Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/27

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/27

CA, NY: California and New York City tell workers to get vaccinated or face weekly tests

apnews.com

California and New York City announced that they will require all government employees to get a coronavirus vaccine or face weekly testing. California’s requirement, which applies to all state workers and millions of public and private sector health care employees, starts next month.

MN: Minnesota adopts clean cars standard that requires more electric vehicles

startribune.com

Minnesota is the latest state—and the first in the Midwest—to adopt California's stricter tailpipe emissions standards and mandate for automakers to get more zero-emission vehicles onto sales lots. The rules take effect Jan. 1, 2024, for 2025 models.

TN: Tennessee spent $11K on influencers for airfare promo

apnews.com

Tennessee paid thousands of dollars for social media influencers to promote a contentious new initiative that uses $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars to offer flight vouchers largely to out-of-state residents.

MA: Rising seas pose great threat to Boston subway system: report

bostonglobe.com

Rising seas will pose an existential threat to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s rail network over the next 50 years, carrying the potential to inundate vast portions of the system and sever crucial links that shuttle hundreds of thousands of riders across the region each day, a new study has found.

GA: Georgia legislators lay groundwork for potential election takeover

ajc.com

Over a rising drumbeat of criticism, several Georgia Republican legislators are building a case for the state government to take over Fulton County elections. The newfound power to fire local elections management, created by Georgia’s voting law, worries voting rights advocates, who say it could be abused for partisan purposes to tamper with the heavily Democratic county.

US, WV: Federal government will invest $300M in coal communities, many in West Virginia

wvgazettemail.com

Three months after a federal work group identified southern West Virginia as the area of the country most in need of focused U.S. investment because of its high dependence on coal and power plant jobs, Washington has announced a $300 million investment in coal communities nationwide.

WA: Public health officials in Washington counties urge mask use indoors

seattletimes.com

Rising cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of the highly infectious delta variant have prompted health officers from eight western Washington counties to recommend mask-wearing in indoor public spaces. Health officials from the counties recommend all people wear marks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

NY: New York governor will spend $15M to address vaccine hesitancy

timesunion.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced a $15 million vaccination campaign committed to slowing the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 and vaccinating the remaining 3.5 million eligible New Yorkers.

NH: Displaying a firearm no longer counts as reckless conduct in New Hampshire

nhpr.org

New Hampshire residents and visitors will no longer face reckless conduct charges for displaying a firearm, after Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill creating a new exception. The bill amends the state’s reckless conduct statute to clarify that showing off a firearm is not by itself an offense under the statute.

FL: Lawsuit seeks to force Florida to keep paying $300 jobless benefits

orlandosentinel.com

Attorneys representing 10 unemployed Floridians have filed a lawsuit in Broward County against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Department of Economic Opportunity that seeks for weekly $300 federal unemployment benefits to be immediately restored.

WI: Wisconsin Republican promises forensic election audit

apnews.com

The Republican head of the Wisconsin Assembly elections committee said she will ensure there is a “comprehensive, forensic examination” of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election at the same time the state’s nonpartisan audit bureau conducts a review.

OH: Ohio Medicaid recipients will receive $100 gift cards through Sept. 15 if they get first coronavirus shot

cleveland.com

In an effort aimed at people who are hesitant about getting a coronavirus vaccine, insurance companies that cover Ohio Medicaid members are offering them $100 gift cards between now and Sept. 15 to get the first shot.

CO: Colorado mountain towns are starting to limit short-term rentals

coloradosun.com

Short-term rental properties are under fire in the Colorado mountains as communities weather record traffic, a surge of new residents, soaring home prices and a painful shortage of workers. Proposed short-term rental caps, suspensions and regulation efforts are intended to slow the recent wave of investors buying properties and converting them into nightly rentals for vacationers.

MO: Faced with severe staffing shortages, Missouri veterans homes seek funding boost

stltoday.com

The board overseeing Missouri’s fleet of nursing homes for military veterans is again calling on Republican Gov. Mike Parson and the legislature for a funding boost.

UT: Did Utah lawmakers make it harder for officials to respond to COVID-19?

sltrib.com

During the 2021 session, the Utah legislature decreed that no school district can require a mask. Several other bills passed by lawmakers limited or banned tactics that governments in other states are undertaking to address the pandemic’s resurgence.

MI: Michigan group promises court challenge after panel rejects petitions for LGBTQ rights

freep.com

A group seeking to explicitly include LGBTQ protections in Michigan's civil rights law says it will go to court after the Board of State Canvassers voted unanimously not to certify its petition. The case is expected to result in a ruling on whether electronic signatures are legal for Michigan petition drives.

AK: Ahead of special session, Alaska lawmakers consider phasing in permanent fund changes

alaskapublic.org

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, wants to spend 50% of the money drawn annually from the permanent fund on dividends for residents, while the other 50% could pay for state services. But it’s not yet clear whether a working group of lawmakers will recommend proposals for the rest to consider during the upcoming special session.

RI: Rhode Island extends outdoor dining to next spring

apnews.com

The eased rules on outdoor dining that proved to be a critical lifeline for many Rhode Island restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic were extended during a ceremonial bill signing by Democratic Gov. Daniel McKee. 

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