Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/16

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/16

MN: How often do Minnesota police OK chokeholds, ‘neck restraints’?

minnpost.com

More than a dozen Minnesota police departments contacted by MinnPost said their officers are not allowed to use neck restraints or chokeholds, with many saying the tactics had been out of use for as long as they could remember.

HI: Travelers accused of breaking quarantine agree to leave Hawaii

apnews.com

Twenty-one travelers arrested on suspicion of violating Hawaii’s coronavirus quarantine order have agreed to leave the state because of threats, a member of the group said. The individual said the group didn’t realize that Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine on all people arriving in the state would be strictly enforced.

MO: Missouri's coronavirus caseload is becoming more rural

stltoday.com

The share of coronavirus infections in rural Missouri is rising, and now accounts for about 30% of the state's new cases — a greater portion than ever before.

PA: Pennsylvania advances confidential police disciplinary database

spotlightpa.org

With bipartisan support, Pennsylvania lawmakers advanced a bill that would create a confidential misconduct database for officer background checks. Similar legislation has languished for months or even years without consideration in the GOP-controlled legislature.

NM: New Mexico removes conquistador statue

abqjournal.com

Local officials are “temporarily” removing a statue of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate that stands outside offices of the Rio Grande National Heritage Area. Seen by some as a hero for leading colonization of New Mexico, Native Americans view Oñate as a killer who repressed and enslaved their ancestors.

MS: Amid virus, Mississippi community colleges set in-person fall classes

apnews.com

All 15 of Mississippi’s community colleges are planning to have on-campus classes during the fall semester with precautions. The two-year colleges moved to online classes in mid-March as COVID-19 started to spread in Mississippi.

CT: Connecticut governor to impose changes on state police

courant.com

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he would ban chokeholds and mandate that officers use body cameras and dashboard cameras. The Democrat also will restrict a program that funnels military equipment to local law enforcement. 

ME: Maine governor OKs indoor restaurant service for entire state

pressherald.com

Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, approved outdoor service at Maine bars, breweries and tasting rooms. Gyms, nail salons and tattoo parlors can also reopen everywhere.

CA: California Democrats unveil ‘no-cut’ homeless program

sacbee.com

Before the coronavirus, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers pledged to solve what was then the state’s most pressing crisis: homelessness. Assembly Democrats are expected to vote this week on a bill that would commit $2 billion every year for homelessness, despite a projected $54 billion deficit.

VA: Virginia gun rights group sues to block law implementation

richmond.com

The Virginia Citizens Defense League is among the five plaintiffs suing the state over a soon-to-become law that limits people to buying one handgun a month.

NE: Nebraska governor to further ease coronavirus restrictions  

omaha.com

Starting June 22, in most Nebraska counties, bars and restaurants will be able to serve customers at 100% of their rated occupancy. Indoor gatherings, including arenas, can step up to 50% and outdoor gatherings, including stadiums, can go to 75% occupancy.

CO: Colorado bars, outdoor events can begin reopening

coloradosun.com

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis announced that Colorado would further loosen restrictions on people’s movement by the end of the week, allowing the reopening of bars and the resumption of outdoor events like concerts, fairs, rodeos and receptions.

AZ: Hospitalizations hit new highs for Arizona COVID-19 cases

azcentral.com

Arizona reported 1,014 new cases Monday. More than 1,000 new cases have been reported on 10 of the past 14 days, including on the past six days. Intensive care beds for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 hit 464.

RI: Rhode Island House leaders plan to use most of rainy-day fund to balance budget

providencejournal.com

Rhode Island House Democrats’ plan to plug a projected $235-million year-end budget hole opened up by the COVID-19 crisis would raid the state rainy-day fund and tap federal education aid.

WI: Several Wisconsin communities reviewing police use of force policies

wpr.org

Several local governments across Wisconsin have pledged to review their police departments’ use of force policies as protesters and activists continue to call for statewide changes to Wisconsin’s criminal justice system.

MD: Plaque honoring Confederate soldiers to be removed from Maryland House

washingtonpost.com  

The Maryland State House Trust voted unanimously to remove a plaque that sympathizes with the Confederacy, part of a nationwide reckoning with monuments that honor the country’s racist past.

WI: Wisconsin utilities on track for 40% cut in emissions, report says

madison.com

Greenhouse gas emissions from Wisconsin utilities this year are expected to be significantly lower than they were 15 years ago thanks to recent coal plant retirements, but a new report by state regulators forecasts little additional progress over the next six years. 

VT: Governor extends Vermont’s COVID-19 state of emergency to mid-July

vtdigger.org

Republican Gov. Phil Scott extended Vermont’s COVID-19 state of emergency, though he noted it is “just a vehicle” for the restrictions and reopening steps his administration continues to announce on a rolling basis.

