Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/9

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/9

NY: New York moves to require body cameras, ban chokeholds

timesunion.com

New York state lawmakers are poised to pass a series of sweeping criminal justice changes this week — including requiring state troopers to wear body cameras and repealing a 44-year-old statute blocking public access to police officers' disciplinary records.

OR: Police chief in Oregon city makes way for black lieutenant

oregonlive.com

Portland Police Chief Jami Resch stepped down and announced that she had asked Chuck Lovell, an African American lieutenant, to lead the Oregon city's force. The stunning change in leadership comes as city police are under fire for their handling of massive demonstrations across the city.

WA: Washington governor proposes new body to investigate police killings

seattletimes.com

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is proposing restricting chokeholds across every law enforcement agency in the state, creating an independent state body to investigate police killings and creating a binding obligation for law enforcement to report misconduct by fellow officers.

FL: Senators call for federal probe into Florida unemployment failures

orlandosentinel.com

Two high-ranking Democratic U.S. senators called for a federal investigation into Florida's dysfunctional unemployment benefits system. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who himself called for a state investigation last month, dismissed it as a political attack.

MI: Court strikes down a Michigan penalty for reopening violations

mlive.com

For the first time, a court has ruled against Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a legal battle over the lawfulness of one of her now 115 executive orders issued since the coronavirus pandemic began.

KY: Kentucky governor promises health insurance for all black residents

kentucky.com

After more than a week of protests against police brutality and racial injustice, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced several actions aimed at reducing racial inequality in Kentucky.

MA: Massachusetts teachers brace for layoffs

bostonglobe.com

Public school teachers and staff across Massachusetts are bracing for the most extensive school layoffs the state has seen in years as districts begin handing out pink slips to reduce costs in the face of possible deep budget cuts.

CT: Connecticut governor orders independent review of high death rate in state nursing homes

courant.com

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont announced that he is ordering an independent, third-party review of Connecticut’s preparation and response to the pandemic in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

PA: Pennsylvania House Democrats block session, demand police changes from GOP

spotlightpa.org

Democrats took control of the Pennsylvania House and refused to allow a voting session to begin, imploring Republican leadership to support a special session to consider 19 bills to change police in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and widespread protests.

ME: Maine governor eases quarantine restriction for out-of-state tourists

bangordailynews.com

Two months after issuing an executive order that all out-of-state visitors must quarantine for 14 days or face a misdemeanor charge, Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills relaxed restrictions on tourists meant to stop the pandemic spread.

AR: Arkansas case total up 30% in a week

arkansasonline.com

The number of confirmed cases in Arkansas increased by nearly 30% in the past week. Twenty-one deaths were reported over that span. 

GA: Georgia tax collections off 10% in May, second consecutive decline

ajc.com

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced Georgia tax collections were down 10.1% in May, the second consecutive month of major decline from the coronavirus recession.

LA: Louisiana deadline extended for students’ pandemic meal aid

apnews.com

Low-income families in Louisiana have another week to apply for a program to provide healthy meals for children who lost access to school meals during the coronavirus pandemic, the state education department said.

MS: Nearly 500 new coronavirus cases in Mississippi, a new single-day record

sunherald.com

The Mississippi health department’s report of 498 new COVID-19 cases easily set a single-day record. The previous single-day mark for new cases in the state was 439 on May 30.

IN: Most Indiana casinos can reopen next week

apnews.com

Most of Indiana’s casinos can reopen their doors as soon as next week under coronavirus safety plans they have submitted to state officials. The 13 state-regulated casinos have been closed since mid-March.

RI: Rhode Island to push testing of people without symptoms

providencejournal.com

Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced a new coronavirus testing program that will assess up to 900 people a day who are not showing symptoms but may work or reside in close-contact environments.

VA: Virginia suspends evictions through late June

richmond.com

Evictions in Virginia have been banned through late June in response to the coronavirus pandemic and in preparation for an initiative set to be released by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

NC: North Carolina governor issues guidelines for opening schools

newsobserver.com

Even as North Carolina’s rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and people hospitalized by the virus are concerning to state officials, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said the state has finalized health guidelines needed to reopen the state’s public schools later this year.

SC: South Carolina health department sees rise in cases

thestate.com

Following a week of record-breaking coronavirus case counts, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control identified 542 more people infected with the virus, a new single-day high in reported cases, the third time in four days that the state has broken that record.

MD: Maryland confirms first correctional officer death from COVID-19

marylandmatters.org

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services confirmed the first death of a corrections officer related to complications brought on by COVID-19. The department described her as a “well-respected 20-year veteran correctional officer” in her 60s.

CO: Colorado Democrats seek to eliminate tax breaks

denverpost.com

Democratic lawmakers want to tap into hundreds of millions of dollars by eliminating tax breaks that disproportionately help Colorado’s wealthy. The bill is intended to help a state budget that, thanks to coronavirus-related economic wreckage, needs every penny it can find.

NV: Nevada AG asks for more power to investigate local police

lasvegassun.com

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said that if the U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t extend his office the power to investigate alleged misconduct by local police departments that he would request the state legislature intervene to give his office that power.

NJ: New Jersey governor defends attending rallies despite his ban on large gatherings

nj.com

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy defended his decision to take part in two Black Lives Matter events over the weekend in New Jersey that defied his own order against public gatherings limited to 25 people and guidelines for social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MO: Missouri puts brakes on more road construction projects amid pandemic

stltoday.com

An estimated 20 road construction projects across Missouri are on hold after GOP Gov. Mike Parson slashed state spending last week because of the coronavirus.

NM: New Mexico Medicaid rolls swell amid economic turmoil

apnews.com

The statistics suggest a shift away from employer-based health insurance and toward Medicaid benefits for residents living in poverty or on the cusp, as unemployment swells.

HI: Hawaii governor asks protesters to self-isolate

staradvertiser.com

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, requested that participants in Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend consider self-isolating a few days in order to protect others from possibly getting the new coronavirus.

Cities to Protesters: March, But Get Tested, Too Renters in Need
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