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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/22

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/22

IN: Indiana governor to send National Guard into nursing homes

indystar.com 

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that he would send members of the Indiana National Guard into nursing homes to help an exhausted staff care for residents. The announcement comes as long-term care facilities are experiencing the largest surge of cases and deaths. 

OK: Oklahoma attorney general suggests federal law to let tribes share jurisdiction with state

tulsaworld.com

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, a Republican, issued a series of recommendations that he said will help the state and its American Indian tribes deal with the repercussions of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark McGirt decision.

NC: More North Carolina asthma patients suffer as mold grows after hurricanes

newsobserver.com

In Eastern North Carolina, more people make trips to hospital emergency departments for asthma treatments than in any other part of the state. Mold growth in the aftermath of hurricane flooding is part of the problem, experts say.

CA: Judge rejects California attorney general’s effort to investigate GOP ballot boxes

latimes.com

A Sacramento judge refused to order the California Republican Party to disclose information about its ballot drop box program to state officials, rejecting an argument by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra that the investigation was essential to ensuring ballots are being properly handled.

NJ: New Jersey governor to quarantine after 2 staff members test positive for COVID-19

northjersey.com

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy will quarantine after being close to someone on his senior staff who tested positive for COVID-19. Murphy, 63, tested negative for the virus on Monday and said he had no symptoms.

FL: Feds consider plan to shift Florida wetlands regulation to state

tampabay.com

The Environmental Protection Agency is deliberating whether to give Florida control over key wetlands permitting. At issue is whether the state should regulate more decisions on dredging and filling wetlands — an aspect of much development in Florida.

AR: 2 more Arkansas state lawmakers test positive for virus

arkansasonline.com

They are the fourth and fifth Arkansas lawmakers in the past two days to announce that they have tested positive for the coronavirus.

IA: Iowa governor says she did not misspend COVID-19 relief funds

desmoinesregister.com

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she disagrees with a conclusion from the Iowa state auditor and the U.S. Treasury Department that her administration has misallocated at least $21 million in federal assistance intended for COVID-19 relief.

LA: Landlord-tenant tension simmers in Louisiana

nola.com

The strategy for Louisiana tenant advocates is to drag out the eviction process through the end of the year when a federal moratorium ends. Landlord-tenant disputes are boiling over.

CO: Colorado governor orders statewide eviction moratorium

denverpost.com

Days after banning late fees on renters in Colorado, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis went a step further and reinstated a state eviction moratorium. He set the order to expire in 30 days, though he has regularly extended many COVID-19-related orders.

AZ: Judge denies Arizona Democratic Party claim to list of rejected ballots

apnews.com

A judge in Arizona dismissed a claim filed by the Arizona Democratic Party against Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, also a Democrat, that sought records for people whose mail ballots were rejected before Election Day. The Democrats wanted access to the information so they could help voters fix whatever issue was wrong with their ballot, such as a mismatched signature.

PA: A year ago, voting machines malfunctioned in a pivotal Pennsylvania county. Have the problems been fixed?

spotlightpa.org

One year later, those same voting machines will face their most consequential test yet: a highly scrutinized presidential election in a Pennsylvania county widely viewed as a national political bellwether for the race overall.

MS: Mississippi expands curbside voting

apnews.com

Mississippi is expanding access to curbside voting for people with symptoms of COVID-19 and setting a new process to let voters correct, or “cure,” minor discrepancies with signatures on absentee ballots. The changes are being made after voting-rights groups sued the state in federal court.

CT: Thousands of volunteers step forward as poll workers in Connecticut 

courant.com 

After a recruiting drive by multiple organizations, Connecticut officials were stunned that 10,000 volunteers have agreed to serve as poll workers on Election Day. With a high-stakes presidential election and many older employees unable to work at the polls due to health concerns about COVID-19, a coalition of groups started a recruiting drive about six weeks ago. 

NH: New Hampshire attorney general says out-of-state students don’t lose voting eligibility

nhpr.org

College students who previously registered to vote in New Hampshire do not automatically lose their voting eligibility if they’re out of state due to remote learning or other circumstances, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office affirmed.

KS, MO: Who gets the COVID-19 vaccine first? Kansas, Missouri reveal plans and challenges

kansascity.com

Kansas and Missouri are providing their first look into how they plan to vaccinate millions of residents in the coming months. It’s a process that could mark a turning point in the struggle to conquer a pandemic that has ravaged both states and continues to infect and kill residents every day.

UT: Utah Health Department unveils vaccine distribution plan

sltrib.com

The Utah Department of Health told the legislature’s Health and Human Services Interim Committee that the first doses will go to those who staff emergency departments, urgent care facilities, COVID-19 units and long-term care facilities, as well as to those health care workers who have preexisting health conditions.

ME: Maine overdose deaths surge; COVID-19 isolation partially blamed

pressherald.com

Drug overdose deaths surged through the first half of 2020, the Maine Attorney General’s Office reported, as the opioid crisis has deepened during the pandemic. Officials said isolation due to the pandemic contributed to the increase, not to mention closure of some treatment facilities in the lockdown.

ID: Idaho sets new case record

idahostatesman.com

With 821 newly reported cases, Idaho has a new record for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported in one day.

WA: Washington unveils vaccine plan

seattletimes.com

Washington released its draft plan to distribute vaccines in several phases, outlining for the first time who will have first access to vaccines, how they will be administered and how the state plans to promote vaccines.

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