Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/18

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/18

VT: Vermont House overrides governor's veto of Global Warming Solutions Act

vtdigger.org

The Vermont House voted to override Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation that would legally require the state to meet carbon emission reductions targets in the coming years, and allow individuals to sue the government if it fails to do so. 

NY: New York City will again delay start of in-person classes for most students

nytimes.com

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio once again delayed the start of most in-person classes in the New York City public schools, acknowledging that the system had still not fully surmounted the many obstacles that it faced in bringing children back.

OR: Oregon officials cautiously optimistic ahead of expected rain

oregonlive.com

State officials in Oregon expressed cautious optimism about the state of massive wildfires burning throughout the state as a storm system was expected to bring up to an inch of rain to some of the areas that have seen the worst devastation.

CA: California is turning the corner on the coronavirus. Will it last?

latimes.com

After months of bleak figures and forecasts, California now appears to be riding a wave of success beating back the coronavirus as officials express cautious optimism about what is next for the state.

TX: Governor loosens restrictions on most Texan restaurants, businesses

houstonchronicle.com

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced a new round of business reopenings, including restaurants, gyms and nursing homes, as Texas continues to see a drop in infections and hospitalizations from the coronavirus.

NC: North Carolina governor says elementary schools can reopen

newsobserver.com

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat,  announced that school districts can reopen elementary schools for full-time, daily in-person instruction starting Oct. 5.

DC: Contact-tracing challenges hurt District of Columbia’s efforts to control virus’s spread

washingtonpost.com

A lack of information from some District of Columbia residents who test positive for the coronavirus is hurting the city’s efforts to corral the virus’s spread, officials said. Those who become infected are sometimes hesitant to provide details that could prevent future transmissions.

IN: Indiana governor says facial coverings have allowed state to stay open

indystar.com

Touting the state’s rosier coronavirus statistics, Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb attributed much of the improvement to masks. About two months ago, he put a mask mandate into place after counties across the state started seeing their cases rise.

HI: Hawaii will launch pre-travel testing program Oct. 15

civilbeat.org

Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine for trans-Pacific arrivals will no longer be required for travelers who can produce a valid negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their travel. The option for travelers to avoid quarantine goes into effect Oct. 15.

ID: Group appeals Idaho ruling on transgender sports ban

idahostatesman.com

A conservative Christian group is appealing a federal judge's ruling that temporarily blocked an Idaho law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports.

NM: New Mexico youth sports, camping to resume

santafenewmexican.com

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she would end a prohibition on youth sports practice. Camping at state parks also will reopen next month.

OK: Judge upholds Oklahoma's absentee voting laws

oklahoman.com

An Oklahoma judge has rejected a lawsuit from Democratic groups seeking to ease the state’s absentee voting laws in light of the coronavirus pandemic, namely a provision that requires absentee ballots to be notarized.

ME: Absentee ballot requests show voter confusion in Maine

pressherald.com

The drive to promote absentee voting in November is creating confusion among Maine voters, as they receive multiple mailings, emails or even text messages from political groups urging them to request an absentee ballot, even after they have already done so.

NE: Contraband, racial disparities, lack of job training among Nebraska prison concerns

journalstar.com

This year's annual report by the inspector general that provides oversight to Nebraska prisons cited racial disparities, contraband issues and a need for more job training and community corrections beds for inmates.

MT: Bullying, spying and harassment revealed in Montana utility commission documents

billingsgazette.com

Montana Public Service Commission documents showing a pattern of bullying, harassment and spying at the agency were released Wednesday by a district judge, months after commissioners sued the media rather than release the data.

SD: COVID-19 outbreak reported at South Dakota women’s prison

apnews.com>

More than 100 inmates have tested positive at a minimum-security women’s prison in Pierre, South Dakota, according to the state Department of Corrections.

DE: Delaware Board of Education approves fall sports

wdel.com

After an hours-long discussion, the Delaware State Board of Education approved fall sports in Delaware in a 4-3 vote. Field hockey, football, boys soccer, volleyball and cross country teams can begin practices Sept. 28.

CT: Connecticut governor says school districts can decide how to reopen, but criticizes those that break with his guidance

courant.com

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration have said for weeks that Connecticut’s school districts have wide leeway to make their own reopening decisions, based on the needs and challenges of their particular communities amid the pandemic. But in recent days, Lamont has publicly criticized school districts that don’t fall in line with his preferences.

OH: Ohio schools reporting few cases of COVID-19 among students so far

dispatch.com

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised schools for their work in preventing the spread of the virus and said it’s not necessarily a district’s fault if cases pop up.

KS: Kansas halts release of COVID-19 cluster details to public after just one week

kansascity.com

Just one week after deciding to share the information with the public, Kansas officials temporarily halted the release of COVID-19 cluster data, saying they needed time to ensure that it is current.

PA: Pennsylvania Democrats notch key election-related court wins

apnews.com

Pennsylvania’s highest court gave the Democratic Party a series of victories in the presidential battleground state, relaxing deadlines on a fledgling mail-in voting law, approving more ballot collection sites and kicking the Green Party’s presidential candidate off the November ballot.

VA: Two more Virginia inmates die of COVID-19

richmond.com

The Virginia Department of Corrections reported that two more offenders with COVID-19 have died at the Deerfield Correctional Center, where many older inmates and those with medical problems are held.

GA: Georgia has surpassed 300,000 confirmed coronavirus infections amid hints that a decline in new cases may be leveling out

ajc.com

Georgia's numbers continue mostly to improve, although cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain elevated. 

KY: Democrats nearly triple Republicans in requests for mail-in ballots in Kentucky

courier-journal.com

Continuing a trend from Kentucky's June primary election, Democratic voters have been far more willing than Republicans to request mail-in ballots for the general election, according to figures obtained from the Kentucky State Board of Elections.

AK: Alaska city passes out free cloth masks to community

alaskapublic.org

Anchorage, Alaska, began distributing 160,000 free cloth masks to the community this week. The masks came from the federal Department Health and Human Services, which aims to distribute 1 million masks to Alaskans. They’re plain white cotton and washable.

Census Scrambles to Boost Count Rates Prescribed Fires
EXPLORE MORE FROM STATELINE
Places
Topics