AL: Alabama sees nation’s second-most new cases per capita

al.com

Alabama saw the second-highest rate of new coronavirus cases per capita in the nation. Alabama trailed only Arizona, which saw 13.9 new cases per 10,000 people.

MD: Inspection reports fault four Maryland nursing homes

baltimoresun.com

Since the coronavirus pandemic reached the state, health regulators have faulted four Maryland nursing homes for failing to follow infection control guidelines designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the facilities, according to federal documents.

GA: Georgia Senate panel approves coronavirus protections for businesses

ajc.com

A Georgia Senate panel took the first step toward putting guidelines in place to protect businesses and health care providers from being held liable if workers, customers or visitors contract COVID-19.

LA: After veto, GOP lawmakers in Louisiana push ahead with business priority

apnews.com

Despite a veto from Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana House plowed ahead with a top priority for business lobbying groups, trying to lessen the money that people could win against insurance companies and businesses in car wreck lawsuits.

AL: Alabama city’s Confederate statue relocated to a museum

apnews.com

A Confederate statue removed from Mobile, Alabama, earlier this month has been relocated to a museum, the city’s mayor said. The History Museum of Mobile has received the bronze likeness of Admiral Raphael Semmes, which stood in the middle of a downtown street.

MS: Hackers are stealing Mississippi unemployment checks

sunherald.com

Computer hackers are stealing Mississippi unemployment benefits intended for those out of work because of COVID-19, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said.

NJ: New Jersey law enforcement must name officers who face serious discipline, AG says

northjersey.com

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, a Democrat, announced that all New Jersey law enforcement agencies must publicly identify officers who commit serious disciplinary violations starting later this year.

MO: Missouri clamping back down on jobless claim requirements

stltoday.com

Missourians who file for unemployment benefits will be required to search for work again beginning next month. The Missouri Department of Labor waived the search requirement in March as the state scrambled to respond to massive, pandemic-related job losses.

TX: Texas Democrats urge special session on police violence

texastribune.org

Some Texas Democrats are urging Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special legislative session to pass laws on policing and criminal justice. They ask why the governor hasn’t yet spoken about Javier Ambler, who died after being stunned four times by police.

MI: Nursing homes account for a third of Michigan virus deaths

freep.com

Nursing homes account for 34% of Michigan's COVID-19 related deaths. Most of the nursing home deaths were in the Detroit metro area.

WA: COVID-19 cases, deaths will 'increase substantially' if unchecked in Eastern Washington

spokesman.com

COVID-19 transmission is increasing throughout Washington and has been since the end of May. New analysis shows that several parts of Eastern Washington have yet to reach their peak number of cases.

OR: Oregon sets another record with 184 new COVID-19 cases

oregonlive.com

Oregon public health officials announced a record 184 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of known cases in the state to 5,820.

ID: Idaho anti-transgender law puts millions in sports revenues at stake

idahopress.com

Idaho’s anti-transgender sports law goes into effect July 1, banning transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. Advocates, including athletes and rights groups, are pressing the NCAA to move its national basketball tournament and other college competitions from Boise next year.

DE: Delaware lawmakers call for police to stop posting mugshots of arrested youth

delawareonline.com

Delaware's black lawmakers are calling for an end to one of the most recognizable features of policing, a practice many say creates lasting damages for those accused of crimes: the mug shot. The legislators want police agencies to stop releasing the booking photographs of juveniles who are arrested.

TN: Tennessee House GOP moves to make camping outside the Capitol a felony

tennessean.com

After reports that a group planned to establish an "autonomous zone" outside the Tennessee Capitol, House Speaker Cameron Sexton quickly announced he was prepared to pass legislation to increase from a misdemeanor to a felony the criminal offense of camping on certain state property.

MA: Massachusetts eases regulations for reopening camps and child care centers

bostonglobe.com

State officials have eased some of the guidelines for reopening child care centers, in-home programs, and summer camps after fielding complaints that their regulations would be ruinous to small businesses and unworkable with small children.

OH: Coronavirus outbreak widens wealth gap for Ohio women, study shows

dispatch.com

More than 43% of women business owners in Ohio are caring for their children at home while simultaneously working because of COVID-19 restrictions, according to a report published last month.

OH: Food insecurity soars in Ohio

dispatch.com

The number of Ohioans who are skipping meals or are uncertain if they’ll have enough food for their families has nearly doubled since the coronavirus outbreak hit the state.

GA: Atlanta mayor announces policing changes

fox5atlanta.com

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, said the new rules would require officers to use de-escalation tactics prior to using physical or deadly force. All uses of deadly force must also be reported to the Georgia city's citizens review board.

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