What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/25
NE: Nebraska touts lack of vaccine mandate in job ads
In recent advertisements to attract applicants for nursing jobs, Nebraska hawked its lack of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Several medical officials are raising "grave concerns" about the state pitch.
US: Retirement 'tornado' strikes local, state governments
Experts agree that the pandemic has encouraged people to rethink their futures; that has led many government employees toward earlier retirement.
HI: Hawaii governor to tourists: Stay away
Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, called on tourists to avoid the state as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, overtaxing the state’s health care system. Ige stopped short of imposing new travel restrictions.
FL: Florida hasn’t applied for child food aid during the pandemic
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has not yet applied for up to $820 million in food assistance to more than 2 million Florida children, raising concerns from food assistance groups and others.
ID: Idaho pleads for more health workers
State officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reiterated their plea in a request to other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. They asked for 235 full-time health care workers.
NJ: New Jersey increases penalties for hazing
People convicted of hazing at New Jersey schools and colleges will now face harsher penalties under a new bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.
GA: Georgia orders National Guard to hospitals as COVID spreads
More than 100 National Guard personnel are being deployed to 20 hospitals across Georgia to help with the state’s latest surge of COVID-19 cases.
AR: Arkansas ran out of ICU beds
Arkansas ran out of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
MO: Missouri attorney general sues schools over mask mandates
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, is seeking to block school districts from mandating masks for students and teachers as the state continues to struggle with a wave of COVID-19 cases.
IL: Judge rejects GOP effort to invalidate Illinois redistricting map
A federal judge rejected Republican efforts to immediately invalidate a Democratic-drawn map of new legislative districts. But the judge also dismissed Democratic attempts to throw out the case.
MS: More Mississippi students, teachers are in quarantine
More than 5,700 Mississippi students tested positive for the coronavirus last week and over 30,000 students, teachers and staff were quarantined after possible exposure.
ND: North Dakota pleads for public to help stem COVID spike
Local health care officials in North Dakota urged people to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases increased and available hospital beds dwindled.
SC: South Carolina Supreme Court will hear school mask lawsuit
Oral arguments are set for Aug. 31 in Republican South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s lawsuit against the city of Columbia’s mask mandate for elementary and middle schools.
VA: Virginia lawmakers resist state mask order
As students prepared to head back to Virginia classrooms, two state senators—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—sent a letter to school officials saying districts are allowed to make their own decisions about pandemic safety guidelines. The letter came a week after the state implemented an indoor mask mandate for schools.
WI: University of Wisconsin refuses to submit COVID restrictions for GOP approval
University of Wisconsin System interim President Tommy Thompson, former GOP governor of the state, says he will not comply with an order from Republican state lawmakers to submit COVID-19 safety restrictions and requirements for their approval.
MA: Massachusetts reports highest daily COVID deaths in months
Massachusetts recorded the highest number of deaths in more than three months.
NY: New York governor orders school masking
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, ordered masks for anyone entering schools in the state, a move that was cheered by organizations that represent administrators and teachers.
MD: More Maryland restaurants, venues are requiring COVID vaccination
In Maryland, the delta variant led to a rise in Baltimore COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. That and a seemingly stagnant vaccination campaign have led more businesses to mandate vaccines for workers and patrons.
NV: Nevada will pursue separate opioid litigation
Nevada will not join a proposed $26 billion multistate settlement with top drug companies accused of fueling the nation's opioid epidemic.
OK: Oklahoma expedites some medical licenses amid COVID surge
As Oklahoma hospitals are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 patients, the state is once again cutting bureaucratic red tape to quickly get medical professionals to the front lines of health care.