Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/2

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/2

NY: New York legislature aims to dismantle law shielding police files

timesunion.com

New York state legislative leaders announced they would reconvene next week and act on a series of criminal justice measures, including overhauling a statute that prevents the public, and often defense attorneys, from accessing the disciplinary records of police officers.

CO: Colorado lawmakers float bill to counter police brutality

denverpost.com

Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat who has joined protesters downtown during the day, is planning to introduce a bill aimed at addressing police brutality and accountability in Colorado by removing the shield of immunity for prosecution from law enforcement officers found to have acted unlawfully.

MN: Minnesota AG to take over case in Floyd killing

startribune.com

In an unusual legal maneuver, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, will take the lead in the prosecution of the fired Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died last week in police custody.

NC: North Carolina health official signals packed convention is a nonstarter

newsobserver.com

North Carolina’s top health official signaled that the state would reject a request for a Republican convention that would put 19,000 people in Charlotte’s Spectrum Center with no masks or social distancing.

GA: Absentee ballots delayed and polls close as Georgia primary approaches

ajc.com

Tens of thousands of Georgia voters hadn’t yet received their absentee ballots as precincts continued to close, narrowing options for voters to safely cast ballots in the state’s June 9 primary. The secretary of state’s office might ask the National Guard to help voters at precincts on election day.

NE: No charges will be filed against Omaha bar owner who fatally shot protester, prosecutor says

omaha.com

The white bar owner who shot and killed a 22-year-old black Omaha, Nebraska, man fired in self-defense after ending up on the ground in the middle of a group Saturday night, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.

ID: Authorities tamp down on rumors that antifa rioters are headed to Idaho

idahostatesman.com

Multiple posts circulating on social media falsely claimed planes and buses full of rioters were headed to Idaho to cause destruction, according to local law enforcement agencies and other officials.

MN: Governor says some Minnesota National Guard soldiers can go home

startribune.com

Even as curfews continue some Minnesota National Guard soldiers could begin returning home, Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said after a tense but largely peaceful night.

OR: Oregon National Guard, state troopers deployed to protests in Portland

oregonlive.com

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, announced that she has deployed 50 Oregon National Guard members and 100 state troopers to Portland to assist police. Brown said she denied requests through the weekend to activate the National Guard but after three nights of demonstrations with repeated property damage and violence, she acquiesced.

ME: Trump heading to Maine despite governor’s security concerns

pressherald.com

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has raised concerns about the potential for unrest during President Donald Trump’s visit to Maine this week to tour one of the only factories producing medical swabs for coronavirus testing.

AL: Alabama governor authorizes up to 1,000 National Guard troops to respond to violence

al.com

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said rioting that broke out in Birmingham could not be tolerated. The Republican said she authorized the Alabama National Guard to activate up to 1,000 guard members if needed to respond to violence.

WY: Wyoming governor: No plans to activate National Guard as Trump suggests

trib.com

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon said he has no plans to activate Wyoming’s National Guard. “The governor believes that the people of Wyoming have a respect for our nation, our flag and for private property,” a spokesman said. “He notes that all the rallies that have occurred to date in our state have been peaceful.”

VT: Vermont governor calls for prosecution of officers involved in George Floyd killing

vtdigger.org

Republican Gov. Phil Scott said that the four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd should be prosecuted, as he also called for protesters in Vermont to keep the peace and announced the launch of a racial equity task force to explore policies to combat systemic racism.

DC: District of Columbia mayor, police chief defend police response

washingtonpost.com

Democratic District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said she and the city’s police chief are “very focused on maintaining public order” after large, mostly peaceful protests devolved into sporadic looting and property damage in the nation’s capital.  

MO: Education hit hard as Missouri governor makes $209M in June budget cuts

columbiamissourian.com

Over $209 million will be cut from this year's budget, Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced, with the bulk coming from education: $131 million will be cut from elementary and secondary education and $41 million will be cut from higher education.

GA: Courts predict avalanche of cases as Georgia cuts budgets

ajc.com

Georgia court officials warned of a huge backlog of cases built up by the coronavirus shutdown hitting at a time when they will be forced to furlough and lay off staff to meet the state’s requirement to cut spending.

