Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/13

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/13

MA: Massachusetts governor unveils rental relief plan

bostonglobe.com

With Massachusetts' strict ban on evictions set to end this week, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a $171 million package of programs aimed to keep struggling renters in their homes.

NJ: More than 100 New Jersey nursing homes have had coronavirus outbreaks since summer

nj.com

Despite precautions, the coronavirus continues to creep into New Jersey’s nursing homes, assisted-living centers and other senior facilities, even among those that managed to eradicate their original outbreaks, Department of Health data shows.

IN: Indiana sees most coronavirus hospitalizations since May

apnews.com

The number of coronavirus patients in Indiana hospitals grew over the weekend to the highest level in nearly five months, state health officials said.

IL: 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Illinois sets new high

chicagotribune.com

The seven-day average of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois hit a new high, topping a number recorded as the virus was surging in late April and early May. The percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive results also has been increasing in recent days.

NC: North Carolina roadkill rose dramatically last year

newsobserver.com

In 2019, the coronavirus wasn’t an issue as North Carolina’s population continued its upward trajectory. Cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte with budding reputations among millennials and young families saw exponential growth. That’s what made it a particularly bad year for deer, according to state officials.

HI: Hawaii COVID-19 data for race and ethnicity is missing

civilbeat.org

The Hawaii Department of Health is struggling to fill major holes in race and ethnicity data for coronavirus cases after a sharp increase in cases in August overwhelmed investigators. More than half of the race data is currently missing, but the information that is available shows that Pacific Islanders — excluding Native Hawaiians — and Filipinos are still experiencing disproportionately high infection rates.

NY: In emptier New York City subways, violent crime is rising

nytimes.com

The New York City subway is still far safer than during the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s. But after two decades of steady declines in felonies, the recent uptick in major crimes has fed a perception among many riders that the system is slipping back into disorder.

OR: Oregon lawmakers direct $21M to wildfire recovery funding

statesmanjournal.com

Oregon lawmakers directed more than $21 million toward state agencies to help communities rebound from September's destructive wildfires, with the vast major of funds being reserved to assist schools and school districts in damaged areas. While not allocated to schools yet, $20 million was set aside by the Emergency Board committee for future budget allocations as requests from damaged schools come in.

MS: High-risk Mississippi voters can get a free face mask with a shield

sunherald.com 

New face masks with face shields — that will add more protection for Mississippi seniors and those with health issues when they go to the polls in November — will be distributed statewide for free starting this week. Those eligible to receive the free masks are voters who are over age 65 or have health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or a weakened immunity.

MN: Minnesota lifts restrictions on visits to senior homes

startribune.com

Lifting of the lockdown poses fresh challenges for many of Minnesota's 2,100 long-term care facilities, which are struggling to keep the coronavirus at bay amid a troubling increase in cases across the region.

OK: Oklahoma governor seeks to privatize Medicaid, faces early opposition

oklahoman.com

Still in the early stages of the process, Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt’s push to privatize Medicaid by hiring a for-profit company to manage the program’s spending is already facing pushback from some members of his own party.

WV: West Virginia governor says it’s too soon to lift state of emergency

wvgazettemail.com

Republican Gov. Jim Justice said it’s “way premature” to consider lifting a six-month-old state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, even though West Virginia’s color-coded risk assessment map shows 46 of the 55 counties are either lowest-risk green or low-risk yellow.

MO: Lack of updated pandemic data raising concerns in Missouri

stltoday.com

Missouri entered its third day without an accurate count of COVID-19 cases, deaths and trends on its public database, raising concern and frustration among those who use it to track the pandemic.

AR: Arkansas COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record high

arkansasonline.com

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Arkansas have risen by nearly 10% over the last two days, and GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson said a record number of patients continues to strain hospitals in the state.

WI: Wisconsin judge upholds mask order for enclosed spaces

apnews.com

A Wisconsin judge on Monday allowed the state’s mask mandate to stand, rejecting an attempt by the Republican-controlled legislature and a conservative law firm to overturn it, even as coronavirus cases spiked and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 hit a new high.

CO: Colorado city reconsiders opening middle, high schools

denverpost.com

Denver Public Schools is reconsidering opening its secondary institutions for in-person learning following an upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases that officials warn could force the Colorado city into another shutdown.

AZ: Arizona freezes 43K unemployment accounts suspected of fraud

azcentral.com

Some Arizonans receiving unemployment benefits have had their unemployment bank accounts frozen because the state's efforts to combat fraud have flagged 43,000 accounts as potentially fraudulent, according to the Department of Economic Security. It is the second time this year the state has taken such an action in an attempt to cut off payments made to people fraudulently seeking government assistance.

UT: Utah coronavirus cases up 988; at least 1 hospital limits elective surgeries

sltrib.com

With 988 new coronavirus cases reported, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses declined slightly amid a testing lull — but the strain on Utah hospitals remained high. Utah’s intensive care units were 64% occupied, and at least one hospital limited elective surgeries.

ID: Idaho prisons tell inmates about relief check eligibility

apnews.com

People in Idaho who had their coronavirus relief checks wrongly denied or seized because they were behind bars now have a few more days to apply to receive the money. The Internal Revenue Service has extended the application deadline 15 days to Oct. 30 in response to a Sept. 24 ruling by a federal judge who said the payments couldn’t be denied based solely on someone’s incarceration status. 

AK: No second signature required on absentee ballots, says Alaska’s Supreme Court

adn.com

Alaskans do not need to have a second person sign their absentee ballots, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled, confirming a lower-court decision.

ME: Maine governor changes Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day

pressherald.com

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, signed a bill into law that establishes a holiday recognizing the Indigenous people of Maine, saying that she hoped it would help “heal the divisions of the past.” Indigenous Peoples Day will replace Columbus Day as an official state holiday on the second Monday of October.

VT: Vermont tries to help residents burning coal for heat to change

vtdigger.org

A new incentive helps Vermonters who are still heating with coal to switch to renewable energy. The program, designed by the Clean Energy Development Fund, pays 50% of the cost of installing advanced wood heat boilers and furnaces. Residents are eligible for up to $7,000, and businesses can receive up to $27,000 toward the change.

WA: Washington again fails to live-track murder hornet

apnews.com

Washington state officials said they were again unsuccessful at live-tracking a “murder” hornet while trying to find and destroy a nest of the giant insects. The Washington State Department of Agriculture said an entomologist used dental floss to tie a tracking device on a female hornet, only to lose signs of her when she went into a forest.

DE: Advocates settle with Delaware over education equity suit

delawarepublic.org

The 2018 lawsuit claimed Delaware fails to provide an adequate education to all students because its funding system supports well-off children better than disadvantaged ones. Delaware is among a handful of states that do not provide regular weighted funding to schools for English language learners and low-income students.

Marijuana Disaster Aid Far-Right Vigilantes

States of Innovation

EXPLORE MORE FROM STATELINE
Places
Topics