Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/16

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/16

MD: Maryland House group votes to propose ban on chokeholds, restrict no-knock warrants

washingtonpost.com

A legislative work group in Maryland voted to recommend a police use-of-force policy that would ban chokeholds; restrict the use of no-knock warrants; and require officers to intervene if they see a colleague using “force beyond what is objectionably reasonable.” Police who violate the policy would face criminal penalties.

ME: COVID-19 cases in Maine rise; outbreak at L.L. Bean warehouse

pressherald.com

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials this week announced a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred at the L.L. Bean Fulfillment Center in Freeport, with five employees testing positive. Maine CDC officials reported 47 new cases of COVID-19, the highest one-day increase in cases since the state recorded 51 new cases Sept. 29.

VA: Virginia governor to send $73M in hazard pay to home health workers

richmond.com

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced that he is allocating $73 million from the federal CARES Act to provide a $1,500 payment to 43,500 personal care attendants as hazard pay for their work from when the public health emergency began in March through the end of June.

NC: North Carolina breaks records on first day of early voting

newsobserver.com

Some people waited more than two hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting in North Carolina. By 3:30 p.m., more than 170,000 ballots had been cast statewide, surpassing the entire first day of early voting in 2016, when roughly 166,000 ballots were cast, the state Board of Elections reported.

CO: Early voter turnout soars in Colorado

denverpost.com

More than 300,000 Colorado voters have returned ballots for the Nov. 3 election — a staggering display of enthusiasm in a state that sends all voters a ballot by mail. That’s a 2,377% increase in early turnout this year as compared with 2016.

ID: Idaho's Ammon Bundy encourages militias to 'exploit' COVID-19 fear

Idahostatesman.com

Idaho's Ammon Bundy, who led an armed standoff with federal authorities at a federal wildlife refuge in 2016, has exploited COVID-19 fears to build a dangerous network of militia members and other far-right factions, according to a new report by two groups that track extremism. Bundy's People's Rights network has rapidly grown to more than 20,000 members nationwide.

IL: Illinois records 4,015 new coronavirus cases, a single-day record

chicagotribune.com

In the latest signs of a COVID-19 resurgence in Illinois, public health officials reported the highest number of newly confirmed cases in a single day since the pandemic began and the most deaths in a day since late June.

WI: Wisconsin shatters previous COVID-19 records

 

jsonline.com

Wisconsin reported more than 3,700 new coronavirus cases, shattering previous daily records as the state's health crisis continued to soar to new heights. There were 1,043 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state, including 264 people in intensive care units.

HI: Hawaii welcomes 8,000 travelers as tourism reopens

civilbeat.org

Hawaii welcomed more than 8,000 travelers as the state kicked off its pre-travel testing program designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and allow the reopening of one of the state’s largest industries.

WV: West Virginia hits new high of virus cases, hospitalizations

apnews.com

New confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations hit new highs in West Virginia over the past week as outbreaks grew in some of the most rural pockets of the state. There were nearly 240 cases reported statewide on average over the past week, the highest ever.

MS: Mississippi's coronavirus curve is going back up

sunherald.com

Mississippi reported 1,322 new COVID-19 cases, the highest figure since Aug. 19, when 1,348 cases were reported. It’s also the first time since then that the number of new cases is over 1,000.

IA: Iowa governor defends Trump’s crowded rally

desmoinesregister.com

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds defended the crowded rally held by President Donald Trump at the Des Moines International Airport this week, saying organizers took health precautions and had the right to hold the mass gathering, despite the spreading coronavirus.

RI: Rhode Island governor orders businesses to close break rooms for 90 days to slow COVID-19 spread

providencejournal.com

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo mandated the closure of employee break rooms for 90 days, issued new rules for trick-or-treating and outlined even stricter guidance around mask-wearing as she continued to sound alarms about the rising number of coronavirus infections in Rhode Island.

