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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/7

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/7

GA: Georgia governor to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops after violent weekend

ajc.com

Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, will deploy as many as 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to protect state buildings in Atlanta following a burst of violence across the city that left four dead and saw the ransacking of state patrol headquarters.

SC: More than 100 inmates test positive at South Carolina prison

thestate.com

Some 124 inmates at the Tyger River Correctional Institution have been diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the largest outbreak at any correctional facility in South Carolina.

NJ: Governor hitting pause on reopening New Jersey as transmission rate rises

nj.com

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s pumping the brakes on New Jersey’s gradual reopening from months of coronavirus lockdown orders as the state’s rate of transmission has risen above a key mark for the first time in 10 weeks.

KY: Wendell Berry lawsuit, Black artist try to save scorned University of Kentucky mural

kentucky.com

The University of Kentucky should halt the removal of a 1930s-era mural that has been at the center of years of race-related, on-campus debate, argued a lawsuit from a prominent Kentucky writer and a letter from a contemporary Black artist.

CA: California Assembly session delayed as lawmaker contracts COVID-19

latimes.com

California’s Assembly leader said he will be delaying legislative hearings after a Los Angeles lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the state Capitol to close so it could be disinfected. Democratic Assemblywoman Autumn Burke and four others who work in the building tested positive for the coronavirus, which likely spread as staffers and legislators met to pass the state budget in late June.

NH: Planned Trump rally prompts mask requirement debate in New Hampshire

nhpr.org

Some city councilors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are pushing for a mandatory mask wearing ordinance ahead of President Donald Trump’s scheduled rally at the Pease Airport this weekend.

MA: New law allows all Massachusetts voters to cast ballots by mail

bostonglobe.com

The new Massachusetts law allows voters who wish to vote by mail to do so without having to provide a reason. The measure is intended to give more options for people to vote safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

OH: Ohio study says suicide rate could worsen amid pandemic isolation

cleveland.com

A group of Ohio agencies released detailed, localized data on a suicide crisis that has intensified throughout the 21st century and which experts fear could be exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

CO: U.S. Supreme Court sides with Colorado in faithless electors case

denverpost.com

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision based on a Colorado case that states can require electors to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote for president in the Electoral College.

ME: Maine hotels step up safety measures to prove quarantines aren’t needed

pressherald.com

Some Maine hotels are going to extreme lengths to keep air purified, guests spread apart and high-touch items disinfected.

CA: California capital city sued over ‘stand for the anthem’ ordinance

sacbee.com

A Las Vegas man has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Sacramento, saying he is afraid he could be arrested if he refuses to stand for the national anthem at future Sacramento Kings games.

AZ: Judge to decide if Arizona gyms can reopen

azcentral.com

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason pledged to decide by Tuesday whether Arizona gyms need to follow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's order to stay closed through at least July 27. Some gyms in the state are obeying the order and have closed, but many others are defying the order in a tense standoff with the governor.

UT: 2 lawmakers urge Utah to allow curbside, home delivery of beer

sltrib.com

Two Democratic lawmakers are urging Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert to temporarily “allow customers to purchase alcoholic beverages that are available at grocery stores, through curbside pickup and home delivery.”

CT: Connecticut governor to delay third phase of reopening

courant.com

Connecticut will delay the third phase of its reopening, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont announced, leaving restrictions on gatherings, indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues for the near future.

RI: Hundreds in Rhode Island face eviction with moratorium expired

providencejournal.com

Rhode Island’s moratorium on evictions was lifted last week, allowing landlords to file and cases to proceed in district court.

NY: New York health agency says state isn’t to blame for nursing home deaths

timesunion.com

A March 25 memo issued by the New York Department of Health barred nursing homes from denying admission or readmission to residents based solely on a positive or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis. But a new agency report says the deaths occurred because staff working at the homes had brought the infection into the facilities.

WV: West Virginia governor issues mask order

wvgazettemail.com

West Virginians now will be required to wear face coverings in public buildings, Republican Gov. Jim Justice announced. The order requires state residents to wear an “adequate face covering” when they are in a confined space and social distancing isn’t possible.

PA: Some Pennsylvania police departments say publicizing use-of-force policies builds trust. Others say the public can’t be trusted

papost.org

PA Post surveyed 35 of Pennsylvania’s most populated cities and towns and found fewer than a third of their departments uploaded their use-of-force policy to the internet so that the public could access it.

MN: Minnesota senator says he's being investigated by the state medical board for COVID-19 comments

startribune.com

Republican state Sen. Scott Jensen, a physician, said that he is being investigated by the Minnesota State Board of Medical Practice for public statements he’s made about COVID-19. Jensen criticized the state Department of Health in April for following federal guidance stipulating when doctors should characterize deaths as caused by COVID-19. 

WI: Appeals court reverses Wisconsin voting restrictions rulings

apnews.com

A federal appeals court panel upheld a host of Republican-authored voting restrictions in Wisconsin, handing conservatives a significant win in a pair of lawsuits just months before residents in the battleground state cast their ballots for president.

GA: Atlanta passes ban on police chokeholds, empowers citizen review board

ajc.com

The Atlanta City Council approved several policing changes, including a ban on chokeholds and expansion of the citizen review board’s powers.

MS: Mississippi governor gets checked for COVID-19 after ‘large number’ of lawmakers test positive

sunherald.com

Saying “a large number of legislators” have tested positive for COVID-19, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, and his family have been tested for the coronavirus.

SD: South Dakota governor flew on Air Force Once after close contact with positive coronavirus case

argusleader.com

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem flew on Air Force One to Washington, D.C., the day after coming into close contact with Kim Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

WA: Prospects dim in Washington for special legislative session on coronavirus budget shortfall

seattletimes.com

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has thrown cold water on the idea of a special legislative session this summer to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, after elected officials in both political parties said for months that such a session was likely.

OR: In one month, Oregon sees a fivefold increase in weekly case counts

wweek.com

The number of cases of COVID-19 per week in Oregon has increased fivefold in the last month. In the week ending July 5, Oregon reported 2,117 cases, compared with a weekly total of 413 just a month ago.

HI: Bill would grant emergency powers to Hawaii health director

apnews.com

The Hawaii state health director could declare a public health emergency, order quarantine and contact tracing, and temporarily close schools and businesses through a measure under consideration by lawmakers.

MO: Missouri governor to sign bill that increases prison sentences

columbiamissourian.com

Republican Gov. Mike Parson will sign an omnibus bill that increases prison sentences and eliminates probation for certain violent crimes in Missouri. The bill, passed during the final hours of the legislative session, changes mandatory minimum sentences and probation, and includes other provisions that Parson said would help address violent crime.

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