OH: Columbus, Ohio, police join protesters as conversation starts

dispatch.com

In Columbus, Ohio, Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight and other officers walked and talked with protesters. Some protesters embraced the gesture, while others considered it insincere and called for further action.

KY: ‘Walk with us!’ On fourth night, Lexington police officers walk with protesters

kentucky.com

As the crowd in Lexington, Kentucky, chanted, “Walk with us!” several officers did just that, and began walking with the protest group. A short time later, officers and protesters stopped to pray together.

OK: Oklahoma health department to no longer release detailed data

apnews.com

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced it will no longer release specific information about COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes, cities or by ZIP code. Officials said the information had been released under the powers granted to the governor under the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act, which just expired.

PA: Pennsylvania revenue takes another coronavirus blow in May

spotlightpa.org

Pennsylvania tax revenue dropped 17% below official estimates in May, new figures from the state Department of Revenue show. Just over half of the roughly $440 million shortfall was from the economic slowdown caused by efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

CT: Connecticut fails to meet COVID-19 testing goal

courant.com

Connecticut fell far short of a key coronavirus testing goal as many residents remain unsure about exactly who should get tested. Despite once promising to conduct and process 50,000 tests a week by the end of May, state officials reported only 35,910 results over the final seven days of the month.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers finishing regular session without budget

apnews.com

Wrapping up a shortened regular session interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Louisiana lawmakers were poised to hand business groups the limits on car wreck lawsuits that they’ve sought for years while punting completion of next year’s budget.

NJ: Health department workers say New Jersey failures led to preventable deaths

nj.com

New Jersey’s response to the pandemic inside nursing homes was an unmitigated failure that led to preventable deaths, a group of anonymous health department employees charged in a letter to lawmakers.

MS: Despite some help, over half of Mississippi’s child care centers have closed

mississippitoday.org

Across Mississippi, 42% of child care centers have lost at least half of their revenue and 51% cannot currently pay even half of their monthly expenses, according to a University of Mississippi survey.

MS: All Mississippi businesses allowed to reopen amid virus

sunherald.com

All types of Mississippi businesses were being allowed to reopen as Republican Gov. Tate Reeves lifted his final orders that had closed them for several weeks. The openings were taking place even as coronavirus case numbers climb. 

NV: Nevada governor approves testing, contract tracing plan

lasvegassun.com

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a community-based testing, laboratory analysis and contact tracing plan to limit the spread of the coronavirus in Nevada. The plan will be paid for primarily with federal dollars from multiple economic aid packages, reimbursement programs and grants.

NH: New Hampshire beaches reopen

nhpr.org

New Hampshire’s beaches reopened after more than two months of roped off parking and patrolled sand. Under Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s executive order, beachgoers must essentially stay in motion, either running, walking, surfing or swimming. Picnics and sunbathing remain prohibited.

LA: Louisiana bars can reopen with restrictions

theadvocate.com

Louisiana bars will be allowed to reopen this weekend, but they must do so at 25% capacity. That same limitation has been on restaurants and bars with food permits.

SC: South Carolina shows increase in COVID-19 spread as more places open

thestate.com

South Carolina’s coronavirus death toll reached 500 Monday after state health officials announced that six more people have died after contracting the virus. The percent of tests that turn up positive, the weekly number of tests and the seven-day average number of cases have all increased.

IL: Illinois records daily lows in deaths, new cases

wgntv.com

Illinois health officials announced 974 new cases of coronavirus and 23 additional deaths, the lowest daily totals the state has seen in nearly two months. Numbers often are lower after a weekend when lab reports slow.

WV: Virus outbreak at West Virginia prison infects more than 100

apnews.com

At least 118 inmates at a West Virginia prison have tested positive for the coronavirus after an effort to contain the state’s first outbreak inside a correctional facility, officials said. State records show more than 950 Huttonsville Correctional Center inmates remain in quarantine.

DE: Delaware National Guard checks thousands for COVID-19

doverpost.com

About 25 soldiers and airmen of the Delaware National Guard have been working with staff members from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency to increase the availability of saliva-based test kits to individuals at temporary drive-thru locations.

AK: Pandemic stirs greater demand for local meat, produce in Alaska

alaskapublic.org

Demand for local food in Alaska is ramping up in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers and other industry leaders think it could stay that way.

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