It has been two weeks since a second stay-at-home order was issued in California, but the infection rate has not leveled off. This may be because the newest restrictions are looser than those in the spring, and because many Californians are so fatigued by public health orders—or so militantly resistant to them—that they are interacting with people from outside their households.
U.S. life expectancy inched up last year, but could decline in 2020 by the largest amount since World War II, as COVID-19 becomes the nation’s third-leading cause of death. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that life expectancy rose to 78.8 years in 2019, an increase of one-tenth of a year. But the gain will be erased by a large drop in longevity when the government releases 2020 figures next year.
New Jersey police will soon have new guidelines determining when they can hit, chase or shoot suspects under rules announced by the state attorney general’s office, the first overhaul of the state’s use-of-force policy in two decades. The rules prohibit cops from using force to speed up an arrest, ban using police dogs on suspects who are only resisting arrest and require departments to review every incident where force was used.
Oregon’s third special legislative session of the year got off to a contentious start, with a Republican senator ripping off his mask on the chamber floor and a group of demonstrators forcing their way into the Capitol. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, called lawmakers back to Salem to extend the state’s eviction moratorium and address other issues.
The people tasked with running Pennsylvania elections are drained from dealing with regular verbal attacks from angry voters.
Dozens of New York state judges are being forced to retire to close a pandemic budget gap. They have sued the state, claiming age discrimination.
An Alaska state committee’s work on prioritizing vaccines is now entering a more delicate phase as additional doses become available. Nonprofits, trade associations and even state agencies have sent the committee letters hoping to assure their place in the state’s vaccine line.
A new study suggests that far more Marylanders have been infected with COVID-19 than in any area except for New York City. Johns Hopkins University researchers reported that their look at 500 autopsy reports from several weeks in May and June in the state found 10% had antibodies for COVID-19.
Two Nebraska elected officials continue to feel the repercussions of their decisions to support a Texas lawsuit that challenged the 2020 presidential election results in four states. Omaha state Sen. Ernie Chambers, an independent, filed a grievance against Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and Secretary of State Bob Evnen, both Republicans, with state Supreme Court Counsel for Discipline Mark Weber.
A Virginia man who had his gun rights restored in June has been convicted of leaving a loaded firearm near his young son, who accidentally shot himself in the hand, in one of the first cases to be prosecuted under a new Virginia law that boosts the penalty for "recklessly" leaving guns near children.
Nearly 50 Maine schools and school districts are now using rapid-result coronavirus tests on symptomatic students and staff to quickly identify positive cases and to improve the contact tracing and quarantine processes.
Reforming the state’s short-term rental regulations will be a top priority of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce in the coming legislative session. The association aims to level the playing field for members that operate traditional lodging businesses.
Bars and restaurants in North Carolina will soon be allowed to sell margaritas, martinis and other mixed drinks to go under a new executive order announced by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat. The measure, Cooper said, offers relief to the ailing restaurant industry, without allowing larger gatherings.
All 46 South Carolina state senators have agreed to wear masks when the General Assembly returns to work the second week in January, Senate President Harvey Peeler wrote in a memo outlining new COVID-19 protocols amid mounting pressure from inside his chamber to avoid a potential virus outbreak. The state House does not have such an agreement.
A major pharmacy and health care chain said it will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines next week at long-term care facilities in North Dakota, where the death rate due to complications from the virus is among the worst in the country.
The new Iowa Senate minority leader said that Democrats have promoted a senator previously accused of sexual harassment to a leadership position because he was re-elected and is knowledgeable about labor issues.
Beyond relying on human decency, Kansas and Missouri have no plans in place to stop line cutters during this intermediate period of vaccination before shots are available to the public at large.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, announced new travel restrictions for people arriving from the United Kingdom, South Africa and other nations where a new variant of the novel coronavirus has been reported. Early estimates indicate that the new mutation of the virus, while not more deadly or vaccine resistant, spreads faster and more easily than prior strains.
A growing number of people are buying second homes in Idaho resort towns. They’ve come from California, Oregon, Washington and other states looking for quiet spots where they can escape the rat race and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, unveiled a COVID-19 era state budget that “represents sudden, sharp reductions to revenues,” he said. Faced with projections of $1.4 billion deficits over each of the next four years, Ige’s budget for the 2021-2023 biennium calls for $276.4 million in reduced operating spending in fiscal year 2022.
Researchers, doctors, nurses and even social media influencers across Mississippi are racing to try to rebuild trust to address Black Mississippians’ concerns about coronavirus vaccines. Researchers are partnering with grassroots community health workers to reach Black, Choctaw and Latino communities around the state.
Florida saw better-than-expected sales and corporate taxes to close out 2020, despite high unemployment and record savings. State economists made rosier projections for the state’s general revenue.
In an ongoing fight over funding, Texas lawmakers have drafted a bill to put Austin police under state control. The state capital cut $21 million from the police budget.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, signed an executive order that will prevent large increases in unemployment insurance taxes for businesses that were directly affected by the statewide health orders enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson granted his first pardons, saying this is the time of year for forgiveness. But he did not release the names of the 24 individuals who were pardoned, nor did he name four people whose sentences he commuted in the days running up to the Christmas holiday, saying it was a matter of privacy.