Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/31

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/31

CA: Anger grows as California utility struggles to get its blackouts right

apnews.com

As Pacific Gas & Electric deliberately shut off power to homes and businesses to prevent wildfires, it has failed to communicate with California officials, given conflicting accounts about when the lights would go out and advised people to get information “the old-fashioned way, through calling on a landline.”

CT: Connecticut Supreme Court: Frozen embryos are marital property; can be destroyed

courant.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court dodged questions about when life begins when it ruled in a divorce case that previously frozen embryos a couple had created during their marriage are marital property and can be destroyed over the husband’s objection.

OK: Permitless carry to take effect in Oklahoma, judge rules

oklahoman.com

Oklahoma County District Court Judge Don Andrews struck down a legal challenge requesting an injunction to stop the new permitless carry law from going into effect. It will allow many Oklahomans to carry a firearm without a permit or training.

TN: Federal money for Tennessee families goes unspent

tennessean.com

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, defended the decision to stockpile $732 million in federal anti-poverty funds reserved for families with children, saying the money would be used “when the needs are there.”

NY: New York City bans foie gras

nbcnewyork.com

The sale of foie gras in New York City is now a faux pas. The City Council voted to ban the sale of foie gras served in fine restaurants and gourmet groceries across the city. Supporters say producing the traditional French delicacy involves animal cruelty.

MO: Outcry over Missouri’s tracking of women’s periods

stltoday.com

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Public Health, said he had tracked the menstrual cycles of Planned Parenthood patients as part of an effort to identify any “failed abortions” at the clinic. Williams said an investigator made a spreadsheet at his request that included the dates of patients’ last periods.

CO: Colorado governor makes move to digital ID for state residents

coloradopolitics.com

Calling out the “obsolete legacy of carrying a bunch of plastic around,” Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order putting Coloradans one step closer to a smartphone-based digital identification system.

MD: Maryland leaders OK $9M for wrongfully imprisoned men

baltimoresun.com

Five men who were wrongly convicted and imprisoned for decades in Maryland will receive $9 million from the state. The Board of Public Works awarded payments of $78,916 a year served by the men, who were released and declared innocent.

MI: Michigan bill for overseas military voting advances

mlive.com

Active duty members of the military serving overseas could send in their absentee ballots electronically under legislation passed in the Michigan Senate. Currently such soldiers have to print out ballots and mail them, which can be difficult in remote overseas locations.

UT: Number of uninsured Utah children on the rise, study shows

sltrib.com

The number of uninsured children in Utah grew by 22% in two years — and the increase in the rate of children without health insurance was the second-highest of any state, according to a new report from Georgetown University. In total, 72,000 Utah children were not covered by health insurance in 2018, 7.4% of the state’s children.

AZ: As Arizona’s population continues to grow, state government continues to shrink

azcentral.com

Arizona’s civil service has shrunk by 15% since 2008 although the state’s population has grown 14% during the same period, according to an annual report by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration. Fewer people are working in the executive branch than were during the recession.

WI: Wisconsin again ranked last in black-white academic gap

jsonline.com

Wisconsin has the widest gap of any state in academic achievement between its black and white students — a distinction Wisconsin bears for the second time in six years as its schools continue to struggle to improve outcomes for black children.

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