Utah’s San Juan County
From delays in early voting to drop boxes picked up ahead of Election Day, hang-ups for casting a ballot remain in the rural Utah county, which is home to the Navajo Nation.
OK: Oklahoma governor bans TikTok from state devices
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order banning TikTok from state government agencies, employees and contractors on government networks or government-issued devices, citing national and cybersecurity threats.
KS: Keystone Pipeline shut down after oil leak in Kansas
An estimated 14,000 barrels of crude oil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline into a north-central Kansas creek, causing a shutdown and a temporary rise in oil prices. The 2,687-mile Keystone Pipeline carries crude oil from Canada to refineries.
SC: Toxic chemicals found in virtually every South Carolina river tested
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released data showing the results of a testing program the agency launched to see how widespread “forever chemical” contamination is in rivers and other bodies of water across the state.
HI: Hawaii finalizes M spending plan for Hawaiian Home Lands
The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has sent the legislature a finalized plan to spend million that lawmakers appropriated earlier this year largely to facilitate the department’s beneficiary homeownership. It is also asking lawmakers to introduce six bills aimed at making the agency more productive by eliminating regulatory constraints and boosting finances.
LA: Louisiana medical board’s marijuana stance prompts threats from senators
A Louisiana Senate panel accused the state medical board of exploiting nuances in state law to obstruct patient access to medical marijuana as part of an agenda that dismisses the drug’s value to medicine.
NJ: With more than 14K vehicles stolen in New Jersey this year, officials push for tougher penalties
As the state continues to grapple with a recent spike in car thefts since the pandemic, New Jersey lawmakers this week began advancing a series of proposals aiming to crack down on the problem.
WI: Enrollment at Wisconsin technical colleges grows by more than 10%
Enrollment across the Wisconsin Technical College System grew by more than 10% during the 2021-22 academic year. The increase follows a double-digit enrollment decline driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and marks the largest gains for the system in at least a decade.
MN: Nearly M in grants will fund broadband expansion in rural Minnesota
Rural broadband projects across Minnesota are set to receive nearly million as the state pushes to bring high-speed internet to the more than 200,000 households in the remaining communities that don’t have access. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced that the state and federal money for broadband is the “largest single investment” in Minnesota’s history.
MT: Montana housing study recommends infill development, quicker permitting
GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Housing Task Force has published its second set of recommendations to address Montana’s housing crisis: streamline permitting processes, prioritize infill development to utilize existing infrastructure, and invest in workforce development and new construction methods.
NM: New Mexico governor wants free lunch for K-12 students
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, will pursue legislation when lawmakers meet in January to ensure every student has access to free and nutritious school meals by covering the cost of breakfast and lunch for students who don’t already qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
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