Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/23

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/23

NJ: New Jersey will replace all lead water pipes in the next decade

northjersey.com

As part of a new law signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, water companies will be allowed to raise rates on New Jersey property owners to pay for the pipe replacements, though it's possible federal funds could help cover the estimated $2.65 billion undertaking.

MS: Mississippi argues US Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade

apnews.com

In papers filed with the high court, the office of Mississippi’s Republican attorney general argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.

FL: Florida governor looks to ban mask mandates if schools, feds require them

tampabay.com

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on his opposition to mask requirements, suggesting he would be willing to call a special session of the legislature to outlaw them if the federal government imposes a mandate or local school districts defy him.

OR: After lifting statewide COVID restrictions, Oregon calls for counties to act

oregonlive.com

Oregon health officials say they have no plans to restore statewide coronavirus restrictions amid a new and concerning resurgence of infections, and instead encouraged county governments to consider measures to slow spread.

TN: Confederate general’s bust will be removed from Tennessee Capitol

tennessean.com

The bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a controversial fixture in the Tennessee Capitol since the late 1970s, is coming down. The State Building Commission gave approval for relocation to the Tennessee State Museum, a final step in a process that has taken more than a year.

NY: New York bans underage marriage

amny.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a ban on all minors getting married in New York. It raises the age of consent for marriage to 18 from 17, an increase put in place last year, after a previous law four years ago upped the age of consent from 14.

MN: Minnesota police board OKs new policies on misconduct, protest response

startribune.com

Minnesota's police licensing board approved new model policies on officer misconduct and protest response, but acknowledged its limited ability to address violations.

ND: A North Dakota hospital system will require COVID vaccinations for workers

bismarcktribune.com

Sanford Health, a hospital system in Bismarck, North Dakota, will require its 3,800 employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination or risk losing their jobs. So far 90% of clinicians and 70% of nurses have been vaccinated.

NC: Top North Carolina lawmaker objects to mandating COVID vaccinations at schools

newsobserver.com

Now that there is no longer a mask mandate in North Carolina schools, attention is turning to increasing vaccinations for COVID-19. The leader of the majority-Republican North Carolina Senate called mandating vaccines right now for schools “problematic.”

MA: Schoolchildren in Massachusetts capital will wear masks in fall

bostonglobe.com

Acting Boston, Massachusetts, Mayor Kim Janey said Boston Public Schools students will be required to wear masks when they return to classrooms in the fall. But GOP Gov. Charlie Baker said he has no plans to change COVID-19 rules as the state is seeing a rise in cases.

CA: University of California system raises tuition despite student outcry

latimes.com

The University of California will raise tuition beginning in fall 2022 after the Board of Regents approved the increase following widespread student protests. Officials said the plan aims to bring financial predictability to families, help struggling campuses maintain educational standards and make a UC education more affordable for many low-income students by raising more revenue for financial aid.

CO: Colorado AFL-CIO decides to stop donating to Colorado Democratic Party

denverpost.com

The Colorado AFL-CIO has decided to stop donating to the Colorado Democratic Party and committees that help elect Democrats to the Colorado General Assembly, in what one expert said is a “rare step” for organized labor. Union officials said the Democrats had excluded them from discussions about policy creation in favor of business and opposition groups.

OH: FirstEnergy officials say they paid $4.3M bribe to former top Ohio regulator

cleveland.com

In new court filings, FirstEnergy Corp. officials say that in exchange for a $4.3 million bribe, former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo helped them push for changes worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Akron-based company.

PA: Pennsylvania redistricting advocates call for transparency in process

post-gazette.com

One by one, Pennsylvania’s most well-known redistricting advocates told Harrisburg leaders what they’d been waiting years to say in a public hearing: that they’ll be watching—and will do everything in their power—to ensure that once congressional maps are drawn in the next few months, there won’t be any partisan parlor games, backroom deals or funky boundaries.

MT: Montana economic commission looks at post-pandemic priorities

montanafreepress.org

Officials serving on a commission tasked with helping GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte spend $150 million of Montana’s COVID-19 relief money agreed to consider proposals regarding business innovation, value-added agriculture, workforce development and affordable housing.

State Budgets Missouri Supreme Court Upholds State's Medicaid Expansion
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