MN: COVID-19 surge means fewer Minnesota schools meet in-person rules

startribune.com

More than 500 Minnesota schools reported at least one positive case in the past two weeks, and 24 school buildings had outbreaks with at least five positive cases.

NJ: New Jersey governor extends temporary hold on utility shutoffs until March 2021

northjersey.com

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order that extends New Jersey’s statewide moratorium on utility shutoffs until March 15, 2021. The announcement prevents all water, electric and gas shutoffs for residential and business customers due to nonpayment.

MO: Missouri governor won’t require vaccinations

stltoday.com

Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson, on a day when his state set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations, outlined a new plan for distributing vaccines that don’t exist yet. And, in keeping with his opposition to state-enforced mandates, the governor insisted he will not require Missourians to get vaccinated.

WA: Washington Supreme Court strikes down ballot measure that cut car tab taxes

seattletimes.com

Voters in Washington who nearly a year ago OK’d a measure to cut car-tab fees won’t see that tax cut after all. The Washington Supreme Court struck down Initiative 976, ruling the measure was unconstitutional because it contained too many subjects and its title misled voters.

VT: Faulty fuel tanks and a new Vermont law block fuel oil deliveries

vtdigger.org

Hundreds of Vermonters have been barred from receiving new deliveries of home heating oil until technicians repair or replace their faulty fuel-oil tanks. Fuel companies are hustling to fix the problems before deep winter arrives.

CT: Small businesses seek $70M in grants from Connecticut’s federal coronavirus funding

courant.com

A coalition of organizations representing small businesses in Connecticut — many of their members struggling to survive in a pandemic and recession — urged Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont to create a new grant program drawing from the state’s existing federal stimulus funds, rather than waiting for a new package from the U.S. Congress.

NH, VT: 6 New Hampshire counties now on Vermont’s COVID-19 restricted travel list

nhpr.org

Vermont has updated its state quarantine rules, and now includes New Hampshire's neighboring Grafton County as an area subject to travel restrictions. Six New Hampshire counties now have quarantine requirements in Vermont.

OR: Oregon groups launch neutral-looking election website to sway voters

oregonlive.com

Oregon voters who go online to search for information about the election are likely to find a website called the “2020 Oregon voter guide," which looks neutral and informational, but endorses only Democrats and urges a “yes” vote on all four statewide ballot measures. Because of paid search engine ads, that website shows up before the state’s official voters' guide.

UT: Utah state senator is back on oxygen 2 months after COVID-19 diagnosis

sltrib.com

More than two months after first announcing she had COVID-19, Republican state Sen. Deidre Henderson is back on oxygen as she struggles to fully recover. Henderson says despite having to supplement with oxygen, she is still on the campaign trail as a lieutenant governor candidate.

KS: COVID-19 spike arrives late, hits hard in rural Kansas county

apnews.com

Gove County, with a population of 2,600, is among many rural counties in Kansas and across the Midwest that are being stressed by the pandemic and its late arrival.

AZ: At least 3 virus cases at Arizona school send hundreds into quarantine

apnews.com

An Arizona high school will be closed until Oct. 27, school officials said. About 450 students and 20 staff members were told to quarantine while the larger school district investigates what is considered an outbreak.

AK: Alaska governor says he’s negative for virus after 3 aides test positive

alaskapublic.org

After three of his aides tested positive for COVID-19, Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this week and will be tested again.

WY: Wyoming lawmakers consider how to handle 2021 session

wyomingnews.com

With Wyoming approaching one of the most crucial legislative sessions in its history, state lawmakers held initial discussions on what COVID-19 precautions will need to be taken to kick off the session in January.

SC: Calls come to remove Thurmond name from University of South Carolina building

thestate.com

Calls to remove the name of Strom Thurmond from a University of South Carolina wellness center dominated public hearings this week. Several called for the university to drop the name of the former governor and U.S. senator who was one of the nation’s most prominent segregationists.

Pollution and COVID-19 Drop Box Battles

States of Innovation

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