Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/6

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/6

CA: Governor names first openly gay justice to the California Supreme Court

latimes.com

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Martin Jenkins, a Black former prosecutor and judge, to the California Supreme Court. He would become the first openly gay justice on the California Supreme Court, and only the third Black man ever to serve on the state’s highest court.

MO: 1,800 Missouri employees have had COVID-19, including 4 aides to the governor

stltoday.com

After refusing to disclose how many workers in his office tested positive for the coronavirus, Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson relented and said four aides have had the virus and, like him, have recovered.

NJ: New Jersey AG investigating whether Trump fundraiser violated COVID-19 rules

nj.com

New Jersey officials are investigating whether the fundraiser President Donald Trump held at his Bedminster golf club last week hours before he announced he tested positive for COVID-19 violated the state’s social-distancing orders.

NY: New York governor won’t approve of closing of businesses in hard-hit areas

nytimes.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said he would not yet allow New York City to close nonessential businesses in virus hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens, suggesting that the ZIP codes that were being used to identify hot spots were too imprecise to guide shutdowns. 

NC: North Carolina city of Greensboro considers apology for Klan victims

newsobserver.com

Decades after five people died at the hands of Nazis and Klan members, a North Carolina city is considering a formal apology. A proposed resolution posted to the city of Greensboro website calls on leaders to apologize to the victims, families and community members impacted by the violent 1979 clash known as the Greensboro Massacre.

LA: Louisiana House panel advances bill to prevent defunding of police departments

thenewsstar.com

Louisiana lawmakers on a House panel approved a bill designed to prevent the defunding of police in cities, parishes and universities, although author Rep. Lance Harris, a Republican, conceded he isn't aware of any such movement in the state.

VT: Vermont governor to decide fate of police use-of-force bill

vpr.org

Legislation that arrived on Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s desk last week would establish a new use-of-force standard for police agencies across Vermont, but public safety officials say the proposed statute would send law enforcement officers into murky legal waters and are urging the governor to veto the bill.

AZ: Arizona lawmaker in intensive care with COVID-19

azcentral.com

Arizona state Rep. Lorenzo Sierra, a Democrat, is in intensive care and was intubated at a Baltimore hospital following complications related to COVID-19. The lawmaker and his wife, Rhonda Cagle, both began exhibiting symptoms of the virus while they were visiting family in Washington, D.C., in late September.

SD: Governor to lawmakers: South Dakota shows lockdowns are 'useless'

argusleader.com

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said South Dakota has given the rest of the country an example of how to navigate through a pandemic without heavy-handed government mandates.

NE: Nebraska virus hospitalizations hit new high over weekend

apnews.com

The number of deaths linked to the coronavirus has topped 500 in Nebraska, and more people are hospitalized with the virus than ever before.

DC: Some District of Columbia elementary school students will be allowed to return to classrooms 

washingtonpost.com 

The District of Columbia plans to invite preschool and elementary school students who are learning English as a second language or who are experiencing homelessness to return to physical classrooms starting Nov. 9, officials announced. 

CT: Connecticut governor will add twice-weekly testing for senior staff of administration 

courant.com 

After the spread of coronavirus at the White House, Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont will begin twice-weekly testing for roughly 20 senior staff members as early as this week.

CO: Colorado GOP joins Trump in raising specter of voter fraud

denverpost.com

Colorado’s Republican Party has joined President Donald Trump’s national effort to cast doubt on the integrity of the upcoming election, seizing this week on a misleading and since-retracted local news report suggesting impropriety at the Democratic-controlled Secretary of State’s Office.

UT: Utah coronavirus cases keep rising

sltrib.com

With 1,105 new coronavirus cases reported on Monday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses continued to rise, with a record number of new hospitalizations during the past two weeks. Utah’s intensive care units were 72.5% occupied as of Monday.

NV: Nevada postal workers see sudden surge of COVID-19

reviewjournal.com

Las Vegas postal workers are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases at the valley’s central processing plant, which sorts all of Southern Nevada’s outgoing mail. About 24 cases within the last four weeks had been confirmed at the plant.

VA: 6 mailboxes in Virginia were tampered with, officials say

richmond.com

Several U.S. Postal Service offices in the Richmond, Virginia, area reported allegations of tampering with their outside mailboxes. At this time, neither the U.S. Postal Service nor the Virginia Department of Elections can confirm if any absentee ballots or other election mail was in the boxes.

SC: In-person absentee voting begins in South Carolina

thestate.com

South Carolina officials expect as many as twice the number of voters to cast absentee ballots this year compared with 2016.

NY: New York attorney general suspends student and medical debt

timesunion.com

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, has extended the collection period for medical and student debt owed to the government until Nov. 3, the seventh 30-day extension approved by James.

IA: ACLU sues Iowa after group of racial justice protesters banned from state Capitol

desmoinesregister.com

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five racial justice protesters who were arrested and banned from the Iowa State Capitol following a July 1 altercation between Black Lives Matter supporters and law enforcement on Capitol grounds, the ACLU of Iowa announced.

KS: Kansas getting 870K rapid coronavirus tests

kansas.com

Kansas has received 57,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, with 870,000 ultimately expected, significantly beefing up the state’s rapid testing capability as flu season approaches.

NH: Rapid COVID-19 tests arrive in New Hampshire

nhpr.org

With hundreds of thousands of rapid COVID-19 antigen testing supplies slated to arrive in the coming months, New Hampshire says it will now include those results in its daily coronavirus testing figures.

MI: Masks, distancing still required in Michigan despite court ruling

freep.com

Michiganders are still required to wear masks, and the size of indoor gatherings will still be limited, despite confusion following a state Supreme Court ruling that undercut Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's authority to issue emergency orders.

WA: Census outreach in high gear for Native groups across Washington

crosscut.com

The U.S. census has drastically undercounted Native communities in the past, and leaders in Washington are trying to correct that this year.

OR: Oregon voters to decide on cigarette, vape tax

statesmanjournal.com

Backers of Oregon's Measure 108 hope broad, bipartisan support and a well-funded campaign will push the effort to increase taxes on cigarettes and create a tax on vapes to victory in November.

HI: Experts worry pandemic could speed Hawaii's population decline

civilbeat.org

A high cost of living and economic hardship have historically been among the top reasons driving residents away from Hawaii, where the population has been declining for three consecutive years.

OK: Oklahoma City mental health emergencies outpace police trained to handle them

oklahomawatch.org

Oklahoma City police answered 19,658 mental health calls in 2019, reports obtained by Oklahoma Watch and State Impact show. That’s a 95% increase since the current tracking system took effect in 2013.

AK: Judge says she’ll drop witness signature requirement for Alaska mail-in ballots

alaskapublic.org

Alaska Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby says she intends to issue an injunction to eliminate the witness signature requirement for Alaskans who vote by mail in the November 2020 election, but her order isn’t in effect yet.

OH: Ohio asks organ donors to register online following coronavirus shutdown of motor vehicle bureau offices

dispatch.com

All but five Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices were shuttered from mid-March through May 25, and the closures nearly cut the number of new donor registrations in half during the second quarter of 2020.

VT: Surge in COVID-19 cases in Vermont county linked to apple orchard workers

vtdigger.org

A surge of new COVID-19 cases in Addison County, Vermont, is being linked to an outbreak among foreign workers at a Shoreham apple orchard. At least 26 seasonal workers from Jamaica have tested positive for the virus.

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